France - History
Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Paperback      ISBN: 0385338457
Is the traditional, accepted view of the life of Christ in some way incomplete?

- Is it possible Christ did not die on the cross?
- Is it possible Jesus was married, a father, and that his bloodline still exists?
- Is it possible that parchments found in the South of France a century ago reveal one of the best-kept secrets of Christendom?
- Is it possible that these parchments contain the very heart of the mystery of the Holy Grail?

According to the authors of this extraordinarily provocative, meticulously researched book, not only are these things possible -- they are probably true so revolutionary, so original, so convincing, that the most faithful Christians will be moved; here is the book that has sparked worldwide controversey.

"Enough to seriously challenge many traditional Christian beliefs, if not alter them."
-- Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Like Chariots of the Gods?...the plot has all the elements of an international thriller."
-- Newsweek
August 1914: France, the Great War, and a Month That Changed the World Forever
August 1914
France, the Great War, and a Month That Changed the World Forever
Hardcover      ISBN: 0300208278
A haunting portrait of France at war

On August 1, 1914, war erupted into the lives of millions of families across France. Most people thought the conflict would last just a few weeks.

Yet before the month was out, twenty-seven thousand French soldiers died on the single day of August 22 alone--the worst catastrophe in French military history. Refugees streamed into France as the German army advanced, spreading rumors that amplified still more the ordeal of war. Citizens of enemy countries who were living in France were viciously scapegoated. Drawing from diaries, personal correspondence, police reports, and government archives, Bruno Cabanes renders an intimate, narrative-driven study of the first weeks of World War I in France. Told from the perspective of ordinary women and men caught in the flood of mobilization, this revealing book deepens our understanding of the traumatic impact of war on soldiers and civilians alike.

August 1914 was a finalist for a prestigious French book award, the Prix F mina for nonfiction, in 2014.
The Hotel on Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris
The Hotel on Place Vendome
Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris
Paperback      ISBN: 0061791040

Set against the backdrop of the Nazi occupation of World War II, The H tel on Place Vend me is the captivating history of Paris's world-famous H tel Ritz--a breathtaking tale of glamour, opulence, and celebrity; dangerous liaisons, espionage, and resistance--from Tilar J. Manzeo, the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow Clicquot and The Secret of Chanel No. 5

When France fell to the Germans in June 1940, the legendary H tel Ritz on the Place Vend me--an icon of Paris frequented by film stars and celebrity writers, American heiresses and risqu flappers, playboys, and princes--was the only luxury hotel of its kind allowed in the occupied city by order of Adolf Hitler.

Tilar J. Mazzeo traces the history of this cultural landmark from its opening in fin de si cle Paris. At its center, The Hotel on Place Vend me is an extraordinary chronicle of life at the Ritz during wartime, when the H tel was simultaneously headquarters to the highest-ranking German officers, such as Reichsmarshal Hermann G ring, and home to exclusive patrons, including Coco Chanel. Mazzeo takes us into the grand palace's suites, bars, dining rooms, and wine cellars, revealing a hotbed of illicit affairs and deadly intrigue, as well as stunning acts of defiance and treachery.

Rich in detail, illustrated with black-and-white photos, The Hotel on Place Vend me is a remarkable look at this extraordinary crucible where the future of post-war France--and all of post-war Europe--was transformed.

Voltaire in Love
Voltaire in Love
Paperback      ISBN: 1590175786

The inimitable Nancy Mitford's account of Voltaire's fifteen-year relationship with the Marquise du Ch telet--the renowned mathematician who introduced Isaac Newton's revolutionary new physics to France--is a spirited romp in the company of two extraordinary individuals as well as an erudite and gossipy guide to French high society during the Enlightenment. Mitford's story is as delicious as it is complicated. The marquise was in love with another mathematician, Maupertuis, while she had an unexpected rival for Voltaire's affections in the future Frederick the Great of Prussia (and later in the philosophe's own niece). There was, at least, no jealous husband to contend with: the Marquis du Ch telet, Mitford assures us, behaved perfectly. The beau monde of Paris was, however, distraught at the idea of the lovers' brilliant conversation going to waste on the windswept hills of Champagne, site of the Ch teau de Cirey, where experimental laboratories, a darkroom, and a library of more than twenty-one thousand volumes enabled them to pursue their amours philosophiques. From time to time the threat of impending arrest would send Voltaire scurrying across the border into Holland, but his irrepressible charm--and the interventions of powerful friends--always made it possible for him resume his studies with the cherished marquise.

