When we think of France, we tend think of fine food and wine, the elegant boulevards of Paris or the chic beaches of St Tropez. Yet, as the largest country in Europe, France is home to extraordinary diversity. The idea of 'Frenchness' emerged through 2,000 years of history and it is this riveting story, from the Roman conquest of Gaul to the present day, that Cecil Jenkins tells: of the forging of this great nation through its significant people and events and and its fascinating culture. As he unfolds this narrative, Jenkins shows why the French began to see themselves as so different from the rest of Europe, but also why, today, the French face the same problems with regard to identity as so many other European nations.
John Julius Norwich—called a “true master of narrative history” by Simon Sebag Montefiore—returns with the book he has spent his distinguished career wanting to write, A History of France: a portrait of the past two centuries of the country he loves best. Beginning with Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul in the first century BC, this study of French history comprises a cast of legendary characters—Charlemagne, Louis XIV, Napoleon, Joan of Arc and Marie Antionette, to name a few—as Norwich chronicles France’s often violent, always fascinating history. From the French Revolution—after which neither France, nor the world, would be the same again—to the storming of the Bastille, from the Vichy regime and the Resistance to the end of the Second World War, A History of France is packed with heroes and villains, battles and rebellion, stories so enthralling that Norwich declared, “I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed writing a book more.” With his celebrated stylistic panache and expert command of detail, Norwich writes in an inviting, intimate tone, and with a palpable affection for France. One of our greatest contemporary historians has deftly crafted a comprehensive yet concise portrait of the country's historical sweep.
A survey of French history from the reign of Louis XI to the outbreak of the Wars of Religion that isolates some of the controversial theories of the period: state building, nobility and clientage and the Reformation and discusses them with full attention to the regional diversity of France. It also introduces the reader to recent research on the court and government set in the context of the basic social and economic movements of the period. It is argued that the basic identity of France as a nation was reinforced under the aegis of monarchical legitimacy backed by the nobility and the church, setting the pattern for the rest of the Ancien Regime.
This new history of the French language allows the reader to see how the language has evolved for themselves. It combines texts and extracts with a readable and detailed commentary allowing the language to be viewed both synchronically and diachronically. Core texts range from the ninth century to the present day highlight central features of the language, whilst a range of shorter texts illustrate particular points. The inclusion of non-literary, as well as literary texts serves to illustrate some of the many varieties of French whether in legal, scientific, epistolatory, administrative or liturgical or in more popular domains, including attempts to represent spoken usage. This is essential reading for the undergraduate student of French.
Chronicling one of the most popular national cinemas, this book traces the evolution of French filmmaking from 1895 - the year of the debut of the Cinematographe in Paris - to the present day. Williams offers a synthesis of history, biography, aesthetics and film theory.
Gastronomic Tales of Revolution, War, and Enlightenment
Author: Stéphane Henaut
Publisher: The New Press
One of Smithsonian magazine’s “Ten Best Books About Travel of 2018” One of AFAR magazine’s “8 New Books You Need to Read Before Flying to France” A “delicious” (Dorie Greenspan), “genial” (Kirkus Reviews), “very cool book about the intersections of food and history” (Michael Pollan)—as featured in the New York Times Acclaimed upon its hardcover publication as a “culinary treat for Francophiles” (Publishers Weekly), A Bite-Sized History of France is a thoroughly original book that explores the facts and legends of the most popular French foods and wines. Traversing the cuisines of France’s most famous cities as well as its underexplored regions, the book is enriched by the “authors’ friendly accessibility that makes these stories so memorable” (The New York Times Book Review). This innovative social history also explores the impact of war and imperialism, the age-old tension between tradition and innovation, and the enduring use of food to prop up social and political identities. The origins of the most legendary French foods and wines—from Roquefort and cognac to croissants and Calvados, from absinthe and oysters to Camembert and champagne—also reveal the social and political trends that propelled France’s rise upon the world stage. As told by a Franco-American couple (Stéphane is a cheesemonger, Jeni is an academic) this is an “impressive book that intertwines stories of gastronomy, culture, war, and revolution. . . . It’s a roller coaster ride, and when you’re done you’ll wish you could come back for more” (The Christian Science Monitor).