Troubador A House at the End of the Track

Released: 28/03/2019

ISBN: 9781789016901

eISBN: 9781789019346

Format: Paperback/eBook

Review this Book

Author Website

A House at the End of the Track

Travels among the English in the Ariège Pyrenees


An exploration of the English community in a remote corner of France. 
A book which looks beyond the stereotype of the English living abroad. 
No other travel narratives have focused on the Ariège Pyrenees region of France.

Intrigued by the endless accounts of English incomers ‘living the dream’ in France, Michelle Lawson set out to find out what it’s all about beneath that romantic veneer. Travelling around the Ariège Pyrenees she captured stories and observed the online interactions of a scattered English community, as well as frank conversations with new arrivals, old-timers and those packing up to return to England. We hear stories of meticulous preparation as well as buying on a whim, and from those who describe themselves as village celebrities, along with couples living in social isolation.

The book is a long way from the usual ‘we moved to France’ accounts. Instead it casts aside the romantic lens as the author travels among English settlers to hear their reasons for ending up in this remote corner of France. Readers will feel a mix of admiration, envy and sympathy, and perhaps even irritation with the incomers, as they sometimes contradict themselves in order to avoid the well-worn stereotype of the English abroad. The book is also a gentle reminder that such stereotypes present an unbalanced picture, and that if incomers do stick to some of their old ways, the reasons why might be understandable. 

The author weaves her relationship with the landscape into the stories of the incomers in this wild and depopulated corner of the Pyrenees. Stories open up comment on local issues relating to conservation and re-wilding, as well as the continuing shadow of wartime events, in this much less well known part of France.

Be the first to review this book

Michelle Lawson

Born in the Midlands, Michelle now divides her time between Devon and the French Pyrenees.

Michelle has always been fascinated by the idea of moving abroad for a new life, and this led her to gain a PhD in Applied Linguistics from her study of British migration to the Ariège Pyrenees of France.

Her first book with Matador combines those stories of the English incomers with a travel narrative.

Michelle is an associate lecturer in Applied Linguistics and she also works as a consultant in English language assessment. In her spare time she loves to explore landscapes with a mixture of walking, cycling, photography and painting.

  • Buy as a printed
  • £9.99
  • Currently out of stock
Also by Michelle Lawson / Related Books