Winter in Paris


198 pages
ISBN 0-88750-808-1
DDC 914.4'36104815





Reviewed by Nora D.S. Robins

Nora D.S. Robins is Collections Co-ordinator (Internal) of the
University of Calgary Libraries.


Sixty-seven years ago a young woman from Kingston, Ontario, on her first
trip to Paris, wrote weekly letters to her family in Canada. The family
kept these letters and now, at the age of 90, Bermingham has gathered
them into a delightful book recounting the experiences and impressions
of her year in Europe.

Bermingham was a student at the New York School of Fine and Applied
Arts. The school had a branch in Paris, to which students could go for
their final year. Since she was interested in costume design and
illustration—exactly the school’s curriculum—she was very keen to

Thanks to her uncle’s generosity, she sailed from Montreal in August
1923 for an unforgettable year abroad. She found a world quite unlike
Kingston, Boston, or New York. Paris was a city of little cafés in
which one could have a four-course meal for five francs, a city where
one could live comfortably on 1000 francs ($70) a month. Her stay in
Paris was interspersed with trips to the French countryside, as well as
visits to Rome and London.

Bermingham did not know the rich and famous, nor did she have a lot of
money, but she did know how fortunate she was to be in Paris. This
captivating little book, each page filled with the sheer joy of living,
is not to be missed.


Bermingham, Katherine., “Winter in Paris,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 19, 2024,