Paris and her Remarkable Women - Little BookroomParis and her Remarkable Women - Little Bookroom
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Paris and her Remarkable Women - Little Bookroom

€ 19.50

Engelstalige gids over 16 bijzondere vrouwen die een bijzondere band met Parijs hadden.

“By summoning these extraordinary women from the shadows throughout the city (shadows of time and shadows of neglect as women), I let them stand out alone or beside their celebrated male counterparts.  After all, when visiting Paris, the more ghosts one meets, the better.”—from the Introduction

To visit a city is to wander through its stories and glimpse its ghosts. This book evokes Paris from the Middle Ages through the twentieth century through the stories of sixteen exceptional women whose lives intersected with Paris in remarkable ways and whose eventual fame depended on the city itself.  Often the traces of these women have faded; even those who seem to have disapeared have not—one must only look harder and piece together the clues like a detective.

The women profiled include: Geneviève,  Héloïse, Christine de Pizan, Marquise de Sévigné, Madame de Maintenon, Madame du Châtelet,  Madame Roland,  Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Rachel, George Sand, Sarah Bernhardt, Camille Claudel, Marie Curie, Colette, Coco Chanel, and Simone de Beauvoir.

Their stories bring to life medieval culture, Enlightenment ideas, the court of Louis XIV, the chaos of the Revolution, the nineteenth-century art scene, and twentieth-century breakthroughs in science and fashion. Whenever possible, the author allows these women to speak for themselves:  Manon Roland conveys how it felt to be sucked into the whirlwind events of the Revolution; Héloïse writes of love and loss; Madame de Sévigné describes contemporary events like a reporter on assignment.

The sites associated with each women are located in the central parts of Paris that most visitors explore. When visiting Notre Dame, the reader will see the tragic figures of Abélard and Héloïse in its shadows, and know to look for the enigmatic sculpture of Geneviève on the cathedral's façade. Elisabeth Vigée le Brun's painting in the Louvre and Camille Claudel's sculptures in the Rodin Museum will be all the more fascinating after learning of the controversy they provoked.
Even those women whom most people thought they knew may prove surprising.  Who would have guessed at the relation between Coco Chanel's convent school origins and her fashions?   What are we to make of Emilie du Châtelet's fame as Voltaire's mistress when he touts her as a "great man whose only fault was being a woman"?

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