Love And War In The Pyrenees: A Story Of Courage, Fear And Hope, 1939-1944 Paperback – 23 Jul 2009
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Fascinating... courage, cruelty, heroism and the truth about both resistance and collaboration are revealed in a work that brilliantly reconstructs a past that is still contested. (WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY)
Bailey renders history personal and so brings it to life. (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)
Combining memoir, fact and storytelling, Bailey does an impressive job. (INDEPENDENT)
Part travel book, part history, part persnoal memoir, this is a gripping read. (NORTHERN ECHO)
"Her style of writing adds colour, depth and personality to what could otherwise be a dark subject matter... not only an interesting read... fascinating." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Painstakingly researched, Rosemary Bailey has sensitively teased out, and preserved for posterity, the personal testimonies of survivors (now elderly and often reluctant to talk) whose stories could have been lost forever. A chronological account of the course of the war in France is seamlessly interwoven with the stories of local families. Neglected by other chroniclers, the author exposes the misery suffered by refugees from Franco's Spain in French camps. Early (female) Resistance workers are celebrated and the accounts of those helping endangered intellectuals flee the Nazis are reminiscent of the film, Casablanca.
Whereas many ex-pats are content merely to sit drinking wine in the sunshine of their adopted country (and who can blame them?) Rosemary Bailey, who clearly loves the region she now lives in and has such an affinity with, has tirelessly produced a hugely-principled tribute and enduring memorial to the people of the area that has welcomed her - I hope her dedication is appreciated and that this wonderful book reaches the wide audience it so richly deserves.
The title "Love and War in the Pyrenees" gives a clue to one of the book's core themes of opposites. In the Spanish Civil War the Republicans fight the Nationalists causing refugees to pour over the Pyrenees, the natural border between Spain and France. Rosemary Bailey's abbey Corbiac is the abode where a young couple, Pierre and Amélie, live before they are parted in the general WW2 mobilisation and the "Phoney War". Both continue to communicate by letter from contrasting locations. When full war breaks out Pétain's collaborating Vichy government is countered by de Gaulle's London-based Free French. The German-backed French Milice (militia) battles the Resistance. Above all, the French Revolution's freedom for Jewish people is overturned by their incarceration in southern camps of appalling hardship. The book covers these opposing sides and the often shady and confusing spectrum between each ideological pole.
Love and War includes the following chapters; Return to the Land, The Spanish Retirada, The Camps of Scorn, A Quaker Refuge, The Phoney War, The Fall of France, Defeat, Surrender on Demand, Escape Networks, Rivesaltes, Occupation, Resistance, Liberation and Reprisal.Read more ›
"Love and War in the Pyrenees" is an extraordinary journalistic accomplishment for the extent and quality of materials that it brings together--Bailey has woven together countless tiny threads to achieve a tapestry depicting how the war years actually were to those living through them. The elements she combines range from the sensuously concrete to the broadly philosophical: the ingredients and the aroma of a country soup for a schoolboy who'd barely eaten in days, Sartre's pronouncements on the existential freedom of choosing between loyalty to the Resistance and escape from torture, what fleeing refugees felt on their skin and "in their bones" in a Pyreneean mountain pass on an icy winter night after hours of walking in the dark, what Cocteau's lover wore (turquoise trousers and an ocelot vest) as he hid among gypsies.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book arrived in a timely manner. I have read it but was more a documentary than the novel I had been expecting.Published 9 months ago by Vivienne
Pretty disappointing, it only covers a specific area of the Pyrenees. Living at the other end I would have liked to be more informed about the actual setting of the story. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Emma Chelles
Really interesting and accessible non-fiction which includes some very moving personal accounts alongside more general background information. Read morePublished 14 months ago by v y m carah
Tremendously enjoyed reading this book which brings to life a region and its people in exacting times a truer monument than stones or plaques can ever be!Published 15 months ago by Mr Vincent de Graaf
Excellent book, factually correct with a beautiful love story running through it. Even more impressive when you know the areas mentioned in the book. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Valerie McCormack
it could be more than you really want to know , they will be many who.will not.Published 19 months ago by Edward John Casey
Easy to read snapshot of life in Catalonia , French and Spanish , during WW2. Very informative , especially as we have just passed through the region and live in Haute Provence. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Mrs. J. Woods