Fedden writes with preternatural clarity, taking the reader with him into a long-forgotten yet echoingly familiar world. When Fedden finds himself expelled from this realm by his emerging sexuality, he leaves us reeling with nostalgia for that timeless sense of the present that is the magic of childhood.
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Henry Robin Romilly Fedden, CBE, (1908–77) was an English writer, diplomat and mountaineer. He was the son of artist Romilly Fedden and novelist Katherine Waldo Douglas. Raised mostly in Chantemesle, France, Fedden went to Cambridge University to read English. He served as a diplomat in Athens and taught English Literature at Cairo University.
Robin Fedden writes with preternatural clarity, taking the reader with him into a long-forgotten yet echoingly familiar world. Chantemesle is a lyrical evocation of growing up on the banks of the Seine. In this minutely observed landscape, where even the wind is a character in its own right, we meet blind Battouflet, the singing hermit of the hillside, solemn Clotilde, who lives in a chateau in the heart of the forest and a desiccated and disturbing spinster, Mlle. Robin Fedden writes with preternatural clarity, taking the reader with him into a long-forgotten yet echoingly familiar world.
Chantemesle: A. Normandy Childhood. Biggins' move to France with. his family took him behind the. scenes of French rural life.
Artwork from Beat 6 published by Heart, an excerpt from ‘Chantemesle: A Normandy Childhood’ by Robin Fedden. Storchen Hotel Group, branding and marketing material.
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CHANTEMESLE by ROBIN FEDDEN. Chantemesle is sub-titled 'A Normandy Childhood' and is exactly that. A memoir, written in middle-age by an Englishman who grew up on the banks of the Seine in an untroubled time before the Second World War. It is an enchanting, innocent story of a near perfect pre-adolescence. Fedden has the descriptive feel of the best of Zelda Fitzgerald - an extraordinary ability to evoke, in prose, a sense of light and shadow, of life and of landscape. No character, even Battouflet, should however detract from the fact this book is a fine prose painting of a landscape long since gone.
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A lyrical evocation of growing up on the banks of the Seine- a minutely observed landscape, where even the wind is a character in its own right. We meet a singing hermit, a disturbing spinster, and the author's first girlfriend in this magical work.