Henry James said, 'Paris is the greatest temple ever built to material joys and the lust of the eyes'. Renowned as the City of Light, Paris is celebrated for its beautiful city plan, its architecture, museums, bridges, cathedrals, parks, shopping, flea markets, sidewalk cafés, wide and luxurious boulevards, elegant cuisine, and numerous monuments. Once confined to an island in the middle of the river Seine, the Ile de la Cité, Paris, founded more than 2,000 years ago, quickly spread to both banks of the river – the 'rive droit' (right bank) and the 'rive gauche' (left bank). The right bank is known for being the commercial heart of the city while the left bank is home to the University of Paris and all that is intellectual and artsy. Paris has also been fêted for its aura of romance and mystery and has been the setting for many novels (The Americans, The Three Musketeers and the Maigret stories) and movies (Last Tango in Paris, Ratatouille). This gorgeous new book in the successful Secrets series is divided into several geographical sections, from the Louvre and Champs Élysées, via Les Halles, Le Marais and Bastille, to Montmartre and beyond. It’s a brilliant read for the armchair traveller and everyone interested in the history and the mysteries of the great cities of the world.
Michael Kerrigan has written widely on both the history of art and literature. Recent books on the English tradition include Paul Nash: Masterpieces of Art. A longstanding interest in the mythic and mystic traditions has given rise to books including Celtic Legends and The Bible: A Dark History, and a chapter on ‘Inklings of Other Worlds, 1946–59’ in The Astounding Illustrated History of Fantasy & Horror. A regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement, he lives with his family in Edinburgh.
Publisher: Flame Tree Illustrated (August 15, 2012)