The perfect holiday read (pre, post or during)
'With gloriously apposite facts and an abundance of quirky anecdotes and thumbnail sketches of people, places and customs, Robb, on brilliant form, takes us on a stunning journey through the historical landscape of France' Independent Award-winning author Graham Robb
is an expert on French literature and history. He is also a keen cyclist and has covered much of France by bike - racking up some fourteen thousand miles in the saddle, and discovering a very different country from that which is usually depicted in the guidebooks. 'Certain books strain the patience of those close to you. How many times can you demand: "Look at this! Can you imagine? Did you know that?" without actually handing over the volume? This is such a book' Mail on Sunday 'Writing with humour but without condescension, with understanding but without naivety, Robb brilliantly reconstructs a world we have lost. There is hardly a page that does not contain a detail that is illuminating, surprising or entertaining, and often all three' Sunday Telegraph 'This splendid history of France mixes the rambling charm of a traveller with a scholar's rigorous research ...At once history, psychogeography, itinerary and cabinet of curiosities, The Discovery of France is an astute sociological catalogue of France's changing idea of itself' Daily Telegraph 'Robb's concise and fast-paced writing pedals along with never a dull paragraph, as facts, events, characters and quotations flash by .
..The British love affair with France makes this particular story special, and Robb, from his two-wheeled vantage point, has made a dazzling and moving contribution to a long tradition' Sunday Times 'The reader is left hoping that Robb will hop back on his bike to explain how this rediscovered France evolved into the country it is today' Financial Times
was born in Manchester in 1958 and is a former Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. He has published widely in nineteenth-century French literature, including biographies of Balzac, Victor Hugo (winner of the Royal Society of Literature Heinemann and Whitbread Biography awards) and Rimbaud (shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize). He lives in Oxford.