A new history of one of the greatest cities in the world by an internationally acclaimed historian; Alistair Horne takes the history of the city and breaks it down to seven distinct ages, with a foreword taking in Julius Caesar to Philip-Augustus, the great rival of Richard the Lionheart, and an epilogue taking in France since 1968. In between, ...
A new history of one of the greatest cities in the world by an internationally acclaimed historian; Alistair Horne takes the history of the city and breaks it down to seven distinct ages, with a foreword taking in Julius Caesar to Philip-Augustus, the great rival of Richard the Lionheart, and an epilogue taking in France since 1968. In between, Horne tells the huge and romantic story of a city constantly in turmoil and change in the middle ages, through the 100 years war, the Paris of Louis XIV, Napoleon, the Commune, the Empire days of Louis-Napoleon and Eugenie, the First World War and De Gaulle. He interweaves historical narrative with telling detail, and social and cultural history. This is destined to be a defintive work on the subject by one of the great historians of France.
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Publishers Weekly, 2002-10-21 London is male, New York sexually ambivalent, writes Horne. But "has any sensible person ever doubted that Paris is fundamentally a woman?" The renowned historian (The Fall of Paris, etc.) thus conceives of his history of the city of lights as "linked biographical essays, depicting seven ages... in the long, exciting life of a sexy and beautiful, but also turbulent, troublesome and sometimes excessively violent woman." Horne's admittedly idiosyncratic seven ages begin in the 13th century, when King Philippe Auguste made Paris the administrative and cultural center of France. The second age was that of the Protestant Henri of Navarre (later King Henri IV) who, after unsuccessfully besieging the city, converted to Catholicism because, he said, "Paris is worth a mass," and began "to clear away the cluttered medieval quartiers... and replace them with an orderly, classical elegance." The third era was that of King Louis XIV, a period of amazing cultural flowering, though the Sun King moved the seat of government away from Paris, to Versailles. Napoleon brought to Paris a postrevolutionary stability and grandeur, and began to construct a modern sewer system. Under Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann, during the city's fifth age, Paris was remade, but the era ended with the bloodletting of the Commune. Age six took the city from the belle epoque through the beginning of WWII, and the last from the occupation to 1969. Horne brings to this brilliant and entertaining account the same urban passion that Peter Ackroyd brought to his recent "biography" of London-and it is sure to delight Francophiles everywhere. 8 pages of color and 16 pages of b&w illus. not seen by PW. (Nov. 15) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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