This book gives a fascinating insight into the relationship between the two nations and a full history of the British visiting and settling in France.Countless British visit France each year and over 100,000 live there permanently, successors to generations of their countrymen. This book, starting with the brief and poignant Peace of Amiens, 1801-1803, studies who they were - ranging from businessmen and artisans to rentiers, invalids and toursits - where they went and the reasons why. While some went for fun, to Paris 'where the social arts are carried to perfection' or to Monte Carlo, Biarritz or Deauville, the invalids favoured the Pyrenees or Savoy, making Pau the 'ville anglaise'. Bordeaux was an example of another town where the British attained great influence because of the wine trade. Many also settled in France to save money. The Channel Coast becoming popular with those who fled creditors or disgrace at home (Beau Brummell and Oscar Wilde are examples of this group). Food, architecture and the arts more generally attracted many, as did the climate of the Riviera.The revolutions in travel brought about by railways, motoring and aircraft provide a constant theme.
Another very important aspect covered is the relationship, both in general and personal terms, between the French and the British. How, for instance, the local British stimulated a passion for sport in France.It contains a variety of sources including British and French books, letters, journals and periodicals, supply background, as do Foreign Office archives particularly in times of crisis such as 1848, 1870 and 1940.
Table of Contents
The False Start: Travelling Before the Railways.; A Tumultuous Entente; Pau and the Spas; The Transport Revolution; Rosbif and Frog; The Riviera; Babylon; The Atlantic Coast; Displacement; The Rural Idyll.
Peter Thorold was born in London and educated in the United States and Britain, reading history at New College, Oxford. His professional career was spent in the City as an insurance broker and director of a number of companies. He lives with his wife in London and France. His other books include The London Rich: The Creation of a Great City from 1666 to the Present and The Motoring Age: The Automobile and Britain 1896-1939.