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Explorations Read-Aloud: “A Little Tour in France” by Henry James

Friday, November 11 @ 11:00 am 12:00 pm

Every Friday, at 11:00 am, on the library’s YouTube Channel and Facebook Page, the library will stream a brand new recording of local thespian, Joseph Coté reading aloud selections from a wide variety of fascinating and entertaining books of fiction and non-fiction. This is a program to help keep our community connected to books during the pandemic when we are unable to meet in person.

For November 11, Coté will read aloud from Henry James’ book A Little Tour in France.

Summary: A Little Tour in France is a book of travel writing by American writer Henry James. Published under the title En Provence in 1883–1884 as a serial in The Atlantic Monthly, the book recounts a six-week tour James made of many provincial towns in France, including Tours, Bourges, Nantes, Toulouse, Arles and several others.

The first book publication was in 1884. A second, extensively revised edition was published in 1900 with illustrations by Joseph Pennell.

James gives the idea for the book in the first paragraph of the first installment of the original magazine serial: “France may be Paris, but Paris is not France.” He conceived the book as a description of and even homage to the provinces. James had tried living in Paris before settling in London in 1876. He returned to France in 1882 to discover more of French provincial life than he had previously been able to see.

From Tours to Dijon, James tells of the towns and cities, the church and inns, the museums and palaces.

From Henry James: “I am ashamed to begin with saying that Touraine is the garden of France; that remark has long ago lost its bloom. The town of Tours, however, has something sweet and bright, which suggests that it is surrounded by a land of fruits. It is a very agreeable little city; few towns of its size are more ripe, more complete, or, I should suppose, in better humor with themselves and less disposed to envy the responsibilities of bigger places. It is truly the capital of its smiling province . . .”

Click the links to find the library’s YouTube Channel and Facebook Page.

Thoughts to share? Book ideas to suggest?
Contact Joseph at friday-explorations@usa.net

55 Main Street
Camden, ME 04843 United States
207-236-3440