With an introduction by Colm ToibinTen years ago, I began to explore the country on which I was supposed to be an authority . . . France is a country famous for its intellectuals, its philosophers and writers, its fashion, food and wine. And yet the notion of 'the French' as one nation is relatively recent and - historically speaking - quite misleading.
In order to discover the 'real' past of France, Graham Robb realised it was not only necessary to go back in time, but also to go at a slower pace than modern life generally allows.
The Discovery of France, illuminating, engrossing and full of surprises, is the result of Robb's 14,000 mile journey across France on a bicycle. Winner of both the Duff Cooper and the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje prizes, The Discovery of France is a modern non-fiction classic, a literary exploration of a remarkable nation.
From maps and migration to magic, language and landscape, it reveals a France few will recognize. 'An extraordinary journey of discovery' Daily Telegraph'Robb's concise and fast-paced writing pedals along with never a dull paragraph . . . dazzling' Sunday Times