Vidal de la Blache, Paul

Vidal de la Blache, Paul

Vidal de la Blache, Paul (pōl vēdälˈ də lä bläsh), French geographer, 1845–1918, the father of French human geography. He was educated at the École Normale Supérieure, Paris, and had an avid interest in history and geography. He taught geography in Nancy and Paris and was a member (1898–1905) of the Faculté des Lettres, Paris, holding the geography chair. Vidal believed that there was an interrelationship between the natural environment and man's activities. He was the founder (1891) and editor of Annales de géographie. Among his works are États et nations de l'Europe (1889), Tableau de la géographie de la France (1903), and the posthumous Principes de géographie humaine (1923; tr. Principles of Human Geography, 1926) and Géographie universelle (15 vol., 1927–48, completed by Lucien Gallois).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vidal De La Blache, Paul


Born Jan. 22, 1845, in Pezenas; died Apr. 5, 1918, in Tamaris. French geographer.

Vidal de la Blache was the founder of the French school of geography that attaches special importance to the geography of man. He was the author of studies in the fields of physical and population geography—“A Description of the Geography of France,” 1903; Eastern France (Lorraine and Alsace), 1917; and others—and a large atlas of the geography and history of the world, with maps relating to ancient, medieval, and modern history and the geography of continents and countries. He founded the French geographical journal Annales de geographic (1891). The principal theoretical works of Vidal de la Blache were brought together under the editorship of E. Martonne in the book Principles of the Geography of Man (1922). At Vidal de la Blache’s suggestion and under his supervision the preparation of a multivolume work on world geography was begun. It was published posthumously.


’’Tableau de la géographic de la France.” In E. Lavisse, Histoire de France, vol. 1. Paris, 1903.
La France de VEst (Lorraine-Alsace). Paris, 1917.
Atlas général. Paris, 1894. (History and geography.) [5_76_3]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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