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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

France Through the Ages

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXFRN434. Buy these 3 items as a set for $56 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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Eyewitness Guide France

Eyewitness Guide France

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 672 PAGES

This superb guide to all of France features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions. Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry. (FRN01, $30.00)

The Road from the Past, Traveling through History in France

The Road from the Past, Traveling through History in France

by Ina Caro

  • HISTORY
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 339 PAGES

Time travel through France by way of its finest castles, chateaux, cathedrals and monasteries. This unusual travelogue is an invaluable companion for traveling in Paris, southern France, the Dordogne and the Loire Valley, combining personal observation with large doses of well-presented history. (FRN03, $17.00)

France Map

France Map

by Michelin

  • MAP

A colorful, accurate and up-to-date map of France at a scale of 1:1,000,000. (FRN07, $12.95)

 
A Traveler's Guide to D-Day and the Battle for Normandy

A Traveler's Guide to D-Day and the Battle for Normandy


by Carl Shilleto | Mike Tolhurst

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 192 PAGES

A compact guide to Normandy's WWII battlefields, memorials, sites and cemeteries. (FRN330, $14.95)

Fodor's Paris' 25 Best

Fodor's Paris' 25 Best


by Fodor's

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES
  • BEST SELLER

This shirt-pocket map and guide includes essential information on the city's history, highlights and sightseeing, ideal for a short visit to the City of Light. (FRN41, $13.99)

Made in France, A Shopper's Guide

Made in France, A Shopper's Guide


by Laura Morelli

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

Both a fascinating history of France's artisanal legacy and an insider's shopping guide, the book includes illustrations, maps, a primer on French shopping culture and craft festivals. (FRN706, $24.95)

The Food of France

The Food of France


by Waverly Root

  • FOOD
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 450 PAGES

An evocative and beautifully written survey of French food. First published in 1958 and revised in the mid-1970s, the book covers the important regions of French cuisine by dividing them into domains of Butter (northern France), Fat (Alsace) and Oil (the south). (FRN17, $18.00)

1066, The Year of the Conquest

1066, The Year of the Conquest


by David Howarth

  • HISTORY
  • 1981
  • PAPER
  • 207 PAGES

A crack medievalist and storyteller, Howarth brings to life the momentous events of 1066 in rich, anecdotal history -- a classic portrait of the Norman invasion and conquest of England. (GBR115, $15.00)

A Traveller's History of France

A Traveller's History of France


by Robert Cole

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

This fast-moving survey covers the conquests of ancient Gaul through the heady days of revolution to modern times. (FRN08, $14.95)

D-Day June 6, 1944

D-Day June 6, 1944


by Stephen Ambrose

  • HISTORY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 655 PAGES

Ambrose's riveting popular account of the climactic battle of WWII. (FRN40, $19.99)

Mont Saint Michel and Chartres

Mont Saint Michel and Chartres


by Henry Brooks Adams

  • HISTORY
  • 1986
  • PAPER
  • 398 PAGES

First published at the turn of the century, this classic work is a meditation on the medieval world as reflected through its most famous religious structures. (FRN44, $18.00)

The Most Beautiful Villages of the Loire

The Most Beautiful Villages of the Loire


by James Bentley | Hugh Palmer

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2001
  • HARD COVER
  • 208 PAGES

An illustrated portrait of the region, its landscape, architecture, and people, featuring 275 color photographs and accompanying lively essays by Francophile James Bentley. (FRN483, $40.00)

Art of the Middle Ages

Art of the Middle Ages


by Janetta Rebold Benton

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

This informative, well-illustrated survey of the visual arts of the Middle Ages offers a lively explorations of the period's magnificent achievements in both art and architecture. (ART163, $18.95)

The Cave Painters

The Cave Painters


by Gregory Curtis

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

In this tale of art, paleontology and discovery, Curtis introduces the masterworks of cave art in France and Spain, visiting Altamira, Lascaux, Les Trois-Freres, Cosquer, Chauvet and others. (FRN620, $15.95)

A Moveable Feast

A Moveable Feast


by Ernest Hemingway

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 211 PAGES

A treasure for anyone interested in Parisian cafe society and its luminaries circa 1925. Hemingway includes sharp portraits of Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ford Maddox Ford and others who idled on their way to greatness. (FRN26, $15.00)

Adventures on the Wine Route, A Wine Buyer's Tour of France

Adventures on the Wine Route, A Wine Buyer's Tour of France


by Kermit Lynch

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1990
  • PAPER
  • 271 PAGES

A delightful and warmly anecdotal book highly recommended for anyone touring the wine regions of France. Lynch brings the domains and appellations of French wine to full-blown life and his portraits of the grand personalities who make the wine are priceless. (FRN72, $19.00)

Between Meals, An Appetite for Paris

Between Meals, An Appetite for Paris


by A.J. Liebling

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 182 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Liebling captures with stylish prose his coming-of-age in Paris in this elegant memoir, which is also a tribute to French cuisine. (FRN32, $15.00)

Into a Paris Quartier, Reine Margot's Chapel and other Haunts of St. Germain

Into a Paris Quartier, Reine Margot's Chapel and other Haunts of St. Germain


by Diane Johnson

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 204 PAGES

Novelist Diane Johnson (Le Divorce) writes with insight, verve and wit in this affectionate, personal portrait of St Germain-des-Pres, her neighborhood on the Left Bank. (FRN491, $10.95)

My Life in France

My Life in France


by Julia Child

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 317 PAGES

Child's characteristically ebullient record of Paris and Provence, her many friends, family and memorable meals, in the years after WWII, turned into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci (as husband Paul). (FRN596, $16.00)

Paris to the Moon

Paris to the Moon


by Adam Gopnik

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 338 PAGES

Gopnik writes with candor and humor about Paris and Parisian ways in these charming reflections on adapting to life in glorious exile. (FRN208, $16.00)

Deadly Slipper

Deadly Slipper


by Michelle Wan

  • MYSTERY
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 301 PAGES

Wan crafts a suspenseful, elegant tale of food, romance and murder out of a search for a long-lost woman in the Dordogne. (FRN631, $15.95)

France, A Traveler's Literary Companion

France, A Traveler's Literary Companion


by William Rodarmor

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

This collection contains literary gems from all corners of France--not just Paris--by a select group of 20th-century French writers from Colette to Simenon. (FRN767, $14.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.