The Avignon Quintet, Lawrence Durrell, 1974 -1985
This series of five novels by famed British author Lawrence Durrell are layered examinations of writing and World War II with parts set in France.
The Bay of Angels, Anita Brookner, 2001
A novel by Booker-Prize-winning author about a woman having to face hard truths while vacationing in Nice.
Bonjour Tristesse, Francoise Sagan, 1953
Classic French coming-of-age story set on the Riviera.
Break of Day, Colette, 1928
Originally published as La Naissance du Jour, this memoir was written when Colette was in her fifties and living in St. Tropez. It is full of her poetic musings on life, love and beauty as well as the allure of the French Riviera.
Tender Is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1933
The classic tale of artists and “the lost generation” living it up on the French Riviera.
The Mysterious Mr. Quin, Agatha Christie, 1930
Murder and intrigue on the Riviera.
Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy, A Lost Generation, Amanda Vaill, 1998
The beautifully written story of a spoiled American couple who finds glamour and loses their way on the French Riviera.
Queen Victoria and the Discovery of the French Riviera, Michael Nelson, 2001
Queen Victoria could be called the first celebrity to visit the French Riviera and those following in her footsteps made it the ultimate holiday destination. A brief history of its emergence.
On Provence, Henry James, 2014. A lovely small collection of writings by Henry James on the region where he found many days of happiness.
Bonjour Tristesse, Francoise Sagan, 1955 —
Seventeen-year-old Cecile pokes around in her widowed father’s affairs, with tragic results.
Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1933 —
Fitzgerald’s most ambitious novel about a glamorous couple coping with his frustrated career ambitions and her mental problems against the backdrop of Riviera in the 1920’s.
Epitaph for a Spy, Eric Ambler, 1952 —
A terrific spy novel about a man at the end of his Riviera vacation who drops his film off at the drugstore – and finds himself arrested and under suspicion when the photos that come back aren’t his.
Break of Day, Colette, 1928 —
Written in the artists’ colony of Saint-Tropez when the author was in her fifties, the mature work followed the collapse of her second marriage and reflects her desire to re-establish her independence, and repudiate romantic love, while celebrating the natural beauty of her surroundings.
Edith Wharton on the French Riviera, Philippe Collas, 2002 —
A fascinating look at the Golden Age of the French Riviera between the wars during the time the American writer visited and found it both a writing paradise and socially shallow – with vintage photographs.
Queen Victoria and the Discovery of the Riviera, Michael Nelson, 2001 —
A well-researched account of Queen Victoria’s love affair with the French Riviera.
Artists and their Museums on the Riviera, Barbara F. Freed, 1998 —
See the region through the eyes of its most famous artists, like Paul Signac, Renoir, Matisse, Chagall, Picasso and Cocteau.
And God Created Woman, Roger Vadim, 1956 — The famous French film made the world fall in love with Brigette Bardot—and with this fishing village, where the actress still resides today.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Frank Oz, 1988 — Conmen Steve Martin and Michael Caine fleece their way through the playground of the rich – until they get their comeuppance from Glenne Headly. It was later adapted for the Broadway stage.
On the Riviera, Walter Lang, 1951 — Danny Kaye plays a dual role as a French Industrialist and an American entertainer opposite Gene Tierney in this frothy musical comedy.