His latest book vibrates with the strange political and literary energies of ancien régime France. The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France traces the merging of philosophical, sexual, and anti-monarchical interests into the pulp fiction of the 1780s, banned books that make fascinating reading more than two centuries later.
French literature of the eighteenth century means to us today Rousseau and Voltaire and the classic texts that, we imagine, gave rise to the Revolution. Yet very few of the standard works of the Enlightenment were as widely read as books whose names we have never heard, books that were the currency of a huge literary underground during the reign of Louis XVI. Included in this volume are Darnton's translations of excerpts from three of these works.
After twenty-five years of research, Darnton has summarized his findings in one brilliant work that examines the reciprocal relationship between private literature and the public world, the (illegal) spread of Enlightenment thought, and the interesting possibility that the writings of some not-so-famous authors contributed to the fall of the French aristocracy.
This volume brings together two delightful books--Map of Another Town and A Considerable Town--by one of our most beloved food and travel writers. In her inimitable style, here M.F.K. Fisher tells the stories--and reveals the secrets--of two quintessential French cities.Map of Another Town, Fisher's memoir of the French provincial capital of Aix-en-Provence is, as the author tells us, "my picture, my map, of a place and therefore of myself," and a vibrant and perceptive profile of the kinship between a person and a place. Then, in A Considerable Town, she scans the centuries to reveal the ancient sources that clarify the Marseille of today and the indestructible nature of its people, and in so doing weaves a delightful journey filtered through the senses of a profound writer.
In the tradition of The Professor and the Madman, this fascinating account describes the astounding life of Therese Humbert, a 19th-century con-artist eccentric who lifted herself out of poverty by posing as an aristocrat. Illustrations.
The hidden truth about the French way of life: it's all about seduction--its rules, its pleasures, its secrets
France is a seductive country, seductive in its elegance, its beauty, its sensual pleasures, and its joie de vivre. But Elaine Sciolino, the longtime Paris bureau chief of "The New York Times," has discovered that seduction is much more than a game to the French: it is the key to understanding France.
Seduction plays a crucial role in how the French relate to one another--not just in romantic relationships but also in how they conduct business, enjoy food and drink, define style, engage in intellectual debate, elect politicians, and project power around the world. While sexual repartee and conquest remain at the heart of seduction, for the French seduction has become a philosophy of life, even an ideology, that can confuse outsiders.
In" La Seduction," Sciolino gives us an inside view of how seduction works in all areas, analyzing its limits as well as its power. She demystifies the French way of life in an entertaining and personal narrative that carries us from the neighborhood shops of Paris to the halls of government, from the gardens of Versailles to the agricultural heartland.
"La Seduction" will charm you and encourage you to lower your defenses about the French. Pull up a chair and let Elaine Sciolino seduce you.
No story of World War II is more triumphant than the liberation of France, made famous in countless photos of Parisians waving American flags and kissing GIs as columns of troops paraded down the Champs lys es. But one of the least-known stories from that era is also one of the ugliest chapters in the history of Jim Crow. In The Interpreter, celebrated author Alice Kaplan recovers this story both as eyewitnesses first saw it, and as it still haunts us today.The American Army executed 70 of its own soldiers between 1943 and 1946--almost all of them black, in an army that was overwhelmingly white. Through the French interpreter Louis Guilloux's eyes, Kaplan narrates two different trials: one of a white officer, one of a black soldier, both accused of murder. Both were court-martialed in the same room, yet the outcomes could not have been more different. Kaplan's insight into character and setting creates an indelible portrait of war, race relations, and the dangers of capital punishment. "A nuanced historical account that resonates with today's controversies over race and capital punishment." Publishers Weekly "American racism could become deadly for black soldiers on the front. The Interpreter reminds us of this sad component of a heroic chapter in American military history." Los Angeles Times "With elegance and lucidity, Kaplan revisits these two trials and reveals an appallingly separate and unequal wartime U.S. military justice system." Minneapolis Star Tribune "Kaplan has produced a compelling look at the racial disparities as they were played out...She explores both cases in considerable and vivid detail." Sacramento Bee
"A modern classic of courage and excitement." --The New Yorker
Soon to be a Major Motion Picture Starring Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek
Henri Charri re, nicknamed Papillon, for the butterfly tattoo on his chest, was convicted in Paris in 1931 of a murder he did not commit. Sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal colony of French Guiana, he became obsessed with one goal: escape. After planning and executing a series of treacherous yet failed attempts over many years, he was eventually sent to the notorious prison, Devil's Island, a place from which no one had ever escaped . . . until Papillon. His flight to freedom remains one of the most incredible feats of human cunning, will, and endurance ever undertaken.
Charri re's astonishing autobiography, Papillon, was first published in France to instant acclaim in 1968, more than twenty years after his final escape. Since then, it has become a treasured classic--the gripping, shocking, ultimately uplifting odyssey of an innocent man who would not be defeated.
"A first-class adventure story." -- New York Review of Books
The story of the world-famous monument and the extraordinary world's fair that introduced it
Since it opened in May 1889, the Eiffel Tower has been an iconic image of modern times-as much a beacon of technological progress as an enduring symbol of Paris and French culture. But as engineer Gustave Eiffel built the now-famous landmark to be the spectacular centerpiece of the 1889 World's Fair, he stirred up a storm of vitriol from Parisian tastemakers, lawsuits, and predictions of certain structural calamity.
In "Eiffel's Tower," Jill Jonnes, critically acclaimed author of "Conquering Gotham," presents a compelling account of the tower's creation and a superb portrait of Belle Epoque France. As Eiffel held court that summer atop his one-thousand-foot tower, a remarkable host of artists and personalities-Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, Gauguin, Whistler, and Edison-traveled to Paris and the Exposition Universelle to mingle and make their mark.
Like "The Devil in the White City, Brunelleschi's Dome," and David McCullough's accounts of the building of the Panama Canal and the Brooklyn Bridge, "Eiffel's Tower" combines technological and social history and biography to create a richly textured portrayal of an age of aspiration, dreams, and progress.
Focusing on the last six years of Napolean's life, from his arrival at Devon to his exile on St. Helena, a compelling study of Napoleon in captivity attempts to recreate the fallen emperor by exploring contemporary documents and public records of opinion. Reprint.