Celia's blog

Musings on life in Lodeve, Languedoc

Books on the Languedoc

Posted by celiahukins on 09/09/2010

Ever since we started thinking about having our house built and bought our plot of land, we’ve enjoyed reading about the Languedoc – mainly in English at first, although now we have found good books in French about local cuisine and walks.

True to my librarian principles, I’ve built up a collection in the house. (There’s a list on Amazon) We were particularly inspired by people’s accounts of their experiences, even if we discovered later on that the stories weren’t always exactly true, as in the case of Patrick Moon . Rupert Wright’s Notes from the Languedoc was a useful introduction to the background of the area. We enjoyed Angela Murrill’s Hot sun cool shadow on her experiences in the Languedoc, complete with recipes. Oh and of course Graham Robb’s Discovery of France which inevitably refers to the Languedoc.

There are many novels and stories set in the area, emphasising its remoteness, character and history. To select a few – Ian McEwan’s Black dogs, A.S. Byatt’s Elementals Kate Moss’s Labyrinth, and more recently Rose Tremain’s excellent Trespass

We’ve a good collection of books on walks too, but I’ll return to that later.

And now the books are supplemented by the blogs. Two I enjoy are those of Angela Murrill and Chez Loulou

You can find an index to all the books in the house on librarything

Chez Hukins

6 Responses to “Books on the Languedoc”

  1. Graham said

    Agree Rupert Wright’s Notes from the Languedoc is well written and great to dip into.

    Interesting views on Patrick Moon – his stories are generally feasible to me and the facts in the more substantial and better researched Arrazat’s Aubergines seem to stand up.

    For local things natural I can strongly recommend

    La nature méditerranéenne en France

    The author lives in St. Privat.

    • The book looks interesting. I didn’t mention 2 books about Languedoc recipes (maybe on a future post) which our neighbours recommended to us which have lots of recipes from the Lodève area, and recommendations for a wine with each one.

      Patrick Moon does have a lot of useful information on wine growing and other topics. I was really referring to Virgile’s Vineyard where the authenticity of the characters is doubtful and things didn’t happen as he said. Did you know that Le temps de vivre closed down? Sadly we never had chance to visit it.

  2. Sorry – here are the urls for the 2 books
    Cuisine secrete du Languedoc
    Viedlles recettes du Languedoc Rousillon

  3. Graham said

    Cuisine secrete du Languedoc does indeed have some interesting recipes. I’ll add the other to my list.

    I’d also recommend Languedoc-Roussillon: Produits du terroir et recettes traditionnelles. Has some really in-depth information about ingredients.

    Didn’t know about Temps de Vivre closing but it was on the cards. We last went two years ago this month for lunch and Laurent did everything. It didn’t do much for the atmosphere despite the view plus the cooking was jaded (too much re-heating for example).

  4. Virgile’s never really told me about discrepancies between the novel and real life. And I’ve brought the book up several times with him. Tell me more! 🙂

    • Unfortunately I can’t remember the details of the book too well as I’m in the UK at the moment and the book is in France! For one thing he bought the house rather than inherited it. Sorry – I shouldn’t make generalised statements without being able to back them up.

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