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Paris to the Past : Traveling Through French History by Train
by Ina Caro


Overview - In one of the most inventive travel books in years, Ina Caro invites readers on twenty-five one-day train trips that depart from Paris and transport us back through seven hundred years of French history. Whether taking us to Orleans to evoke the miraculous visions of Joan of Arc, to Versailles to experience the flamboyant achievements of Louis XIV, or to the Place de la Concorde to witness the beheading of Marie Antoinette, Caro animates history with her lush descriptions of architectural splendors and tales of court intrigue.  Read more...

 
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More About Paris to the Past by Ina Caro
 
 
 
Overview
In one of the most inventive travel books in years, Ina Caro invites readers on twenty-five one-day train trips that depart from Paris and transport us back through seven hundred years of French history. Whether taking us to Orleans to evoke the miraculous visions of Joan of Arc, to Versailles to experience the flamboyant achievements of Louis XIV, or to the Place de la Concorde to witness the beheading of Marie Antoinette, Caro animates history with her lush descriptions of architectural splendors and tales of court intrigue. Organizing her destinations chronologically from twelfth-century Saint-Denis to the nineteenth-century Restoration at Chantilly, Caro appeals not only to the casual tourist aboard the Metro or the TGV but also to the armchair reader of Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence. Caro's passion for and knowledge of France its soaring cathedrals, enthralling history, and sumptuous cuisine are so impressive that Paris to the Past promises to become one of the classic guidebooks of our time."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780393078947
  • ISBN-10: 0393078949
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Publish Date: June 2011
  • Page Count: 381


Related Categories

Books > Travel > Europe - France
Books > Travel > Special Interest - General
Books > History > Europe - France

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2011-03-28
  • Reviewer: Staff

The French rail system makes the country and its history a day-tripper’s delight in this enchanting travelogue. Historian Caro (The Road from the Past: Traveling Through French History) recounts daylong outings from her Paris base camp to points near, by Métro, or far, by high-speed train. French architecture and civilization unfold through the buildings and towns she visits: churches progress from the first Gothic cathedral at St.-Denis to the secular temple of the Panthéon; grim medieval fortresses give way to airy Loire chateaus and splendiferous baroque palaces. Writing with a keen eye for the design and atmospherics of these places and their surroundings (especially local restaurants), Caro makes them way stations on a sprightly tour of French history, regaling readers with piquant stories of the people who built, conquered, and remodeled them. Almost despite itself, the book is a seductive evocation of the ancien régime: aristocrats were rapacious brutes, Caro allows, but she can’t resist their castles, tastes, and sexual intrigues. ("'Kill him! Here, take my garters and strangle the wretch,’" was the sentence Marguerite de Valois pronounced to one lover who murdered another.) The result is a charming, rapturous guide to la Belle France that tells you where to go—and why. (June)

 
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