In France Profound: The Long History of a House, a Mountain Town, and a People

Atlantic Monthly. Aug. 2024. 512p. ISBN 9780802127846. $30. HIST
In 1990, American journalist Allman (Finding Florida), purchased an 800-year-old home in the southern French town of Lauzerte. In his latest book, he captures what his life is like in his adopted community, and he examines the history of the region as well. His writing is often brilliant, warm, and clever. The stories of present-day Lauzerte are, by turns, gripping and amusing; the details of Allman’s routines and the people of the village are touching and edifying. The historical portions emphasize brutal incidents and people. For example, the book mentions Pope Innocent III, who was viewed as one of the biggest and most ruthless and cruel rivals of Philip II, king of France. This is the same pope who initiated the most well-known of the Crusades, the violent religious wars between Christians and Muslims to secure land deemed sacred. Allman also discusses the cruel colonial empires of France and Britain.
VERDICT Best suited for fans of Allman’s work, along with readers intrigued by a little-known French town, the author’s 800-year-old house, and the book’s contemporary elements. This will appeal to readers who enjoy Martin Walker’s “Bruno, Chief of Police” mystery series as well.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing