Paris The Secret History review ò 9

review Paris The Secret History

If Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon described daily life in contemporary Paris this book describes daily life in Paris throughout its history a history of the city from the point of view of the Parisians themselves 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 prosti An engaging and at times humorous and dark look at the secret history of Paris the history of this city as seen by the poor the disposed the criminals the prostitutes poets artists and the rebels throughout this cities history It s a fun romp through history and the city travelling to places and areas known and unknown and learning some interesting aspects of the history behind those places and people The author takes great relish in telling many of his stories like this about a certain bar in Paris La Palette in the Introduction of the book It is exclusive and can be intimidating The waiters share private jokes with regulars to the rest of us they serve sarcasm and contempt with evident relish but no extra charge The legend of Genevieve saving Paris from the hordes of Attila But then Attila suddenly and miraculously turned his attention further south to the richer and prestigious prizes that could be easily won cynics of the period slyly suggested that Attila s change of course was because he had been told the women of Paris were not worth raping In 1408 the Provost marshal grand prevot had hung two university students for murder but after a lengthy court case the university won their case and the courts ordered that the two rotting corpses be conveyed to the convent of Les Mathurins to be laid to rest Most chilling was the punishment demanded by the university lawyer who ordered Guillaume to kiss both students on the lips to show his contrition as the stinking bodies were taken down The order was carried out A story about Catherine de Medicis But Catherine could be sceptical and scoffed easily at astrologers who made mistakes Tis a pity he couldn t see his own future she remarked of one notorious charlatan who had been robbed and killed outside the city limits During the siege of Paris conducted by Henri IV Henri de Navarre Most melancholy of all was the tale of a noblewoman a widow whose two children had died of hunger Unable to buy bread she had roasted the children with the aid of her housekeeper and over two weeks eaten them every evening tears streaming down her cheeks Unsurprisingly the woman and her servant died within days So in conclusion this book may not be for everyone s taste and the research may not be as thorough and as detailed as some would like but overall it was a decent and enjoyable account of a city that I love to visit and I felt I learnt a few things on the way

free read Ó E-book, or Kindle E-pub ó Andrew Hussey

Paris The Secret History

Tution and opium dens The many Paris The MOBI #224 pieces of the city coexist each one as real as the next What's the conflicted identity of the city is visible everywhere between cobblestones in bars on the métroIn this lively and lucid volume 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 I enjoyed this book uite a bit This is an history of Paris from Roman times to the present focusing on the working classes the revolutionary the thieves the homeless the prostitutes the students the literary underground and other people on the margins So often history is told from the perspectives of the royalty the nobles and the borgeousie and it s refreshing whenever one gets to read about the lives of everyday people The sheer scope of the time period covered means that Hussey often doesn t go into a lot of detail and there are many off handed comments that left me intrigued and wanting to learn about certain incidents or people Still as an overview this was very interesting portrait of a city and it s people constantly in flux It s fairly readable although sometimes I found Hussey s style to be somewhat lacking and there are some bizarre grammar constructs that left me shaking my head and rereading paragraphs over and over to figure out what he was trying to say Recommended for the casual student of history and those interested in Paris

Andrew Hussey ó 9 review

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 For Hussey Paris is a city whose long and conflicted history continues to thrive and change The book's is a picaresue journey through royal palaces brothels and sidewalk cafés uncovering the rich exotic and often lurid history of the world's most beloved city Ugh Boring less than an inch deep and factually wrong in many places


10 thoughts on “Paris The Secret History

  1. says:

    I was disappointed by this one There are a lot of entertaining historical anecdotes in here but somehow as a whole it doesn't uite hang togetherPart of the problem is that it wants to be than just a factual history Hussey says in the prologue that he is modelling the project on Peter Ackroyd's wonderful London The Biography but tha

  2. says:

    If you love Paris as the City of Light this book might change your opinion The author digs deep into the history of the people and neighborhoods and it is not a pretty picture He covers the city from pre Roman times until the present day and because he has to cram a lot of history into 433 pages some events the Revolution Napoleonetc are given short shrift But this is a secret historya social history and not your typical history

  3. says:

    An engaging and at times humorous and dark look at the secret history of Paris the history of this city as seen by the poor the disposed the criminals the prostitutes poets artists and the rebels throughout this cities history It’s a fun romp through history and the city travelling to places and areas known and unknown and learning some interesting aspects of the history behind those places and people The author takes great reli

  4. says:

    I don't know how secret any of the book's contents are It is a book I've been reading for many many months Reading it has led me to read other b

  5. says:

    Excellent history of Paris Don't just read it before you go Take it with you

  6. says:

    I enjoyed this book uite a bit This is an history of Paris from Roman times to the present focusing on the working classes the revol

  7. says:

    Two out of five stars This was engaging but only fitfully so; the best chapters come at the beginning and then again towards the end But this is nothing spectacular Hussey commits errors in his writing for example alleging

  8. says:

    This is a remarkable biography of one of my favorite cities Paris What makes it uniue is that the author approached it via the eyes ears and thoughts of all the revolutionaries as well as the subversive classesartists who made up the city Hussy also wrote a really good Guy Debord biography It's kind of uniue because there are not that many biographies on Debord written by a foriegner Well at least now there are two I a

  9. says:

    Ugh Boring less than an inch deep and factually wrong in many places

  10. says:

    A good social history of Paris but there is nothing secret about it Perhaps it's simply because so much has been written about the underbelly of Paris and other cities that it no longer feels so under