“(Re)-discovering Normandy in the steps of Marcel Proust and John Ruskin”
A talk followed by drinks by Cynthia Gamble
co-author of ‘Ruskin, Proust et la Normandie’
At the House of Lords
Thursday 8th February 2024
On Thursday 8th February, the Franco-British Society hosted a literary talk in the House of Lords on “(Re)-discovering Normandy in the steps of Marcel Proust and John Ruskin” by Cynthia Gamble, co-author of “Ruskin, Proust et la Normandie”.
Cynthia took us on a fascinating journey in Normandy, travelling with Marcel Proust on day trips departing from the Grand Hôtel, Cabourg – with one exception! – in the steps of John Ruskin, his British mentor whose books he translated.
We travelled, virtually, to many Normandy towns – Caen, Lisieux, Rouen to name but a few! – and experienced them in their medieval splendour as they were before partial destruction in WW2. Many of these were sketched by Ruskin during his ill-fated honeymoon tour of 1848.
We spent time in the elegant seaside resort of Cabourg, commencing our journey at the luxurious and glamorous Grand Hôtel which opened in 1907 and where Proust stayed 420 nights!
We also went along the coast near Trouville to discover a mysterious ivy-clad church by a pond that inspired both Boudin and Proust, then inland, near Évreux, to a chateau that once belonged to the aristocratic Clermont-Tonnerre family.
We very much enjoyed this virtual voyage to Normandy. Thank you Cynthia Gamble!
Dr Cynthia Gamble
Dr Cynthia Gamble, a graduate of the Université de Grenoble and London University, is Honorary Research Fellow, University of Exeter.
Cynthia finds inspiration in working with two languages and cultures, and writes and lectures extensively on Marcel Proust, John Ruskin, the Belle Epoque, and related areas. She is the author of several books including Voix entrelacées de Proust et de Ruskin (2021), and co-author of Ruskin, Proust et la Normandie : aux sources de la Recherche (2022).
In 2021, she was elected Membre de l'Académie des Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts de Rouen.
Cynthia Gamble & Matthieu Pinette, Ruskin, Proust et la Normandie: aux sources de la Recherche, Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2022
Normandy was essential for Ruskin's work on the Gothic and his taste for the picturesque. His mentor, Proust, devoted considerable time to retracing Ruskin's Normandy journeys and this quest played a definitive role in the creation of his novel, In Search of Lost Time.
If you wish to buy a copy of the book: please contact Cynthia Gamble on: email@example.com