A talk – illustrated with photos and images of original artwork – about aspects of the history, the landscape and the people of this rugged Auvergne départment and how the speakers became increasingly enchanted with it after setting up a second home in a small hamlet near Yssingeaux. Compared with other parts of France, this corner of La France Profonde tends to be less well known, even to many French people. Mention will be made of the 13th century convent initially abandoned to wolves but which later became a major abbey (despite the Mother Superior who became a gangster’s moll!), of the remarkable women known as Béates who lived alone in remote rural communities instructing the young and looking after the old from the 17th to the 20th century, of the strange beast that so terrorized the population in the 18th century that Louis XV had to send his best hunters to track it down, and of the courage of local people who hid refugees from the Nazis during World War II and became France’s most formidable resistance group.
Martin has written about these and other stories, including the experiences of his family in getting to know the local culture, in a book of narrative verse: Song of France – Ode to the Haute-Loire. Published last year, this is illustrated by his wife who is a professional artist (see www.songoffrance.com). Copies of the book will be available at the talk.
📌 Saturday 15th January 2020
⏰ 3 to 4pm
🌍 L’Alliance Française Cambridge – 60 Hills Road CB2 1LA
💷 FREE – no booking required – limited seats available, arrive early!