Joan of Arc: A Life
Joan of Arc
A Life
Paperback      ISBN: 0143113976
"A master of the story form" (The New York Times) offers a fresh, revealing portrait of the legendary saint

Celebrated novelist Mary Gordon brings Joan of Arc alive as a complex figure full of contradictions and desires, as well as spiritual devotion. A humble peasant girl, Joan transformed herself into the legendary Maid of Orl ans, knight, martyr, and saint. Following the voice of God, she led an army to victory and crowned the king of France, only to be captured and burned at the stake as a heretic--all by the age of nineteen. Gordon does more than tell this gripping story--she explores Joan's mystery and the many facets of her inspiring life.
Left Bank: Art, Passion, and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-50
Left Bank
Art, Passion, and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-50
Paperback      ISBN: 1250231469

An incandescent group portrait of the midcentury artists and thinkers whose lives, loves, collaborations, and passions were forged against the wartime destruction and postwar rebirth of Paris.

In this fascinating tour of a celebrated city during one of its most trying, significant, and ultimately triumphant eras, Agn s Poirier unspools the stories of the poets, writers, painters, and philosophers whose lives collided to extraordinary effect between 1940 and 1950. She gives us the human drama behind some of the most celebrated works of the 20th century, from Richard Wright's Native Son, Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex, and James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room to Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and Saul Bellow's Augie March, along with the origin stories of now legendary movements, from Existentialism to the Theatre of the Absurd, New Journalism, bebop, and French feminism.

We follow Arthur Koestler and Norman Mailer as young men, peek inside Picasso's studio, and trail the twists of Camus's, Sartre's, and Beauvoir's epic love stories. We witness the births and deaths of newspapers and literary journals and peer through keyholes to see the first kisses and last nights of many ill-advised bedfellows. At every turn, Poirier deftly hones in on the most compelling and colorful history, without undermining the crucial significance of the era. She brings to life the flawed, visionary Parisians who fell in love and out of it, who infuriated and inspired one another, all while reconfiguring the world's political, intellectual, and creative landscapes.

With its balance of clear-eyed historical narrative and irresistible anecdotal charm, Left Bank transports readers to a Paris teeming with passion, drama, and life.

Little Demon in the City of Light: A True Story of Murder and Mesmerism in Belle Epoque Paris
Little Demon in the City of Light
A True Story of Murder and Mesmerism in Belle Epoque Paris
Hardcover      ISBN: 0385536038
A delicious account of a murder most gallic think CSI Paris meets Georges Simenon whose lurid combination of sex, brutality, forensics, and hypnotism riveted first a nation and then the world.
Little Demon in the City of Light is the thrilling and so wonderfully French story of a gruesome 1889 murder of a lascivious court official at the hands of a ruthless con man andhis pliant mistress and theinternational manhunt, sensational trial, and an inquiry into the limits of hypnotic power that ensued.
In France at the end of the nineteenth century a great debate raged over the question of whether someone could be hypnotically compelled to commit a crime in violation of his or her moral convictions. When Toussaint-Augustin Gouffe entered 3, rue Tronson du Coudray, he expected nothing but a delightful assignation with the comely young Gabrielle Bompard. Instead, he wasmurdered hanged by her and her companion Michel Eyraud. The body was then stuffed in a trunk and dumped on a riverbank near Lyon.
As the inquiry into the guilt or innocence of the woman the French tabloids dubbed the "Little Demon" escalated, the most respected minds in France debated whether Gabrielle Bompard was the pawn of her mesmerizing lover or simply a coldly calculating murderess. And, at the burning center of it all: Could hypnosis force people to commit crimes against their will?"
The Gourmands' Way: Six Americans in Paris and the Birth of a New Gastronomy
The Gourmands' Way
Six Americans in Paris and the Birth of a New Gastronomy
Hardcover      ISBN: 0374103151

A Publishers Weekly Best Nonfiction Book of 2017 and a Christian Science Monitor Best Book of 2017. Winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Award in Culinary History.

The broad outline of Spring's thesis is so persuasive, the details so evocative (not to mention mouth watering), that anyone interested in the evolution of cooking in America will find The Gourmands' Way informative and indispensable. --Wendy Smith, The Boston Globe

A biography of six writers on food and wine whose lives and careers intersected in mid-twentieth-century France.

