Un été en Flandres (A summer in Flanders)

Un été en Flandre (A summer in Flanders) February 2012

Michael Jenkins was born in England in1936. He had been Great Britain’s ambassador in France for a long time.

Hammerhouck Castle, scene of the novel

In the fifties, the author gets out of his boarding-school to spend summer in France, in a big house near the Belgian border where a crowd of old uncles and aunts live.

Less than fifteen years old, the young Englishman arrives in a closed and unknown world where twenty persons are together. Each one has his secret, his past, his dramas and his nature. The sweet Theresa, the stingy Alice, the comforting Alice, Bob, the deceived sailor, the absent-minded Auguste, and above all, Aunt Alice, absolute master of the place.

The young man is about to discover, behind the daily habits, a universe of murmured confidences, of deceived love-affairs and dramas which have occurred during the last two wars and which are still present. He is a witness and accomplice of an intact past as if time had stopped for ever in these vast Flemish plains.

Michael Jenkins will learn to love life with these characters full of imagination and will never forget this marvellous interlude he makes us share forty years later for our great happiness in A summer in Flanders (Un été en Flandre ).

This book is at the same time a self-fiction and a forming novel. In its new edition in French (Editions du Marais) and from now on entitled Un été en Flandre, the book is enlarged with two chapters and an epilogue , translated from English by the European letters. According to the author himself, it is the most successfully completed version of his story. Un été en Flandre has the force of a classic and rejoins L’éducation sentimentale (The sentimental education) and Le grand Meaulnes in the European imagination.

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