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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

AIX Provence

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 EXFRN575. Buy these 4 items as a set for $62 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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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)

A Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France

A Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France

by Georgeanne Brennan

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 209 PAGES
  • FAVORITE
  • HARD TO FIND ELSEWHERE

Marvelously frank about daily chores and the decidedly unglamorous business of raising goats and pigs, Brennan lards her earthy tale of the rural life with recipes, one per chapter. (FRN687, $15.95)

Insight Guide Provence

Insight Guide Provence

by Cathy Muscat

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

A handy guide in the popular series, this Insight regional guide, noteworthy for its color photographs and maps, includes a section of practical information and a pull-out color map. (FRN781, $19.99)

Provence Alps French Riviera Map 527

Provence Alps French Riviera Map 527

by Michelin Travel Publications

  • 2008
  • MAP

A colorful and detailed map of the region from Lyon to Marseille along the Rhone River, at a scale of 1:200,000. (FRN22, $12.95)

 
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook

Lonely Planet French Phrasebook


by Marie-Helene Girard | Anny Monet

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler. (FRN120, $8.99)

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)

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)

Four Queens, The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe

Four Queens, The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe


by Nancy Goldstone

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 347 PAGES

Transporting you back to the apogee of independent Provencal power in the Middle Ages, Goldstone captures the drama of 13th-century Europe in this history of the four daughters of the count of Provence -- future queens of France, England, Germany and Sicily. (FRN945, $16.00)

Provence A-Z

Provence A-Z


by Peter Mayle

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

A companion to all things Provencal, from bouillabaisse to lavender and vinaigre, by the British expatriate and Francophile Peter Mayle. (FRN619, $15.95)

The Most Beautiful Villages of Provence

The Most Beautiful Villages of Provence


by Michael Jacobs

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 299 PAGES

With an excellent introduction on the history, culture, landscapes and the pleasures of Southern France, this illustrated guide features 34 towns and villages across Provence from the Vacluse to Bonnieux and Gordes, tranquil Alpine villages and southern vineyards. (FRN28, $26.95)

The Popes of Avignon, A Century in Exile

The Popes of Avignon, A Century in Exile


by Edwin Mullins

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

Grounded in the architecture and papal legacy of Avignon and the surrounding area, this engaging history sets the 70-year period of papal exile in the south of France against the context of Europe's turbulent transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. (FRN806, $14.95)

The Yellow House

The Yellow House


by Martin Gayford

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

Gayford chronicles three turbulent months in the daily lives of Van Gogh and Gauguin in Arles, where the two worked side by side in 1888. With 60 black-and-white reproductions. (FRN997, $14.95)

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)

Cezanne

Cezanne


by Mary Tompkins Lewis

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

A well-illustrated introduction to Cezanne's life and works in the stimulating Art and Ideas series by Phaidon, featuring 193 color and 13 black and white illustrations. (FRN508, $29.95)

Cezanne and Provence, The Painter and His Culture

Cezanne and Provence, The Painter and His Culture


by Nina Maria Athanassoglou-Kallmyer

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2003
  • HARD COVER
  • 334 PAGES

This thorough study of Cezanne's work takes as its jumping-off point his 1886 move from Paris to his native Aix-en-Provence. The author uses the history and culture of Provence to provide a fresh analysis of the landscape's influence on the painter's technique. (FRN554, $65.00)

The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh

The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh


by Vincent Van Gogh | Ronald De Leeuw | Arnold Pomerans

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 560 PAGES

There are many versions of Van Gogh's letters, but this Penguin Classic edition is as good as any, a thorough selection of writing that highlights the artist's love for his art and family. (NTH52, $17.00)

Dear Theo, The Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh

Dear Theo, The Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh


by Irving Stone

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 480 PAGES

This collection of letters from the troubled artist to his brother offers an illuminating gaze into Van Gogh's passion for art while revealing his dramatic personal struggles. (NTH88, $17.00)

My Father's Glory and My Mother's Castle

My Father's Glory and My Mother's Castle


by Marcel Pagnol

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1986
  • PAPER
  • 341 PAGES

Best known as a filmmaker, Pagnol evokes his childhood in Provence and Marseilles fifty years ago. These memoirs sparkle with delight in the people, landscapes and daily life of southern France. (FRN178, $28.00)

Provence, 1970

Provence, 1970


by Luke Barr

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

A unique moment in 1970 brought culinary luminaries James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck and Judith Jones together in Provence. Discussions ranging from the development of taste to the future of food, recorded in the journals and letters of M.F.K. Fisher, are transposed here by her great-nephew. (FRA61, $15.00)

Provence, From Minstrels to the Machine

Provence, From Minstrels to the Machine


by Ford Madox Ford

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 359 PAGES

Madox Ford probes the history, attractions and pleasures of the region in this spirited classic, with illustrations by his companion Biala, written during their time on the Mediterranean coast. (FRN110, $28.95)

Two Towns in Provence

Two Towns in Provence


by M. F. K. Fisher

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1983
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Celebrated food writer M.F.K. Fisher contrasts village life in Aix-en-Provence with bustling Marseilles, evoking these two favorite places with anecdote and loving description. (FRN27, $18.95)

Death at the Chateau Bremont

Death at the Chateau Bremont


by M.L. Longworth

  • MYSTERY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 311 PAGES

When local nobleman Etienne de Bremont falls to his death from the family chateau, the town is abuzz with rumors. A lively whodunit steeped in the rich and romantic atmosphere of Aix-en-Provence. (FRN972, $15.00)

In a Dark Wood Wandering, A Novel of the Middle Ages

In a Dark Wood Wandering, A Novel of the Middle Ages


by Hella Haasse

  • LITERATURE
  • 1991
  • PAPER
  • 594 PAGES

With a cast of thousands including Joan of Arc and the Dukes of Burgundy, this 1949 historical novel renders the political intrigue, people and texture of 15th-century Europe and of medieval court life during the Hundred Years War. (FRN86, $21.95)

Joy of Man's Desiring

Joy of Man's Desiring


by Jean Giono

  • LITERATURE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 464 PAGES

A 20th century master of letters, Giono's fiction invokes the folklore and traditions of his birthplace in southern France. (FRN193, $15.95)

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.