Marcel Barbier Meunier a Moutiers en Beauce
Soft back 264 pp
Testimony gathered by the Groupe de Recherches sur les Traditions Populaires de Beauce (the Group of Researchers of popular traditions in Beauce/ Research Group on Popular Traditions in Beauce)
An autobiography/ testimony of the miller Marcel Barbier (12 October-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.
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.
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.
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