Vidal de la Blache, Paul (pōl vēdälˈ də lä bläsh) [key], 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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