A Summer in Gascony evokes the spirit, sights, smells and sounds of the other South of France with its strong spirit of independence, its love of the land and all the simple pleasures it provides - magret de canard, méchoui - and gutsy red wine and armagnac! The only travel-writing book on Gascony, this is a charming and humorous fish out of water tale of a young Englishman who spends a summer working in Gascony and leaves a Gascon in heart and soul - a love affair that endures till today. Full of fascinating insights into the turbulent history of Gascony with its strong English connection going back to the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry Plantagenet when it became the English Kingdom for 300 years. With charm and gentle humour, Martin Calder describes an extraordinary summer spent working at a Ferme-Auberge in a remote hilltop village in Gascony, one of the most rural parts of Southwest France stretching from Toulouse in the East to the Atlantic in the West, from the River Garonne in the north to the Pyrenees in the South. It is a golden land of rolling hills and wide horizons, swathed with vineyards, sunflowers, maize and pastures where wild boar and roe deer roam the oak forests. In the tiny hamlet of Péguilhan, Calder is introduced to the Gascon way of life, working in the fields, shepherding the sheep, watering the crops and discovers a unique people, proud of their fiercely independent heritage. This is a tale of two love affairs: an idyllic summer romance with his fellow stagiaire Anja and a lifelong love affair with Gascony and its village festivals, dusty roads, and sun-baked wine country. Full of colourful characters - the charismatic and convivial Jacques-Henri, the hardworking farmer and his family who take Martin into their home and hearts; the yoga-practicing Germans; Pattes, the mischievous and lovable stray dog who brings havoc in his wake; Madame Parle-Beaucoup the town gossip who has a secret of her own and the memorable Monsieur Fustignac whose pride in his Gasgon heritage is unforgettable. As an Englishman in Gascony, Martin finds himself more welcome than he expected thanks to the old affinities that exist between England and Gascony - after all Gascons fought for 300 years alongside the English against their common enemy - the French! Gascony exported huge quantities of wine - claret - to slake the thirsts of medieval Englishmen.