A History of France

A History of France

3.95 (1,125 ratings by Goodreads)
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John Julius Norwich--called a "true master of narrative history" by Simon Sebag Montefiore--returns with the book he has spent his distinguished career wanting to write, A History of France: a portrait of the past two centuries of the country he loves best.

Beginning with Julius Caesar's conquest of Gaul in the first century BC, this study of French history comprises a cast of legendary characters--Charlemagne, Louis XIV, Napoleon, Joan of Arc and Marie Antionette, to name a few--as Norwich chronicles France's often violent, always fascinating history. From the French Revolution--after which neither France, nor the world, would be the same again--to the storming of the Bastille, from the Vichy regime and the Resistance to the end of the Second World War, A History of France is packed with heroes and villains, battles and rebellion, stories so enthralling that Norwich declared, "I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed writing a book more."

With his celebrated stylistic panache and expert command of detail, Norwich writes in an inviting, intimate tone, and with a palpable affection for France. One of our greatest contemporary historians has deftly crafted a comprehensive yet concise portrait of the country's historical sweep.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 160.02 x 233.68 x 35.56mm | 612.35g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0802128904
  • 9780802128904
  • 1,509,055

Review quote

Praise for A History of France

An Amazon Best Book of the Month

"[Norwich] remembered that there was a public composed of people who read books of history for pleasure, not from duty . . . [A History of France is] a delightful book--engaging, enthusiastic, sympathetic, funny and sometimes, one has to add, quirky."--Wall Street Journal

"The major achievement of this book is the very fact that Norwich takes each of the four rulers to be a piece of the same story . . . written with often humming literary verve."--New York Times Book Review

"With characteristic deftness of touch, Norwich brings each character vividly to life and skillfully weaves their stories together . . . a genuinely inspired idea for a book, and Norwich executes it with typical aplomb."―Tracy Borman, BBC History Magazine

"Norwich's long career as a historian has given him a definite assurance of style, which allows him to present historical detail in a thoroughly engaging manner without sacrificing clarity."―Library Journal

"A streamlined, merry romp through glorious Gaul."--Washington Independent Review of Books

"Norwich's strength is the colorful anecdote . . . [and A History of France is] informative and entertaining."--Publishers Weekly
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About John Julius Norwich

JOHN JULIUS NORWICH is the author of many books, including Four Princes: Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe; A History of Venice; Byzantium; and the New York Times bestseller Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy.
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Rating details

1,125 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 27% (305)
4 46% (519)
3 22% (251)
2 3% (38)
1 1% (12)
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