Paul-Louis Courier

épistolier, pamphlétaire, helléniste
photo1 photo2
 

Map of Touraine

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Map of Touraine

T his map, which was drawn up by Pierre François Tardieu (1711-1774) during the reign of Louis XV, presents “the government of Touraine.” The edition dates back to the Napoleonic era since it was printed around 1806, meaning that it is still valid at Courier’s time.
The main rivers have been coloured in blue. From north to south: the Loire, the Cher, the Indre and the Vienne. The original spelling has been kept but we indicated the current spelling in brackets.

The Loire :

W When leaving Tours going east, you go upstream, through Amboise and as far as Blois.
If, again, you leave Tours but going west, you go downstream, pass through Luines, (Luynes), S.(aint) Mars (Cinq-Mars) then Langeais, and arrive practically to its confluence with the Vienne.
North of Luines there is a forest. On its western limit, we can see La Filoniere (La Filonnière) bought by Jean-Paul Courier in 1782. During his stay there in November of 1816, Courier heard about the arrests that had occurred at Luines in the previous spring.
A river separates La Filoniere from Perenay (Pernay) where Courier was boarded in 1779.
South-east of Perenay, you can see Mazieres (Mazières); it is here that Courier’s parents married and where Le Breuil is located, different from the one we can see north of Luines.

The river Cher :

Le Cher The river Cher at Saint-Avertin
 
I t crosses successively Montrichard, Bléré, then Azé (Azay-sur-Cher), Roujon (Roujou), Verets (Véretz), Larçay and S. Avertin les Tours (Saint-Avertin). Near S. Avertin, the Cher forks into two branches which form an island. The northern bridge, the longest of both, was destroyed. South of S. Avertin is the Larçay Forest (coloured in green) crossed by the road to Cormery.
Le Porteau is located south of this forest. The Chêne Pendu Inn, where the assassination of Courier was hatched, is on the road to Cormery, exactly at the level of the« P » of « le Porteau ».
La Chavonnière is located at the level of the head of the letter « j » of Roujon. Courier used to go to the village of Verets, to Larçay even to S. Avertin by horse or in a barouche. To walk from La Chavonnière to his woods, he needed about one hour.
To go to Tours, he had to cross the Cher by a large ferry, a « charrière », or by a smaller one called a « toue », or he had to cross the bridge S.(Saint) Sauveur, which was also used by Balzac when the latter walked to Saché, at M. de Margonne’s house.
The first bridge of Véretz was inaugurated in May of 1855, under one of the numerous terms of office of Auguste Herpin, the mayor who had known Courier well.
At the level of Saint-Avertin, beginning in the 60s, the deputy and mayor of Tours, Jean Royer, had the course of the ancient Cher diverted to service the surrounding land.

Dilapidated, the lanes of Touraine were impassable in winter.
To come from Paris to Tours or Amboise, the less-than-comfortable stagecoaches took 24 hours. Then one had to walk to Verets or take a carriage specially sent there. We can understand that the numerous trips Paris-Touraine contributed to ruin Courier’s health and undermine Herminie’s morale during her husband’s long absences.


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