Skip to content
If you are a longtime francophile and have not heard of author Peter Mayle, you have probably been living under a rock.
Mayle (pronounced like “mail” ) was one of the very first ex-pats (British) to popularize moving to France, and in particular, living in Provence.
Mayle wrote delightful memoirs, his first being A Year In Provence which became an international bestseller in 1989 and is one of the most successful travel books of all time.
Then came Toujours Provence, Encore Provence, and a dozen other French-based books including his popular Sam Levitt Caper series.
Peter Mayle relaxing in Provence

 

Sadly, Mayle passed away in 2018 at 78 years of age.
So, this week I am honouring his birth date tomorrow– June 14th.

An Interview with Mayle’s Widow

Recently my dear friend Corinne Kowalsky (formerly a brilliant TV News Producer with whom I had the pleasure of working) did an interview with Peter Mayle’s widow, Jennie Mayle.
(Corinne has started a cool website called  50+ Single women, Living Authentically and Unapologetically)
Corinne caught up with Jennie who lives quietly in Southeastern France and reminisced about her charming husband and their life in the little French village of Ménerbes which his books put on the map.
(FYI This did not endear them to the locals who complained of being overrun with tourists, and in fact, the couple had to eventually leave France to get away from all the attention! Hence why Jennie now keeps her location a closely guarded secret.)

Photo by Lehtikuva/Shutterstock
Peter Mayle and Jennie in Menerbes 1993

 

 

Corinne sent me this synopsis of what she learned during her interview with Jennie:

Peter and Jennie Mayle fell in love over lunch and were together for almost 40 years. That fateful lunch was actually a business meeting. Peter was creative director at an ad agency and Jennie ran her own production company. She thought “my God, he’s drop-dead gorgeous and absolutely charming, and happily he reciprocated her feelings.

The pair ran away from failed marriages in England and spent three years in New York before moving to the south of France so that Peter could write full-time. Both appreciated the slower pace and the light. Jennie remembers that “it took us about five minutes to adjust upon arrival. We absolutely loved it and never wanted to leave.”

Jennie is now on a mission. She wants to introduce Peter’s timeless storytelling to a new generation of fans and armchair travelers. She was by his side and was a prominent figure in several of his 14 books, as he single-handedly created the now much imitated travel-inspired novel writing category.

I asked Jennie if there was something not widely known about Peter that she wanted to share. Almost immediately, she volunteered that “he was a very humble man. He believed it was pretentious of us to think we were anything special.”

In terms of what she misses most about him, his sense of humor is at the top of her list followed closely by his affection. She recalled that “once I got over the worst part (after he died), I felt terribly lucky. Many people don’t find love like that in their entire lives. I met my prince charming on the white charger. How many people can say that?”

You can see Corinne’s full interview with Jennie Mayle by clicking HERE!

*Note: Featured image photographed by Carey More

 

Peter Mayle’s Books

 

6 million copies sold

 

You can view (and purchase) the trilogy of Mayle’s Provence memoirs by clicking on the following links. While a little outdated, they still capture the charm of this beloved area.

 

They have a prominent place in my library.  I am starting to read them all again.

 

A Year In Provence

 

Toujours Provence

 

Encore Provence

 

Note: When you arrive at the sites, make sure you see the flag of the country in which you live at the top right-hand corner. If you need to change the country, click the arrow and follow the instructions to arrive at the appropriate site.  Many thanks.

 

Winner of the 2nd Giveaway for Annual Members!

 

Last week, I launched this next Giveaway for Annual Members only, asking them

to leave a comment on last week’s blog.

 

I was delighted to hear from so many of you, and put all the names into a hat, and did the draw.

Ta dum… and the Winner is Julie Buckley from Blue Mountains, Canada!

 

Julie will receive

TWO Hardcover Cook Books by Hilary Davis.

The French Oven  

 Cuisine Niçoise

A retail value of  $95 CAD/$75 USD

 

 

 

Cookbook Author Hilary Davis

Note: Next Annual Members Draw — Sept. 2021

 

 

Disclosure Policy: This site uses affiliate links that may generate small commissions based on clicks and purchases in order to support the costs of running this site.  Any products that I give away are personally purchased by me unless otherwise specified. I write all the content on my site unless otherwise specified. And I respect the privacy of my subscribers and do not share their information with any other party or organization.

Brought to you by www.womanofacertainageinparis.com

12 Comments

  1. Catherine Willis-O'Connor on June 13, 2021 at 6:28 am

    I loved all his books and Provence.

  2. Dorothy Berry on June 13, 2021 at 8:02 am

    Peter Mayle’s are sooo much fun. I own 11 of the 54 he wrote a d like you they hold a special place on my book shelf.

  3. Luci Rizzo on June 13, 2021 at 8:31 am

    I have read the first one and LOVED IT!

    • Diana Bishop on June 14, 2021 at 1:03 pm

      I have just finished the second in the series.. Toujours Provence! Had forgotten everything! That is why it is so enjoyable to go back and read them again…Diana

  4. Gretchen Greene O'Brien on June 13, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Sad to say I am not familiar with Peter Mayle’s books – but will soon rectify that when local Library re-opens! Thanks for the Heads-Up, Diana!

    • Diana Bishop on June 14, 2021 at 1:02 pm

      Oh you must Gretchen! They are all so enjoyable.. easy to read and full of fun. You can read them in any order! Enjoy, Diana

  5. Trudy Van Buskirk on June 13, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    I read several of his books in the 90s, and still keep the 1st one!As you said, time for me to re-read them. BTW I just went to Corinne’s website and have subscribed – thanks Diana – more resources!!!

    • Diana Bishop on June 14, 2021 at 1:01 pm

      They are all so delightful! Diana

  6. Margaret Ann Gendreau on June 13, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    Time to get those books open again. Thanks for the getting me going on this again Diana!

    • Diana Bishop on June 14, 2021 at 1:00 pm

      I am enjoying rereading them so much..great summer reading!
      Diana

  7. Lea Vares Greenwood Greenwood on June 13, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    I have read many fo Mayle’s books. There is another funny one written by Stephen Clarke, “A year in Merde”.

    • Diana Bishop on June 14, 2021 at 1:00 pm

      I read that one too… a lot of fun! Thanks for the comment Lea…always a treat hearing from you!

      Diana

Leave a Reply

Stay in touch

Add your name here and we’ll keep you updated when we post something new.