The history of Central France ~ making a start

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Hi all

So I left Bristol a few weeks ago to start a new life in France. I’m currently staying with friends who live in a large farmhouse close to the beautiful village of Montrésor, near the market town of Loches in Central France.

Eventually I, and my partner, Sandra, will be buying a property in the department (37) – hopefully it will have enough land on which visitors will be able to camp when visiting ~ ideally we want to set up a few yurts and hold a number of small annual events. These would include History weekends, Middle Eastern Dance, Storytelling, Yoga, etc. But it’s still early days for these ideas.

We’re still working in the UK so should be able to make the occasional BRHG gig!

On the French history side of things I’ll shortly be starting to research the history of the French Resistance in the immediate area and make my findings available in English (on the web and in booklets). There are a number of locally available publications in French which touch on the subject – though what their political slant is I’m not sure. Where I am living the events of the 2nd World War, the role of the resistance and the role of those who supported the Vichy Government are still contentious.

As well as being an historian I’m also a storyteller and while I’ve been here I created a couple of stories based in the local region – I’m going to tell them this summer at the Trowbridge and the Whytchwood (Cheltenham) Festivals. Perhaps I’ll see one or two of my BRHG friend there and we can have a jar or two.

Should anyone have information they’d like to share on any of the above do get in touch.


  1. Thanks for the best wishes, Rich. I’ll surly be doing a few events overhear starting maybe early Autumn with a couple of local walks for english speakers. But first I need to do some research – my french is quite crap (not too bad at oral but written french is very limited) My friends in France, however, have a couple of kids who’ll do translation (for cash!) so I’ll manage.
    I’m also thinking of putting together a library of French films esp from the 1950s & 60s dealing with WWII and post war issues. I’ll show them locally on our projector.
    Can anyone out there recommend any reading materials??????

  2. I don’t know much on the period you’re interested in Jim, I believe Revolutionary History republished a review article on the French Trotskyists in the 2nd World War, who in contradiction to the CP had a policy of trying to build a socialist resistence within the German army of occuation.

    On earlier periods, have you read Emmanuel Le Roy Labadurie (Sp?)’s books. The closest English equivalent I can think of is half-way between EP Thompson and Christopher Hill. Damn good stuff.

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