Belatedly, we wish to add our expression of appreciation to the University of Chicago Press for including on their current list the first American edition of this book, originally printed in a small edition in France in 1926. It is a labor of love --a tribute to the undying spirit, through the ages, that is embodied in the ancient village of Vence, in the Maritime Alps, above the French Riviera. In Vence where he and his wife, Louise Peattie took refuge and where he tried -- usually in vain -- to make himself a popular story writer -- he wrote this history of the village, from its Stone Age infancy of man, through the classic age when traders brought the world to Vence, to the Roman conquest, the coming of Christianity, the Lombardy conquest, the Dark Ages, and its reemergence with the Crusades. Legend and history gather around the village -- famous names appear and disappear -- the old Provencal spirit survives all change, Renaissance and Reformation, plague and war, lean days and fat. Vence -- once calling itself a city -- became a village; but its spirit survived. And, with August 1944, that spirit could smile again. Peattie is writing in his own untrammeled vein -- rich flow of words, lush sometimes, musical always -- of a place he loves. The publishers have given his words a lovely form, with woodblocks by Paul Landacre, colorful end papers, fine type face.