Mary Munro-Hill holds BA degrees in Latin and French, an MA and PhD in French, and a BD and MTh in Theology. After retiring from a career of teaching languages and theology in universities, colleges and schools, she is now an Honorary Fellow at the University of Hull, UK, where she was a Visiting Tutor in French Language from 1995 to 2017 and also served as a member of the Chaplaincy team from 2007 to 2013.
A life-long lover of languages both classical and modern, but with a particular passion for French, Mary’s recent scholarship has focused primarily on the French literary critic and grammarian Maurice Aristide Chapelan and his writing for the influential daily newspaper Le Figaro. She became particularly interested in the chronique du langage as a genre and in the articles of Chapelan, published under his middle name, Aristide, in Le Figaro. This interest resulted in her first two books: Aristide of Le Figaro in 2017, marking the 25th anniversary of Chapelan’s death, and Claude Duneton, Chroniqueur at Le Figaro in 2018. Duneton, who died in 2012, was Chapelan’s successor at Le Figaro. Mary’s third book, Maurice Aristide Chapelan, Man of Three Parts, published in 2019, introduced her readers to some of Chapelan’s other writings: his literary criticism, biographies, poetry and novels.
We asked Mary to describe exactly what first drew her to Chapelan. Here’s what she had to say:
“He was obviously a writer who loved the French language and wrote entertaining articles on grammar. I was not disappointed when I met him in 1986—what a brilliant and witty man! Aristide died in 1992. In 2017, to mark the 25th anniversary of his death, I had my first book published, Aristide of Le Figaro. In 2019, my second book on Aristide (Maurice Chapelan) was published: Maurice Aristide Chapelan, Man of Three Parts—this man was far more than a newspaper grammarian.
In the intervening year, I published a book on another French grammarian and famous writer, Claude Duneton, who succeeded Aristide at Le Figaro. I had met him in 1994 when he was about to embark on his new career as chroniqueur du langage. He was very different from Maurice Chapelan, but equally erudite. Claude died in 2012 and, wishing to honour him, I wrote my book, Claude Duneton, Chroniqueur at Le Figaro.”
Mary’s current project is another work on Maurice Chapelan, this time focusing on his poetry and aphorisms, which she hopes to submit to Cambridge Scholars for publication before the end of 2020. Having been researching and writing on Chapelan and Le Figaro since the very beginning of her academic career, including a PhD thesis at the University of Hull, there is arguably no figure with as much authority on the topic as Mary in the English-speaking world.
Cambridge Scholars have been delighted to assist Mary in her endeavour to bring recognition of Chapelan to the wider world. Here’s what she had to say on her experience of working with us:
“I am very grateful to Cambridge Scholars Publishing for accepting my three books for publication, and hope to publish more with them in the coming years. The various members of staff with whom I have had the pleasure of working since 2016 have ensured a happy outcome, both for me and for my books, before, during and after publication. Thank you all so much, Cambridge Scholars!”
As well as her published work in French language and literature, Mary is a church organist, having started to play at the age of eight. She gained the Archbishops’ Award in Church Music from the Guild of Church Musicians in 2017. She describes Theology as her other great passion in life, having become a Reader (Licensed Lay Minister) in 1979 and gained a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1982 and a Master of Theology degree in 2017.
As part of the ‘Meet our Authors’ campaign, we are offering our readers a 50% discount on all three of Mary’s books. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code MOAMAR20 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 16th April 2020.
Works by Mary Munro-Hill: