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Ten Great Books set in CORSICA

7th January 2022

Corsica is the latest destination for us to visit in our ‘Great Books set in…’ series. Ten Great Books set in Corsica. Corsica, a mountainous Mediterranean island, presents a mix of stylish coastal towns, dense forest and craggy peaks. Its beaches range from busy Pietracorbara to remote Saleccia and Rondinara. It’s been part of France since 1768, but retains a distinct Italian culture

‘When the dog is old, the fox pisses on him’ – Corsican saying

Ten Great Books set in CORSICAMargot by Lisa De Castro

Margot has gifted herself with a vacation to Corsica—the fulfillment of a promise made to herself long ago. And she must admit she’s enjoying the solitude that traveling alone brings, even if the indulgence prompts a guilty twinge or two.

Exploring Corsica’s shoreline, museums, and churches, Margot finds herself reflecting on her life and her mortality. Her daughters are grown, and her marriage at this point is best described as comfortable. As she looks back on her past through a series of revealing flashbacks, Margot realizes she’s come to a pivotal moment in time.

A chance meeting with an old boyfriend complicates matters further, igniting half-forgotten passions and memories of her own father’s infidelity—and pleasure, temptation, and guilt combine for her in equal measure. Will these stirrings change the course of Margot’s life, or will they simply ruin the stability she already has?

A delicate unfolding of one woman’s life, Margot is like the sea surrounding Corsica: beautiful, seductive, and capable of dragging the reader into unexpected depths. Author Lisa De Castro brings both Margot and Corsica to vibrant life, seamlessly blending evocative descriptions of Corsica’s weathered, ancient landscapes with Margot’s bittersweet memories—and her possible future.

The House at Zaronza by Vanessa Couchman

The past uncovered.

Rachel Swift travels to Corsica to discover more about her forebears. She comes across a series of passionate love letters and delves into their history.

The story unfolds of a secret romance at the start of the 20th century between a village schoolteacher and Maria, the daughter of a bourgeois family. Maria’s parents have other plans for her future, though, and she sees her dreams crumble.

Her life is played out against the backdrop of Corsica, the ‘island of beauty’, and the turmoil of World War I.

This is a story about love, loss and reconciliation in a strict patriarchal society, whose values are challenged as the world changes.

Ten Great Books set in CORSICAAsterix in Corsica by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo

Vendettas, fierce family pride, resistance fighters dodging the enemy in the maquis – we’re in Cosica in 50 BC. Asterix and Obelix help Chief Boneywasawarriorwayayix to foil the evil designs of Praetor Perfidius and oppose Julius Caesar’s army. For the only emperor the proud Corsicans will ever accept, so they say, must be a Corsican himself…

Cave Dreams by A R Donenfeld-Vernoux

Aldo is the last living consort of a goddess worshiped when humankind believed god was a woman, and sex was holy. After thousands of years of hiding in the wild mountains of Corsica, his clan died out, leaving him alone to face the terrifying and unknown modern world of today. Lenya, desperate to relieve her grief over the sudden death of her husband, joins a tour to the island. She is irresistibly drawn to its mysterious Neolithic past, standing stone warriors, dolmens, primeval ruins and a haunting voice compelling her to stay. After renting a cabin for a year, she realizes someone is leaving her presents,nosegays of flowers, baskets of fruit. Is she being stalked by danger?…or something else? And who is the barbaric looking and appealing man who comes to her rescue? Fascinated and seduced by the island’s mysticism, spirituality and sensuality, Lenya faces a journey of self-discovery leading her from the cold sophistication of her world into the scorching heart of primal human beliefs, to a place where sex, love and worship converge.

Getaway by Rod Humphris

Suzana Chesterfield, recently rescued from a gang of slave-traders by Simon Ellice, has come sailing with him to try to work out what to do with her life. And perhaps to find out whether the handsome, selfish, bastard should be part of it. They drop anchor in a perfect bay of pink granite rocks, glittering sand and azure water on the island of Cavello, in the Lavezzi Archipellago between Corsica and Sardinia, and are welcomed into to the warm southern hospitality of Andria Acquaviv and his family, who have the villa in the next bay. Susie’s heart is touched by Lesia, the little girl who plays with her dog in the sand and Lucia, her unhappy, widowed mother, who without a husband or a son, is reduced to serving the family. She wants to help them, help the little girl to find a wider world and Lucia to break free from family bonds and find independence. Can she? Dare she interfere? And if she does, will the deceptively relaxed and easy-going man she’s with, back her? Si, who knows exactly what kind of ‘businessman’ Andria is, is enjoying the company of the men and watching the holiday-makers come and go, and one boat in particular… … and wondering if what he sees, which no one else sees, means what he thinks it means; that death is coming as swiftly and surely as the sun nears the sea.

