Ford, Madox Ford. Provence: From Minstrels to the Machine. New York: Ecco Press, 1979.
Reason read: Ford died in the month of June in 1939.
Provence should be considered a travel book which follows the Great Trade Route “from China…to the Scilly Isles.” Aside from that, Provence is Ford’s love letter to the region. He and his travel companion will introduce you to the way to find good food in the south of France…even a good haircut.
In truth, I found Provence a bit on the didactic side. Short of being downright boring I thought it was a slow read. In the end, I ended up not finishing it.
Line that got to me the most, “But when the period of depression has been long and anxieties seem to be becoming too much for me, I make a bolt for Provence” (p 40). I get that. I’m like that about Monhegan.
Author fact: Ford had an interesting point of view concerning repeating material in different books. He felt you should have all new content in each book. So, the story he told in a previous book should not be repeated in consideration of “commercial morality” (p 14). A more trivial author fact is that Ford changed his name. That was a disappointment to learn. I liked the symmetry of Ford Madox Ford.
Book trivia: According to Ecco Press Provence in one of the neglected books of the 20th century. Another piece of trivia: illustrations in Provence were credited to someone named “Biala.” “Biala” is Mrs. Janice “Biala” Brustlein who, according to Nancy Pearl, was Ford’s lover…as they were both married to other people.
Nancy said: Nancy called Provence a “lovingly written account” (p 186).
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Provence and the South of France” (p 186).