This book evokes Paris from the MIddle Ages through the twentieth century by tracing sixteen exceptional women whose lives intersected with Paris in remarkable ways and whose eventual fame depended on the city itself. Their stories bring to life medieval culture, Enlightenment ideas, the court of Louis XiV, the chaos of the Revolution, the nineteenth-century art scene, and twentieth-century breakthroughs in science and fashion.
The sites associated with each of these women are located in the central parts of Paris that most visitors explore. When visiting Notre Dame, the reader will see the tragic figures of Abélard and Héloise in its shadows, and know to look for the enigmatic sculpture of Genevieve on the cathedral's facade. Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun's paintings in the Louvre and Camille Claudel's sculptures in the Rodin Museum will be all the more fascinating after readers have learned of the controversy they provoked.
Even those women whom most people thought they knew may prove surprising. Who would have guessed at the relation between Coco Chanel's convent-school origins and her fashions? What are we to make of Emilie du Chatelet's fame as Voltaire's mistress when he touts her as a "great man whose only fault was being a woman"?
About Lorraine Liscio
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Published October 27, 2009
by Little Bookroom.
Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel.