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The Turbulent Past of a Little Piece of Paradise: A History Of The Charente-Maritime (hardback)

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A history of the Charente Maritime. Given the region’s fortuitously benign geographic location in S W France which even made it a relatively bearable place in which to live out the last glacial period, it is hardly surprising that modern man and his predecessors have found it so congenial and worth fighting over And this goes a long way to explaining the peculiar richness of its history Evidence for this abounds, whether it be castles, churches, or even casinos, and this book aims to help the reader discover it for themselves From the age of the dinosaurs, through the early ages of man, the Roman occupation, the Middle Ages, right up to the present day, the author links world events to their manifestation in the Charente Maritime And it’s not only wars and religion or indeed, wars of religion There is the arrival of the railways, the development of cognac and oyster farming, the start of seaside holidays, La Belle Epoque Les Annees Folles And for those wishing to explore further, in every sense, a voluminous bibliography helps point the way, together with an index of placenames that links what you see with what happened there.

 

About the Author

Henry and his wife bought their first house in the Charente Maritime in the mid Eighties, for the price of a lock up in the wrong end of Watford, where they lived at the time They loved it so much that they bought a semi ruined and much larger house a bit nearer the coast a few years later Fast forward three decades and the restoration was eventually finished In a typical year these days they’ll spend around half the year there. His expertise, such that it is, in history was furnished by three years at Cambridge, where he had the good fortune to be taught by such stars of the era as Norman Stone, Roy Porter, Vic Gatrell and Quentin Skinner Reading widely in the years which followed, almost invariably in a train or a plane on the way to do something significantly less interesting, helped, and his writing skills were honed by years of writing TV commercials for, he suspects, a largely unappreciative audience.

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