About The Cartiers
The Cartiers by Francesca Cartier Brickell is a sweeping account of the jewellery empire known throughout the world as the epitome of excellence and exquisite craftsmanship.
It’s the story of a legendary business and the evolution of an iconic brand.
Yet it’s also the very human story of the people behind the empire – the Cartier family and their devoted staff.
The Cartiers is also a vicarious delight – a glimpse into the realms of the rich and famous over the last hundred years, the stories of their purchases and their preferences, along with their fluctuating fortunes.
My (rave!) review of The Cartiers
I loved this book.
This is perhaps not surprising, as there’s so much to love about it; family bonds, beautiful jewellery, creative refinement, entrepreneurial adventures, and the diligent creation of something magnificent.
This captivating story also featured so many of my favourite eras and locations; turn-of-the-century elegance, the post-WWI decadence, and the fabulous 50s, all set amid the glamorous backdrops of Paris, London, New York, the south of France, the English countryside and the emerging hotspots of Europe and America.
This glorious, glittering saga was also populated by some of the legends of recent history – Russian royalty, Hollywood stars, kings, queens and aristocrats, and powerful heads of state.
As much as The Cartiers is a history of a family business, it’s also an enjoyable jaunt through modern history, as witnessed by those with a front-row seat to the last century’s dramas and high society happenings.
As a non-fiction writer myself, I’m a huge fan of beautifully-written narrative non-fiction, and The Cartiers is a masterclass of its genre.
It’s as intriguing, captivating and escapist as any novel, yet packed with fascinating facts from history and real-world events.
And as a lifelong entrepreneur, I have a soft spot for business biographies.
This book was a delightful combination of both themes – the story of a world-class luxury brand (who doesn’t want to know how that happens?!) and at the same time, a touching account of a unique family and its colourful characters.
The Cartiers by Francesca Cartier Brickell;
the story of a world-class luxury brand, and a touching account of a unique family with its cast of characters as colourful as their iconic Tutti Frutti jewels.
I was lucky enough to stumble across Francesca Cartier Brickell‘s Instagram account back in 2019, in the middle of her book-writing journey, so I was able to follow her process – with all its delights, disappointments and challenges.
So, of course, I was eager to read the fruits of Francesca’s patient and devoted labours – I couldn’t wait to curl up with my copy when it was finally released.
Happily, the publication coincided with my birthday, so it was top of my Birthday Wishlist.
So, for several months, I took my time discovering the epic story of The Cartiers, one fragment of the tale at a time.
And I loved these regular installments – joyful reading interludes amid life’s busyness, when I could escape to the world of diamonds and duchesses, the realms of rubies, royalty and refinement.
A great story, a great book
As a reading experience, it was a sheer delight to follow the journey of the Cartier family and how they built – generation by generation – one of the most revered jewellery empires and one of the world’s most iconic brands.
It’s a great story.
And thanks to Francesca’s unique family connection, her devotion to her topic, and her superb writing skill – The Cartiers is a great book.
It’s possibly one of the best biographies I’ve read, certainly one of the most enjoyable.
I almost wish I hadn’t read it, so that I could have the joy of discovering it all over again.
My verdict, in case you hadn’t guessed: highly recommended. 🙂
Especially if you feel drawn to the world of luxury brands, superlative craftsmanship and tales of enduring creations.
The Cartiers is a perfect gem.
PS If you’d like to follow more of my reading adventures, I share my latest finds and delights in my Books for Creatives series.
“…he was more interested in the quest for original design and exceptional craftsmanship.
It was a philosophy that was also a way of life.”
~ Francesca Cartier Brickell,
on the work ethic of her grandfather, Jean-Jaques Cartier
You’ll enjoy The Cartiers if you:
• love beautiful jewellery
• are curious about the creative process
• enjoy Founder Stories and business biographies
• enjoy modern history
• love family sagas
• have an affinity for France and European life
• love tales of perseverance, evolution and grit
• just love a great read!
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