Paperback ISBN-13978 1 85341 153 3
DimensionsA5 (210 x 148 mm)
The Spirit of Languedoc-Roussillon
Travellers to the French southwestern Mediterranean coast often venture to the cities of Nîmes, Montpellier, Carcassonne and Perpignan. These are the leading centres of the region consisting of the départements of Lozère, Gard, Hérault, Aude and Pyrénées-Orientales.
Sun-drenched Languedoc-Roussillon as a whole was the cradle of Roman Gaul, and spawned its wine co-operatives and denim, the world’s staple clothing material. It is the birthplace of iconic singers such as Charles Trenet and Georges Brassens, and the poet-philosopher Paul Valéry. Its coast curves round towards Spain. Collectively, this is France’s largest and oldest vineyard, and among the largest in the world. Here, bulls and horses are a passion, local rugby clubs are among the best in the country, and the memory of rebels against northern French rule — Cathars, Protestant Camisards, rebelling wine-growers, Résistants — is not forgotten.
It is a strongly defined region: a place of contrasts, resistance and cultural heritage with its Occitan and Catalan-driven Mediterranean lifestyle. It is today the most attractive area in France, with a population of nearly three million, though it does have its economic problems.
This book was inspired by the Author’s former students of French, and as a result gives many different insights into the character of the region which they sought; it also lets real-life Languedocians and Catalans, past or contemporary, speak about their land through a selection of original extracts offered with their English translation.
France’s land of wine: the entrepreneurial spirit in the Languedocian vineyards; A strongly defined region: a passion for bulls and horses, Languedocian water sports, rugby clubs; Languedoc-Roussillon, the rebellious: the Cathars, rebelling vignerons; Modern Languedoc-Roussillon: promoting the region, Montpellier, Georges Frêche, Mission Racine - the redesigning of the shore. Le Gard: Aigues-Mortes - salt of tears, salt of the sea, the Huguenot spirit lives on, about crosses. La Lozère: la bête du Gévaudan, fêtes du pain, digital age in Lozère, le maquis ‘Montaigne’. L’Hérault: sons of Sète – Georges Brassens, Paul Valéry, a heritage shaped by terroir – Pézenas, Marseillan – forgotten grapevine varieties have a future, Canal du Midi – tour de force. L’Aude: the shadows of the Cathars, Carcassonne, Castelnaudary, Gruissan, Limoux. Les Pyrénées-Orientales: the identity of Roussillon, Perpignan - the charter for the Catalan language, the little yellow train, Rivesaltes and Marshal Joffre, la fête de l’ours. Voices of Languedoc-Roussillon: Guiraud Riquier, Serenada; Alphonse Daudet, Le Curé de Cucugnan (extract); La Légende de Babau, André Chamson, Catinat (extract); Charles Trenet, La Mer (song); Jean Lartéguy, Les Baladins de la Margeride (extract). Bibliographic references. Not to be missed: Villes & pays d’Art & d’Histoire, beaux villages, natural regional & national parks, Unesco World Heritage sites. Regional websites. Regional newspapers. Universities. Regional acknowledgements. Appendix: the regional languages of France. Index.