"Travelling in France without hotels, or guide-books," might, with very little exaggeration, be chosen as a title to this volume, which is, indeed, the record of one visit after another among charming French people, and in delightful places, out of the ordinary track of the tourist. Alike in the valley of the Marne - amongst French Protestants at Montbeliard - at Besancon amid the beautiful scenery of the Doubs - at Lons-le-Saunier, from whence so many interesting excursions were made into the Jura - in the very heart of the Jura highlands - at Champagnole, Morez, and St. Claude, it was my good fortune to see everything under unique and most favourable auspices, to be no tourist indeed, but a guest, welcomed at every stage, and pioneered from place to place by educated ladies and gentlemen delighted to do the honours of their native place. Thus it came about that I saw, not only places, but people, and not only one class, but all, peasant and proprietor, Protestant and Catholic, the bourgeoisie of the towns, the mountaineers of the highlands, the schoolmaster, the pastor, the cure. Wherever I went, moreover, I felt that I was breaking new ground, the most interesting country I visited being wholly unfamiliar to the general run of tourists, for instance, the charming pastoral scenery of Seine and Marne, the picturesque valleys of the Doubs and the Loue, and the environs of Montbeliard and Besancon, the grand mountain fastnesses, close-shut valleys, or combes, the solitary lakes, cascades, and torrent rivers of the Jura.

Many of the most striking spots described in these pages are not even mentioned in Murray, whilst the difficulty of communication renders them comparatively unknown to the French themselves, only a few artists having as yet found them out. Ornans - Courbet's birth and favourite abiding place, in the valley of the Loue - is one of these. St. Hippolyte, near Montbeliard, is another, and a dozen more might be named equally beautiful, and, as yet, equally unknown. New lines of railway, however, are to be opened within the next few years in several directions, and thus the delightful scenery of Franche-Comte will, ere long, be rendered accessible to all. For the benefit of those travellers who are undaunted by difficulties, and prefer to go off the beaten track even at the risk of encountering discomforts, I have reprinted, with many additions, the following notes of visits and travel in the most interesting part of Eastern France, which, in part, originally appeared in "Frazer's Magazine," 1878.

In a former work, "Western France," I treated of a part of France which was ultra-Catholic; in this one I was chiefly among the more Protestant districts of the whole country, and it may be interesting to many to compare the two.