Ten years later, after the war, he visits the shepherd again and sees the young forest he has created spreading slowly over the valley. Elzéard’s solitary, silent work continues and the narrator returns year after year to see the miracle he is gradually creating: a verdant, green landscape that is a testament to one man’s creative instinct.
This is a novel of adventure, a roman courtois, that tells the story of Angelo, a nobleman who has been forced to leave Italy because of a duel, and is returning to his homeland by way of Provence. But that region is in the grip of a cholera epidemic, travelers are being imprisoned behind barricades, and exposure to the disease is almost certain.
Angelo's escapades, adventures, and heroic self-sacrifice in this hot, hallucinatory landscape, among corpses, criminals and rioting townspeople, share this epic tale.