Old Provence (Lost and Found: Classic Travel Writing)

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9781566563727: Old Provence (Lost and Found: Classic Travel Writing)

"Deep as we may bury the Roman Empire, we cannot hide it in the valley of the Rhone; for its bones pierce through Provencal soil in many places as though that giant grave were still too narrow for the skeleton of a past that can never wholly die."

So begins this powerful and evocative account of Provence and its unique historical legacy.

Journeying through southern France in the first years of the twentieth century, Theodore Andrea Cook discovers a landscape where the presence of Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans is still spectacularly evident in some of the Mediterranean's finest surviving architecture. In Arles, Nimes, Orange and Frejus, he witnesses the wonders of Roman arenas, temples and monuments. At the imposing aqueduct of the Pont du Gard he observes the world's greatest testament to the genius of Roman engineering.

Cook's compelling survey of Provencal history also encompasses the turbulent Middle Ages, when religious conflict and bloody warfare scarred the region. At Les Baux he explores the haunting ruins of a once-great stronghold; in Avignon, he traces the footsteps of the fourteenth-century popes in their magnificent palace; in Beaucaire and Tarascon he visits the sites of thriving medieval market towns and royal castles.

First published in 1905, Old Provence provides a remarkable insight not only into the area's history and architecture, but also its literary and cultural significance. Looking at the work and influence of writers such as Petrarch and Mistral, Cook reveals the importance of language, romance and regional identity in this most distinctive part of France. Even though the Provence that this classic book brings to life has been irreversibly altered by modernity and tourism, its timeless beauty will be instantly recognizable to contemporary visitors and readers.

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Product Description:

First published in 1905, Old Provence provides a powerful account of Provence and its unique history, architecture and literary and cultural significance. Although Provence has been altered by modernity, its timeless beauty will be instantly recognizable to visitors and readers. Maps. Illustrations.

About the Author:

Philip Hensher is a columnist for "The Independent", an arts critic for "The Spectator", and one of "Granta" s Best of Young British Novelists. He has written one collection of short stories, a book on handwriting called "The Missing Ink", and eight novels, including "The Mulberry Empire", "King of the Badgers", and "The Northern Clemency", which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He lives in South London and Geneva.

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