Open Access (free)
Communities, circumstances and choices

2499 Chap1 7/4/03 2:41 pm Page 1 1 The context of exile: communities, circumstances and choices Quitter la France est, pour un français, une situation funèbre. (Honoré de Balzac, Le Cousin Pons)1 An independent-minded people, with a strong cultural awareness and attachment to region, if not always to nation, the French have generally made unhappy exiles. It has been their misfortune that the many crises punctuating French history have compelled them to take refuge abroad, especially in Britain, a land that is so ‘alike’ France yet so ‘different’.2 In the

in The forgotten French
Open Access (free)
Refugees

2499 Chap2 7/4/03 2:42 pm Page 30 2 The misfortune of exile: refugees The Frenchman cannot forgive the English, in the first place, for not speaking French, in the second, for not understanding him when he calls Charing Cross Sharon-Kro or Leicester Square Lessetair Square. (Alexander Herzen, My Past and Thoughts)1 On 1 June 1940, as the first Allied troops trickled back from Dunkirk, George Orwell toured the London railway stations of Waterloo and Victoria in search of news of a family friend, the eminent surgeon Laurence O’Shaughnessy, who was attached

in The forgotten French
Open Access (free)
Servicemen

2499 Chap3 7/4/03 2:43 pm Page 92 3 The conflict of exile: servicemen Qui se pourrait d’elle laisser Toujours sa beauté renouvelle. Dieu! Qu’il la fait bon regarder, La gracieuse, bonne et belle! Charles, Duke of Orléans (1391–1465)1 In late January 1941, French Welfare concluded that the most urgent problem it had confronted during the first six months of its existence was not the handling of refugees, but what to do ‘with the considerable number of French soldiers, sailors and merchant seaman in this country who had not immediately expressed their

in The forgotten French
Open Access (free)
La colonie Française

2499 Chap5 7/4/03 2:44 pm Page 185 5 The tradition of exile: la colonie Française I recall an astonishing description of the sounds and smell of a Parisian working day, the first faint rumblings of the Métro, and the unique odour of that surrealist underground railway, in the monthly review La France Libre. (Richard Cobb, Promenades)1 In a three-volume conspectus of London life, published in 1901, several chapters were devoted to those immigrant communities, Greeks, Germans and Italians among others, that had made London their home. In the pages devoted to

in The forgotten French
The Vichy consulates

2499 Chap4 7/4/03 2:43 pm Page 141 4 The surveillance of exile: the Vichy consulates Whom have you come here to insult? England in her people or France in her exile? Leave freedom in peace! (Victor Hugo on Napoleon III’s visit to England)1 The history of Vichy at London is usually told as the secretive and mysterious negotiations conducted in late 1940 between Churchill and Pétain, a line of communication manned by such self-appointed intermediaries as the Canadian diplomat Jean Dupuy and the enigmatic Professor Louis Rougier. This is the so-called ‘double

in The forgotten French

Rather than write a classic biography of James Baldwin in the last cycle of his life—from his arrival in 1970 as a black stranger in the all-white medieval village of Saint-Paul, until his death there in 1987—I sought to discover the author through the eyes of people who knew him in this period. With this optic, I sought a wide variety of people who were in some way part of his life there: friends, lovers, barmen, writers, artists, taxi drivers, his doctors and others who retained memories of their encounters with Baldwin on all levels. Besides the many locals, contact was made with a number of Baldwin’s further afield cultural figures including Maya Angelou, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Angela Davis, Bill Wyman, and others. There were more than seventy interviews in person in places as distant as Paris, New York or Istanbul and by telephone spread over four years during the preparatory research and writing of the manuscript. Many of the recollections centred on “at home with Jimmy” or dining at his “Welcome Table.”

James Baldwin Review

The author travels to St.-Paul-de-Vence, the site of Baldwin’s final decades, with the intention of understanding expatriation and/or exile more deeply. The intention of this visit is to fill in some of the gaps in Baldwin’s official biographies, which do not tend to dwell on his time spent in Provence as much as his time in Paris, Turkey, New York, and elsewhere. By interviewing a woman who knew Baldwin well during those years, the author manages to add new layers to his understanding of Baldwin’s late years, but finally arrives at the understanding that writing (rather than analyzing) is the main goal of the expatriate writer. Inspired by Baldwin’s muse, he stops contemplating his subject and gets to work, finally connecting the act of writing to expatriation by doing it.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design

encourage emotional understanding. Computer games produced in collaboration with humanitarian agencies go further. They allow a player to ‘become’ a refugee. A player would, for example, have to navigate the difficulties of fleeing a country, moving through dangerous border regions and starting a new life in austere and unfriendly exile. The game Against all Odds , produced by UNHCR in collaboration with Microsoft and several media companies, is described as letting you ‘experience what it’s like to be a refugee’ ( UNHCR, 2005 ). The UN

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Exiles in the British Isles 1940–44

It is widely assumed that the French in the British Isles during the Second World War were fully fledged supporters of General de Gaulle, and that, across the channel at least, the French were a ‘nation of resisters’. This study reveals that most exiles were on British soil by chance rather than by design, and that many were not sure whether to stay. Overlooked by historians, who have concentrated on the ‘Free French’ of de Gaulle, these were the ‘Forgotten French’: refugees swept off the beaches of Dunkirk; servicemen held in camps after the Franco-German armistice; Vichy consular officials left to cater for their compatriots; and a sizeable colonist community based mainly in London. Drawing on little-known archival sources, this study examines the hopes and fears of those communities who were bitterly divided among themselves, some being attracted to Pétain as much as to de Gaulle.

Open Access (free)

’s consummate ability as a myth-maker and the memories of wartime have also contributed to the notion that all French residents in Britain were supporters of his cause. The fact that the French were not a numerous body, nor an especially conspicuous one, despite the explosive arguments between Carlton Gardens and Downing Street, have ensured that other exiled groups – notably the Germans, Jews, and Poles – have received the lion’s share of attention. When French communities-in-exile have been studied in depth, attention has naturally focused on the USA and Canada, where their

in The forgotten French