“Histoire Dessinée de la France” is a series of comics written by professional historians and drawn the most talented artists. Three recent volumes tell the history of Medieval France
The Left and the Right is increasingly taking history as hostage; in France as in the rest of Europe. On the one hand, history has turned global. On the other hand, it has become nationalistic and royal. To counter these story-lines, a group of historians under the editor, Sylvain Venayre, has taken it upon themselves to create a new history for the people, told by historians but drawn by artists and published as a series of comic books.
The three recent volumes (from 2018 and 19) focus on the Middle Ages, more precisely the period from the 10th century and onwards.
The volume covering the 10th to 12th centuries tells the story of noblemen, monks, and peasants and recounts the time of the heyday of the church and the troubadours. Conceived by Floran Manzel, professor at Rennes and Vincent Sorel, this volume seems the most charming of them all. This volume was published in April 2019.
Volume seven from 2018 tells the story of two pilgrims and crusader enthusiasts, who traverse France in the footsteps of the crusaders encountering a monk, who is stealing relics, merchants, peasants, knights, inquisitors and heretics. Travelling from London to Toulouse vas Champagne, Véezely, Tunis and Palermo, the two pilgrims explore the history of the Middle Ages of France in a new and enticing manner. This volume has been conceived by Fanny Madeline, who is a professor in medieval history at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and Daniel Casanave, the author of thirty comics.
The most recent volume covers the period from Black Death to the end of the Hundred Years War and is the result of the co-work between Valérie Theis, who teaches at the École Normale supérieure de Paris and Étienne Anheim, director of studies at the same institution; and drawn by Sophie Guerrive in a minimalist fashion.
Each volume is different from the others as to tone and style as well as the sketchy character of the “time-travellers” opening up the history of each period. The volumes with the history of the Carolingians, the Renaissance and the Wars of Religion are scheduled for 2020.
Histoire Dessinée de La France
Ed by Sylvain Venayre