Lighthouses of France
Lighthouses are an icon of a simpler, more romantic era, which partly explains why they are so well loved today. Unlike many other countries, France has resisted the trend toward total automation, and in many small ports and seaside towns, the lighthouse keeper is still a wellknown and respected figure. World renowned lighthouse photographer Jean Guichard’s famously dramatic photographs of storms at sea illustrate only too well the perilous working conditions the lighthouse keepers face, and the text by Rene Gast provides a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of these men and women, whose determination and nerves of steel have saved countless lives over the centuries. Even the workmen who built these technological marvels risked their lives with every wave, and had to be strapped bellydown on the rock to avoid being washed away. Today, the job still requires a great deal of nerve, shown in the many photographs of the lighthouses where keepers are still winched down to the deck of the relief boat by hand, dangling from ropes over crashing seas. The book also contains reproductions of a number of historical documents about lighthouses: vintage photographs and etchings, extracts from logbooks, and architectural drawings detailing the development in lighthouse and navigational engineering. Lighthouses of France is a wonderfully romantic photographic tribute to lighthouses and to the bravery and dedication of their keepers.