Saint Malo: Background information when reading All the Light We Cannot See

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All the Light We Cannot See

by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See
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    May 2014, 448 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Naomi Benaron

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Beyond the Book:
Saint Malo

History of Saint Malo

Saint Malo MapThe siege and subsequent burning of Saint Malo during World War II is intrinsically bound to the island's history. Saint Malo is a scenic and historic port city nestled in the crook of Brittany's arm on the North coast of France. According to "St-Malo an independent travel guide," Saint Malo was founded in the 1st century BCE, a short distance to the south of the current city. Coveted for its strategic location at the mouth of the Rance River, the town was first fortified by Celtic tribesmen and later by the Romans. In the sixth century, Celtic Bishop, Maclou or MacLow, who was later canonized as Saint Malo, co-founded a monastic order on the rocky island that would later take his name. In the twelfth century, Bishop Jean de Chatillon added thick ramparts, turning the town into the walled city-fort that remains today.

The inhabitants of Saint Malo, called Malouins, have always been known for their fierce independence. They fought whoever ruled them - ...

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