Paris arouses strong emotions. In its long and vast history, it has been variously represented as a prison, a paradise and a vision of hell. It has ... Show synopsis Paris arouses strong emotions. In its long and vast history, it has been variously represented as a prison, a paradise and a vision of hell. It has also been characterised as a beautiful woman, a sorceress and a demon. As Andrew Hussey shows in this remarkable book, literature is an accurate reflection of daily life: Paris really is made up of violently different spaces and multiple personalities, always at odds with each other and often in noisy collision. It has been like this for nearly two thousand years. Like Peter Ackroyd's biography of London, Andrew Hussey's book on Paris makes no claim to be a definitive history. Instead, it is an account of the city's history from the point of those who experienced its citizenry. The city itself is like a palimpsest: the very stones and street names allude to its often violent and turbulent past. It is a city of secret adventures, of hidden meanings which, on journeys from royal palaces to bars, brothels and opium dens, this book uncovers. Covering two thousand years of Paris' history, this is a sweeping, vivid portrait of an endlessly fascinating city.