The Discovery of France

4.01 based on 1038 ratings & 144 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

Publication date: 04.07.2008
ISBN: 9780330427616
Number of pages: 480

Synopsis

Illuminating, engrossing and full of surprises, The Discovery of France is a literary exploration of a country few will recognize; from maps and migration to magic, language and landscape, it’s a book that reveals the ‘real’ past of France to tell the whole story – and history – of this remarkable nation.

‘With gloriously apposite facts and an abundance of quirky anecdotes and thumbnail sketches of people, places and customs, Robb, on brilliant form, takes us on a stunning journey through the historical landscape of France’ Independent

‘Certain books strain the patience of those close to you. How many times can you demand: “Look at this! Can you imagine? Did you know that?” without actually handing over the volume? This is such a book’ Mail on Sunday

‘An extraordinary journey of discovery that will delight even the most indolent armchair traveller’ Daily Telegraph

In the media

This splendid history of France mixes the rambling charm of a traveller with a scholar's rigorous research . . . At once history, psychogeography, itinerary and cabinet of curiosities, The Discovery of France is an astute sociological catalogue of France's changing idea of itself . . . It's [also] an extraordinary journey of discovery that will delight even the most indolent armchair traveller
Daily Telegraph
As an alternative view of French history it is a fascinating diversion. Its real value lies in helping to explain why modern France remains a centrally directed society that has adopted big ideas and bloody ideals in order to create itself.
Daily Mail
It is beautifully written and truly eccentric, seeking out the obscure or forgotten parts of a nation that - Robb argues brilliantly - is still discovering itself.
Times Literary Supplement