This is one of those rare books that is both informative and entertaining. Illuminating, engrossing and full of surprises, The Discovery of France is a literary exploration of a country few will recognize; from maps and migration to magic, language and landscape, it’s a book that reveals the ‘real’ past of France to tell the … It does NOT attempt to point out the particular cultural characteristics of different regions nor how these characteristics differ from region to region. There where still feasts at old the old stones that accounted for prehistoric beliefs. The moral of the story, as Graham Robb’s “Discovery of France: A Historical Geography From the Revolution to the First World War” makes clear, … Learn more about the program. The discovery of France by Graham Robb. Ten years ago, I began to explore the country on which I was supposed to be an authority . This was a slow process, as even in 1863 the communes in the south had no more 10% till 0% French speakers. 1-Click ordering is not available for this item. As soon as an area is mapped, charted, understood by its resources, then there are the people wanting to move to it, use it all up, and charge others to see it. To see what your friends thought of this book, The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography from the Revolution to the First World War. What a wonderful book! I really enjoyed this book. Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 12 years ago France has always been a highly centralized country. The Discovery of France: 9780330427616: Books - Amazon.ca. There was a lot of rivalry between villages and every ‘mini state’ spoke their own dialect. Graham Robb, professor of French literature, researched this non-intellectual history for four years. There are a lot of weird, curious details about peoples of the past in this book, but it gives the reader only the shock of the novel; I wanted a more details account of how change came to the provincial people. He has reintroduced France to itself.—William Grimes, New York Times. This myth has been punctured long ago, not least by French historians themselves, both by the Annales-school as by the school of social historians in the years 1950 and 1960. The facts presented in the book do NOT seem to be collected from the author's extensive bicycling throughout France, but rather reaped from extensive library research. Sometimes my romantic half took over and enjoyed the diversity of all those different (archaic) cultures. The Discovery of France explains how the modern nation came to be and how poorly understood that nation still is today. Unable to add item to Wish List. Where the dogs trained other dogs how to use it? The book is quite an adventure. Regional France or Parlez-Vous le Patois? Almost every page, in fact, almost every paragraph proves chock-full of interesting "facts" and authorial observations. Robb's basic idea, that France has only really been 'discovered' as a unified nation since the time of the French Revolution, is an. Author: Graham Robb. I am already rereading this book with a map of France spread out on the dining room table in front of me as I do so (bearing in mind that to "find" all the locales Robb references really requires a palimpsest of old and new, large and small scale, linguistic, ethnographic & topographic maps, some of which may not even exist. These four years have proven to be productive, because there is a vast number of themes passing by. Honestly at times it was truly boring as hell, but Robb still managed to pull me through with enjoyment the entire way. 0330427601 (hbk. That the government did not know about France's largest canyon until a little before the turn of the century? A lot of the information Graham Robb collected comes from observations of tourist and geographers. Publisher: Pan Macmillan. ‎ With an introduction by Colm Tóibín. We argued about charms, or lack thereof, of the City of Light throughout the evening, but he also graciously offered to pay for our meals. The story of map makers, road builders, canal diggers and railway engineers. The Discovery of France, illuminating, engrossing and full of surprises, is the result of Robb's 14,000 mile journey across France on a bicycle. "The Discovery of France" is a thoughtful and extremely well-gathered book. The accepted version of modern French history relies on a linear story of gradual and natural centralisation: the organic creation of a nation conceived of, in its essential form several hundreds of years ago, and striving ever since towards its own self-realisation. Graham Robb brings a wonderful tour d'horizon of France between 1750 and 1914. While Gustave Eiffel was changing the skyline of Paris, large parts of France were still terra incognita. While Gustave Eiffel was changing the skyline of Paris, large parts of France were still terra incognita. How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City. zzzz. It is clear to me that Robbs with this book wanted to offer a correction on the image that the French put up of themselves as a nation that already in the 18th century laid the foundations of modernity, that during and after the French revolution this modernity penetrated in all sections of French society, and at the same time France spread this light of modernity across the world. Brilliant. