Parisians by Graham Robb
An Adventure History of Paris

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Graham Robb

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Graham Robb is the author of three prize-winning biographies, each one selected as New York Times Best Books. His most recent works, The Discovery of France and Parisians, have earned several awards and much acclaim between them. He lives on the Anglo-Scottish border.
 
Published April 11, 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company. 507 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Education & Reference, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Parisians

The New York Times

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The British historian Graham Robb’s study of Paris from the French Revolution through the 2005 riots is defiantly nonlinear.

Apr 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Parisians: An Adventure Histo...

The New York Times

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A series of character studies — some of familiar figures, some not — is arranged to give meaning to a volatile, complicated city.

Apr 30 2010 | Read Full Review of Parisians: An Adventure Histo...

The Guardian

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Marcel Proust, former man-about-town, writer of occasional elegant articles in the newspapers and collector of rare aesthetic sensations, often sat for a long time in the iris-scented room like a sphinx, with the door (in case someone rang) and the window left open, despite the smell of laundry a...

Apr 02 2010 | Read Full Review of Parisians: An Adventure Histo...

The Guardian

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First-time visitors to Paris always remark that it must be one of the most well designed and well ordered cities in the world.

Apr 10 2010 | Read Full Review of Parisians: An Adventure Histo...

AV Club

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Graham Robb’s Parisians: An Adventure History Of Paris pays tribute to Robb’s favorite metropolis with a kind of episodic opera-in-prose.

May 13 2010 | Read Full Review of Parisians: An Adventure Histo...

Bookmarks Magazine

The great and daring trick Robb pulls off is to make the familiar so unfamiliar that in every sense it is like seeing the city anew.'" Andrew Hussey Minneapolis Star Tribune 4 of 5 Stars "The subtitle of Parisians ...

Apr 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Parisians: An Adventure Histo...

Book Forum

In his 2007 book, The Discovery of France, historian Graham Robb argued that the idea of a homogeneous people called "the French" was a myth carefully constructed to bring political and cultural unity to a "vast encyclopedia of micro-civilizations."

Apr 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Parisians: An Adventure Histo...

truthdig

They saw a baby aged about 10 months, nine children - the oldest a girl aged about 15 - three women and three men, one of whom was frantically pumping water out of the boat with a hand-operated bilge pump…..

Nov 15 2007 | Read Full Review of Parisians: An Adventure Histo...

truthdig

Which is not verifiable - - .

Aug 02 2011 | Read Full Review of Parisians: An Adventure Histo...

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