Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Another Fine French Travel Book Giveaway!

Edwin Mullins was a young boy when he discovered Roman tile shards on a riverbank near his home in Sussex, England. This led to a lifelong obsession with Roman history and for years, he's been scrambling over and under the half-buried ancient Roman ruins of Provence with his eager dog, Star, and beleaguered wife, Anne. The results of these expeditions can be seen in his latest book, The Roman Provence Guide, where he shares his vast knowledge of both the known sites and hidden traces of this ancient empire. 

The 192-page Roman Provence Guide was designed to appeal to anyone interested in ancient Roman and French history, archaeology, travel and more. And Mullins' very-kind publisher, Interlink Books, has graciously offered me two copies to give away here. Details on entering appear below.

Although the Roman Empire was eventually vanquished, its impact on the world has never vanished of course. In Provence particularly, Julius Caesar'’s grandiose plans live on in countless ruined aqueducts, monuments, triumphal arches, roads, temples, amphitheaters, baths, ramparts and other feats of engineering and architecture. Part historical account, part traveler’s companion, The Roman Provence Guide puts in historical context Rome’'s 600-year rule of ancient Provence, which also included regions of the Pyrenees, the Alps, and the Rhône Valley. The guide also includes maps, black & white and color photos of the sites, a list of museums and visitor centers and a Further Reading List.

The Roman occupation of Provence (“Provincia” in Latin), lasted six centuries, beginning more than 100 years before the birth of Christ, and surviving until well after most of Europe had become Christian. Today the region remains richer in Roman monuments than any other place in the world, with vast amphitheaters, triumphal arches, paved roads and aqueducts spanning the countryside.

Provence owes its name to Julius Caesar, who described the region as “the Province of Rome.” It was then a much larger area, stretching westwards to include Languedoc and Roussillon as far as the Pyrenees, eastward to the Riviera and the Maritimes Alps, and northwards up the Rhône Valley as far as Lyon. This book covers much of that larger area while concentrating on present-day Provence and neighboring Languedoc, the heartlands of the former Roman colony. 

In the book, Mullins tells the story of how the Romans came to invade Provence, how they stayed to colonize it, and how they transformed Provençal cities into imitations of Rome. He relates how Emperor Constantine brought about the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity from his favorite city of Arles— and how the Romans were eventually driven out by the Visigoths.

The Roman Provence Guide features all the principal sites in the region as well as those rarely visited. It has separate chapters on triumphal arches, aqueducts, farming, city life, bridges and road-building, temples and shrines, theatres and amphitheaters. Another section considers the aftermath of Roman rule, the restoration of ancient ruins, and the debt we owe to the remarkable engineers who inspired the first great achievement in medieval church architecture known, appropriately, as “Romanesque.”

Mullins is a writer, journalist, filmmaker and the former art critic of London'’s Sunday Telegraph. His books include The Pilgrimage to Santiago, Avignon of the Popes, The Camargue, and the award-winning In Search of Cluny: God’s Lost Empire.  

The book is available directly from the publisher (click here or call US 800-238-5465), from Amazon and Barnes and Noble or in bookstores. But better yet, enter to win a copy by simply leaving a comment under ''comments'' below. Please be sure to leave your email address somewhere within the comment box or we won't be able to reach you; simply signing in with your website or Google account is not enough. The more creative your comment, the better. Bon Chance!

49 comments:

  1. What an interesting book on Provence. And, if Julie recommends it, then I look no further.
    If those sites in the luscious Camargue are any example of Roman prowess, then I'm sold! Actually, the Romans had me with their cuisine.

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  2. I would love to win a copy of The Roman Provence Guide. It sounds absolutely intriguing! Please contact me at lauralewie@hotmail.com for my mailing address! I would love to add this to my collection of books about Provence! Merci beaucoup!
    Laura Lewakowski

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  3. After my first trip to Nimes, I was hooked as far as Roman influences in southern France. Please contact me at sendmeyer@sbcglobal.net for my mailing address as I would like to revisit places I may have seen in this book. Thanks. Carole

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  4. Fascinating book! A treasure hunter at heart.
    HBeliveaux@hotmail.com

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  5. What a delightful read this must be, both for historical reasons and for cultural ones too.
    I noticed when we visited in 2008 and picked up a small cookbook how many recipes are similar to those my mother cooked when I was young, in Southern Italy. The entire Mediterranean shares so much cultural history.

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  6. p.s. rosariawilliams0@gmail.com

    Merci' Julie.

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  7. We are moving to France from New Orleans in the spring and one of my main interests is studying the history of France and the Roman influence. This book would be invaluable for us to begin our life in France. You can email me at jack713@att.net. I love your blog and emailed you before our last trip to Provence to get your advice and it was a tremendous help. Thanks for everything.

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    1. Hi Jack,
      How wonderful that you've decided to go ahead with the move! I was happy to help then...and will be happy to as your move gets closer. Perhaps other readers will pipe in as well. All the best and good luck!

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  8. Love it!! I'd love to read this book because I have a crazy scheme in mind whereby I ride along the Via Domitia from Provence to Italy with my husband & our two horses. I've already done a 500km trek northwards from near Apt and I've got the explorer bug :-D
    This book would help me plan the route and bring this germ of an idea into being.
    martine.greenlee@gmail.com

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    1. Hi Martine!
      So what's crazy about that? I've seen a lot wackier things passing by my window here in St. Remy! I hope you do it...and maybe you'll even write a guest post about it for Provence Post! We'd all love it. Good luck!
      :)

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    2. Hey Julie, give me twelve months or so, but watch this space!

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  9. When we come to pick up our newly won copy, my wife and I will take you for hors d'oeuvres at Bistro du Paradou. paul.d.devries@gmail.com Merci, Paul and Marlene

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  10. Dear Paul,
    Sounds like a perfect plan. I love the Bistro du Paradou....wish we were going tonight!
    Julie

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  11. My husband and I have been enthralled with the many Roman sites we have seen in France... from fountains in tiny villages to the arena in Nimes and the nearby aqueduct - fascinating! We look forward to reading The Roman Provence Guide. swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

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  12. Sandra
    Me too...and I love how you just happen on things here that are clearly Roman relics...all mixed in with the modern day architecture. Such fabulously rich history...
    Julie

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  13. Looking forward to reading this!!

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  14. Hi Anonymous,
    If you'd like to be entered into the drawing, please post again with your email.
    Thanks!
    :)

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  15. Bonjour! When my husband and I visited Provence last summer we missed SO much...and we are "closet" explorers at heart. We love to investigate the back streets and hidden "treasures". This book certainly sounds like a great companion. So glad I found you and your blog...our next trip will include consulting with you!
    djsb@dejazzd.com

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  16. Our first trip to France was in 1972 as packpacking students. We've been back so many times we have lost count of the number. Next year we will be in Uzes for two months, even though some tell us Uzes is not 'really' Provence. Would love the book, so send me an e-mail that we won at tpfromaz@cox.net

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  17. as if being in Provence could be any better?

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  18. Sounds like a wonderful book, I've enjoyed many Romans ruins in Provence and hope to see more. Thank you. cheriduzanica@gmail.com

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  19. Intriguing how ancient Roman ruins are just about everywhere except NYC.
    what I loved most about Avignon were the ruins.
    Sounds like a terrific thriller

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  20. Hi Julie
    This book sounds wonderful! My husband and I were in Provence over the summer. After a LONG day of sightseeing, we came to Glanum and the Antiquities near St.Remy. We were hot and tired and had the wrong shoes for exploring. Ater actually walking up to the entrance and leaving to return to our car, we walked back, thinking we may never have this opportunity again. It was a tremendous experience to be amongst the ruins of this one time thriving Roman village! I would love to win the book, as we are planning to return to Provence next year! judy.bales@cox.net

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    1. Hi Judy
      It's so easy, when visiting St. Remy, to run out of time and decide to skip Glanum. But I always tell people not to miss it...it's really spectacular. And every time I go I see new things...
      Best Wishes from St. Remy!

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  21. I love Provence and my favorite city is Arles!

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  22. I love roman France!

    Verlaine36@yahoo.com

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  23. "Ave Julie, Ave Me", the Cardinal was heard mumbling as he was sleep-walking, nibbling hors d'oeuvres and balancing the aqueducts of Provence together with his dog Star. ;)

    If I could I would spend my entire writing time in and around Provence, the place of my dreams!

    Merci!
    lena.halvarsson@comcast.net

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  24. as a history teacher i have been to some of the roman ruins in france and am amazed how vibrant and vital they still are. my favorites are, of course, in provence and languedoc. my favorite readings are travelogues and the french experiences are the best! i'm a californian stuck in kansas and in love with france. kmingles@everestkc.net

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  25. About 10 years from now, my wonderful daughter (who is just starting her college career at Purdue and hopes to be accepted to their veterinary school so she can earn her doctor of veterinary medicine and then a specialty in neurology) plans on sending me and my cousin to France as a thank you for supporting her and helping her make her dreams come true! It's just been the two of us for the last 18 years (her father left when she was 4 months old) and my life has been devoted to making her life better than mine was. I'm very proud of all she's done to this point and I'm sure she'll accomplish everything else on her list!
    copperanna13{at}gmail{dot}com

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  26. I just finished a tour with guests to the area around Mt Ventoux,staying near Crestet. As we passed the old roman bridge in Vaison la Romaine I was explaining to one American guest that the bridge was about 2000 years old and built by the Romans. He just couldn't get his head around the fact that the bridge was ACTUALLY physically built by the romans - rather than in the roman style -and thought I was pulling his leg. How delightful it is to come across antiquities at nearly every turn in Provence. It's where my heart is.
    info@picnicsinprovence.com

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  27. We sat for ages staring at this Roman aqueduct just pout of Uzes when we first saw it a couple of years ago. This year we returned with 11 family and friends to show them what we had seen as the area is full of history. It has become a 'thing' between my husband and I to comment..."God those Romans got around!" when travelling in Europe. Of note in the last couple of years have been the Roman aqueduct in Segovia Spain, the ancient city of Jerash in Jordan (there were many many places in Jordan) and of course the Roman Forum in Rome itself. The book looks fantastic and would love to read it. jo@jotilley.com

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  29. Ahh, to leave the present and relish in The Roman Provence Guide by Edwin Mullins. A tantalizing feast to be savored slowly! bwolcott@redshift.com

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  30. The possibilities of travelling to Provence from Sri Lanka are remote - extremely remote - this would be the next best thing!!

    mystica123athotmaildotcom

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  31. LIving during the summers five minutes from the Pont du Gard, this book would be invaluable for more of the history of our area. So pleased you wrote about it.