Ten Great Books set in CORSICAMazzeri: Love and Death in Light and Shadow by Peter Crawley

He had heard the spirits calling his name from the maquis and he had heard their footfalls as they passed by his window in the night. The spirits had summoned him. He could not deny them.’ It is the last summer of the twentieth century in Calvi, northern Corsica, and an old man sits watching the kites fly. The festival of the wind is a lively and colourful celebration, but the old man’s heart is heavy, he has heard the Mazzeri whisper his name. He accepts that people prefer to believe the dream hunters belong to the past and yet he knows only too well that at night they still roam the maquis in search of the faces of those whose time has come. Ten years later in the high citadel of Bonifacio, in the southern tip of the island, Richard Ross, armed with only the faded photograph of a Legionnaire standing beneath a stone gateway, finds the locals curiously unwilling to help him uncover his family’s roots. He rents a villa on the coast and meets the singularly beautiful Manou Pietri, who enchants him with tales of the megalithic isle, its folklore and the Mazzeri – the dream hunters. For a while Ric’s life beneath the Corsican sun is as close to perfect as he could wish. Then a chance encounter with a feral boy turns Ric’s world upside down, and he is drawn deep into a tangled web of lies and deceit, where truth and legend meet, and from which the Mazzeri offer him little hope of escape. Set in Corsica, Mazzeri is a contemporary novel about this complex mediterranean island, its people and its traditions, which has been influenced by the author’s own experiences.

Murder on the Mediterranean by Alexander Campion

Escaping the demands of Paris police work, Commissaire Capucine Le Tellier embarks on a well-deserved Mediterranean cruise. But wherever the renowned inspector goes, murder is sure to be close on the horizon. . .

On the azure waters off the coasts of Corsica and Sardinia, what could be more relaxing and rewarding than traipsing around the Mediterranean enjoying the local culinary delights. Among the invited bon vivants are Capucine, her husband, the celebrated restaurant critic, her special agent cousin Jacques, a famed bar owner, and even her boss. To all appearances, the table is set for an affair to remember.

In the midst of this pleasure cruise, Natalie, the yacht’s cook, is lost overboard. A sudden squall is the assumed cause. But once a bullet hole is discovered in her jacket, suspicions quickly shift and the onboard bonhomie suffers accordingly. When a shell casing is uncovered that matches the gun Capucine is authorized to carry, for the first time in her stellar career, the hardworking detective finds herself the prime suspect.

For Capucine, these are clearly not the deep waters she envisioned as part of her holiday. As the motives become murkier, the gifted Commissaire will need to harness all her powers of deduction to get to the bottom of the mystery–before she ends up at the bottom of the sea.

Peaks and Bandits by Alf Bonnevie Bryn

In 1909, while dreaming of the Himalaya, Norwegian mountaineer Alf Bonnevie Bryn and a fellow young climber, the Australian George Ingle Finch, set their sights on Corsica to build their experience. The events of this memorable trip form the basis of Bryn’s acclaimed book Tinder og banditter ‘Peaks and Bandits’, with their boisterous exploits delighting Norwegian readers for generations. Newly translated by Bibbi Lee, this classic of Norwegian literature is available for the first time in English.

Although Bryn would go on to become a respected mountaineer and author, and Finch would become regarded as one of the greatest mountaineers of all time a legend of the 1922 Everest expedition Peaks and Bandits captures them on the cusp of these achievements: simply two students taking advantage of their Easter holidays, their escapades driven by their passion for climbing. As they find themselves in unexpected and often strange places, Bryn’s sharp and jubilant narrative epitomises travel writing at its best.

Balancing its wit with fascinating insight into life in early twentieth-century Corsica, the infectious enthusiasm of Bryn’s narrative has cemented it as one of Norway’s most treasured adventure books. Peaks and Bandits embodies the timeless joy of adventure.

The Corsican Woman by Madge Swindells

Set on the island of Corsica during the Second World War, The Corsican Woman is a stunning novel of passion and revenge.

When the beautiful Sybilia is married off to the son of her town’s leader, she soon discovers that being a woman in 1940s Corisca comes with few freedoms.

But when the Second World War reaches the remote island, Sybilia is pressed into service for her country as a spy and as an assistant to a new arrival in town: the American captain Robin Moore. The two fall into a passionate love, much to the anger of her cruel father-in-law. Pregnant with Moore’s child, she is left a pariah when her lover is posted abroad, never to return again.

Sybilia lives out the next twenty-five years alone, burdened with a deep sadness at the betrayal and loss of her lover. It isn’t until long after the war ends when she discovers the true fate of Robin Moore. A fate that sets her on the path to vengeance…

The Journal of a Tour to Corsica and Memoirs of Pascal Paoli by James Boswell

The 18th century was a wealth of knowledge, exploration and rapidly growing technology and expanding record-keeping made possible by advances in the printing press. In its determination to preserve the century of revolution, Gale initiated a revolution of its own; digitization of epic proportions to preserve these invaluable works in the largest archive of its kind. Now for the first time these high-quality digital copies of original 18th century manuscripts are available in print, making them highly accessible to libraries, undergraduate students, and independent scholars.Rich in titles on English life and social history, this collection spans the world as it was known to eighteenth-century historians and explorers. Titles include a wealth of travel accounts and diaries, histories of nations from throughout the world, and maps and charts of a world that was still being discovered.

We hope you have enjoyed our selection of books set in Corsica. If we have missed any of your favourites, please add them in the Comments below…

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  1. User: Brigitte Luckett

    Posted on: 12/03/2023 at 8:09 pm

    I highly recommend “The Dream Hunters of Corsica” and “Granite Island: A Portrait of Corsica” by Dorothy Carrington for excellent non-fiction about this amazing culture. I will never be able to travel there, but her books do a wonderful job of transporting you there and showing a unique culture, mythology, and history that is not matched anywhere else in the world.


    1 Comment

    • User: Tina Hartas

      Posted on: 13/03/2023 at 8:39 am

      What a terrific addition to the books set in Corsica, thank you so much!!