A Year in Provence

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A Year in Provence
First edition
AuthorPeter Mayle
Set inProvence, France
PublisherHamish Hamilton

A Year in Provence is a 1989 best-selling memoir by Peter Mayle about his first year in Provence, and the local events and customs.[1] It was adapted into a television series starring John Thaw and Lindsay Duncan. Reviewers praised the book's honest style, wit[2] and its refreshing humour.[3]


Peter Mayle and his wife move to Provence, and are soon met with unexpectedly fierce weather, underground truffle dealers and unruly workers, who work around their normalement schedule.[4] Meals in Provençal restaurants and work on the Mayles' house, garden and vineyard are features of the book, whose chapters follow the months of the year.


In 1991 a radio adaptation was broadcast on BBC Radio 4.[5]

In 1993, the BBC produced a television series based on the book, starring Lindsay Duncan and John Thaw, with appearances from Alfred Molina and James Fleet. Unlike the book, the programme was not well received by critics and it was later placed at number ten on a Radio Times list of the worst television programmes ever made[6][7] with John Naughton, describing it as a "smugathon ... which achieved the near impossible – creating a John Thaw vehicle nobody liked".[7]


  • Toujours Provence (1991)
  • Encore Provence (1999)
  • French Lessons (2001)

Cultural influence[edit]

Mayle's memoir provided inspiration for the 2008 satirical novel A Year in the Province by Christopher Marsh in which an Andalusian man persuades his wife and his three daughters to relocate to Belfast.


  1. ^ Crace, John (10 January 2010). "A Year in Provence, 20 years on". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  2. ^ Lawless, Laura K. "Guide Rating and Review – A Year in Provence, by Peter Mayle". About.com. Archived from the original on 29 March 2008.
  3. ^ "A YEAR IN PROVENCE PETER MAYLE". Blue Rectangle. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011.
  4. ^ "normalement" is often used when they are asked when jobs will be finished; however it is implied that this timing will never be fulfilled.
  5. ^ "A Year in Provence". BBC Genome. 29 May 1991. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  6. ^ Gibson, Owen (22 August 2006). "Naked Keith Chegwin hits the heights of 'memorably rotten' TV". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  7. ^ a b Bale, Karen (22 August 2006). "The Worst TV shows ever". Daily Record. Glasgow. Retrieved 7 September 2020.

External links[edit]