Follow in the footsteps of history to discover the hidden places, extraordinary people, and captivating stories of Paris.
Paris: Secret Gardens, Hidden Places, and Stories of the City of Light, Mary McAuliffe’s multilayered exploration of Paris, weaves a narrative that takes the reader into secret and hidden places, even in the midst of the most well-known Paris destinations.
McAuliffe’s hidden places can be small but are always revealing, whether a bas-relief on an ignored corner of Notre-Dame or an overlooked courtyard inside an ancient and busy hospital. She takes the reader below the streets and sidewalks of Paris to discover ancient aqueducts and a lost river, and she prompts the reader to notice overlooked treasures in the most trafficked of museums.
Always, McAuliffe’s focus is on people and their stories. Evil queens, designing noblemen, bold chevaliers, and desperate lovers mingle with Resistance fighters and obsessed artists rising out of abject poverty into unexpected fame and fortune, adding to the tidal wave of creativity that is the lifeblood of the City of Light.
One person, place, and story lead to another, each linked by a common thread within the layered richness of Paris’s past. The story of Paris is not a chronology but an exploration of the many layers of this remarkable city throughout the ages.
Mary McAuliffe holds a PhD in history from the University of Maryland, has taught at several universities, and has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution, the Barnes Foundation, and the Frick Pittsburgh. She has traveled extensively in France, and for many years she was a regular contributor to Paris Notes. Her books include Clash of Crowns, Dawn of the Belle Epoque, Twilight of the Belle Epoque, When Paris Sizzled, Paris on the Brink, and Paris, City of Dreams. She lives in New York City with her husband.
List of Illustrations
Map of Paris
Chapter 1 The Heart of Paris
Chapter 2 The Latin Quarter and Beyond
Chapter 3 From Scholars to Lovers
Chapter 4 Along the Seine
Chapter 5 Ancient Byways
Chapter 6 Dangerous Times
Chapter 7 Walls and Wars
Chapter 8 An Imperious Queen
Chapter 9 Montmartre
Chapter 10 Montparnasse
Chapter 11 Lost River
Chapter 12 Into the Marais
Chapter 13 Points East
Chapter 14 Onward and Upward
Chapter 15 From the Heights
Chapter 16 Grande Croisée
Chapter 17 Welcoming the World
Chapter 18 Eiffel Tower and Beyond
Chapter 19 Floral Fantasies
Chapter 20 Western Vistas
About the Author
There’s a clear passion for Paris in these pages. Prolific Paris historian and author McAuliffe presents the well-researched history, celebrities, and anecdotes from each of the City of Light’s main neighborhoods, from the very touristy Montmartre and Latin Quarter to the not-as-well known Montparnasse and Grand Croisée. Countless facts astound. The Louvre was built as a fortress against the King of England. Two windmills exist within the city limits. Le Corbusier designed a University of Paris building. And along with the storied Seine, a second river (the hidden Bievre) flows through Paris. There are also entrancing stories of Man Ray’s affair with his muse, Kiki; the famous people buried in Père Lachaise cemetery; and the formation of the Eiffel Tower.
Paris by Mary McAuliffe is an original look at this sprawling metropolis that has attracted people from all walks of life from around the world for literally centuries. She leads the reader through its history with stories and photographs. This is not a conventional travel guide, but rather a travelogue, a journey, an essay, or perhaps even a memoir of a fascinating city. This is a book to sit down with, to enjoy, to savor, to remember one’s own experiences in Paris, or to imagine what it would be like to visit. The author takes the reader through an exploratory journey, one that will open readers’ hearts and minds to the unexpected and the awe-inspiring backdrop of what makes this a city of many identities. I loved it!
Most Paris guides are published for tourists who just want to be able to tell their friends which iconic monuments they saw during their stay. But from time to time, there is a guide written by someone who is in love with the capital of France, and this is definitely the case here. Mary McAuliffe shares different elements that explain her addiction to the history and the architecture of the city of Paris, and if you follow the author’s advice, you’ll have the opportunity to see Parisian details that even residents don’t know. Open the door of this book to discover a hidden Paris that lies behind the walls, a Paris most tourists never see.
An enticing introduction to Paris for travelers and general readers looking for a different side of Paris.
8/19/23, Terrance Gelenter: The influential travel expert and guide posted on the book. Link: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/terrance-gelenter-b673063_follow-in-the-footsteps-of-history-to-discover-activity-7096728483602554880-9OkX