“Because of her willingness to take risks without fanfare, the Widow Clicquot became one of the most famous women of her area. For decade after decade, her name was heard on the lips of soldiers, princes, and poets as far away as Russia. Before long, tourists came looking for a glimpse of the woman whom the writer Prosper Mérimée once called the uncrowned queen of Reims. In the Champagne, she was known simply as La Grande Dame—The Great Lady.”
The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It
In 1798, Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, the daughter of a prosperous Reims merchant marries François Clicquot, a textile merchant with a small wine business. But in 1805, François dies and Barbe-Nicole, now a widow, chooses to defy convention and take the reins of the fledgling wine business. After multiple political and financial reversals, she becomes one of the first great businesswomen and one of the richest women of her time.
This is a fascinating story about an audacious and intelligent woman, a bold risk taker, a daring and determined entrepreneur, the first woman in history to run an international commercial empire.
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