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Before Peter Mayle there was Lawrence Durrell, who for more than 30 years made Provence his home. In this, his last book, he distills the affection and understanding of half a lifetime, describing the rich culture and giving breath to the history that still invests the land. 39 color photos.
Paperback, 200 pages
Published May 3rd 1994 by Arcade Publishing
(first published November 5th 1990)
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Sep 16, 2014 Þróndr rated it 4 of 5 stars · review of another edition
My first visit to Provence started in Nice (allright, while perhaps not Provence proper, it's nevertheless part of the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, and it was also included in the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis.) After checking the list of nearby attractions one Sunday morning I took off by foot to visit the Matisse museum in Cimiez. It was a long uphill climb, but I had gathered I’d be able to hop into a bus or taxi somewhere along the way. The streets were almost desolate however - ...more
Durrell is at his best when relating historical scenes. The way he describes Roman generals, functionaries, and soldiers all traipsing about Southern France gives the impression that they were there just yesterday, and that we missed meeting them due to a minor scheduling conflict.
This book was first published in 1990, a few days before Durrell’s death. He had settled in France in 1957 and the pages draw on a deep understanding of his adopted country.
The goodreads edition is called “Provence” and is labelled “travel” by the publisher. My own edition (2002) is entitled “Caesar’s Vast Ghost - Aspects of Provence”, which offers a clearer idea of the content. The journey is more temporal than spatial. Durrell warns of “unanswerable questions about the Roman Thing and the Gr ...more
Born in Jalandhar, British India, in 1912 to Indian-born British colonials, Lawrence Durrell was a critically hailed and beloved novelist, poet, humorist, and travel writer best known for the Alexandria Quartet novels, which were ranked by the Modern Library as among the greatest works of English literature in the twentieth century. A passionate and dedicated writer from an early age, Durrell’s pr ...moreMore about Lawrence Durrell...