The Caves of Périgord

The Caves of Périgord

A Novel

Book - 2002
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Baker & Taylor
When a young American woman, who works at a London auction house, receives a 17,000-year-old fragment of a cave painting from a British soldier, the young woman, along with the officer, and a French government art historian, sets out to find the fragment's true origins, an endeavor that uncovers three stories from the past mysteriously connected to the history of the fragment. 25,000 first printing.

Simon and Schuster
In a brilliant and ambitious thriller that combines elements of Jean Auel's The Clan of the Cave Bear and Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth into a riveting, multifaceted tale of love, art, courage, and war, Martin Walker brings to life the creation of an extraordinary work of prehistoric cave art and the struggle to possess it in our own time. Walker's richly interwoven novel opens with the arrival of a mysterious package for a young American woman working in a London auction house. Brought by a British officer, it contains a 17,000-year-old fragment of a cave painting left to him by his father, a former World War II hero. The fragment, significant and stunning in itself, is also the key to the existence of an un-known cave that may be more important in the history of art and human creation than the world-famous one at Lascaux. It triggers a storm of publicity and commands the attention of the French authorities all the way up to the President of the Republic, who seems to know more about the painting's origins than anyone else... As the young American woman, the British officer, and a French government art historian explore the ancient province of Périgord to determine the painting's origins, their search serves as backdrop for three compelling stories. There is the tale of the British officer's father who lands in Nazi-occupied France in 1944 to organize the Resistance, culminating in a series of battles to prevent the SS Das Reich Panzer Division from reaching the Normandy beaches in time to repel the D-Day invasion, which leads to an account of the subsequent discovery -- and cover-up -- of the lost cave and its paintings. And there is also the moving story of the young artist who painted them, the woman he loved, and the ancient culture that produced the first recognizable human art but required the sacrifice of its own creators. Filled with vivid, historically accurate details and imaginative re-creations of prehistoric life, The Caves of Périgord blends a complex plot and richly diverse characters into a seamless narrative of romance, tragedy, and heroism from past to present.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, c2002.
ISBN: 9780743222846
Characteristics: 378 p. ; 24 cm.


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Jun 02, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Lots of information about the French Resistance in this area which I didn't know that much about. But it didn't detract from the story lines. As others have mentioned, there are three time periods woven through the story. I was most interested in the cave painting as I was leaving to visit the Dordogne (Perigord) not long after I read this. I had read Walker's other mystery novel set here and they are interesting light reads. This is very different but really enjoyable. Highly recommended!

Apr 25, 2016

e-book would be appreciated for those with vision issues.

Jun 19, 2015

The Caves of Perigord --- by --- Martin Walker
Three stories come together when Major Manners walks into the offices of the auction house and presents Lydia Dean with a fabulous piece of what seemed to be unbelievably beautiful rock art, thousands of years old. What is it? How old is it? Where could it have come from? What tales did it tell?
There are three stories here: Manners and Dean hasten to the Perigord region of central France to learn how Manners father had come into possession of this relic. The second story takes place in the dying days of WWII and Manners’ father is a liaison between the French Maquis resistance fighters and London. The development of this story concludes with the discovery of the stone relic. Story number three unfolds in the misty past, fifteen thousand years ago, as a group living in this very same region produce some amazing rock art and when one young man and woman produce some particular art that explores new dimensions.
Although widely separated by time, the three stories are united by space. And by the brilliant rock.
Walker has told a gripping tale full of art history; prehistoric speculation; the vagaries guerilla life in World War II France. With eloquence, he paints a picture of the landscape of the Perigord and the story of this special piece of stone.
Enjoyable reading.

Jan 03, 2015

Three stories in one, all woven together in an interesting and satisfying whole. I highly recommend this book for lovers of art, history and mystery/thrillers. You will not be disappointed. A rare five star story.

Jun 05, 2013

History hybrid fiction. Fiction both from humanity's ancient past, and it's related WWII history.

Oct 24, 2012

Martin Walker has an interesting way of weaving in history and mystery to make for intriguing characters and novels.

Jul 31, 2012

Martin Walker is just excellent; he's the only male author I'll read. His depiction of women is more believable than that of some women authors, and the men he writes about are ones I'd really like to know.
Besides that, this is an amazingly good read. Even if I wasn't already fascinated by French history of the WWII era, and the Stone Age, I'd have loved this book. As it is, I'm sure I'll buy it, and read it many more times.
His characters are fully rounded -- no two dimensional ones here, even in the paleolithic era (Unlike the poor characters of a certain famous author of way too many books on the era).


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Jun 05, 2013

Sexual Content: But of course its in France

Jun 05, 2013

Violence: Mild but present.


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Jun 05, 2013

Shenandoah thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Jun 05, 2013

Manner's father dies and leaves him an ancient human art work chipped from a cave wall. Investigators pursue its proper location, its provenance, and its disappearance/theft. Readers follow three set of characters: the modern archaeologists and curators, and ministers of the interior; the soldiers and WWII resistance fighter of the more recent century; and the ancient creators of the art itself.


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