Been delving into the work of James Branch Cabell this week for the first time ever. Long been familiar with the author's name via Michael Moorcock, who references Cabell's Jurgen often as an inspiration for his Elric saga. Cabell wrote for the slicks during the early 20th Century, when young H. P. Lovecraft was still cutting his teeth as a writer (to give it some context). Much of Cabell's work concerns a fictional French province called Poictesme (pronounced "pwa-tem") -- a place not that far off from the early Medieval/legendary time of King Arthur and Camelot, rife with monsters and powerful magic-users. If you have an ear for the lyrical quality of Lord Dunsany or William Morris, then you're sure to eat Cabell right up and be combing your beard for crumbs after.
I have to wonder if Clark Ashton Smith and C. L. Moore were fond of Cabell's milieu. Smith contrived a similar ersatz French province called Averoigne and set a number of short stories there. Moore -- an author just as formidable and inventive if not as poetic as Cabell and Smith -- gave us yet another Gallic holding called Joiry. Are there other imaginary French provinces created by contemporary fantasists?
With just these three (Poictesme, Averoigne, Joiry) it seems a sizable section of legendary France could be constructed, hexed and numbered.