Books about Dordogne?

Old Apr 21st, 2001, 02:40 PM
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Books about Dordogne?

I am looking for a good book about the Dordogne region. I have a couple of guidebooks that briefly discuss the sites in the region and where to stay, eat, etc. but I am looking more looking for something that discusss the region, history, etc in a more in depth matter- something I can read cover to cover. Any suggestions?
Old Apr 21st, 2001, 06:53 PM
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Hi Jane.
We are going to the Dordogne region in June. The best book I've found so far that discusses the history of the region is "The Road From the Past, Traveling through History in France." The author is Ina Caro. It has some very interesting sections on the Dordogne region, among others. It comes in paperback and retails for $16.00.
Old Apr 23rd, 2001, 01:57 PM
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Try the Blue Guide to Southwest France. I find the series excellent for in-depth coverage.
Old Apr 23rd, 2001, 02:34 PM
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Thank goodness this site is up and running again, as replied to this at least half a dozen times over the weekend, but nothing ever got posted. Here's what's in my collection of books about the Dordogne, from guides to chronicles.

The Michelin Green Guide
Cadogan's Guide to the Dordogne, Lot & Bordeaux
Cadogan's Lazy Days out in the Dordogne & Lot
Ann Barry's At Home in the Dordogne
Stephen Brook's Dordogne, one of the Philip's Travel Series
James Bentley's Fort Towns of France (he has other books on the Dordogne as well, including one about cuisine, but they are not well organized and tiresome to read)
Vicky Jones's Dordogne Gastronomique
Michael Crighton's Timeline
In the Heartland of France (sorry, this one's at my house in the Dordogne and I forget the author).

Also, if you're traveling to the region, stop at any bookstore and you'll find a wealth of books on the area, many in English, like Discover Périgord, published by MSM.
Old Apr 26th, 2001, 02:56 PM
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We just got back from the Dordogne, and we had a great time listening to an unabridged tape of Michael Crighton's Timeline about people working on a castle/mill site on the Dordogne going back in time to the period of the Hundred Year's War. It made driving time really enjoyable! (Don't get the abridged - it's too sketchy.) I'm also enjoying Isaac Asimov's The Shaping of France.
Old Jul 15th, 2013, 05:38 AM
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After reading your reply to Crazytravelfor4 you raised some excellent questions about knowing the history of the sites we visit. I have been reading about the Hundred Years War online and the French Resistance. Guidebooks are sketchy so I searched this forum and found your suggestions. Do you have any updates or maybe one or two you highly recommend? I hate when I return from a trip only to discover that I totally missed some important details because I hadn't researched the site's info and only did a walk through.

Thanks for your help.
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Old Jul 16th, 2013, 05:43 AM
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Justice in the Sarladais (Reinhardt)
Peasants into Frenchmen (Weber)
Castle in the Backyard (Draine & Hinden)
The Walnut Cookbook (Draine & Hinden)

The first two are fairly academic, but I found them fascinating, and still keep them around the house, picking them up and putting them down again after reading and rereading certain favorite chapters. The first is fairly local and deeply detailed about the area right around Sarlat, c. 1770-1790 (post-Revolution). The second is, I feel, the BEST book I've read about the evolution of rural France into what it is today -- covering the time period from 1870-1914. It covers every subject from clothing, food, poverty, transportation, and uses examples from other regions too, but really helped me to understand what life was like in the southwest during that time period.

The other two books, by Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden, are more contemporary, but include bits of history and background about the area around Sarlat, and specifically, Castelnaud-La-Chapelle. The Walnut Cookbook has a preface that tells us about the historic importance of the walnut industry in the Perigord, and then includes dozens of great walnut recipes contributed by local families from around Castelnaud.

Happy reading! I'd love to know what anybody else thinks about these books.
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