While The French Riviera - A Literary Guide for Travellers is a story of the many writers who came to the French Riviera, where they lived, how their stay influenced their lives and work, and influenced others who followed in their footsteps, it is also a very moving story about the French Riviera.
Ted's research is impeccable and with a cast of more than 150 authors, his book ebbs and flows gently with stories, anedotes and depth. It is extremely well written and takes the reader on a wonderful journey, beginning with Hyères (considered the gateway to the Riviera), through the delightful towns of Cannes, Antibes, the back country, Nice, Cap Ferrat, Monaco and ending in the pretty seaside town of Menton, the last French town before crossing the Italian frontier.
Robert Louis Stevenson, D.H. Lawrence, Rupert Brook, Charles Dickens, Sylvia Plath, George Bernard Shaw, Leo Tolstoi, Evelyn Waught, PG Woodhouse and Ian Fleming are just a few of the writers and amazing characters whose lives we momentarily touch. As the pages unfold, we follow in their steps as they search for inspiration, escape or peace in this much sought-after coastline, starting as early as 1638 when John Milton, author of Paradise Lost, called at Nice en route to Genoa, and so on to this present day.
While Ted's book could have been too heavy to digest with the number of writers involved, he has managed to bring clarity and sensitivity to an otherwise difficult subject enabling the reader to stop and start at their own pace, dipping in whenever or wherever they want. We greatly enjoyed Ted Jones's book and certainly highly recommend it.
Review by Martin Hills.
"There are two views of the French Riviera. One says it is an overdeveloped blot on the landscape; the other that it is the epitome of style. If you veer towards the latter, and enjoy literary history, this book is for you. Drawing on the stories of more than 150 writers, Jones does a great job of buffing up the legend."
- Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times, Books of the Week
"Thoughtful, entertaining and vivid, Jones's The French Riviera sweeps us along the coast… Cap Ferrat comes to life. Jones's book is sad only because it reminds us of how much of the Riviera's tranquil beauty has been sacrificed. The list of literary lovers of the Riviera almost beggars belief. It is delightful to have their eloquent, acerbic, lyrical responses collected here, in a book that deserves to become a favourite with all travellers."
- Miranda Seymour, Sunday Times
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