It changed the way I viewed history and the way I viewed France. A New York Times Notable Book, Publishers Weekly Best Book, Slate Best Book, and Booklist Editor's Choice. 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. Above all, it shows how much of France--past and present--remains to be discovered. What a wonderful book! Both came in contact with people that do not write history. This is one of my favorite books ever. The way distance shifted between eras and technologies, the way food and work and money functioned or didn't in this vast landscape before the state came along to make sense of them, the oddness and diversity of the way people moved and lived before, well, more practical universal solutions became available. That the government did not know about France's largest canyon until a little before the turn of the century? It is possibly the best piece of social history I've ever read. I hadn't realized how many independent little cultures there were all over France. Even in the age of railways and newspapers, France was a land of ancient tribal divisions, prehistoric communication networks, and pre-Christian beliefs. The Discovery of France gives the reader an account of the discovery and creation of the modern nation France from the multitude of different small communes with a strong tribe identity. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages that interest you. Above all, it shows how much of France—past and present—remains to be discovered. Find all the books, read about the author and more. This is a book I'll keep on my shelf for reference from here onward. ISBN: Category: Bicycle touring. An uncategorizable book really and not what I was expecting. The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography, from the Revolution to the First World War. The Discovery of France. Did you know they had dog-powered machinery in France? Two images in particular stuck with me. This excellent and readable book is aimed at a fairly specific audience. How much is lost in the passage of time! The discovery of France by Graham Robb, 2007, Picador edition, in English The process of unification was in fact much messier, and bringing order out of chaos, sometimes by economic manipulation, sometimes by force, was a long and fraught process. Above all, it shows how much of France—past and present—remains to be discovered. It wasn't anything like I had ever imagined. The latter is hardly unusual, but when one adds to this the fact that large areas of France remained unmapped, and completely unknown to outside eyes, until the mid-nineteenth century; that official knowledge of some regions did not extend fifty metres from the side of the main coach road; and that travel of any kind was tortuously slow and uncomfortable, we can start to see the French state as a rather more modern invention than we would ever have supposed. Above all, it shows how much of France—past and present—remains to be discovered. 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. I disagree. The next day my friends and I left, taking two trains to Gare de Montparnasse and hiking what seemed to be five miles of tunnel to catch a Metro to Gare du Nord to board the EuroStar to London. Regional variations exist, but appear just as local color. That Paris has always been a polyglot city, since people from different provinces did not speak the same language? You will read this book constantly thinking (or saying), 'well I never', 'how amazing', ' fascinating.' Great story teller, no linear timeline but back and forth according to theme. Graham Robb knows a lot of France as well as knowing a lot about France. My deep love for France and the French is not based on deGaulle's France as a great nation but rather on its profound diversity of its language, culture, cuisine and mode de vie. Every page was surprising and exhausting. It is primarily a history book, albeit filled with lots of interesting information. Above all, it shows how much of France―past and present―remains to be discovered. Francophile that I am, I will never see France quite the same way after having read Robb's fascinating historical geography (or geographical history)of France up to WWI. (Even today, Robb notes, some 86 percent of French people have never flown on an airplane.). The Discovery of France: 9780330427616: Books - Amazon.ca. The Discovery of France explains how the modern nation came to be and how poorly understood that nation still is today. This book is a good counterbalance against all the Liberté, égalité, fraternité of great intellectual man. Previous page of related Sponsored Products, WW Norton; Illustrated edition (Oct. 14 2008). The Discovery of France. the Romans if needed. There we were feted by a local man, who had already seen the bottom of a wine barrel and who was happy to hear that we loved Tours but baffled by our love of Paris. However much the early politicians might have dreamed of unifying all parts of their countries, it was only with the advent of radio, television, and overarching educational policies that it became possible. The book is well researched, consciously written an image provoking. Every page was surprising and exhausting. This is a fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable book. Every region, every village, is unique because of its soil, what it grows, the history of its people. While the blender of globalization has been homogenizing culture in larger cities, one can still find villages that build the Feu de St. Jean at midsummer and watch the young men leap over the flames. Published People lived in small communities with their own system of law and customs. Lots of great stuff here--from language to maps to railroads and more, the book tells the story of the various populations "discovering" that they are French, as well as later tourists discovering the France of reality and invention. If you're a seller, Fulfilment by Amazon can help you grow your business. October 29, 2007, W. W. Norton. Graham Robb, professor of French literature, researched this non-intellectual history for four years. bought as a gift......recipient says is aok, A fine insight into the development of France and, for me, as a cyclist, the role played by the bicycle in rural parts of the country. he repeated. French itself was a minority language. Then, it becomes a politic, and whether it's tourism or daily life, a whole space is lost to what was either found by people looking to expand their reach or some gentle ego wishing to understand better his/her world. Download Now. Amazon.in - Buy The Discovery of France – A Historical Geography book online at best prices in India on Amazon.in. It is possibly the best piece of social history I've ever read. 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. Thanks for the reference Frannie. Try Prime EN Hello, Sign in Account & Lists Sign in Account & Lists Orders Try … In the United States we see the strong regional accents fading, and everyone seems to use a kind of homogenized Midwestern-speak, as if we all grew up in Minnesota. I was also disappointed that Robb did not reflect more deeply on the role of literature in the making of the nation. The evolution of travelling and the origins of French Tourism as a patriotic duty. But even to this day it is easy to see why the regions of France are so different -the French are a disparate group of peoples who have bought into the advantages of a single nationality, but one that actually helps to preserve their regional distinciveness. Both were interesting events to note in a travel journal: Why did the man hate Paris so much? One pictures chimney sweeps learning broom fu or masons learning ancient mysteries of combat with the trowel. Two images in particular stuck with me. