Synopses & Reviews
Vivid, informed, delectably readable...an enlightened introduction to the city's best-kept secrets. No visitor to France should go without it.--Sunday Times (UK)
Paris captures everyone's imaginations: It's a backdrop for Proust's fictional pederast, Robert Doisneau's photographic kiss, and Edith Piaf's serenaded soldier-lovers; a home as much to romance and love poems as to prostitution and opium dens. The city's dynamic, conflicted identity is visible everywhere--between cobblestones, in bars, on the metro.
Andrew Hussey brings to life the urchins and artists who've left their marks on the city, filling in the gaps of a history that affected the disenfranchised as much as the nobility. Paris: The Secret History ranges across centuries, movements, and cultural and political beliefs, from Napoleon's overcrowded cemeteries to Balzac's nocturnal flight from his debts. Hussey takes us on a picaresque journey through royal palaces, brothels, and sidewalk cafes, uncovering the rich, exotic, and often lurid history of the world's most beloved city.