The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography Illustrated Edition, Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 261 ratings
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ISBN-13: 978-0393333640
ISBN-10: 0393333647
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Graham Robb has published widely in French literature and history and is the award-winning biographer of Balzac, Victor Hugo, and Rimbaud. His other books include The Discovery of France and Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century. He lives in Oxford, England.



A native of the United Kingdom, Audie and AudioFile Earphones Award winner Derek Perkins's audiobook narration skills are augmented by a knowledge of three foreign languages and a facility with accents. He has narrated numerous titles in a wide range of fiction and nonfiction genres. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA. --This text refers to the audioCD edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. France is often regarded as the center of elegant civilization, so it's surprising to find that as late as 1890, most of the population was far from civilized—outside the confines of sophisticated Paris, as noted biographer Robb explains in his riveting exploration of France's historical geography, great swathes of countryside were terra incognita: dark places inhabited by illiterate tribes professing pre-Christian beliefs and lethally hostile to outsiders. They spoke not French but regional dialects; much of the country had not been accurately mapped; and many in the rural areas lacked surnames. The author himself embarked on a 14,000-mile bicycle tour of the France passed over in tourist guides. The result is a curious, engrossing mix of personal observation, scholarly diligence and historical narrative as Robb discusses the formation of both the French character and the French state. Robb's biographies of Victor Hugo, Rimbaud and Balzac were all selected by the New York Times as among the best books of the year, an accolade that assures a select readership will be eager to pack his newest alongside their Michelin guides. 8 pages of b&w illus, maps. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00421BN8Q
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ W. W. Norton & Company; Illustrated edition (October 17, 2008)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 17, 2008
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1150 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 496 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 261 ratings

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
261 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on July 4, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on July 18, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on August 3, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on May 11, 2019
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Top reviews from other countries

Gs-trentham
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the France we thought we knew
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 24, 2012
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7 people found this helpful
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E. L. Rollason
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 13, 2020
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Stephen Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 27, 2013
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David Makepeace
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly fascinating and rewards perseverance
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 27, 2018
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Robert B
4.0 out of 5 stars Changes the way you view France
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 12, 2018
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