The literary record of French farming in the past century is composed of a wealth of detailed description focusing on single departements and individual pays. Few authors cast their gaze more widely and consequently definitions of major agricultural regions were rare indeed. When such an approach was attempted départments were usually rearranged into groups but little explanation was given of the logic behind the operation. 1 Adolphe Blanqui adopted a different method, taking major rivers as dividing lines between supposedly different countrysides, while Lullin de Châteauvieux chose to ignore both administrative boundaries and watercourses. 2 Instead, he paid considerable attention to the topographic and botanic composition of France as well as to spatial variations in agricultural conditions, incorporating a lengthy justification for the eight agricultural regions that he defined.