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Permanent Parisians: An Illustrated Guide to the Cemeteries of Paris Paperback – May, 1996


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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"There is little depressing about French cemeteries. Although the three or four hundred cats of Père Lachaise lie low during the day, its passages are alive with gatekeepers, picnickers, and tourists looking for famous names. Such names are around every corner. Here is Chopin, there Gertrude Stein. Among those buried in Père Lachaise alone are Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernhardt, Isadora Duncan, Auguste Comte, Georges Seurat, Edith Piaf, and Héloïse and Abélard."

Permantent Parisians provides a guided tour through the cemeteries of Paris, with lively biographical discussions and photographs of the beautifully decadent sculptures and statuary to be found on each itinerary. Lest you think such sights morbid, consider these words by Balzac: "I seldom go out, but when I feel myself flagging I go and cheer myself up in Père Lachaise ... while seeking out the dead, I see nothing but the living." --Jhana Bach

From Library Journal

Parisian cemeteries are a major tourist attraction. Most guide books to Paris mention to the cemeteries of Pere Lachaise, Montmartre, and, of course, Napoleon's tomb at Les Invalides. Here each cemetery is given a chapter, save for Pere Lachaise, which has four chapters. The graves of the prominent, famous, and infamous are noted with a brief sketch of each person's life. Photographs are abundant and maps are clearly drawn. A compendium of little-known facts about people, this unique guide is as much fun to browse as the graveyards themselves. This is the first in a series (New York City is next). Highly recommended. Paula M. Zieselman, Sarah Lawrence Coll. Lib., Bronxville, N.Y.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Walker & Co (May 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802774709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802774705
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,219,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By saliero on April 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a fairly specialist guide book. If you already know you want to follow the cemetery trail, then take it with you, for it is full of fascinating insights into the lives of some of the most famous people buried in this most wonderful of cities.
If you are a repeat visitor to Paris, or an armchair dreamer, then this is definitely for you. A morning, afternoon or day spent in Pere Lachaise cemetery is an absolute delight. This book can take you there, and beyond.
Recommended.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Steven Soper on November 6, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't help but agree with the other reviewers: this book is entertaining and certainly the only serious guide in English to the cemeteries of Paris.

The fact that I was disappointed in their failure to include either of the two major cemeteries in Florence in their Italian book, in particular delle Porte Sante, the resting place of Collodi as well as stunning funerary sculpture, did not preclude me from using their volume Permanent Italians while living in Italy this past year. And after moving to Paris in August of 2006 I was lucky enough to find a used copy of their Permanent Parisians (1986 edition); I then set about documenting the statuary in the cemeteries of Paris.

At first I started out my research in Parisian cemeteries using only the "tours" outlined in the Culbertson/Randall book, and with one exception found their maps are right on the money. (The one exception is a small but important point: on the map of tour no. 4 of Pere Lachaise in division 89, the Delage family, listed as "J", should actually be located in the center of the division not at the corner).

Some weeks later, while poking around a local bookstore I came across Bertrand Beyern's Guide des tombes des homes celebres (2005, in French only). Beyern, a local tour guide of Parisian cemeteries, has documented many of the major personalities in cemeteries throughout France, not just in Paris, and is one of the leading authorities on Pere Lachaise, the primary focus of my work. I also discovered the excellent map of Pere Lachaise produced by "Editions Metropolitain", and available for purchase just outside the entrance to the cemetery. Those resources along with the half-dozen or so superb French websites covering Parisian cemeteries proved very helpful in locating specific individuals.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 6, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another fine volume in the series by Culbertson and Randall, this book has four separate tours of the legendary Pere Lachaise, as well as coverage of the Pantheon, St. Etienne-du-Mont, Montmartre, St. Vincent, Les Invalides, Passy, St. Germain-des-Pres, the Catacombs, Montparnasse, La Chappelle Expiatoire, St. Denis, and some suburban sites.
Interesting narrative fleshes out very complete information: directions to each site, maps of each site, biographical sketches of more illustrious permanent residents, and quite a few photographs.
An invaluable resource for anyone interested in cemeteries, travelers to Paris, or (especially) both!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By V. Marshall VINE VOICE on June 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
Paris has what must be the most beautifully peaceful cemeteries in all the world. Each tombstone becomes a extraordinary tribute to a life well lived. This guide book provides maps, some photographs and interesting biographical clips about a few of the permanent residents of Paris. The book gives directions to graves of such well known Parisians as Marcel Proust, Emile Zola, Isadora Duncan, Oscar Wilde, Alexander Dumas, Gertrude Stein just to name a few. Walking tours are provided for Pere Lachaise, The Pantheon, St. Etienne-du-Mont, Montmartre, St. Vincent, Les Invalides, Passy, St. Germain-des-Pres, The Catacombs, Montparnasse, La Chapelle Expiatoire, St. Denis and a few others.
After taking this guide with me on a trip to Paris I was able to find every grave I searched for with ease and an understanding of exactly what made these permanent Parisians so interesting. Pere Lachaise is overwhelming in scale but probably the most popular cemeterie in Paris. The Pantheon holds scientists and philosophers. Les Invalides proudly holds the remains of a little man named Napoleon with a great big history. The Catacombs are spookily interesting. Montparnasse has many tombstones that could be sculptures standing in the best art houses of Paris. My favorite cemeterie in all of Paris is Passy, a peaceful, quaint refuge underneath the Eiffel Tower, where birds are chirping and old graves lay covered in simple coats of moss and chipped iron, you can almost feel the restful sleep of those who reside within its walls.
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