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10 January 1983
Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century: Vol. I. The Structures of Everyday Life 
by Fernand Braudel, translated by Siân Reynolds.
Collins, 623 pp., £15, October 1981, 0 00 216303 9
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Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century: Vol. II. The Wheels of Commerce 
by Fernand Braudel, translated by Siân Reynolds.
Collins, 670 pp., £17.50, November 1982, 9780002161329
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Civilisation matérielle, économie et capitalisme, XVe-XVIIIe siècle: Vol. III. Le temps du monde 
by Fernand Braudel.
Armand Colin, 607 pp., frs 250, May 1979, 2 253 06457 2
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... a mosaic, juxtaposing contemporary accounts of different regions, from the Paris basin to the Russian steppe, among which the Mediterranean continues to occupy an important, indeed privileged, position. Then, with his usual need, and capacity, to see things on a grand scale, to grasp the whole, he leaves Europe for a tour of the rest of the world, in order ...

On the Trail of the Alleged Werewolf

Lorna Scott Fox: Fred Vargas’s romans policiers

9 April 2009
Un lieu incertain 
by Fred Vargas.
Viviane Hamy, 385 pp., €18, June 2008, 978 2 87858 285 7
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Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand 
by Fred Vargas, translated by Siân Reynolds.
Vintage, 388 pp., £7.99, January 2008, 978 0 09 948896 5
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This Night’s Foul Work 
by Fred Vargas, translated by Siân Reynolds.
Vintage, 409 pp., £7.99, February 2009, 978 0 09 950762 8
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The Chalk Circle Man 
by Fred Vargas, translated by Siân Reynolds.
Harvill Secker, 247 pp., £12.99, February 2009, 978 1 84343 272 2
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... Fred Vargas is a woman. Said to be the sixth best-selling author in France, she is unusual there in being a female crime writer, in contrast with women’s dominance of the genre in Britain. Vargas also writes like a woman, if that implies an interest in character, feeling and motive, rather than ‘brutality and eroticism’ (Queneau’s description of the polar – a contraction of policier – a genre inspired by the Série noire’s postwar translations of American crime novels ...
1 October 1981
The Mind and Method of the Historian 
by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, translated by Sian Reynolds and Ben Reynolds.
Harvester, 310 pp., £20, July 1981, 0 85527 928 1
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... This is the second collection of essays by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie to appear in English. The first was called The Territory of the Historian and up to a point justified its title by describing a landscape of historical investigation – rural France peopled by a peasantry engaged in earning a living and undergoing birth, disease and death, the whole benignly directed by techniques of quantification ...
16 March 1989
The Identity of France. Vol I: History and Environment 
by Fernand Braudel, translated by Sian Reynolds.
Collins, 432 pp., £20, December 1988, 0 00 217773 0
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... I asked him who among them really understood him, he could think of only one, an Argentinian of Russian-Jewish origin. Braudel was like a hedgehog, both bristly and cuddly, a fierce individualist who longed to be part of a team held warmly together by shared sympathies. This is what he meant by ‘social kindness’, a condition he probably found more readily ...
9 May 1991
The Identity of France. Vol. II: People and Production 
by Fernand Braudel, translated by Sian Reynolds.
Collins, 781 pp., £25, December 1990, 0 00 217774 9
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... studies into an integrated narrative history of his country. Perhaps incredulous of such ambition, Sian Reynolds has taken the liberty of suppressing the full extent of it in her graceful English translation.What were the aims of this vast design? Braudel’s previous themes were virtually invented by him – strikingly original quarries from the past ...

A Girl and a Gun

Jenny Turner: Revenge Feminism

9 October 2013
Apocalypse Baby 
by Virginie Despentes, translated by Siân Reynolds.
Serpent’s Tail, 338 pp., £8.99, June 2013, 978 1 84668 842 3
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... Virginie Despentes suggests in Apocalypse Baby, spying on the unhappy teenage children of rich Parisians. The sector is booming and dullness and directionlessness are a plus. Lucie has been working as a snooper for two years now: ‘A kid can’t smoke a joint in peace without me personally being right up behind him … The life of their children belongs to ...

Quite a Show

Tim Parks: Georges Simenon

8 October 2014
A Man’s Head 
by Georges Simenon, translated by David Coward.
Penguin, 169 pp., £6.99, July 2014, 978 0 14 139351 3
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A Crime in Holland 
by Georges Simenon, translated by Siân Reynolds.
Penguin, 160 pp., £6.99, May 2014, 978 0 14 139349 0
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... expounds his theories. The Dutch police, when they turn up, are equally eager to impress their Parisian colleague. Maigret isn’t impressed – he’s never impressed – and as always complications abound. The tricky geography of canals and quays and intermittent lighthouse beams, together with the awkward logistics of connecting bedrooms and bullet ...

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