A lost Arcadia

The writer Alain-Fournier was a pupil at this school in Epineuil, where his father was the teacher. His life there is the backdrop and inspiration for his elegiac novel Le Grand Meaulnes. It’s a very beautiful village, and the school is exactly as I imagined it.

The whole area is very idyllic; I cycled to the nearby village of Meaulne (without the S) from Vallon-en-Sully on a damp summer’s evening where the roads were green with the leaves that had been battered from the trees by an earlier storm. It’s easy to imagine it the way Alain-Fournier knew it, and easy to understand the lost world he created.