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Lighthouses of France: The Monuments and their Keepers [Hardcover]

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Item description for Lighthouses of France: The Monuments and their Keepers by Jean Guichard...

Lighthouses are an icon of a simpler, more romantic era, which partly explains why they are so wellloved today. Unlike many other countries, France has resisted the trend toward total automation, and in many small ports and seaside towns, the lighthouse keeper is still a wellknown and respected figure. World renowned lighthouse photographer Jean Guichard's famously dramatic photographs of storms at sea illustrate only too well the perilous working conditions the lighthouse keepers face, and the text by Rene Gast provides a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of these men and women, whose determination and nerves of steel have saved countless lives over the centuries. Even the workmen who built these technological marvels risked their lives with every wave, and had to be strapped bellydown on the rock to avoid being washed away. Today, the job still requires a great deal of nerve, shown in the many photographs of the lighthouses where keepers are still winched down to the deck of the relief boat by hand, dangling from ropes over crashing seas. The book also contains reproductions of a number of historical documents about lighthouses: vintage photographs and etchings, extracts from logbooks, and architectural drawings detailing the development in lighthouse and navigational engineering. Lighthouses of France is a wonderfully romantic photographic tribute to lighthouses and to the bravery and dedication of their keepers.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   144
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 11.9" Width: 9.1" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   1.9 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 3, 2002
Publisher   Flammarion
ISBN  2080107151  
ISBN13  9782080107152  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jean Guichard

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jean Guichard spent his childhood on the coast of Brittany before completing his military service in the French navy sailing the treacherous waters off northern Canada and Iceland. He took up photography on his return and has since been active as a photojournalist, initially covering internal French politics, but soon branching out to international news and later to maritime photography. His friendship with yachtsman Eric Tabarly inspired him to begin his unique study of lighthouses, which he started nearly fifteen years ago. Guichard's work has been featured on the cover of "Newsweek" and "Paris Match" and his cards, posters, and calendars of maritime subjects sell hundreds of thousands of copies every year.
Ken Trethewey, a descendant of the lighthouse keepers of Eddystone, Britain's most famous lighthouse, is the founder and chairman of the Lighthouse Society of Great Britain. For the past five years, he has written, published, and continually updated his "Encyclopedia of Lighthouses," The 2002 edition contains over 7000 entries.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Architectural
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Collections, Catalogues & Exhibitions
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > History
4Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Photo Essays
5Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Photographers, A-Z > General
6Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Photojournalism
7Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Travel > Europe
8Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Travel > General
9Books > Subjects > History > Europe > France > General
10Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Transportation > Ships > General
11Books > Subjects > Travel > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Lighthouses of France: The Monuments and their Keepers?

A Wonderful Companion Piece to THAT Photograph  Jan 12, 2007
If you're like me and are captivated by the famous photograph of a lighthouse keeper standing in the door of an old stone lighthouse, and the lighthouse itself, both of which are about to be engulfed by a HUGE wave, you'll be captivated all over again by this book. The photo was one of several taken of a lighthouse known as "la Tempete," off the coast of western France, that was made into a series of posters, some of which grace a lot of walls around the world, including mine. I had to have the poster of the lighthouse keeper's perilous moment, and when I found out about this book, I had to have it too. I'm glad I did, because it tells the fascinating story behind the "la Tempete" photos, and showcases more of Jean Guichard's life work, the lighthouses of France and his artistic shots of structures that are on that country's registry of historic buildings. A great book to have and enjoy, even if you're like me and only mildly interested in lighthouses, but engrossed by the story behind THAT photograph.
BUY THIS BOOK NOW  Jul 14, 2004
This massive hardcover book is the perfect compliment to it's big brother (North Atlantic Lighthouses. Both these books are the collective works of the worlds best lighthouse photographer (Jean Guichard). This is the man who uses analogue techniques and is not a Photoshop convert. (He's the man who brought you the famous photo of the lighthouse keeper who nearly gets hit by the wave.)

The difference between this book and "North Atlantic Lighthouses" is that North Atlantic deals with the... ...North Atlantic(USA, Canada, Iceland, Scotland, England and Wales, Ireland, and France) while "Lighthouses of France" deals with... ...French lighthouses only.

BUT, If your like me then the French lighthouses are the most attractive, alluring and charming lighthouses in the world. Lighthouses such as the famous La Jument (the mare), Le Four (the oven), Pierres Noires (Black Rocks). The book displays historic pictures which you won't see elsewhere (e.g. shots of relief of the keepers at Ar-Men.) You will also get the entire sequence of the wave and the keeper at La Jument. (Including the shot that everyone wants to see, "the aftermath", this is the shot that shows the keepers fate. It's located on page 92, my tip is take a close look at the doorway.

Generally lighthouse books such as this have text accompanying it explaining the various lighthouses. Most books are very factual giving details such as tower hight, beacon type/colour, signal time, ect... (this is what happens in the other book North Atlantic Lighthouses, where the text is by Ken Trethewey). The information in that book is generally very interesting although it comes up a very distant second to the magnificent photos.

Well in Lighthouses of France the text (by Rene Gast) is no distant second. Hell it's right up there on par with the photos. The text doesn't deal with the lighthouses directly. It mainly deals with the keepers and their interactions with these beacons of the sea. You'll get a taste for what it was like to build, man and maintain these monuments.

The stories that are retold will astound, amaze and horrify. Find out what it's like to be one of the two keepers at Kereon on December 16th, 1989 at 6:10pm. When the two portholes in the kitchen were hit by an enormous wave,(where they were watching TV at the time) during a horrific storm. Read on as all the furniture is washed out the front door. A quote from Jean-Pierre Lecuq "we could hear the breakers forming about five hundred meters out. It sounded like a thousand bulldozers coming to crush us, then came the deafening crash of the wave exploding against the tower, which in fifteen years' service I had never seen shudder like that."



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