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Paris Babylon - Rupert Christiansen

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Paris Babylon - grandeur, decadence and revolution 1869-75
Rupert Christiansen
Paperback / softback
UK Publication Date

'Nothing but a brothel and a gambling hell' roared Thomas Carlyle at the thought of Paris, a city known in the nineteenth century as 'the new Babylon', and notorious for its obsession with sex and money. Ruled by the ailing despot Napoleon III and his ruthless wife Eugenie, Paris in 1869 was racked with scandal, anxiety and political tension. Europe's most glittering and confident capital, spectacularly rebuilt by Baron Haussmann, was on the verge of a catastrophic nemesis - the Franco-Prussian War and the fall of the Second Empire, followed by a four-month siege and the establishment of the Commune, a brave socialist experiment which soon ended in massive bloodshed and destruction. Paris Babylon charts and explains this astonishing course of events, as well as painting a richly detailed picture of Parisian life, from its palaces, theatres, hotels and department stores to its prisons, hospitals and back-street dives. Drawing on a broad range of sources and a rich cast of characters, Rupert Christiansen evokes one of the most dramatic episodes of modern history - one which still has powerful resonance today.

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Rupert Christiansen is the author of Prima Donna, Romantic Affinities (which won a Somerset Maugham Prize); and The Visitors. He is opera critic of the Daily Telegraph, and writes regularly on musical, theatrical and literary subjects for the Spectator, Harper's and Queen, the Times Literary Supplement and Opera. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he lives in London.

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Keyword Index
Urban renewal - France - Paris - History - 19th century.|Paris (France) - History - 1848-1870.|Paris (France) - History - Siege, 1870-1871.|Paris (France) - History - Commune, 1871.|Paris (France) - Social life and customs - 19th century.|Paris (France) - Moral conditions - History - 19th century.
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