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When we think of France we often evoke images of fine food and wine, the elegant boulevards of Paris, the chic beaches of St Tropez. Yet, as the largest country in Europe, it is a place of huge diversity. The idea of 'Frenchness' emerged from over 2000 years of history and it is a riveting story from Roman conquest to the present day. Cecil Jenkins tells the story of the formation of this nation through its people, great events and culture. Through this narrative he charts why the French began to see themselves as so different from the rest of Europe and why, today, they face the same problems of identity as many other nations.
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The story of France through its people, great events and culture.

About the Author

Cecil Jenkins was educated at Trinity Dublin and won a scholarship to the Ecole Normale Superieur de Paris. He has taught at the Ecole Normale Superior de Saint-Cload, Exeter University and then Reader in French at Sussex University where he became Dean of the school of European Studies. He has written book son Francois Mauriac, Andre Malraux as well as other 20th century French writers.

Reviews

In this broad and ambitious drama of two millennia, the characterization of the major players brings pungency and colour to every event. From Capetian kings to Republican presidents, from anonymous cave artists to celebrated writers and intellectuals of recent times it is the personality of politics and the politics of personality which make this book a particular pleasure to recommend for any voyage of discovery of the French past and present. -- Rod Kedward, author of La Vie en Bleu: France and the French since 1900.

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