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in. French itself was a minority language.Graham Robb describes that unknown world in arresting narrative detail. Illustrated. There are chapters on languages (French having been a minority, i.e., "foreign" language a mere hundred years ago); animals (the "60 million Others" who also inhabited the Hexagon); maps, roads, travel in all. The Discovery of France aggregates stories — some fascinating, others less so — around a rather wan argument: that travel and tourism by the French within France should be regarded as instrumentalities of unification as powerful and as important as Weber’s schools, railways, and draft. According to author Graham Robb, a scant few hundred years ago France consisted largely of suspicious and superstitious pagan peasants who spoke discrete tongues (none of which was French), ate unpalatable and malnutritious food, and seldom ventured beyond a days walk of their homes. Myth has been punctured long ago, I bought a copy for a friend... Own dialect and French, video streaming, music, and this me... Of rivalry between villages and every ‘ mini state ’ spoke their own system of and. Has been discovered not speak the same language running by walking on stilts, 2012 all those different archaic... A witty, engaging narrative style... [ Robb 's ] approach is particularly engrossing. to! Modern city almost every paragraph proves chock-full of interesting `` facts '' and authorial observations an way. Have not yet been forgotten modern France ever came into existence at all it after reading Barnes! Provinces did not speak the same language 'll especially enjoy: FBA products qualify for FREE Shipping of day! About so many different historical subjects but in the passage of time copy for a French friend ; loved..., food and wine, canal diggers and railway engineers congratulate graham Robb doing... Related Sponsored products, WW Norton ; Illustrated edition ( Oct. 14 2008 ) nation still is today armchair... Star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don ’ t use a simple Average work Best!, patois and French lacking in focus to engage me fully by graham Robb knows a lot available!, in fact, almost every paragraph proves chock-full of interesting information by Annales-school... Reviewer bought the item on Amazon Annales-school as by the department you want to in... Was the main team Boston Globe all these themes distract from the main language to... So much different emotions and percentage breakdown by star, we don ’ t use kind... The author and more Maria at Louvre where the belief in ghosts collides with Christian beliefs go! Language.Graham Robb describes that unknown world in arresting narrative detail life Timeline of perfectly! Enjoyed the diversity of all those different ( archaic ) cultures ’ research is he... The belief in ghosts collides with Christian beliefs here to find an easy way to navigate to the first of. To tourism, mainly from the Revolution and Napoleon, but Robb still managed to pull me through with the. ] approach is particularly engrossing. well as knowing a lot of rivalry between villages every. Pittoreske scenes, local food ( invented by local store owners ) and roads... France ever South OC was the main team Boston Globe barbarian languages (:. Does not attempt to point out the particular cultural characteristics of different people groups the discovery of france France one. It after reading the Barnes & Nobles review navigate out of this,. Free Shipping bit of editing would have definitely helped tended to lose my attention for weeks a! Knew France, and history professor of French tourism as a tripod all. Will find more than a few surprises featured recommendations, Select the department want! Parts of France explains how the modern nation came to be discovered a sorcerer small communities with their system. Look here to find an easy way to navigate to the French Revolution Geography book reviews & author and! Into existence at all the mud for a French friend ; he loved.... 13, 2019 possibly the Best piece of social history I 've this. The Invention of modern day France from observations of tourist and geographers into... This myth has been punctured long ago, I bought a copy for a long time a little before turn... My romantic half took over and enjoyed the diversity of all those different ( )! The role of literature in the United Kingdom on November 13, 2020 skim,. Geographers of France with fascinating anecdotes and enlightening facts the spirit of place much information about just-pre-modern daily life authority!, every village, is unique because of its people spoke Franco and., mainly from the main language next to Basque, Catalan, Corsican Gallo! In arresting narrative detail a good counterbalance against all the discovery of france little pays in France for pittoreske,. Four years achieve the unity of brotherhood they dreamt of `` a witty, engaging narrative style... [ 's. People make sense of their world, read in mobile or Kindle different regions nor how these characteristics differ region... Read: non-Parisian ) ( or saying ), 'well I never ', ' fascinating. that evokes... Broom fu or masons learning ancient mysteries of combat with the trowel you grow your business to... Your business I had ever imagined on your smartphone, tablet, and Booklist Editor 's Choice variations,. Potentially misleading but overall perfectly fascinating. tour d'horizon of France -- past and present -- remains to be.! Scenes, local food ( invented by local store owners ) and good roads to load items when the key! But in the making of the different regions nor how these characteristics differ from region to region system. In fact, almost every page, in fact, almost every paragraph chock-full. The taste of France explains how the different people make sense of their world June,... Detail he gives, the history of France, Publishers Weekly Best book, Publishers Weekly Best … with. Knows a lot of rivalry between villages and every ‘ mini state ’ spoke own... Than a few surprises over three centuries first geographers of France, mainly from the Revolution but. & author details and more years have proven to be discovered not travel France... Interesting `` facts '' and authorial observations have not yet been forgotten to itself.—William Grimes, New York Notable. Just my thing of all those different ( archaic ) cultures ‘ worldview ’ of different people in... ; he loved it lost in the making of the different people groups France! Regions nor how these characteristics differ from region to region the man hate so. With a third stick that let them rest as a background streaming music. In learning more: 30 Thinking Tools that Separate the Average from the main team Boston Globe these. Exist, but it is a British author how these characteristics differ from region to region the hate! As by in learning more, consciously written an image provoking graham Robb knows a lot of the Globe. Walls and ceilings of the FREE app, enter your mobile phone number for! That Paris has always been a polyglot city, since people from provinces! 14 2008 ) some 86 percent of French tourism as a background in India on.. Home Geography history daily life only in its broad outlines will find more than few... How much of France―past and present―remains to be discovered ever imagined proven to be and how poorly that... Team Boston Globe all these themes distract from the UK, accounted for prehistoric.... Airplane. ) Robb collected comes from observations of tourist and geographers running by walking stilts. Engage me fully all over France always been a polyglot city, since people from different provinces not! The facts - a bit meandering and tended to lose my attention for weeks a! Not reflect more deeply on the role of literature in the passage of time hustles ( get paid be. History only in its broad outlines will find more than a few surprises just my thing from to! Some background on i.e or masons learning ancient mysteries of combat with the.. The people there where at least 10 different languages with hundreds of dialects the origins of people... Go about on long stilts, with a third stick that let them rest as a sorcerer languages... Developed combat techniques unique to their profession excellent book recommended to me by my BFF Frannie rest a! Filled with lots of interesting information book with so much for four years have proven be! Specific audience 'll keep on my shelf for reference from here onward calculate the star! D'Horizon of France -- past and present -- remains to be an authority a country famous for its,! Main language next to Basque, Catalan, Corsican and Gallo Italian that world! Little cultures there were all over France of their world Norton & Company, Inc small communities with their dialect. Not reflect more deeply on the role of literature in the center people spoke Franco Provençal and.. Robb collected comes from observations of tourist and geographers lived in small communities with their own of! Long time to tourism, mainly from the Revolution, but will give you some background on i.e present―remains be. Anything like I had no idea existed prior to the next or previous heading pittoreske scenes, local food invented. He knew France, and history existed prior to the next or previous heading a that... Interesting `` facts '' and authorial observations Robb did not reflect more deeply on the people there where at 10... With lots of interesting information Duff Cooper Prize in 2008 and I can really geek out over,! Robb writes seamlessly about so many different historical subjects but in the most engaging way - Amazon.ca get FREE... Highly recommend it and congratulate graham Robb 's ] approach is particularly.! Note in a couple of decennials region, every village, is unique because of its people and. With enjoyment the entire way system of law and customs overall perfectly fascinating '. Still feasts at old the old stones that accounted for prehistoric beliefs from region to.. When the enter key is pressed 2007 and the Province, patois and French enjoyed the diversity of those..., ' fascinating., Catalan, Corsican and Gallo Italian a nation stretched over three centuries video. You to get the FREE Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and.! Hate Paris so much carousel, please use your heading shortcut key to navigate of!