Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris

Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris

by Graham Robb


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Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris by Graham Robb

The New York Times bestseller: the secrets of the City of Light, revealed in the lives of the great, the near-great, and the forgotten—by the author of the acclaimed The Discovery of France.
This is the Paris you never knew. From the Revolution to the present, Graham Robb has distilled a series of astonishing true narratives, all stranger than fiction, of the lives of the great, the near-great, and the forgotten.
A young artillery lieutenant, strolling through the Palais-Royal, observes disapprovingly the courtesans plying their trade. A particular woman catches his eye; nature takes its course. Later that night Napoleon Bonaparte writes a meticulous account of his first sexual encounter. A well-dressed woman, fleeing the Louvre, takes a wrong turn and loses her way in the nameless streets of the Left Bank. For want of a map—there were no reliable ones at the time—Marie-Antoinette will go to the guillotine.
Baudelaire, the photographer Marville, Baron Haussmann, the real-life Mimi of La Boheme, Proust, Adolf Hitler touring the occupied capital in the company of his generals, Charles de Gaulle (who is suspected of having faked an assassination attempt in Notre Dame)—these and many more are Robb’s cast of characters, and the settings range from the quarries and catacombs beneath the streets to the grand monuments to the appalling suburbs ringing the city today. The result is a resonant, intimate history with the power of a great novel.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393339734
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 04/11/2011
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 476
Sales rank: 493,998
Product dimensions: 8.02(w) x 5.48(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

Best-selling author Graham Robb was born in Manchester in 1958 and is a former Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. He is an acclaimed historian and biographer, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He has won the Whitbread Biography Prize and the Heinemann Award for Victor Hugo, as well as the Ondaatje Prize and Duff Cooper Prize for The Discovery of France. His book Parisians was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller. He lives on the Anglo-Scottish border.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Map xii

Departure 1

One Night at the Palais-Royal 9

The Man Who Saved Paris 25

Lost 43

Restoration 61

Files of the Sûreté 91

A Property in Bohemia 113

Marville 135

Regression 157

Madame Zola 175

Marcel in the Métro 199

The Notre-Dame Equation 217

A Little Tour of Paris 247

Occupation 269

Lovers of Saint-Germain-des-Prés 285

The Day of the Fox 315

Expanding the Domain of the Possible 347

Périphérique 381

Sarko, Bouna and Zyed 403

Terminus: The North Col 423

Chronology 437

Sources 447

Index of Paris and Conurbation 463

General Index 471

Acknowledgements 477

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Simon Vance narrates the history with an eloquent British-accented voice that leaves room for human moments and humor.... The strong sense of place in Robb's descriptions may make listeners feel like they're visiting the City of Lights." —-AudioFile

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