All things Provence


What’s hardest about researching Provence is being in Atlanta in the winter. I mean seriously, this is what I look at when I observe that part of France:

 

provence image

 

This is one of the villages in the mountains north of the Azure Coast. Anyone been there? I absolutely have to go, now, seeing as a setting of this type is the backdrop of my work in progress, The Peddler of Wisdom.


I’d love to interview someone from this region if I can’t walk up and down the steps of the village itself. The villages are mostly unchanged since the middle ages and have tiny little roads linking them with towns elsewhere. I love the idea of that isolation and the possibility of

paranoia that might emerge when walled off from the world by high mountains. Of course, that never stopped the Swiss.

There seems to be no end of excellent living in this region. Outstanding villas rent to wealthy travelers, cyclists have each town as standard on itineraries, even a Pope lived nearby at Avingnon.

Life, though, in the Renaissance, might not have been so luxurious. I set my story there in the 17th century. There was a lot of poverty in France, then, and even kings and queens avoided travel. But what about the poor? The tradesmen and women,

Blue Madonna

their families and those who had no political power? I’m very interested in the women of this period, in how they lived and what freedoms they might have had or wanted, and what they did when they were single or widowed.

print peasants in provence