Business Advice from a 19th Century Paris Madam - Madame Alexandra's Rules of Business | Author Jan Moran
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.

Business Advice from a 19th Century Paris Madam - Madame Alexandra's Rules of Business

Paris, City of LightAuthor Claude Roessiger, an entrepreneur from the world of luxury enterprises, penned a book set in Paris that is so unique it often brought a smile to my face as I was reading. I just had to share this unusual story with you. 

Part non-fiction, part fiction, Madame Alexandra’s Rules for Business: The Enduring Principles of Business Success is an enchanting read. Roessiger’s prose flows like fine champagne: dry, refined, and effervescent.

Roessiger assumes the fictional voice of a nineteenth-century madam in Paris – not just any madam, indeed, but rather one of the highest in society, a discreet proprietor of a maison close – who, by her brilliant expertise in business (dispensed in the book) also became one of the wealthiest self-made women of the day.

Rules of Business

Madame Alexandra's Rules of Business

As an entrepreneur, I found myself nodding as I read the brief, easily digestible passages, and smiling at Madame Alexandra’s clever tongue-in-cheek asides. Her advice is appropriate for any business – and though her account is dated 1905, her rules of business still hold true today.

For example, a few quotes by Madame:

“Much is made in France of formal preparation. This may be good for one who would erect bridges, or for a surgeon, but is an impossibility for commerce. It is true, one must be able to do one's sums and that must be learned the hard way, but beyond this, commerce is one part imagination and one part human nature. You learn neither in class. Great books written by lofty spirits open our minds and bring understanding. These are the right classroom.”

Madame Alexandra

“Read great books which teach you to think rather than paltry ones which seek to think for you.”

Madame Alexandra


I found myself cheering for Madame Alexandra, a woman who ran a sophisticated business, valued her employees, and welcome her clients with the expertise of a diplomat. For the illegitimate child who, by her own intelligence, work ethic, and investment strategy, came to own a quarter-mile of the most prized real estate on the Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris, deserves a standing ovation.

A Modern MBA

Claude RoessigerMadame Alexandra dispenses advice on Education, Establishment, Integrity, Employees, Giving of Direction, Presentation, Accountancy, Investment of Capital, Manners of Commerce, Law, Comportment, Negotiation, Government, and Charity. As a thought leader, her opinions might have been the precursor to the modern MBA of today.

Roessiger brought the period to life through his lovely use of language and attention to detail. His immersion and expertise in the world of luxury are authentic, imbuing Madame Alexandra with the ring of truth.

This little book would make a delightful gift for anyone who loves Paris and all things French. And of course, indispensable for anyone in business–even if your address isn't Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris. I hope to read more from Claude Roessiger soon. Purchase his book on Amazon now.


Where to Buy Jan's Books

  • Buy on AppleBooks
  • Buy on Amazon
  • Buy on Barnes & Noble
  • Buy from Google Play
  • Buy from Kobo
  • Buy from IndieBound
  • Buy from Audible

Jan’s books are also available to purchase in Deutsch, Dutch, Italiano, Lithuanian, Polish, and Russian. More languages coming soon!

Our website uses cookies which may collect information about your visit to improve our website (anonymous analytics), to show you media (video and audio), targeted advertising, and social media feeds. Please see our Cookie Policy page for further details or agree by clicking the 'Accept' button.

Cookie settings

Below you can choose which kind of cookies you allow on this website. Click on the "Save cookie settings" button to apply your choice.

FunctionalOur website uses functional cookies. These cookies are necessary to let our website work.

AnalyticalOur website uses analytical cookies to make it possible to analyze our website and optimize for the purpose of a.o. the usability.

Social mediaOur website places social media cookies to show you 3rd party content like YouTube and FaceBook. These cookies may track your personal data.

AdvertisingOur website places advertising cookies to show you 3rd party advertisements based on your interests. These cookies may track your personal data.

OtherOur website places 3rd party cookies from other 3rd party services which aren't Analytical, Social media or Advertising.