Biber, René Books1993 0-7734-1970-5
This is a French civilization course in three parts. The first part is a novel, used as a springboard for the study of French history, literature, art, and music. It is based on original documents, depicting the life and adventures of a typical noble family in the province of Anjou during the last years of the Ancien Regime and the Revolution. Each chapter has notes of a general nature which follow the text; these notes also include the translation of some idioms and words not easily found in a pocket dictionary. The second part, a literary anthology, contains excerpts from the authors mentioned, discussed, or quoted by the protagonists, and from authors who wrote about the campaigns in the Vendée. They range from Cicero to Victor Hugo, including classics and 18th-century philosophers. It illustrates the education and intellectual baggage of an average educated person of the 18th century, whether aristocrat or bourgeois. It also brings an understanding of the intellectual origins of the Revolution. The third part contains excerpts from 19th-century French historians such as Michelet and Guizot. The selected texts depict historical events mentioned in the novel. Some primary sources are also reproduced, such as texts of laws, speeches, etc. The Preface contains suggestions for the use of the course. The Appendix includes photocopies of certain documents to which the novel alludes, some relevant maps and genealogical charts, and photographs of portraits of René and Geneviève. In French.