Curious Histories of Provence, Tales from the South of France
My books are called Curious Histories and my blog is called the Curious Rambler. I like the word curious because of its double meaning: On the one hand, it means eager to know or learn something – which definitely applies to me: I’ve always been a curious person. But on the other hand, it also means unusual or quirky. While I consider myself perfectly normal, I think the second meaning does, indeed, apply to my stories. I like to find quirky tales – the quirkier the better.
So, being a curious person, ten years ago when I plopped myself down in the south of France, I was full of questions: Why do the French do this? How did that custom come about? What does this expression mean?…
I set about looking for the stories behind the histories of the area and then writing about them (and laughing at them a bit by drawing little cartoons). This is how my first two books came about: French Holidays & Traditions and Curious Histories of Nice, France.
After writing about Nice, it just seemed natural to venture further afield into Provence. My third book, which has just come out, is Curious Histories of Provence: Tales from the South of France. Of course, Provence is a big area so I tried to focus on things that were general to the region, and in this book I also incorporated legends whenever I could find them.
Below is a sample of some of the questions answered in this book:
∼ Why do the cicadas in Provence sing so loudly?
∼ How can lavender and calissons protect you from the plague?
∼ How did Martha deal with the local dragon problem?
∼ Where did those white Camargue horses come from?
∼ How did Buffalo Bill have a lasting effect on the region?
∼ What’s the story behind those colorful Provençal fabrics?
Here is what a few readers had to say:
“Love this, full of quirky and fascinating facts and anecdotes that make you smile and go “wow, I never knew that!”. The author has clearly researched a huge amount and she pulls it all together in a really fun and interesting way… great read.” –Amazon Customer
“Whenever I read Margo’s work I wish (a) I could teleport to France and (b) that she’d been my history teacher!” – Nancy Campbell
While it’s wonderful to visit a place and admire the architecture, the colorful markets, and festivals, I think you can go just a bit deeper by understanding the history and stories of an area. So, my goal in writing my Curious Histories books is to retell the stories of the area in an informative and entertaining way. And just maybe you can gain an insight into the region and its inhabitants by understanding its stories. I’ve enjoyed finding these tales and writing about them. I hope you will enjoy reading them as well.