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  32. The book sounds fantastic. With this beautiful fall weather we're having I feel inspired to go visit Glanum again and also some of the less well-known Roman ruins. Our ten-year old is also very interested in the Romans and keeps hoping to find pottery in the garden or on walks with his dog. Looks like we need to win or buy this book! Thanks for recommending it, Julie. Sophia@provencesearch.com

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  33. Whhaaaaa?!!! I need this book. And it looks like Paul deserves one of the copies (because who can compete with that?) so I'll just order it if I don't win the other. :)

    Tanks for letting me know about it Jules and looking forward to seeing you soon!
    xo,
    Heather

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  34. Wow--my fave place right on the cover--of course I would simply ADORE having this book. I'll keep my Francophile toes and fingers all crossed up in hopes. robynfrance@gmail.com

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  35. Julie, please count me in.
    Would love to have this book.
    Every year in May, on the way to Cannes, we stop in Nimes, for the local war chariots festival which is a great celebration of Roman civilization. Our little boy has always been fascinated by it. The event takes place in the Nimes arena and also includes a roman market around the area, with arts and crafts workshops for kids.
    Thank you, Maya
    nnedkov@yahoo.com

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  36. Very interesting subject to know what went on before us. There is a beautiful convent building at the end of our street that used to house the Little Sisters of the Poor and is now the Science Po university (in Aix en Provence) and when they renovated the entrance they found roman ruins, it was fascinating to walk past them every day to see and wonder what clues they had found to a previous life and set of events, right in our street.

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  37. My name is "Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus" - it is now two thousand and thirty years since I started building he road which still bears my name - the "Via Domitia" - I am very happy to hear that you all remember my name and still value the inheritance we sent you from our republic, then free from the tyranny of emperors who followed us.

    Our dream was to unite what you now call "Europe" - alas still a dream, but perhaps one day - one day

    Now I must return to sleep in my villa in the real South of France - near Narbonne, perhaps, I may play you game of geocaching and give clues as to my hiding place one day - come visit and stay awhile - Pax.

    From - tony@villaroquette

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  38. My name is "Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus" - it is now two thousand and thirty years since I started building he road which still bears my name - the "Via Domitia" - I am very happy to hear that you all remember my name and still value the inheritance we sent you from our republic, then free from the tyranny of emperors who followed us.

    Our dream was to unite what you now call "Europe" - alas still a dream, but perhaps one day - one day

    Now I must return to sleep in my villa in the real South of France - near Narbonne, perhaps, I may play you game of geocaching and give clues as to my hiding place one day - come visit and stay awhile - Pax.

    From - tony@villaroquette

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  39. Hello Julie,
    One of the reasons we decided to land in St Remy was the close proximity of Roman/Greek ruins. I have a deep passion for the history and culture of our past civilizations. I would love to read and glean some new information from the Roman Provence Guide.
    karenmpohlman@Yahoo.com
    Thanks!

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  40. Hi Julie,
    One of the reasons we decided to land in St Remy was the close proximity of Roman/Greek ruins. I have a deep passion for the hitory and sulture of our past civilizations. I would enjoy geaning new information from the Roman Provenence Guide.
    Karenmpohlman@Yahoo.com
    Thanks!

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  41. Coming to FR for the first time in 2005, I was amazed at all the Roman ruins. My first trip to the south was last year....and I fell in love....you're lucky to live in such a beautiful area. Thanks for the give away....I hope you'll pick me.....I'd love to have it for my next trip...which cannot come soon enough!
    Bon Journee- Machelle from Texas

    mderon@sbcglobal.net

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  42. There is hardly a day when we are leading tours here in Provence that we don't talk about the Provence's Roman history. It is a very favorite topic of mine. SOOOO if I don't win the book, I will surely be purchasing. Thanks for the heads up. Mary James MJprovence@gmail.com

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  43. I have really enjoyed reading all the comments posted. They were so interesting, especially everyone's personal/family experience visiting--or wanting to visit--Roman ruins.
    I am fortunate to live in Vaison la Romaine, which has the largest archeological site in France, so I can enjoy ancient Rome on a daily basis. But I better buy this book so I can appreciate them even more.

    Sharon deRham
    sderham@sonic.net

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  44. Hi Julie. I've heard lovely things about this new book. Fantastic give-away. Good luck to all those entering.

    Best wishes, Alex.

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  45. sic transit gloria mundi.
    Jim A.
    salemhill@gmail.com

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