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book cover of Provencal Tales

Provencal Tales

A collection of stories by

Publisher's Weekly
This appealing amalgam of travel and folktale had its genesis when the author ( The Borrible Trilogy ) spent a summer with a group of shepherds as their sheep grazed the high pastures of Provence. The 13 tales he recounts here were told around the nightly campfires; dating from the time of the Crusades, they define a land and its people. Like their ancestors the troubadours, the shepherds use the Provencal tongue, describing poor ignorant Pichounetta who makes a coffin for her brother to be floated down the river to the holy Aliscamps in Arles. When the money fastened to the coffin lid is stolen, Pichounetta undertakes the same journey to save her brother's soul; en route she discovers the thief and her own dark fate. In another tale, a vast-hipped shepherdess tells of ''The Magician's Daughter,'' who searches the world for the antidote to the elixir of eternal life she has mistakenly drunk. The stories are wonderfully wrought, teaching without pedantry lessons of individual pride and greed, of physical beauty and earthly power. Set against these is the life of the shepherd, each with ''a mountain to live on.'' (Aug.)

Library Journal
Over 20 years ago, when shepherds still walked their flocks from winter to summer pastures, the author joined in the work of shepherds in southern France for several months. At that time he took notes while listening to the tales and anecdotes told and retold at pauses along the route by the shepherds--who, like their ancestors for centuries before them, had developed the art of storytelling. This volume, while partially a memoir of the author's journey and daily life with the sheperds, is primarily his re-creation of these absorbing tales peopled by lords, princes, peasants, and Saracen invaders. De Larrabeiti's written version of these oral tales is skillfully crafted, providing sustained reading pleasure in a genre rarely published these days.-- Anthony Caprio, American Univ., Washington, D.C.

School Library Journal
YA-- A good book for anyone interested in the folklore of medieval Europe. The troubadours, a class of 12th- and 13th-century lyric poets, travelled the courts of Provence performing their metrical poems or songs glorifying valor, honor, and courtly love. Telling of the shepherds of the Provence on their transhumance, the seasonal migration of men and sheep from winter to summer pastures, DeLarrabeiti combines stories told around the campfire with his own travelogue. The mixture of tale and travel brings alive the troubadours' stories, medieval courts, and the scenic beauty of the French countryside. No prior exposure to the subject is necessary--only interest in legends and myths.-- Elise Vidal, Episcopal High School, Bellaire, TX


Used availability for Michael de Larrabeiti's Provencal Tales

Hardback Editions

July 1989 : USA Hardback

Title: Provencal Tales
Author(s): Michael De Larrabeiti
ISBN: 0-312-02968-3 / 978-0-312-02968-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: St Martins Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

July 1988 : UK Hardback

Title: Provencal Tales
Author(s): Michael De Larrabeiti
ISBN: 1-85145-211-7 / 978-1-85145-211-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Pavilion Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA