JH: You and your wife divide your time between Washington D.C., and a village in the Périgord region. How and when did you come to have a home in the Dordogne? And what do you love most about this part of France?
MW: We had some good French friends who bought a house in the region in the 1980s and we would regularly go to stay with them until my wife decided we should get a place of our own – another of her brilliant decisions. The Périgord has always enchanted me with its combination of food and wine, the people and the climate, the look of the buildings, the shape of the landscape and the feel of history. It lies at the heart of so many things. All our history is there, the 17,000-year old cave paintings of Lascaux and the medieval castles and the legends of the chevalier-troubadours like Bertrand de Borne, to the Resistance dramas of World War Two. I just had to write about it. It seemed when I first came to the Périgord – and still seems today – a beguiling mixture of the deeply familiar and the exotic.
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