profile image

Eleanor Stanford

Student, writer, franco-fille

Eleanor is a literature student living in Paris. She is currently interning with The Independent, learning how to negotiate a busy correspondent’s office and the French. Commentating on news, culture and the arts, her collected writing can be found at

Independence, the Catalan Way

"It needs to happen in my lifetime. We have wanted and deserved it for too long." Emma, a student studying in Barcelona, is a Catalan Independiste. She belongs to the 50% of the population of Spain's north-eastern region who would like to see Catalonia split from the Spanish state to form an autonomous country. And her cause is steadily gaining tangible political progress.
19/02/2013 09:52 GMT

Why I Don't Mind Being a Mademoiselle

Paris - and France - no longer has any mademoiselles. Luckily this is not in the wake of a mass exodus of les jeunes, but thanks to new legislation banning the title from all state literature.
29/02/2012 22:34 GMT

'Romance' in the City of Love

Paris's reputation as the international capital of l'amour means you can barely turn a corner (in Paris or on Facebook) without being confronted by a couple kissing in view of the Eiffel Tower. However, among Parisians themselves, if traditional romance isn't dead, it is at least in a coma on life support.
30/01/2012 22:01 GMT

Cantona 'Running' For President Could Seriously Unsettle the Election Battle

In 2007 Nicholas Sarkozy promised that he would eradicate homelessness if he were elected President of France. The plight of those affected by the French housing crisis have just been given a surprise celebrity spokesman in the form of footballer turned actor turned French national treasure, Eric Cantona.
10/01/2012 22:45 GMT

Inhumane Conditions Can't Prevent Romani Travellers Returning to France

The question of the Romani people in France remains a highly charged issue, be it played out on the streets of Paris or in the chambers of the Assemblée Nationale. What will soon be realised by both is that Sarkozy's deportation of the Romani population may well be breaking international human rights laws, even as it fails to reach its political aim.
29/11/2011 22:08 GMT