No-one knows a city like the people who live there - so who better to relate the history of Paris than its inhabitants through the ages?
Taking us from 1750 to the new millennium, Parisians introduces us to some of those inhabitants: we meet spies, soldiers, scientists and alchemists; police commissioners, photographers and philosophers; adulterers, murderers, prisoners and prostitutes. We encounter political and sexual intrigues, witness real and would-be revolutions, assassination attempts and several all too successful executions; we visit underground caverns and catacombs, enjoy the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower, are there for the opening of the Metro, accompany Hitler on a flying visit to the French capital - and much more besides.
Entertaining and illuminating, and written with Graham Robb's customary attention to detail - and, indeed, the unusual - Parisians is both history and travel guide, yet also part memoir, part mystery. A book unlike any other, it is at once a book to read from cover to cover, to lose yourself in, to dip in and out of at leisure, and a book to return to again and again - rather like the city itself, in fact.
Praise for The Discovery of France:
'An extraordinary journey of discovery that will delight even the most indolent armchair traveller' Daily Telegraph
'A superior historical guidebook for the unhurried traveller, and altogether a book to savour' Independent