The Cambridge illustrated history of France – Colin Jones



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    The Cambridge illustrated history of France – Colin Jones

    Post by Nico10 on Fri 02 Dec 2011, 4:34 pm

    France is a country in Europe, the continent to the north of Africa where one also finds countries like Germany, Italy, Spain and Belgium amongst others. This just so you know, because I suspect that many individuals who pick up the Cambridge illustrated history of France will feel that they knew much more about France before they read this book than afterwards. One calls this ignorance. It is not a crime. It is a natural part of the human condition since we are not God, but human.

    What is important to realise at first, is that the French has made an enormous contribution to world culture. The way people think about their lives, both presently and in the past, has been greatly influenced by that breath taking stretch of land that is known as France. In this regard, Jones’s history plays no minor part in explaining. It is a history of intimidating scope. It is confusing at times. And what this work shows is that it all is really too much to absorb. Perhaps for the occasional person interested, or those with a special passion for France, this Cambridge history will be very very useful. Also, as a starting point, as an introduction, the Cambridge illustrated history of France will be very valuable. It will be a wonderful lifelong work of reference for a serious scholar. But despite myself finding the work very hard to absorb, I would never discourage any reader deciding on the Cambridge illustrated history of France for leisure.

    It is a work that indeed delivers much more than what it promise. It gives one insights into many fascinating periods of world history from the ancient times up to the 20th century. This is done very well from the regional perspective of the area known today as France. It is amazing how unbelievably violent the history of France is. In this regard, the French are typical to the rest of the world. What I also found fascinating is the fact that despite the French state’s origins can be traced a long way back, the region has never been truly united, with many individuals struggling to even speak French despite being French citizens. In modern France there is of course much more unity, but historically France has been a very contested place and not everybody were as patriotic as one is often led to believe.

    So how readable is this work? Well, one has to take into consideration that this is a history book and not some kind of a Dan Brown novel or something like that. There are parts that are boring, despite being important, and besides, if you write serious history, you often have to drop catchphrases and all kinds of things to make your text out of the ordinary. Accuracy over entertainment - and this is what the Cambridge illustrated history is. Maybe, for me, it was too hard to swallow it all. But still, the Cambridge illustrated history of France is a wonderful work and if you want to read a book on France, this is a good place to start.

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    Re: The Cambridge illustrated history of France – Colin Jones

    Post by Torm on Fri 02 Dec 2011, 10:15 pm

    Hmmm ... interessant.
    Ek vind veral Frankryk (wat toe nie as sulks bestaan het nie) se geskiedenis vanaf die val van Rome tot by Karel die Grote interessant. Dit is nie so swart-en-wit soos ons moderne geskiedenis nie, dit is effens vaag.
    Die Franse kultuur en taal (die 4de gewildste op ons planeet as ek reg onthou) is baie kragtig.
    Besoeke aan Frankryk het my gedwing om etlike gedigte te skryf en my favourite besoek was aan die Musee Rodin in Parys. Croissants vir ontbyt in Frankryk op enige ander plek en hul kaas is supernatural. Croc Madame...die beste broodjie op die planeet.

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