During the thirty-year boom in France following World War II--les Trente Glorieuses--Paris was not only the world's most stylish tourist destination, it was also the world capital of gastronomic genius. In The Gourmands' Way, Justin Spring tells the story of six American writer-adventurers having the time of their lives in the City of Light during this period and, in doing so, transforming the way Americans talk and think about food--and the way they eat.

The six are A. J. Liebling, Alice B. Toklas, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Alexis Lichine, and Richard Olney. The Gourmands' Way is the first book ever to look at these unforgettable figures as a group. It is also the first to focus specifically on their Paris-based adventures. Liebling was a great war correspondent, reporter, and humorist who opens Spring's narrative by sweeping into Paris with the French and Allied forces in August 1944; Toklas was Gertrude Stein's life partner who reinvented herself at age seventy-five as a cookbook author; Fisher was a sensualist storyteller and fabulist; Child was a cookbook author, America's greatest television food celebrity, and the reinventor of the dinner party; Lichine was an ambitious wine merchant who, through an astounding series of risk-taking ventures, became the leading importer of French wines in America; and Olney was a reclusive but freewheeling artist who reluctantly evolved into one of the foremost American writers on French cuisine and French wine.

Justin Spring focuses on the most joyful, exciting, formative, and dramatic moments of these six lives, many of which were intimately connected to the exploration and discovery of fine French food and drink--whether they experienced it at top Michelin-starred restaurants or straight from a hot plate in an artist's garret. The Gourmands' Way leads us through both the fabled world of haute cuisine and the vibrant bohemian and artistic haunts of the Left Bank during the 1950s. Intimate, anecdotal, and beautifully researched, The Gourmands' Way is an eye-opening exploration of the rich, storied annals of mid-twentieth-century Franco-American culinary history.
The Other Paris
The Other Paris
Paperback      ISBN: 0374536457

A trip through Paris as it will never be again--dark and dank and poor and slapdash and truly bohemian

Paris, the City of Lights, the city of fine dining and seductive couture and intellectual hauteur, was until fairly recently always accompanied by its shadow: the city of the poor, the outcast, the criminal, the eccentric, the willfully nonconforming. In The Other Paris, Luc Sante gives us a panoramic view of that second metropolis, which has nearly vanished but whose traces are in the bricks and stones of the contemporary city, in the culture of France itself, and, by extension, throughout the world.

Drawing on testimony from a great range of witnesses, Sante, whose thorough research is matched only by the vividness of his narration, takes the reader on a whirlwind tour. Richly illustrated with more than three hundred images, The Other Paris scuttles through the knotted pre-Haussmann streets, through the improvised accommodations of the original bohemians, through the whorehouses and dance halls and hobo shelters of the old city.

A lively survey of labor conditions, prostitution, drinking, crime, and popular entertainment, and of the reporters, r aliste singers, pamphleteers, and poets who chronicled their evolution, The Other Paris is a book meant to upend the story of the French capital, to reclaim the city from the bons vivants and the speculators, and to hold a light to the work and lives of those expunged from its center by the forces of profit.

The Seine: The River That Made Paris
The Seine
The River That Made Paris
Hardcover      ISBN: 0393609359

Elaine Sciolino came to Paris as a young foreign correspondent and was seduced by a river. In The Seine, she tells the story of that river from its source on a remote plateau of Burgundy to the wide estuary where its waters meet the sea, and the cities, tributaries, islands, ports, and bridges in between.

Sciolino explores the Seine through its rich history and lively characters: a bargewoman, a riverbank bookseller, a houseboat dweller, a famous cinematographer known for capturing the river's light. She discovers the story of Sequana--the Gallo-Roman healing goddess who gave the Seine its name--and follows the river through Paris, where it determined the city's destiny and now snakes through all aspects of daily life. She patrols with river police, rows with a restorer of antique boats, sips champagne at a vineyard along the river, and even dares to go for a swim. She finds the Seine in art, literature, music, and movies from Renoir and Les Mis rables to Puccini and La La Land. Along the way, she reveals how the river that created Paris has touched her own life. A powerful afterword tells the dramatic story of how water from the depths of the Seine saved Notre-Dame from destruction during the devastating fire in April 2019.

A "storyteller at heart" (June Sawyers, Chicago Tribune) with a "sumptuous eye for detail" (Sinclair McKay, Daily Telegraph), Sciolino braids memoir, travelogue, and history through the Seine's winding route. The Seine offers a love letter to Paris and the most romantic river in the world, and invites readers to explore its magic for themselves.