France: An Adventure History

£12.5
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France: An Adventure History

France: An Adventure History

RRP: £25.00
Price: £12.5
£12.5 FREE Shipping

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Original, knowledgeable and endlessly entertaining, France: An Adventure History is an unforgettable journey through France from the first century BC to the present day. I do not know if this is a "style" worth categorising separately from other styles of telling history under an objective point of view, but it certainly does on my shelf. His biographies of Balzac, Victor Hugo, and Rimbaud have won critical acclaim and were selected as New York Times Editor’s Choices for best books of the year.

While at times well written, the book bounced around from Julius Caesar to modern times and covering only select regions, episodes, and characters, somewhat connected to France. More French soldiers died in Rossignol on 22 August 1914 than on any other day in French history, before or since. In discussing the Cathars, he describes maps that feature a particular tree, then shows all the guidebooks and maps from the 16th century on featuring that tree. Less comprehensive and more episodic, the author has compiled stories surrounding historical events they find of interest, expounding on them as a storyteller might. When I read it again – and I will read this book again – I might jump into one of the later essays first.This does a great job looking at the idea of France and how its political identity was shaped, but I think Robb could do justice but a follow up with looking at the pieces of French culture (cuisine, the tour, wine) that make up what it is today. What I mean is in each chapter, I couldn't help but feel like freefalling through time itself, seeing swathes of reality and abstractions that manifest themselves in what makes up France, both tangible and intangible.

If you don’t like traditional history text or even if you do and just want an unusual take on people or time periods that have been covered thousands of times, this could be the read for you. Dream and romance have conditioned myriad encounters with Venice across the centuries, but the city's story embodies another kind of experience altogether - the hard reality of an independent state built on conquest, profit and entitlement and on the toughness and resilience of a free people. Even with the helpful maps and a massive list of notes and references (which constitute nearly one-third of the hefty book), readers might appreciate the stories more if they have a ready understanding of French history, geography, and language.During the lockdown phase of Covid, my wife and I replaced our usual date nights – dinner and/or drinks out – with foreign language lessons. Rather difficult to describe, this is not any kind of traditional history but an account of the author's bicycle travels through France to relatively remote places where somewhat obscure events took place that illuminate aspects of French culture. From the plains of Provence to the slums and boulevards of Paris, events and themes of French history may be familiar - Louis XIV, the French Revolution, the French Resistance, the Tour de France - but all are presented in a shining new light.

It’s not a survey; it plunges down into the lives of people to give immediacy to the moments and movements of France’s storied past and changing present. Ponies at the Edge of the World is a heartfelt love letter to the beauty and resilience of these magical ponies and their native land. The inspirational story of how the love a Belfast Doctor had for his Gaeltacht sweetheart prevailed despite the horrors of captivity in Japanese POW camps during World War Two.Though possibly the biggest highlight was the chapter on Napoleon and particular his exile on St Helena in the South Atlantic where he met and befriended the young child, Betsy Balcombe. He divides his book into three loose chronological parts, “Ancient Gaul to the Renaissance,” “Louis XIV to the Second Empire,” and “The Third, Fourth, and Fifth Republics. Nazis weren’t chasing him; the fate of the world didn’t depend on him finding the tree; and the hidden wealth of history wasn’t waiting for him in some secret location. He and teacher Eileen wrote extensively to each other, and it is through these letters and Frank's journals that we gain a remarkable insight into life during these times. Graham Robb bicycles through France, stopping in places and diving into a historical event that happened here.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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