Monday, July 21, 2008

Postal History of Frontignan, by Henri Dubois

While I am weighting the difference of access to philately in French regions compared to Paris, the chance of walking through a new and used bookshops quiets my fears.

After I looked with no result for a used book upstairs, I was walking back the ground level of the shop toward the exit... when a philatelic detail caught my full attention: the left half of a datestamp cancellation.

I took the thin fifty-something page book and discover that, since November 2007, this Postal History of Frontignan by Henri Dubois was waiting its new owner. Even its three added flying sheets are still there. I was in fact in the local tourism and history part, in a Languedoc bookshop.

Of course, this is a monography, with a detailed chronology of the local post office and the conflicts of interests between the municipality and the posts' departmental direction. For France, you would certainly need thirty-six thousands books like that to cover each communes. Difficult to be written, to find and to stock at home. But one monography can cover a little part of a department, like here with Hérault. Frontignan post office was first dependent of the one of Sète, and after that directed the small offices in Mireval and Vic-la-Gardiole, two others communes in the canton.

Thank in the preface by Jean Valette, historian of Frontignan, the searcher author of this book is Henri Dubois, who worked with René Albelanet on a Postal History and Marcophily of the Pyrénées-Orientales (Histoire postale et marcophilie des Pyrénées-Orientales), 1991.

A refreshing drop of surprise in an ocean of summery heat.

Henri Dubois, Histoire postale de Frontignan, Municipal printer plant of Frontignan, 1992, 56 stapled pages and 3 flying sheets, ISBN 2-9506315-0-9.

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