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. ", Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 31, 2010. Indeed, it would be fair to say that it didn't really begin to emerge in a recognisable form until the educational and other reforms of the Third Republic, in the 1870s. The images persist in my mind. A history of France from roughly 17th century to 20th century with battles, Kings and politics rather as a background. In the South OC was the main language next to Basque, Catalan, Corsican and Gallo Italian. A New York Times Notable Book, Publishers Weekly Best … A New York Times Notable Book, Publishers Weekly Best Book, Slate Best Book, and … Robb writes seamlessly about so many different historical subjects but in the most engaging way. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in. The Discovery of France A Historical Geography From the Revolution to the First World War (Book) : Robb, Graham : While Gustave Eiffel was changing the skyline of Paris, large parts of France were still terra incognita. We learn how France was explored, charted, and colonized, and how the imperial influence of Paris was gradually extended throughout a kingdom of isolated towns and villages. We learn how France was explored, charted, and colonized, and how the imperial influence of Paris was gradually extended throughout a kingdom of isolated towns and villages. to how to fake injuries for begging to fairy lore and saints galore to the evolution of transportation in the past few hundred years to the 'lost territories' in the 19th century and how. 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. The other was how shepherds used to go about on long stilts, with a third stick that let them rest as a tripod. 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. In the United States we see the strong regional accents fading, and everyone seems to use a kind of homogenized. Why do all of the main train lines go through Paris (if you ever tried to map an east-west route, no matter what you try, you end up going though Paris) and why in the bloody hell it doesn't have one main station? The Discovery of France explains how the modern nation came to be and how poorly understood that nation still is today. We have come to see nation states as monolithic entities, unified by language, culture, and history. If you're at all interested in France I would tell you to get and read this book - Aubri, are you listening? Some good anecdotes, but an example of bad history. That one of the first geographers of France was killed as a sorcerer? Welcome back. The sheer horror of rough living, bad food, repression of women, gang behaviour all made me think the European past was barbaric indeed. One was how members of guilds, forbidden to carry weapons because they weren't gentlemen, developed combat techniques unique to their profession. I loved it! It is primarily a history book, albeit filled with lots of interesting information. A narrative of exploration-- full of strange landscapes and even stranger inhabitants-- that explains the enduring fascination of France. The use of the singular in the title is potentially misleading. From maps and migration to magic, language and landscape, it … to how to fake injuries for begging to fairy lore and saints galore to the evolution of transportation in the past few hundred years to the 'lost territories' in the 19th century and how they became part of an escalation in national identity. --Jacket. I knew a good deal about the revolution and Napoleon, but that was about it. French itself was a minority language.Graham Robb describes that unknown world in arresting narrative detail. I hadn't realized how many independent little cultures there were all over France. . Every region, every village, is unique because of its soil, what it grows, the history of its people. I have holidayed in France regularly, and this helped me understand the history, geography, and evolution of France. This book was interesting to skim read, but too lacking in focus to engage me fully. There is some good information about the sighting of Maria at Louvre where the belief in ghosts collides with Christian beliefs. Home Geography History Daily Life Timeline of the history of France! © 2008-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates, The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography. "Paris is shit!" Where the dogs trained other dogs how to use it? So yeah, I am a bit disappointed. Then, it becomes a politic, and whether it's tourism or daily life, a whole space is lost to what was either found by people looking to expand their reach or some gentle ego wishing to understand better. This is a history of how all the little pays in France became one country. The chapters are thematic. he repeated. This effortlessly-flowing narrative explores the historical geography of France with fascinating anecdotes and enlightening facts. The Discovery of France explains how the modern nation came to be and how poorly understood that nation still is today. I learned soooo much about France. That there were orgies in Notre Dame? The book does NOT systematicly study different regions. The process of unification was in fact much messier, and bringing order out of chaos, sometimes by economic manipulation, sometimes by force, was a long and fraught process. I understand that this is hard to do, since there are no written accounts, but I've would have liked if Robb left the accounts of tourists and politicians sometimes to go into a more speculative account about the ways people believed. Robb's basic idea, that France has only really been 'discovered' as a unified nation since the time of the French Revolution, is an interesting one, but to my mind he spends far too long 'proving' that France did not exist in any coherent form prior to this time, while he does not spend enough time explaining how, why, when and who sought to bring the diverse regions into one French-speaking national entity. One of these items ships sooner than the other. Robb’ research is good he is able to draw from a lot of available sources. Publication date 2007 Topics Cities and towns -- France -- History, France -- Historical geography, France -- Description and travel, France -- History Publisher Norton Collection inlibrary; printdisabled; internetarchivebooks; china Digitizing sponsor Great story teller. 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 Discovery of France A Historical Geography From the Revolution to the First World War (Book) : Robb, Graham : "From maps, migration and magic, to linguistic differences and tribal disputes, The Discovery of France tells the whole story of this remarkable - and surprising - country." To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. The story of map makers, road builders, canal diggers and railway engineers. 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. He. France is a country famous for its intellectuals, its philosophers and writers, its fashion, food and wine. Unable to add item to Wish List. The way distance shifted between eras and technologies, the way food and work and money functioned or didn't in this vast landscape before the state came along to make sense of them, the oddness and diversity of the way people moved and lived before, well, more practical universal solutions became available. France discovering itself, its landscape, its population and finally its own unity. That's kind of how it felt. 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