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This exhibition catalog for a traveling show (London; Washington, DC; and Hartford, CT, through May 2008) spotlights the social and economic changes in mid-19th-century France that transformed the country's northern coast from a poor fishing center into a popular summer tourist destination, as painted in some 60 impressionist works. In the first essay, House (Courtauld Inst. of Art, London; Impressionism Reviewed) focuses on the impact of new rail connections from Paris travel habits as well as on people's growing tendency toward "organized leisure" away from home. He further explores and contrasts 1840s depictions (e.g., by Charles Mozin) with 1870s depictions (e.g., by Claude Monet) of fashionable coastal scenes. In the richly illustrated second essay, Hopkins (English literature, Oxford Univ.; After Modern Art, 1945-2000) discusses the society of the fishing villages before, during, and after the aforementioned shift. The catalog's four sections-"Before Impressionism," "Early Impressionism," "Beach Scenes at the Salon After 1870," and "Impressionism in the 1880s"-are followed by detailed notes on each painting and a chronology covering 1847-86. With liberal color reproductions and sound scholarship, this is a unique contribution to the literature and should not be missed by public, academic, or museum libraries; highly recommended.