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A Little Tour of France

Henry James

Book Overview: 

A splendid example of travel writing at its best, in this description of six week tour in France -- from Touraine, down to Provence, then back up north

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Why he should have built a palace in those sandy plains will ever remain an unanswered question, for kings have never been obliged to give reasons. In addition to the fact that the country was rich in game and that Francis was a passionate hunter, it is suggested by M. de la Saussaye, the author of the very complete little account of the place which you may buy at the bookseller's at Blois, that he was governed in his choice of the site by the chance that a charming woman had previously lived there. The Comtesse de Thoury had a manor in the neighbourhood, and the Comtesse de Thoury had been the object of a youthful passion on the part of the most susceptible of princes before his accession to the throne. This great pile was reared, therefore, according to M. de la Saussaye, as a souvenir de premi. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Opening: We good Americans - I say it without presumption - are too apt to think that France is Paris, just as we are accused of being too apt to think that Paris is the celestial city. This is by no means the case, fortun- ately for those persons who take an interest in modern Gaul, and yet are...more

"France may be Paris, but Paris is not France." -- written by Henry James. Originally published in 1882, James takes the reader on a tour beginning at Tours (birthplace of Balzac), and on several excursions to the chateau of the Loire, Blois, Chambord and Chenonceaux. James then traveled south, t...more

Updated with a few pics from my recent trip to France

I’m a bit afraid of Henry James. It’s not that I actively dislike his writing. It’s just that I’ve not been tempted to re-read those of his novels I’ve read and, having sighed over his verbosity and resented having to hunt back through the tex...more

I read this book during my first trip to France.

This made me want to go to France, this book in hand to see all the sights James had done. And, oh, to be able to go back in time, and see things as he did! Everything of course would be so changed. An utterly delightful travelogue that helped me with my insomnia.

Wonderful to read this while planning my own tour of the same places more than 100 years after this was written. Amazing how little some places have changed.

Read without access to a computer, so I need a re-read to be able to research the places that he so aptly describes.

The premise of Paris being France but France not being Paris is a delightful one. Whilst we are aware of this, in most pieces of literature about France, it is seemingly forgotten.
A little tour in France delivers a beautiful trip around France where James exposes his fantastic grasp of French hi...more

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