Marcel Barbier: meunier à Moutiers-en-Beauce: temoignage recueilli par le groupe de recherches sur les traditions populaires de Beauce

    Full details

    English titleMarcel Barbier, miller at Moutiers-en-Beauce: Testimony gathered by the Group of Researchers of popular traditions in Beauce
    Authors & editors

    Barbier, Marcel [Author]

    Publisher Le Vent Du Ch'min
    Year of publication 1980

    French (main text)

    Medium Book

    Wind & watermills > Other Europe (not GB) > France
    Arts, culture and heritage > Literature, poetry and music
    People and communities > Biographies & tributes


    Scope & contentSummary Translation An autobiography/ testimony of the miller Marcel Barbier (12 October 1896 -10 April 1984). It is divided into three parts. Some sections are written by Barbier, others by the Groupe.

    Discusses his life, his work at his mill. Includes a chapter on his travels to other mills, for example in Sarthe, a French department situated in the Grand-Ouest of the country. He mentions another mill in Baignolet in a small commune in France, and its former owner Robert Collas. It includes a section on a conversation he had with Robert Collas.

    The second part includes poetry and songs written by Barbier, usually on the subject of windmills in Beauce. Includes photographs of the mills he had either owned or visited; including Le Moulin de la Garenne at Ymonville, and the Moulin de Maisons in Eure-et-Loir. Barbier’s favourite song is included, entitled Marianne S’en Va Au Moulin (Marriane’s going to the Mill’). The song was written by It is about Marianne who goes to the mill to grind grain, and a donkey who is eaten by wolves behind the mill, leaving Marianne upset. The miller pays Marianne to buy another. Her father asks what happened to the donkey. She says it is St. Michael's day, when donkeys change their coats. It’s unclear who it was written by, but is thought to have been written in 1946.

    Discusses the many mills that were once in Beauce but have now disappeared. Discusses the early life of Marcel Barbier- his brief position as a gardener- but, mostly discusses his family and friend ties with other millers, and the profession in general, and how he came to work at Moutiers-en-Beauce. Discusses the two World Wars. Discusses his love for windmills, grain and a tranquil, positive life. He also discusses his many failed attempts at keeping pets such as cats and dogs, and the many accidents that occurred with pets, especially dogs, when they got too close to the windmill. He had a dog called Madère who had a close encounter with a mill, and always trembled when going near it, or up the stairs. He also discusses rats at the mill. The last page of the second part of the book discusses his desire to be buried with, or under, his mill upon his death.

    The insert at the beginning of the book,- which includes his poem (also in the second part of the book), entitled "Joli Moulin de Mon Pays" ("Pretty Mill of My Country"),a drawing of the mill, and two paragraphs detailing his wishes upon his death,- states that he was buried in a cemetery close to the mill in 1984. The third part of the book focusses on the specific parts of mills, their construction, materials, brakes, sails etc. Also discusses the wind; the best times for using the mill, and the problems involved.

    Copies held

    Accession no. 229180

    • Shelf location: A210-BAR
    • Donor: Ken Major Collection