Simone Pertuiset at Windrush

Simone Pertuiset is a descendant of the intrepid lion hunter portrayed in Manet’s famously controversial painting, ‘Monsieur Pertuiset, Chasseur de Lion’. She has lived, worked and volunteered in many countries and has travelled extensively, including sailing around the world for seven years on a small sailboat. After 30 years as a teacher and science and technical writer, she turns her creative style to historical novels and storytelling. She lives in Toronto.

Simone is set to launch two 19th-century historical novels and discuss how she draws from a trove of family memoirs and primary sources, blending literature, sociology and history to take the reader on an immersive experience of France during the glittering years of La Belle Epoque, and England at the height of the Industrial Revolution at an upcoming event at Windrush Estate Winery.


One of the most eccentric characters you will ever meet – 19th century strongman Eugene Pertuiset AKA “The Tyrolean Hercules”, was an adventurer, fortune teller, inventor, mesmerist, close friend of the novelist Alexandre Dumas, and media darling of the fin de siècle Paris.

He was also the inspiration for one of Edouard Manet’s most famous paintings – their odd relationship marking a milestone in the history of the modern art movement.

Eugene’s comic misadventures took him from the squalid silver boomtowns of South America and the Patagonian wilderness to the richest salons and Emma moaned of la belle epoque and the unconventional coterie of bohemian artists and writers.

This biography not only tells his little-known story but also illuminates the times in which he lived. More than 100 illustrations capture Eugene’s world and France’s turbulent transition to the modern era.


Deeply human, timeless tales of life’s challenges and vicissitudes, courage and resilience: a once respected entrepreneur struggles with addiction, a single mother tries to keep her family safe and a roof over their heads, a soldier on the battlefield seeks a faster answer to the meaning of life, and young woman searches for love in a nation that has lost its men.

In a world gone mad with exploration, scientific discovery, education, technology, communications, and the birth of the middle class was a large dark underbelly of the industrial revolution, colonialism and empire building, which set the stage for World War One and its aftermath.

Against this backdrop, people tried to make the best of their lot. Like us, they got out of bed and set about their daily tasks. They had family celebrations, loved, quarreled, and suffered heartaches. Parents worried about their children, health, and money. They heard the news and wondered what the world was coming to, and they were profoundly affected by world politics and wars that they only vaguely understood. Their lives were shaped by events and chance, and the mysterious play of forces more powerful than us all.  Like us, they tried to overcome their weaknesses, wrestled with their personal demons, and played their cards as best they could.

See Simone speak about these two new books at Windrush Estate Winery’s upcoming Salon Sundays event on January 22nd, 2023 at 2pm! Click here to order tickets online or call Marilyn at 905-729-0011.

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