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Seven Ages of Paris Illustrated Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 175 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • Seven Ages of Paris
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  • How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City
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  • The Streets of Paris: A Guide to the City of Light Following in the Footsteps of Famous Parisians Throughout History
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Knowledgeable and colorful, written with gusto and love. . . . [An] ambitious and skillful narrative that covers the history of Paris with considerable brio and fervor”—The Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Consistently bewitching. . . . [Horne] renders France unusually vivid by focusing on the one corner of it that millions of foreigners have toured or lived in or dreamed about.” --The New York Times Book Review

"Horne gives readers a wonderful sense of everyday life in Paris at every turn and displays a convincing understanding of the Parisian character." –San Francisco Chronicle

“A fluid, graceful, deliberate prose stylist. . . . Horne’s purpose is not to be encyclopedic but to paint a portrait, and this he does surpassingly well.” –The Washington Post Book World

From the Inside Flap

When Paris was a small island in the middle of the Seine, its gentle climate, natural vineyards and overhanging fig trees made it the favorite retreat of Roman emperors and de facto capital of western Europe. Over two millennia the muddy Lutetia, as the Romans called Paris, pushed its borders far beyond the Right and Left Banks and continued to stretch into the imagination and affection of visitors and locals. Now the spirit of Paris is captured by the celebrated historian Alistair Horne, who has devoted twenty-five years to a labor of love.

Seven Ages of Paris begins with the reign of the forceful Philippe Auguste, who greatly expanded the Capetian kingdom before devoting himself to fortifying the city and to the construction of the Louvre. Paris shed blood in the Hundred Years War and in the religious wars between Catholics and Huguenots and prospered under Henri IV?s reconciliation. His grandson, Louis XIV, built the famed palace at Versailles and patronized the playwrights Molière and Racine. With the ancien régime swept away by the Revolution, Napoleon ushered in the Imperial age, and, subsequently, the Second Empire. Partly to dampen Paris?s revolutionary zeal, Baron Haussmann modernized the city: avenues were widened, squares expanded and the medieval market at Les Halles razed.

Horne portrays the Prussians bivouacking on the Champs-Elysées in 1871. Paris bounced back after the war: the 1900 World Exposition showed off an electrified Champs-Elysées and the Métro station entrances in the Art Nouveau style. Most visibly, the Eiffel Tower went up in 1889 to mark the hundredth anniversary of the Revolution.

The hubris of the Belle Epoque led straight into the Great War. The Armistice and the Paris Peace Conference sealed a phoney peace, and when war resumed the city suffered four terrible years of occupation and was visited by Hitler himself. Liberation brought the last of Horne?s seven ages, the Fifth Republic, headed by de Gaulle.
Seven Ages of Paris also recalls the women who defined Parisian life?from Héloïse down to Josephine Baker. With an elegiac description of the Père Lachaise Cemetery, Horne brings to an end a brilliantly written history of the world?s most captivating city.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.03 pounds
  • Paperback : 496 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1400034469
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1400034468
  • Dimensions : 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Publisher : Vintage; Illustrated edition (April 13, 2004)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 175 ratings

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
175 global ratings
How are ratings calculated?

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on May 13, 2018
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13 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on May 9, 2014
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25 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2019
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6 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on March 2, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on October 21, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2010
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Top reviews from other countries

Mrs. Vivienne Tuffnell
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall, a truly excellent work
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2016
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4 people found this helpful
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WordiG
5.0 out of 5 stars Alistair Horne is the bee's knees when it comes to ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 14, 2014
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3 people found this helpful
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Tony Dean.
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for those who want the History of the French targeted around Paris
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 17, 2014
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2 people found this helpful
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Vic.
4.0 out of 5 stars Excelente resúmen histórico de Paris.
Reviewed in Mexico on September 10, 2018
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F. Xavier
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent book.
Reviewed in Mexico on February 13, 2020
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