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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

‘On a cloud­less sum­mer af­ter­noon in 1789, labour­ers work­ing in the fields around Montsignac, a vil­lage in Gas­cony, saw a man fall out of the sky. The bal­loon had drifted over a wooded ridge and into their val­ley. The farm-work­ers, straight­en­ing up one by one, shaded their eyes against the daz­zle of sun on crim­son and blue silk. The thing hung in the sky — sump­tu­ous, men­ac­ing — like a sign from God or the devil. Then there was thun­der and fire, and a man plum­met­ing earth­wards. It was the 14th of July. The world was about to change. Stephen opened his eyes and fell in love.’

THE ROSE GROWER (1999)

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