Okay, so today I confess I’ve gone a bit poncy, and a bit meta. A causerie is an informal essay or talk, often on a literary subject. Which is what this is, y’see? META.

Causerie comes from ‘causer’, which is français for ‘to chat’. It was popularised by one Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve (swoon – French names are so much better than English ones, n’est-ce pas?), a writer and critic who published a weekly column in a French newspaper about literary topics called ‘Causeries de lundi’, or ‘Monday chats’ in rubbish old English. As there was no English equivalent (‘funny literary column’ just doesn’t cut it), in the 19th century we went for the age-old solution of just nicking someone else’s.

Whether you choose to say it in an over-exaggerated French accent is entirely up to you.