The Cévennes has long-inspired writer Adam Thorpe, who has drawn on the legends, history and above all the people of this part of France for his inspiration. In his charming journal, Notes from the Cévennes, he takes up these themes, writing about his surroundings, the village and his house at the heart of it, as well as the contrasts of city life in nearby Nîmes.
Adam Thorpe’s home for the past 25 years has been an old house in the Cévennes. Part celebration of both rustic and urban France, part memoir, he explores the attic once used as a silk factory and contemplates the stamp of a chance paw in a fragment of Roman roof-tile; elsewhere, he ponders mutilated fleur-de-lys on his study door and unwittingly uses the tomb-rail of two sisters buried in the garden as a gazebo. Then there are the personal fragments that make up a life and a family history: memories dredged up by ‘dusty toys, dried-up poster paints, a painted clay lump in the bottom of a box.’