Book Description

The Complex Relationship Between America and
France is Examined in this Unique, Perceptive Account

The French at Home
by Albert Rhodes

In lively and witty prose, Albert Rhodes describes in The French at Home the allures and foibles of the Gallic race. Early in American history, before certain prejudices had set in, this diplomat living in France shows the varied facets of French life, in an age when traditional ideas still predominated. Using many charming examples, Rhodes addresses such subjects as chivalry, speech, epigrams, dress, food all the things that make the French so distinctive. Rhodes had many opportunities to observe European life during a lengthy foreign residence in the consular and diplomatic service; and the results of his observations are presented here in a form that is both brilliant and instructive. He not only conveys the ordinary activities he observed as a resident in France, but he also attempts to look deeply into the French character, into a nation's "personality", to perceive what makes them better or worse than Americans. The French at Home is a long neglected book that brings to life the manners and customs of the French at a time when the codes of gallantry were still in force, and art and culture were held in high esteem. Americans have always made rather interesting appraisals of the French. Rhodes was well aware of his young nation's uncertain, and at times unreasonable, assessments of this old European country, and his theories about the origins of these views make for fascinating reading. A uniquely rewarding work for both Americans and Frenchmen, The French at Home presents important information for those who desire to understand the cultural factors that shape current international public opinions.

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Additional Resources:
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Read Albert Rhodes' biography
Read an excerpt from The French at Home

Other related titles:
Views of Old Europe, by Bayard Taylor; An Incident of Travel, by Arthur Jerome Eddy

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