Post-war Reconstruction of French rural and urban Landscapes
On 26 November, Hugh Clout delivered a keynote lecture to the école doctorale at the Université de Haute-Normandie (Rouen) on "La Reconstruction en Normandie après 1945: entre habitat et patrimoine"
This topic forms one of the latest aspects of Hugh's research on reconstruction following major European wars. Everyone is aware of the legacy of the vast war cemeteries as "places of memory" but little attention is paid to ordinary landscapes that were reassembled under very difficult circumstances. As heritage features that now figure in strategies for local economic development, these farms, villages and towns convey a message of hope in the future that contrasts with the appalling impact of war-time devastation. Hugh's book, "After the Ruins" (1996), focused on reconstruction along the Western Front in northern France after 1918. He has since covered the story following World War II in a suite of articles dealing with the cities of Caen, Le Havre, Rouen and Paris, and the regions of Alsace, Brittany and Upper and Lower Normandy.