Finally available, a high quality book of the original classic edition of Vie de Bohème - A Patch of Romantic Paris. It was previously published by other bona fide publishers, and is now, after many years, back in print.
This is a new and freshly published edition of this culturally important work by Orlo Williams, which is now, at last, again available to you.
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Though Louis Philippe, the bourgeois king, the admirer of the juste milieu, was her ruler, the life of Paris never beat with a quicker pulse than in those days; never was she more gay, more witty, more intellectually scintillating, more paradoxical, in fact more absolutely Parisian than when Victor Hugo, Sainte-Beuve, Alfred de Musset, the Princess Belgiojoso, Théophile Gautier, Gérard de Nerval, Nestor Roqueplan, and Baudelaire were among her citizens, when Roger de Beauvoir was dazzling upon a truly brilliant boulevard, when the dandies gracefully lounged and quizzed upon the steps of Tortoni's, when Alexandre Dumas gave his famous fancy-dress ball which drew all Paris, when Marie Dorval shone beside Mademoiselle Mars, when Fanny Elssler and Taglioni danced while Duprez and Grisi and Rubini sang, when Gavarni and Daumier drew their caricatures, when Musard conducted his furious quadrilles, when there were still salons in which men and women still knew how to talk, when life was still an artistic achievement in an artistic setting.
...If, then—to return to the train of thought with which I began—Bohemia turns out to be something definite, with a beginning, a development, and an end, some negative criteria, at all events, will be supplied by which to judge the applicability of the label 'Bohemian' to any set of conditions existing to-day, and to decide whether the disappearance of certain special implications and unique circumstances does not drain the term of all definite meaning except as applied, in retrospect, to the very persons, manners, and ideas which it originally described. ... The boy who has submitted to discipline for over a dozen years, learned to honour his neighbour on the cricket and football field and to respect society as embodied in the unwritten laws of school life—what has he in common with the youth in France, a bachelor of letters at eighteen, bursting with his own individuality, passionate in pursuit of his own ideas, revelling in his new liberty, dreaming, as only a Frenchman can dream, of glory and love, who could attach no meaning to such a phrase as 'playing the game,' wayward, capricious, uproarious, and completely unbalanced?
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