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Paris: Biography of a City Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
There's a detailed history of the growth of Paris, covering both the politics and also, more importantly, the social history - the river-merchants' trade and their guild are crucial, as witness the ship on the arms of the city. Jones also, in a series of "side-bars", explores particular themes or localities in a manner that cuts across the chronology and opens up fascinating sidelights on the city - subjects here include the Roman amphitheatre, the Arènes de Lutéce, which was lost under the growing city and remains strangely off the tourist trails; the Rue Mouffetard and its role first as major artery out of the medieval city and then as Bohemian hang-out in the early twentieth century; lost rivers such as the Bièvre, the iceworks on which gave its name to the Glacière metro stop, and so on.
I could have done with a little more information on the area outside the fortifications, the "banlieu" beyond the Ville-de-Paris department (Jones covers its modern form well, but we hear little about these settlements before the city sweeps over them in the twentieth century) but this is a trifling point: this is a fantastic guide to the multi-layered history of the city and warmly recommended to any English speaker visiting the city or just wanting to wallow in it vicariously.
Most recent customer reviews
This book, as a general read, is quite boring. It mainly covers the buildings of Paris but, I am not sure this would be of interest to anyone who has a desire to know about the... Read morePublished on 5 Jun. 2014 by Pen Name
I'm not a historian: I can only comment on this book as a general reader.
I was disappointed by what seemed to me the almost complete suppression of historical... Read more