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'Jonathan Miles’s “Once Upon a Time World” is a delightful, dizzying romp through the world’s most glamorous muse: the French Riviera. ... Reading this breathtaking account of the transformations of the French Riviera over the last two millenniums is like riding shotgun with a racecar driver in the Monaco Grand Prix....

The “democratized, Technicolor coast” that Agnes Varda celebrated in her 1958 documentary Du Côté de la Côte portrays hordes of happy French citizens on their state-paid summer vacations, crowding beaches beneath the villas and promenades of the dreamers. “What are they all looking for?” the narrator asks. Reading this book, you know the answer. They want to touch that“sea like quilted silk” that enraptured Katherine Mansfield; to see the “magical light” that transfixed Claude Monet; to lay out their own towel in paradise.'

Liesl Schillinger

The New York Times

‘filled with enchanting morsels’

Wall Street Journal

‘Miles, the author of a string of well-received books … obviously has a great time recounting the history of the Riviera, making the book an enjoyable, absorbing read.’  

Kirkus Review

Passages from the book are extracted


Air Mail, Salon, Town and Country &

Literary Hub

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