How the French Riviera has always been a refuge for the rich

SOCIAL HISTORY ONCE UPON A TIME WORLD  (Atlantic £22, 456pp) What Matisse described as ‘the luminosity of the Cote d’Azur’ always attracted ‘foreigners with spending power’. Queen Victoria, for example, stayed at Menton, where her presence ‘consolidated the prestige of the Riviera resorts,’ even if the locals laughed at John Brown’s kilt.She’d travelled through France …

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