Common Fumitory

Should anyone wish to read The Fountain in the Forest in synch with the French Republican Calendar – which features in the novel – today’s date and Chapter 1 of the novel are (according to certain reliable authorities) dedicated to Fumeterre, the Common Fumitory.

Having spoken about the French Republican Calendar alongside many wonderful and inspiring performances by an amazing group of artists, writers and musicians at David Collard’s ‘A Leap in the Dark’ literary shindig on Saturday 29 February, it occurred to me that this may be of interest ;)

While conversions between the Gregorian and Republican Calendars are imprecise (or as some would say ‘speculative’), according to those Gregorian-to-Republican Calendar converters which privilege Charles-Gilbert Romme’s prefered method for calculating leap years, today’s date Monday 2 March is Tridi 13 Ventôse 228, and the day is dedicated to the Common Fumitory; and so on. By the same calculation, Chapter 30 of the novel corresponds with 12 Germinal 193, and is dedicated to the Hornbeam.

Luke Bird’s cover design for both Trade and B-Format paperbacks of The Fountain in the Forest, uses an engraving by Louis Lafitte, an artist of the Revolutionary period, which despite appearances is not a picture of Leda and the Swan, but is in fact an allegory of the Revolutionary month of Thermidor, from an edition of the Revolutionary Calendar that Lafitte illustrated.

Photo Isidre Blanc — CC BY-SA 4.0


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