|About the Book|
To the best of my knowledge, the theme of European Troglodytes has remained hitherto undealt with, though occasional mention has been made of those on the Loire. It has been taken for granted that cave-dwellers belonged to a remote past in civilized Europe- but they are only now being expelled in Nottinghamshire and Shropshire, by the interference of sanitary officers. Elsewhere, the race is by no means extinct. In France more people live underground than most suppose. And they show no inclination to leave their dwellings. Just one month ago from the date of writing this page, I sketched the new front that a man had erected to his paternal cave at Villiers in Loir et Cher. The habitation was wholly subterranean, but then it consisted of one room alone. The freshly completed face was cut in freestone, with door and window, and above were sculptured the aces of hearts, spades, and diamonds, an anchor, a cogwheel and a fish. Separated from this mansion was a second, divided from it by a buttress of untrimmed rock, and this other also was newly fronted, occupied by a neat and pleasant-spoken woman who was vastly proud of her cavern residence. . . .