Spring, 1941. Britain is losing the war. Paris is occupied by the Nazis, dark and silent at night. But when the clouds part, and moonlight floods the city, a Resistance leader called Mathieu steps out to begin his work. The fighters of the French Resistance are determined not to give up. These courageous men and women - young and old, aristocrats and nightclub owners, teachers and students - help downed British airmen reach the border with Spain. In farmhouses and rural churches, in secret hotels, and on the streets, they risk everything to open Europe's sealed doors and lead Allied fighters to freedom. But as the military police heightens surveillance, Mathieu and his team face a new threat, dispatched from the Reich to destroy them all.
a hero of france
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King Henry III of France has not suffered well at the hands of posterity. Generally depicted as at best a self-indulgent, ineffectual ruler, and at worst a debauched tyrant responsible for a series of catastrophic political blunders, his reputation has long been a poor one. Yet recent scholarship has begun to question the validity of this judgment and look for a more rounded assessment of the man and his reign. For, as this new biography of Henry demonstrates, there is far more to this fascinating monarch than the pantomime villain depicted by previous generations of historians and novelists. Based upon a rich and diverse range of primary sources, this book traces Henry’s life from his birth in 1551, the sixth child of Henri II and Catherine de’ Medici. It following his upbringing as the Wars of Religion began to tear France apart, his election as king of Poland in 1573, and his assumption of the French crown a year later following the death of his brother Charles IX. The first English-language biography of Henry for over 150 years, this study thoroughly and dispassionately reassesses his life in light of recent scholarship and in the context of broader European diplomatic, political and religious history. In so doing the book not only provides a more nuanced portrait of the monarch himself, but also helps us better understand the history of France during this traumatic time.
A portrait of the controversial French army commander-in-chief who surrendered France's Jewish population to Nazi occupiers describes Ptain's youth as an orphan peasant and identifies the determining factors behind his decisions. By the author of The Last Great Frenchman: A Life of General de Gaulle.
The century of political, religious and cultural turmoil that shook France after the sudden death of Francis I in 1547 was also a period of intense literary nation-building. This study shows how canonical authors contributed to the creation of the French as an imaginary community and argues that early modern literary texts also provide venues for an incisive critique of the idea of nation. Informed by contemporary theories of nationhood, the original readings of Du Bellay's Défense, Ronsard's Discours and d'Aubigné's Tragiques, Montaigne's Essays, Malherbe's odes, and Corneille's Le Cid and Horace demonstrate the critical function of allegories such as Mother France or tropes like the graft and reveal the pertinence of these early modern figurations for current debates about the nation-state in a postmodern era and globalized world.
In Heroes and Legends of Fin-de-Siècle France Venita Datta examines representations of fictional and real heroes in the boulevard theater and mass press during the fin de siècle (1880–1914), illuminating the role of gender in the construction of national identity during this formative period of French history. The popularity of the heroic cult at this time was in part the result of defeat in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, as well as a reaction to changing gender roles and collective guilt about the egoism and selfishness of modern consumer culture. The author analyzes representations of historical figures in the theater, focusing on Cyrano de Bergerac, Napoleon and Joan of Arc, and examines the press coverage of heroes and anti-heroes in the Bazar de la Charité fire of 1897 and the Ullmo spy case of 1907.
The first full story of the most remarkable private American rescue effort of World War II is based on personal papers, letters, and interviews with many of those involved with Varian Fry.
Historians of popular culture have recently been addressing the role of myth, and now it is time that social historians of sport also examined it. The contributors to this collection of essays explore the symbolic meanings that have been attached to sport in Europe by considering some of the mythic heroes who have dominated the sporting landscapes of their own countries. The ambition is to understand what these icons stood for in the eyes of those who watched or read about these vessels into which poured all manner of gender, class and patriotic expectations.