by Clare Jones

I will soon be moving house to Oundle near Peterborough but I’ve managed to squeeze in a little time to write a blog post this week.
un loup – a wolf

mettre bas – to give birth (of an animal) (literally to put low)

donner naissance à – (of a woman) to give birth to

I’ve recently finished reading La symphonie des loups which I found an interesting read. I had never considered the impact of wolves on the shepherds of the French Alps. In the opening pages we meet Ragan le loup, a magnificent creature. Who has more right to be in these mountains of the Mercantour, the wolf looking for territory or the shepherds and their sheep? Enzo the shepherd lives a simple life with his wife who is expecting their first baby, and Ragan’s mate is ready to give birth too. When Enzo’s cousin is killed along with his flock of sheep, the wolf is blamed, Enzo becomes unhinged and all talk is of revenge. A long hunt begins which leads to the climax of the book when Enzo and Ragan come face to face.
Here is the blurb from the publisher, Presse de la Cité. I’ll write more about the expressions I met in this book another time.
Dans le Mercantour, entre vallées et montagnes, la cohabitation entre bergers et loups est-elle possible ? Qui a raison ? Les bergers et leur travail pénible ? Ou bien le loup, sans cesse à  la recherche d’un territoire ?
Enzo le berger dont l’épouse Anna attend un fils, Ragan le loup et sa compagne qui va bientôt mettre bas, les brebis accompagnées de leurs agneaux en partance pour une longue transhumance, tous suivent le fil tout simple de la vie quotidienne. Jusqu’au drame fatal impliquant le cousin d’Enzo et le troupeau. Le premier accusé est le loup, le prédateur à  éliminer coûte que coûte. La vengeance est sur toutes les lèvres. Une longue traque commence alors, une chasse impitoyable qui amènera Ragan le loup et Enzo le berger à  un terrible face à face.
Don’t forget about the competition which is currently running to win a copy of Je mourrai moins bête: 200 French expressions to help you die less stupid. Many thanks to all those who have bought a copy of my book. If you have enjoyed reading it, please leave a review on Amazon. Here are the links for, and

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One comment

    • Florence

    • March 15, 2016

    • 8:26 pm

    • Reply

    L’homme est un loup pour l’homme…..
    Entre chiens et loups…..

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About the author

Clare Jones was born in the North of England in 1960. She fell in love with the French language at the age of 11 and went on to study it to degree level at Leicester University, where she also became a qualified teacher. In 2011 Clare collaborated with Tamsin Edwards to produce an iPhone application, “Figure out French, Rouler un patin: to give a French kiss and other French expressions for leisure and health”. Though she now lives in England, Clare always has her nose in a French book and she surrounds herself by all things French. She is currently very busy teaching French as a private tutor and when she has the time, she writes a blog on the subject of the French language (click on the blog tab to read it). Clare enjoys tai-chi, swimming, and cycling in the local country park. She is also an enthusiastic member of her local community choir.

About the illustrator

Tamsin Edwards studied art at both Nene Art College, Northampton, and Derby School of Art during the early 1980s. Though well known for her atmospheric watercolour landscapes, Tamsin also creates quirky pen & wash illustrations, often portraying comic images of people and places. Tamsin has already collaborated with Clare Jones to produce an iPhone application. Past commissioned projects also include the children’s storybook ‘Tales of Two Shires’ and a book of poetic verses. As well as regularly exhibiting work and selling to clients around the world, Tamsin has also had several paintings published in an international magazine. To view further examples of her work or to buy original artwork from this book, please visit Tamsin can be contacted at

Author Photo

Illustrator Tamsin Edwards (left) and author Clare Jones (right)

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