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Books in French

Canal de Bourgogne

Published by Routard

Routard publishes excellent guides to France and the new reference for the Canal de Bourgogne is no exception. (This is in French only but if your French is shakey, at 5,90 euros it is worth buying for the addresses and recommendations.) Some of the most beautiful treasures of cultural Burgundy lie along the path of this canal. From the river Yonne, it threads its way past the Château de Ancy-le-Franc, l’Abbaye de Fontenay, past 
Châteauneuf-en-Auxois through the picturesque Ouche valley and on to Dijon before joining the river Saône at St-Jean-de-Losne.

Sur les Traces du Roi Arthur - avallon en bourgogne

by Marilyn Floyde, Published by BFS Publishing

' AVALLON LA FIN DU MYTHE, LE DEBUT DU MYSTERE Dès les premiers récits du Roi Arthur, Avalon se trouve au cœur de la légende. C'est aux forges d'Avalon qu'on a fabriqué l'épée miraculeuse, Excalibur. On y a amené le Roi, blessé au cours d'une bataille, pour que sa sœur Morgen le soigne au sanctuaire des femmes. Avalon est connu comme le dernier lieu de repos du Roi Arthur. Mais l'histoire du Roi Arthur est plus qu'un conte de fée. Ce n'est pas par hasard que l'histoire nous présente Riothamus, un grand guerrier et roi d'origine britannique...'

Also available in English



sur les chemins de Compostelle
Un artiste Chinois, pèlerin de l'art, Ji Dahai, published by Editions Ouest-France

Award winning Chinese artist Ji Dahai has travelled all over China on the Buddhist and Taoiste pilgrim routes such as Putuo Shan, Jiuhua Shan and other sacred mountains. In spring 2004 in a house in Songzhuang, the largest artists’ village in Beijing, he heard about the pilgrim routes in France to Santiago de Compostela. The thought of travelling on a Christian route intrigued him; he would meet people from cultures he didn’t know of and as he says, ‘see them without prejudice.’

Packing four mandarin treasures in his bag – paintbrushes of wolf hair, pens with black ink made from smoked pine, ink from natural pigments and Xuan de Anhui’s paper, made from straw, rice and sandalwood bark, he set off to travel the ‘nine thousand miles on the giant silver bird’ to France.

Ji Dahai has written the short text, and illustrated the work throughout his journey from Puy-en-Velay in the Auvergne to Santiago de Compostela, one of the four pilgrim routes through France. On the way he finds comparisons with Buddhist traditions. A knot design carved on a stone in the church at Perse à Espalion also appears in Chinese folklore where it is considered good fortune, as well as in Buddhist ‘chapelets’.

‘Today’ he says, ‘we are in a world where we spend more time in front of the computer than in nature.’ Here he sets about rectifying this. The language, like the text and drawings is uncomplicated, and easy to understand as this pilgrim of art describes his journey of self-discovery.

See also: Pilgrim Route to Santiago de Compostelo


La Bourgogne : De villages en vignobles
by Michel Duvoisin

No French needed to appreciate this book. Well known painter Michel Duvoisin presents his work of the Burgundian villages in sketch-book form. A glimpse through the archway in Noyers, the Clos de Vougeot which he describes as ‘a cathedral to the glory of Bacchus’, and of course, the Canal de Bourgogne, all perfectly captured in soft tones of green and brown, highlighted with autumnal colours. The spirit has been captured perfectly.


Balades sur les routes en Bourgogne
by Catherine Vialle, Jean-Dominique Longubardo

Written like a journal, this little book of tours around Burgundy is both charming and informative. Each of the 11 chapters explores a theme – the secrets of the Morvan, the beautiful roofs of the Dukes of Burgundy or the roads to Vézelay. The illustrations are vignettes; tile details, a carving, the vignerons’ baskets, ancient corkscrews, le-rat-de-cave – the candles to light up the wine cellar. Together with maps and photos, the additional knowledge will help you enjoy your trips all the more.



Jardins de Bourgogne Jardins de Bourgogne

by Patrice Milleron with photography by Laurence Toussaint, published by Editions Ouest-France.

The special gardens of Burgundy have been little promoted but this new book may be about to redress that. Jardins de Bourgogne visits the public and private gardens of note in the region from the formal gardens of châteaux such as Cormatin, Ancy-le-Franc and Bussy Rabutin, to the private gardens of Moulin d’Athie. Shown right, Parc de Thorigny-sur-Oreuse near Sens.

Jardins de Bourgogne, available from Amazon.fr.