You might not have read Peter Mayle but if you ever traveled to the Provence you will have heard of him and the effect that he has triggered with his book “A Year in Provence” (1989). The book describes his experience in moving to Ménerbes in the Luberon in 1987, his interaction with the local community and its customs. In a sunny and self-deprecating tone, it’s all about the harmony of land and people, wine and exquisite cuisine, lavender, the bright blue sky and the lovely Garrigue countryside with its scented and aromatic scrubland. The book was translated into more than forty languages, sold more than six million copies and became a television series. It was followed two years later by “Toujours Provence”.
Peter Mayle passed away on January 18, 2018, at the age of 78. He was born in Brighton, worked as a waiter, a bus driver and for fifteen years in the advertising industry before moving with his wife to the Provence. His two books were the most effective travel ad ever written for the Provence. It resulted in a veritable exodus of English pensioners to France, a sort of Brexit in reverse.
Having lived in the Provence for more than 10 years I can only attest to the quality of his observations which were never delivered with an air of superiority some travel writers succumb too.