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Short Synopsis
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.

Full Synopsis
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.

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.

An aristocratic 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, Baron Haussmann, the real-life Mimi of La Bohème, Proust, Charles de Gaulle (who is suspected of having faked an assassination attempt on himself in Notre Dame)—these and many more make up Robb's cast of characters. The result is a resonant, intimate history with the power of a great novel.

"Simon Vance narrates the history with an eloquent British-accented voice that leaves room for human moments and humor.... The strong sense of place in Robb's descriptions may make listeners feel like they're visiting the City of Lights." ---AudioFile

"Robb gives us charmingly nonsequential, wonderfully etched portraits-in-time of this fabulous, fabled city as it grew from an island in the Seine into a sprawling European capital." ---BookPage

"With his profound knowledge of Paris, its treasures and squalor, its heroes and victims, Robb reveals a city of not only lights but darkness." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review
New York Times Bestseller

Publishers Weekly Review

New York Times Bestseller

New York Times' Dwight Garner's Top 10 Book

Parisians

An Adventure History of Paris

Author Graham Robb

Narrated by Simon Vance

Publication date May 3, 2010

Running time 14 hrs

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