The guide for the traveller as opposed to the tourist: the person for whom the history of the region and its reflection in landscape, buildings and culture are the essence of travel.The corner of south-west France comprising Gascony and the Dordogne is the quintessence of provincial France. Many will be content to enjoy the douceur de vivre, the good food and the unspoiled countryside, but for those who are interested in the past this is rich terrain. Much of England's history between 1154 and 1453 was bound up with events in the region, as the French lands of Henry II remorselessly slipped from the grasp of the English kings. This is the land of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Gaston Phebus, the scene of Richard I's death, and of the Black Prince's triumphs and disasters. It is also the landscape in which some of the greatest medieval poetry and architecture was created; here many of the troubadours lived, and the lofty castles, Romanesque churches, and fortified villages of their time still beguile the traveller of today.
RICHARD BARBER is an expert guide to the region and its history: he made his name as a medieval historian with biographies of Henry II and the Black Prince, and his important study The Knight and Chivalry is rooted in the society of the vast dukedoms of south-west France.
39 black and white, 21 line illustrations
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