plus ca change, plus c’est la même chose

Marc Jones, a wide and erudite reader, mentions “Alphonse Karr” in the second chapter of Astrology:  How and Why it Works citing his phrase “the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing,”  as a wonderful thing.  Monsieur Karr has severals books available on, all in French, but if you chose “read this book online”, Google will automatically translate them.

Read more: #J Le Figaro & Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr

In 1832 Karr published a novel, Sous les tilleuls that was quite popular.  A second novel, Une heere trop tard, followed next year, and was succeeded by many other popular works. His Vendredi soir (1835) and Le Chemin le plus court (1836) continued the vein of autobiographical romance with which he had made his first success.

 Genevieve (1838) is one of his best stories, and his Voyage autour de mon jardin (1845) was deservedly popular. Others were Feu Bressier (1848), and Fort en theme (1853),  had some influence in stimulating educational reform

Les Guepes…aka The Wasps

In 1839 Alphonse Karr, who was essentially a brilliant journalist, became editor of Le Figaro, to which he had been a constant contributor; and he also started a monthly journal, Les Guepes, of a satirical tone, a publication which brought him the reputation of a somewhat bitter wit.

His popular epigram  plus ca change, plus c’est la même chose,” was the one that Jones quoted.  His other on the death penalty, . and, on the proposal to abolish capital punishment, “je veux bien que messieurs les assassins commencent,”  (let the gentlemen who do the punishing start the process).

He also worked with J. J. Granville on  the Animated Flower, that Granville illustrated and Karr wrote the “floriculture.”  It is similar to Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies that came 70 years later.

                           Biograph of Alphonse Karr

Karr was a French critic and novelist,  born in Paris, on the 24th of November 1808.  He was educated at the College Bourbon, and became teacher there too

A nonedible Bamboo he named, Bambusa Multiplex.

In 1848 he founded Le Journal. In 1855 he went to live at Nice, where he indulged his predilections for floriculture, and gave his name to more than one new variety notably in dahlias. He practically founded the trade in cut flowers on the Riviera.

He devoted to fishing, in Les Soirees de Sainte-Adresse (1853) and Au bord de la mer (1860) he made use of his experiences. His reminiscences, Livre de bord, were published in 1879-1880. He died at St Raphael, on the 29th of September 1890, Michelmas.

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                                                      The Karr Chart

Mr Karr was rectified to 15 Leo and 9:36 PM.  He has a Grand Trine in Earth.  The cut trade is shown by Mars in the second opposite the preponderance in the eighth house of death — cute how that works out.  His business acumen is demonstrated by the seventh house, and his love of work with Venus at 02 Capricorn on the sixth house cusp making it especially strong.  The fifth house is his tarvelling Sun and Neptune for his fishing and poetry, the fourth house shows he win live long — he was 82 when he died — and happily.


 Transpluto right at the midheaven is striking at 05 Taurus, as it gives him inexhaustable patience for success.

John Hawkins, who wrote the book on Transpluto, believes that the hypothetical planet is ruled by Taurus and assigns as its totem the Bee — perfect for flowers.  That works out well, as the Asteroid Dalian, often used for the dahlia is right next to it at Taurus 03. ¹

Right next to the Asteroid Ceres — discovered 1801 — used often as a proxy for commerce, and growing things is conjunct the other dahlia asteroid, Daliya, named for the 18th century Swedish botanist, Anders Dahl — a student of the great Carl Linnaeus — for whom the beautiful Mexican flower was named.²


  1. The asteroid Dalian is actually named for Dalian, China, so using it as a proxy is because it is a near homonym.
  2. The dahlia was named for Anders Dahl in memoriam for his work by the Spanish Abbe of the Real Jardin Botanico (the Royal Gardens).  If you are in the area it’s a real treat and next door the marvellous Prado Museum.

the prado.png
a shot of the garden from Google Earth
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