The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography from the Revolution to the First World War

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2007 - History - 454 pages
12 Reviews
A narrative of exploration-- full of strange landscapes and even stranger inhabitants-- that explains the enduring fascination of France. While Gustave Eiffel was changing the skyline of Paris, large parts of France were still terra incognita. Even in the age of railways and newspapers, France was a land of ancient tribal divisions, prehistoric communication networks, and pre-Christian beliefs. French itself was a minority language. Graham Robb describes that unknown world in arresting narrative detail. He recounts the epic journeys of mapmakers, scientists, soldiers, administrators, and intrepid tourists, of itinerant workers, pilgrims, and herdsmen with their millions of migratory domestic animals. 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. The Discovery of France explains how the modern nation came to be and how poorly understood that nation still is today. Above all, it shows how much of France-- past and present-- remains to be discovered. 8 pages of color and 8 pages of black-and-white illustrations.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rwilliab - LibraryThing

I originally picked this book up at school while I was teaching French--the idea being that Graham Robb was coming to BYU and giving a lecture, therefore reading some of the book beforehand would be a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tlockney - LibraryThing

Picked up a copy of this at Powell's for a nice discount. Flipping through it, this seems to be exactly the sort of non-fiction I really enjoy: that is, work that is driven by a strong narrative. Read full review

Contents

IV
3
V
19
VI
36
VII
50
VIII
71
IX
89
X
112
XI
138
XVII
250
XVIII
277
XIX
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XX
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XXI
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XXII
354
XXIV
359
XXV
363

XII
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XIII
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XIV
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XV
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XVI
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XXVI
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XXVII
429
XXVIII
440
XXIX
457
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About the author (2007)

Graham Robb is the author of three prize-winning biographies, each one selected as New York Times Best Books. His most recent works, The Discovery of France and Parisians, have earned several awards and much acclaim between them. He lives on the Anglo-Scottish border.

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