“Beauty is in the streets, “ they say in Paris. Travelers, like Parisians themselves, have their favorites. And as the city evolves and erupts, the streets change, Parisians come and go. But the beauty remains. The streets’ multiple personalities – charming, elegant, dirty, broken, haunted, lyrical – wind along the past and present, through the storied worlds of Parisians, ancient and modern. Walking in their footsteps, we sense the hauntings of history, connect with sites of memory: we can feel that the city’s past is part of the present.
The Streets of Paris brings to life 22 dramatic stories of brilliant and passionate Parisian characters in their physical settings, along the streets that tell the stories of their inspiration, of how they became the icons that Paris – and history – still celebrate. If you are a traveler who enjoys walking cities – say, Joyce’s Dublin, Kafka’s Prague, Shakespeare’s London – the 22 life stories and “For the Traveler” sections in this book will enable you to walk in imitation of so many famous Parisians – artists (painters, sculptors, writers, musicians, filmmakers), philosophers, lovers, scientists, rebels, royals, saints and heroes – who also walked their city and took it to heart. Each of them loved Paris in their own different ways (though Voltaire and Camus were at times ambivalent).
To quote Richard Cobb, an Anglo-French historian, “ Paris should be both walkable and walked, if the limitless variety… and the touching eccentricity are to be appreciated.”
The author Susan Cahill says “As I walked and wrote this book, I came to love the Parisians and their Places whose names you’ll see in the Table of Contents.* (I had always noticed the colorful personalities of the streets but especially so when five years ago I walked in search of the city’s gardens (see The Hidden Gardens of Paris: A Guide to the Gardens, Squares, and Woodlands of the City of Light, St. Martin’s Press, 2012). The life stories reveal such conviction, determination, genius, and, perhaps most seductive, a passionate love of beauty”
Read Susan’s fascinating story of Henry IV and the legacy of his life that you can still see in Paris to this day – in The Good Life France Magazine – free to read online, download and subscribe…
THE STREETS OF PARIS: A Guide to the City of Light Following in the Footsteps of Famous Parisians Throughout History (St Martin’s Press)