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Notes from the Cévennes : half a lifetime in provincial France / Adam Thorpe.

By: Thorpe, Adam, 1956-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London, England : Bloomsbury Continuum, 2018Copyright date: ©2018Description: viii, 242 pages : illustrations, 23 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781472951298; 1472951298.Subject(s): Thorpe, Adam, 1956- | Thorpe, Adam, 1956- -- Homes and haunts -- France -- Cévennes Mountains | English literature -- 20th century | Cévennes Mountains (France) -- Description and travelGenre/Form: Autobiographies.DDC classification: 828.9203 Summary: "Adam Thorpe's home for the past 27 years has been an old house in the lower Cevennes, a wild range of mountains in southern France that forms part of the Massif Central. In his writing Thorpe has explored this area, drawing on the legends, history and above all the people of this part of France for his inspiration. In particular he is interested in how the past leaves impressions - marks - on our landscape and on us. What do we find in the grass, earth and stone beneath our feet and in the objects around us? What traces have been left behind and what marks do we leave now? He finds a fossil imprinted in the single worked stone of his house's front doorstep, explores the attic once used as a silk factory, finds priest-holes and the graves of two sisters in the garden and excavates the blade of a Catholic dragoon's lance. Then there are the personal fragments that make up a life and a family history, memories dredged up by `dusty toys, dried-up poster paints, a painted clay lump in the bottom of a box.' Part celebration of rustic France, part personal memoir, Thorpe's humorous and precise prose demonstrates a wonderful stylist at work."-- Provided by publisher.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Adam Thorpe's home for the past 25 years has been an old house in the Cévennes, a wild range of mountains in southern France. Prior to this, in an ancient millhouse in the oxbow of a Cévenol river, he wrote the novel that would become the Booker Prize-nominated Ulverton , now a Vintage Classic.

In more recent writing Thorpe has explored the Cévennes, drawing on the legends, history, and above all the people of this part of France for his inspiration. In his charming journal, Notes from the Cévennes , Thorpe takes up these themes, writing about his surroundings, the village, and his house at the heart of it, as well as the contrasts of city life in nearby Nîmes. In particular he is interested in how the past leaves impressions--marks--on our landscape and on us. What do we find in the grass, earth, and stone beneath our feet and in the objects around us? How do they tie us to our forebears? What traces have been left behind and what marks do we leave now?

He finds a fossil imprinted in the single worked stone of his house's front doorstep, explores the attic once used as a silk factory, and contemplates the stamp of a chance paw in a fragment of Roman roof-tile. Elsewhere, he ponders mutilated fleur-de-lys (French royalist symbols) in his study door and unwittingly uses the tomb-rail of two sisters buried in the garden as a gazebo. Then there are the personal fragments that make up a life and a family history: memories dredged up by 'dusty toys, dried-up poster paints, a painted clay lump in the bottom of a box.'

Part celebration of both rustic and urban France, part memoir, Thorpe's humorous and precise prose shows a wonderful stylist at work, recalling classics such as Robert Louis Stevenson's Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes .

"Adam Thorpe's home for the past 27 years has been an old house in the lower Cevennes, a wild range of mountains in southern France that forms part of the Massif Central. In his writing Thorpe has explored this area, drawing on the legends, history and above all the people of this part of France for his inspiration. In particular he is interested in how the past leaves impressions - marks - on our landscape and on us. What do we find in the grass, earth and stone beneath our feet and in the objects around us? What traces have been left behind and what marks do we leave now? He finds a fossil imprinted in the single worked stone of his house's front doorstep, explores the attic once used as a silk factory, finds priest-holes and the graves of two sisters in the garden and excavates the blade of a Catholic dragoon's lance. Then there are the personal fragments that make up a life and a family history, memories dredged up by `dusty toys, dried-up poster paints, a painted clay lump in the bottom of a box.' Part celebration of rustic France, part personal memoir, Thorpe's humorous and precise prose demonstrates a wonderful stylist at work."-- Provided by publisher.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • 1 Gossamer Threads (p. 1)
  • 2 The Poppet (p. 22)
  • 3 Coming Into Shot (p. 30)
  • 4 Wartime Shrines (p. 39)
  • 5 Our Baker Is Missing (p. 46)
  • 6 Reprisal in the Oxbow (p. 53)
  • 7 The Psychological Castle (p. 69)
  • 8 Taking the Postman Hostage (p. 79)
  • 9 Resident Tombs (p. 87)
  • 10 A Flat Above the Café (p. 96)
  • 11 All that Rough Music (p. 111)
  • 12 Erudition (p. 119)
  • 13 A Local Custom (p. 131)
  • 14 Disaster Area (p. 142)
  • 15 Martens in the Roof (p. 151)
  • 16 A Visit from the City Police (p. 157)
  • 17 Arches and Bulls (p. 169)
  • 18 Defending Wolves (p. 187)
  • 19 A Catastrophe (p. 194)
  • 20 Floodwaters (p. 200)
  • 21 The Ballot (p. 205)
  • 22 Paws, Fingers and Thighs (p. 215)
  • 23 Taking our Tread (p. 229)
  • 24 Epilogue (p. 235)
  • 'Footprints' (p. 240)
  • Acknowledgements (p. 241)