The Road from the Past: Traveling through History in France
By: Ina Caro
Caro takes us on an unforgettable driving tour of France, from Provence to the Loire Valley to Paris. With Caro as an epicurean, knowledgeable, and delightfully opinionated guide, we can always be sure to find the most breathtaking vistas, the most extraordinary châteaux, the most inspiring cathedrals, and the very best meals.
Millions of travellers visit France each year. The glories of the French countryside, the essential harmony of French architecture, the wealth of historical relics, the myriad of cultural opportunities - all make the country a perennial and irresistible attraction. A Traveller's History of France takes the reader from the first conquests of ancient Gaul through the Renaissance, the turmoil and triumph of the French Revolution, and on through the 20th century of French history all the way to the present.
Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe
By: Nancy Goldstone
Four Queens is a rich pageant of glamour, intrigue, and feminine power at a time when women were thought to have played limited roles. In thirteenth-century Europe, four sisters from a single family-Marguerite, Eleanor, Sanchia, and Beatrice of Provençe-rose from obscurity to become the queens of, respectively, France, England, Germany, and Sicily. All four were beautiful, cultured, and ambitious, and their stories offer a window into the era of chivalry, crusades, poetry, knights, and monarchs that will appeal to fans of Alison Weir and Antonia Fraser.
The book highlights her strong sense of place - Fisher’s Celtic eye for detail - with a comparison of Aix-en-Provence, a university town, the site of an international music festival and the former capital of Provence, and Marseille, the port town. Fisher’s description of the sights and smells belonging to an Aix bakery shop window is her Platonic ideal of a bakery shop to be found anywhere in France, for example, with its delicately layered” scents of fresh eggs, fresh sweet butter, grated butter, vanilla beans, old kirsch and newly ground almonds.” Then, there is her portrayal of the sounds of Aix’s fountains mixed with the music of Mozart during the town’s festival, leaving her bedazzled. She would return again and again to stroll the narrow streets of Aix with two young daughters who seemed to grow like water-flowers under the greening buds of the plane trees.” It is the quality of Fisher’s writing that inspired photographer Aileen Ah-Tye to look for her Provence. In a letter to Fisher, Aileen would report back from Marseille: The eels and the prickly rascasse were exotique to my San Francisco eyes, the smells as pungent as you can get, and . . . miracle of all miracles . . . the men and women on the docks were exactly as you described them.” Thus, began a collaboration that illustrates Fisher’s passion for life and all its sensual pleasures that nourish the soul.
Provence A-Z: A Francophile's Essential Handbook (Vintage Departures)
By: Peter Mayle
The ultimate “dictionary” for lovers of Provence: Peter Mayle's personal selection of the foods, customs and words he finds most fascinating, curious, delicious, or just plain fun.Though organized from A to Z, this is hardly a conventional work of reference. In more than 170 entries, Peter Mayle—bestselling author of A Year in Provence—writes about subjects as wide-ranging as architecture and zingue-zingue-zoun (in the local patois, a word meant to describe the sound of a violin). And, of course, he writes about food and drink: vin rosé, truffles, olives, melons, bouillabaisse, the cheese that killed a Roman emperor, even a cure for indigestion. Provence A-Z is a delight for Peter Mayle's ever-growing audience and the perfect complement to any guidebook on Provence, or, for that matter, France.
This narrative history masterfully weaves together the sweeping events surrounding the so-called Babylonian captivity” of the popes into the broader story of 14th-century Europe, a turbulent time of transition between Middle Ages and Renaissance when seven successive popes resided in Avignon in the south of France.
A concise, accessible introduction to Paul Cézanne's portraitureThis beautifully illustrated book features twenty-four masterpieces in portraiture by celebrated French artist Paul Cézanne (1839–1906), offering an excellent introduction to this important aspect of his work.Arranged chronologically and spanning five decades, featured portraits range from the artist’s earliest surviving self-portrait dating from the 1860s to paintings depicting family and friends, including his uncle Dominique, his wife Hortense, his son Paul, and his final portrait of Vallier, the gardener at his house near Aix-en-Provence, completed shortly before Cézanne’s death.Art historian Mary Tompkins Lewis contributes an illuminating essay on Cézanne and his portraiture for general readers, alongside an illustrated chronology of the artist’s life and work.
In 1886 Paul Cézanne left Paris permanently to settle in his native Aix-en-Provence. Nina M. Athanassoglou-Kallmyer argues that, far from an escapist venture like Gauguin's stay in Brittany or Monet's visits to Normandy, Cézanne's departure from Paris was a deliberate abandonment intimately connected with late-nineteenth-century French regionalist politics.Like many of his childhood friends, Cézanne detested the homogenizing effects of modernism and bourgeois capitalism on the culture, people, and landscapes of his beloved Provence. Turning away from the mainstream modernist aesthetic of his impressionist years, Cézanne sought instead to develop a new artistic tradition more evocative of his Provençal heritage. Athanassoglou-Kallmyer shows that Provence served as a distinct and defining cultural force that shaped all aspects of Cézanne's approach to representation, including subject matter, style, and technical treatment. For instance, his self-portraits and portraits of family members reflect a specifically Provençal sense of identity. And Cézanne's Provençal landscapes express an increasingly traditionalist style firmly grounded in details of local history and even geology. These landscapes, together with images of bathers, cardplayers, and other figures, were key facets of Cézanne's imaginary reconstruction of Provence as primordial and idyllic—a modern French Arcadia.Highly original and lavishly illustrated, Cézanne and Provence gives us an entirely new Cézanne: no longer the quintessential icon of generic, depersonalized modernism, but instead a self-consciously provincial innovator of mainstream styles deeply influenced by Provençal culture, places, and politics.
