Following NB Starcross's recent review of Gerard Morgan-Grenville's first book, Barging into France I came upon a copy of the second in the series, Barging into Southern France, which I purchased for slightly less than the 1972 cover price of £2.95.
Of course, I should have read the first book first, but from the off I found this second book a real page turner in its own right. It follows his journey in an ancient estuary barge "Virginia Anne" south from Epinal in mid France to Castetes near the Atlantic coast. This journey covered the Canal Marne a Saone, Canal bu Burgogne, River Saone, River Rhine, Canal Rhone a Sete and finally the Canal du Midi over three cruising seasons.
Its very much a book about the place rather than about the people he met along the way, providing a detailed account of what was seen and done causing me to make repeated references back to the maps provided at the start of the book. Morgan-Grenville's jourmey appears to have been inspired by an earlier journey down the Upper Saone, undertaken by Philip Hamerton in 1886 and who is extensively quoted and provides historical context to this trip, which he saw as possibly one of the last journeys along some the the lesser waterways.
Morgan-Grenville was a man of many talents and added thirty beautiful pen and ink drawings, which add significantly to the images his words create.