Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris
By: Graham Robb
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 13 hours
Release date: May 3, 2010
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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.