The Letters of Vincent van Gogh (Penguin Classics)
By: Vincent Van Gogh
"If ever there was any doubt that Van Gogh's letters belong beside those great classics of artistic self-revelation, Cellini's autobiography and Delacroix's journal, this excellent edition dispels it." —The Times (London)"Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all."Few artists' letters are as self-revelatory as Vincent Van Gogh's, and the selection included here, spanning the whole of his artistic career, sheds light on every facet of the life and work of this complex and tortured man. Engaging candidly and movingly with his religious struggles, his ill-fated search for love, his intense relationship with his brother Theo and his attacks of mental illness, the letters contradict the popular image of Van Gogh as an anti-social madman and a martyr to art, showing instead that he was capable of great emotional and spiritual depths. Above all, they stand as an intense personal narrative of artistic development and a unique account of the process of creation.The letters are linked by explanatory biographical passages, revealing Van Gogh's inner journey as well as the outer facts of his life. This edition includes the drawings that originally illustrated the letters.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
My Father's Glory & My Mother's Castle: Marcel Pagnol's Memories of Childhood
By: Marcel Pagnol
Bathed in the warm clarity of the summer sun in Provence, Marcel Pagnol's childhood memories celebrate a time of rare beauty and delight.Called by Jean Renoir "the leading film artist of his age," Pagnol is best known for such films as The Baker's Wife, Harvest, Fanny, and Topaze, as well as the screen adaptations of his novels Jean de Florette and Manon of the Springs (North Point, 1988). But he never forgot the magic of his Provencal childhood, and when he set his memories to paper late in life the result was a great new success. My Father's Glory and My Mother's Castle appeared on the scene like a fresh breeze, captivating readers with its sweet enchantments. Pagnol recalls his days hunting and fishing in the hill country, his jaunts about Marseilles, his schoolboy diversions, and above all his family: his anticlerical father and sanctimonious uncle, his mild and beautiful mother, and many others. This bright and lively book sparkles with the charm and magic that were Marcel Pagnol's own.
Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste
By: Luke Barr
Provence, 1970 is about a singular historic moment. In the winter of that year, more or less coincidentally, the iconic culinary figures James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones found themselves together in the South of France. They cooked and ate, talked and argued, about the future of food in America, the meaning of taste, and the limits of snobbery. Without quite realizing it, they were shaping today’s tastes and culture, the way we eat now. The conversations among this group were chronicled by M.F.K. Fisher in journals and letters—some of which were later discovered by Luke Barr, her great-nephew. In Provence, 1970, he captures this seminal season, set against a stunning backdrop in cinematic scope—complete with gossip, drama, and contemporary relevance.
A cross-genre evocation of a writer's life in the Mediterranean, this account documents the happy years Ford Madox Ford spent living in the South of France with his young artist lover, Biala.. Blending fiction, history, memoir, travel, and cookery writing, this tome charmingly evokes Ford and Biala's ramshackle, bohemian life in their villa on the Mediterranean coast. From social encounters with Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Pablo Picasso, and Henri Matisse to the delights of growing vegetables, this spontaneous and entertaining book is a true love letter to the Provençal lifestyle.
Death at the Chateau Bremont (A Provençal Mystery)
By: M. L. Longworth
The first installment in the beloved, sumptuous mystery series set in Provence, featuring chief magistrate Antoine Verlaque and his old flame Marine Bonnet, who must team up to solve a pair of murdersThe newest book in the Provençal Mystery series, The Secrets of the Bastide Blanche, is available now from Penguin BooksWhen local nobleman Étienne de Bremont falls to his death from the family château, it sets the historic town of Aix-en-Provence abuzz with rumors. Antoine Verlaque, the charming chief magistrate of Aix, suspects foul play, and when he discovers that Bremont had been a close friend of Marine Bonnet, his on-again off-again girlfriend, Verlaque must turn to her for help.The once idyllic town suddenly seems filled with people who scould have benefited from Bremont's death—including his playboy brother François, who's heavily in debt and mixed up with some unsavory characters. But just as Verlaque and Bonnet are narrowing down their list of suspects, another death occurs. And this time, there can be no doubt—it's murder.A lively mystery steeped in the enticing atmosphere of the south of France and seasoned with romance as rich as the French cuisine that inspires it, this first installment in the acclaimed Verlaque & Bonnet Provençal Mystery series is as addictive and captivating as Provence itself.“Longworth’s voice is like a rich vintage of sparkling Dorothy Sayers and grounded Donna Leon. . . . Bon appétit!” —Booklist