Posted by: njbrown | November 10, 2009

Julia and Paul – an improbable but wonderful partnership

November 10, 2009

Having done marriage counselling for much of the last forty-four years, I have seen many bad marriages.  Had anyone asked me if a thirty-something, 6’2″ spinster could find love and life-long happiness with a forty-something 5’10” artist and roue, I would have been highly skeptical.  But of course, that is what Julia did. 

In our hunt for the recipe file, I found two other Julia books.  In From Julia Child’s Kitchen, there are beautiful black and white photos done by Paul of French scenes.  His illustrations of food are highly detailed, expert drawings, and I hadn’t realized that the charming and graceful illustrations in Mastering were his.

Paul was forty-four when they married, and in my experience, most men of that age are not very flexible.  He had “jelled,” personally and professionally, but by the time of his retirement he was happily assisting Julia in her meteoric career.  Through most of the next thirty years, he supported, encouraged and assisted her apparently without rancor.

As I think about it, it is quite amazing that Julia’s writing ability (it turns out she was an English major at Smith and thought of becoming a writer), combined with her organizational abilities (honed in the OSS) and what must have been an inbred drive for perfection to result in a unique mix.  In addition,  were her great generosity of spirit and humility.  Paul’s bon vivant lifestyle and his love of beautiful food, as well as artistic gifts were a perfect addition to Julia’s gifts and abilities.  Overall, they were a couple who were more together than either of them individually and were a wonderful model of what a good marriage can be.  They are  inspiration for George and me.




  1. Your blogs are absolutely delightful!!!!

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