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Tony Grist

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Saumur [Jan. 14th, 2008|02:56 pm]
Tony Grist

I've been to Saumur. Well, not exactly been there but passed through. On holiday in the early 1960s with my family. We were touring through the Loire valley and heading from Someplace to Someplace else and my father wasn't in the mood to stop. How can you not stop in a place like Saumur?  It has a castle on a crag. It's absolutely glorious. I've passed through a lot of places in my time but none of them haunts me like Saumur.

I'll go back there some day. Maybe not in this lifetime.

Saumur is the town where Eugenie Grandet lives. Her house nestles right under the castle crag.  Beautiful. Only no-one seems to see it (except Eugenie, briefly, when she notices some flowers on the cliff face while innocently spooning with Charles).  Is Balzac making a point here-  moral squalor= blindness to natural beauty?  I'd like to think so, but probably not- because he doesn't seem to notice the grandeur of the setting either. For him Saumur is simply Dullborough

I was thinking how odd this was and then I remembered what a spectacular city Bath is- and how you'd never guess it from reading Jane Austen or Dickens. 

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: huskyteer
2008-01-14 04:41 pm (UTC)
I thought the name rang a bell. I've been there too!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-01-14 05:43 pm (UTC)
That's a really good picture of it- better than any I could find online
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[User Picture]From: goddlefrood
2008-01-15 03:25 am (UTC)
I too went to Saumur on a tour of the wineries and chateaux. We did stop there and about as much as I can remember is that it had an incredibly deep well. The wine's good.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-01-15 10:17 am (UTC)
I guess the well goes all the way down through the castle rock.

I want to go back to the Loire, I really do.
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[User Picture]From: goddlefrood
2008-01-15 10:24 am (UTC)
You and me both. I have some, increasingly vague, good memories of it. I spent a summer in Blois back some time ago, what a great base that is for exploring the region and they love the sons et lumieres round that part of the world. Chambord remains great and the one that spans a river (can't remember the name). The well might have been somewhere else, but I think it was Saumur.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-01-15 05:42 pm (UTC)
I attended a son et lumiere at Chambord c 1964. (At least I think it was Chambord.) My memories, like yours, are fairly hazy.
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[User Picture]From: huskyteer
2008-01-16 12:15 pm (UTC)
Is the river one Chenonceau? Very pretty.

I've made 4 trips to the Loire now and there's so much more to see.
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