A fascinating insight into the popular mentalities of 19th century Brittany as seen through the critical eyes of a remarkable man; sometime beggar, soldier, farmer, bar keeper, tobacconist and paranoid vagrant. This autobiography is an absorbing account of a “long lifetime of poverty, slavery and persecution” and one that I would recommend.
For centuries, tales of unjustly treated heroines, eventually finding happiness, have featured in the traditions of cultures worldwide. In Europe, the best known example is probably the tale of Cinderella. Variants of this story abound and one of several versions found in Brittany is the tale of the Grey Wolf’s Wife.
It is not only artists that have taken inspiration from the rich landscapes and unique culture of Brittany; generations of writers and poets have also been stimulated by this enchanting region of France.
The 12th century poet Marie de France remains a mystery to us but her writing had a strong and lasting influence on the development of medieval literature. Adapted from traditional Breton folktales, her tales or lais are a veritable treasure of European culture. This is her lai of the werewolf.