A Trip to France 12: Citadel and Millau

by Brenda W. Clough

 A rainy day means museum. The museum at Millau is pretty small, but because the Romans had a famous pottery works here they have more pottery than you would believe possible. The factory shipped all around the Med and seems to have produced at high volume — molds, a standard set of shapes and decoration. The little cups in the photo are mass-produced offering cups, for use in temples. Millau is surrounded by the most startling crags, very dramatic and steep, but otherwise seems to be the most ordinary French city I have been in yet.

 It quit raining long enough to explore Severac-le-Chateau a little more. There’s some amazingly well renovated medieval buildings here; people have garages, satellite dishes, gardens — quite a lived-in space. Have a look at that narrow little domicile in the angle of the other buildings. Three new windows of the utmost magnificence, double-glazed, and with iron balconies.

This surely must be a great town for writing novels. The Marquis de Severac not only built the citadel, but he set up a monastery lower down into which he immured female members of the family who annoyed him. And there were two later changes of dynasty, the third set were the people who decided to renovate by adding a huge 17th century wing. They light it up at night, with great golden halogens which make the entire citadel look like ET is descending into Averyon. The novel practically writes itself, doesn’t it? I am tell that the elder Dumas did write about le seigneur de Severac, but there must be more gold in that mine.

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About Brenda Clough

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her novel A Most Dangerous Woman is being serialized by Serial Box. Her novel The River Twice is newly available from BVC.

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