French History Books
Following his successful ‘History of Limoux’, Hugh Nicklin offers as the second in his series 'Jewels of French History Books', the 'History of the Lauragais' This tells the story of the land which was the reality behind the legendary ‘Land of Cockaigne’. With an area of just over 800 square miles (making it a little smaller than the state of Rhode Island, and about the size of a medium English county such as Kent or Herefordshire) and lying immediately south east of Toulouse in the old Languedoc region of the South of France, the Lauragais is an economic and strategic hotspot of enormous historical significance. This entirely new History of the area brings you many facts about France, its follies and foibles, its Tom Jones and its Silvio Berlusconi packaged up in the person of the troubadour William IX of Aquitaine, and Almodis of la Marche, bigamiste extraordinaire. We meet Raymond VI of Toulouse who was ‘in several battles but never drew his sword’, along with a royal voyeur and a kamikaze Duke.
Cathars and the Canal Du Midi
Animals contribute to the fun, with a diligent donkey from Plaigne and a canine commuter from Montauriol, while naughty boys disrupt the flirtations of their rivals, disrupt wartime bread supplies and uncouple trains from their engines. These lighter moments may tide readers over the horrors of the tenth century anarchy, the bloody suppression of the Cathars by Simon De Montfort, the Black Prince’s cold and calculating terrorism and the James Bond antics of William of Nogaret who purloined a Pope and trumped the Templars. Readers will surely appreciate the constructive genius of Peter-Paul Riquet, builder of the Canal du Midi and the most admirable tax-collector since St Matthew. Respect, too, the business acumen of those who brought wealth to the area by selling wheat, tin, salt, woad and, these days, the mighty Airbuses which wheel over the area in their testing routines. Enjoy and learn from a book where Cicero meets Wilfrid the Hairy and everyone eats Cassoulet
History of France
This is 'French History' at its best, defined to the finest level of detail in this most enlightening of French History Books. The 'Lauragais' has been at the centre of the action from the traumatic tenth century until present day, including playing a significant role in the formation of modern France during the 13th century. Although this particular story starts much earlier than that.