Alistair Horne ☆ 7 ReadAs that these men needed her when pursuing their ambitions and she new how to position herself as these reuirements changed through history Her Seven Ages succeeded as followsLutetia a young wench from Roman times was elevated by Philippe Auguste to the status of a gentle maiden in a chivalrous and First Age Henri IV stepped in to herald the Second Age and she was the one for whom and in genuine faith and extraordinary credulity he switched religions For him this Lady was worth a Mass She sadly felt neglected in the Third Age when Louis XIV moved all splendor music and light to that upstart demoiselle of Versailles But it was Napoleon who as the hero of the Fourth Age tamed her when she became a revolutionary and instead raised her to her rightful throne of Empress of all cities In a characteristic ambitious tone he had vouched that he would make her the most beautiful city in the world And even though Horne titles the Fifth Age after the common La Commune who took over and played its jarring tune in her elegant arena it is still the age of a self appointed hero Louis Napoleon Nor is the Sixth Age one that can be honorably remembered under one single man This was a period framed and marked by horrid wars during which her enemies dared to invade her three times spanning and puncturing the Belle poue and then adding on a second Thirty Year war Her politicians had failed her Horne has identified this age with the invitation to the frivolous upstart from earlier times to come back to stage this time in strict austerity and sign the Treaty of Versailles that would supposedly expel Hell but which didn t But this long period of no heroes was a period of artists who honored her as their muse In her final and current Seventh Age we see again a hero De Gaulle who once he admitted that he could not be Emperor and put a veil over her past as Empress gave her for a fifth and still successful round the dignified and modern mantle of Lady of the R publiueBut if these five men dominated these Seven Ages we should not think that these were the only men in her life There were others many others There were those who gave her things beautiful things For example Louis IX gave her the dainty Sainte Chapelle Francois I gave her an elegant Renaissance palace to replace the rough Louvre bastion and invited the inventive Leonardo to visit and pay her homage She was given many bridges as she grew from the little island and expanded to the two sides of her river And these were all the gift of cavaliers for even the Pont Marie was not related to the virgin but designed by the architect Christophe Marie She certainly offered a fruitful ground for the creations of ingenious architects national and foreign all the way to the daring and gaudy Beaubourg conceived by the Italian Renzo PianoThe things she was given were not always strictly material objects Gabriel Nicolas de La Reynie the Chief of Police under Louis XIV gave her street lighting and this was her first step towards becoming the City of Lights To strengthen her Finances the Banue de France was organized by Napoleon and his bankers and it was also him who realized that hygiene was a sine ua non for beauty A new sewage #system and greater access to drinking water were the benefits when she got her Canal #and greater access
to drinking water were the benefits when she got her Canal l OurcIn embellishing her some haddrinking water were the benefits when she got her Canal l OurcIn embellishing her some had mutilate or exert some other traumatic changes Baron Haussmann who thanks to this entered the Senate after having been the
Prefect of Police had to demolish areas so as to build avenues plotted according to a regular and structured framework andof Police had to demolish areas so as to build avenues plotted according to a regular and structured framework and a new The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started theLongest War in American History kind of housing with fa ades that would unify long street vistas The scale of Haussmann s grid of boulevards and enduring model for apartment buildings however were not entirely new During the Third Age both Le Vaux designed the prototype for the beautiful dwellings still surviving in the Marais and Le N tre plotted the Champs Elys es well suited and named for our mythical lady Some reconstructive surgery was later performed by Viollet le Duc who thought that Young Looking Middle Ages B timents were just the thing And the Would be Mutilator Le Corbusier concocted the horrifying and cruel idea of demolishing her center and build in her Right Bank a string of towers like shoeboxes over two hundred meters high Such an operation would have had a despairing and irremediable damage to this Lady s beauty Better and natural methods were applied by the intellectual Andr Malraux who prescribed a deep cleansing and whitening treatments as the most appropriate to erase the scars of age in her stone cheeks and skinIt was not always her beauty the main objective Some of her men were also concerned with her education It all started with Abelard who though a friar had a weakness for women admittedly educated women with an inclination to epistle writing and founded her first University This University later took on as her own the name of another man Robert de Sorbon the Confessor of Louis IX Subseuently Fran ois I thought not only of palaces since he founded the Coll ge de France a center of Humanism and he was followed about a century later by Richelieu who constituted the various Acad mies Language Arts and Architecture But as wenow education is dangerous and in May 1968 it was in some of these centers of nowledge that trouble brewed for this bluestockingAnd it was not all things beauty and centers of learning she also needed some occupations on which she could spend and enjoy her time For her culinary interests some cooks established delicious centers such as those set up by Boulanger or Beauvilliers and many palates desired restaurants like Chez Noudet or Maxim s The Caf s fashion was uickly developed so that most people would have sat around the Caf de la Paix Caf de Paris Caf des Aveugles Her interest in music welcomed many locals such as Berlioz Debussy or Ravel or attracted ethereal virtuosos from Poland or offered a venue for the celebration of a demonic Rite of Spring for the exotic Russian And since music beckons her temples she had her Opera designed by Charles Garnier Les; Napoleon’s rise and fall; Baron Haussmann’s rebuilding of Paris at the cost of much of the medieval city; the Belle Epoue and the Great War that brought it to an end; the Nazi Occupation the Liberation and the postwar period dominated by de Gaulle Horne brings the city’s highs and lows savagery and sophistication and heroes and villain. ,
Building that became such an exemplary model that replicas sprouted later in Hanoi and Buenos Aires Knowing that obvious symbols of social differences could breed trouble she proceeded to have the Opera of the People and build in a place with no lesser emblematic meaning than the Bastille her second grand music hall Of course it was not all grand music that tuned the ears of those men who were always orbiting nervously around her She had to provide a special entertainment for those Her Moulin Rouge or the Folies Berg re or Le Chat noir became world famous as centers of naughty fun and in so doing became also sources of inspiration for her painters with Toulouse Lautrec Manet or Picasso to name just a few of those who left unforgettable images For if she has had an innumerable string of painters that have left us with a history of her countenance in particular those who exalted the richness of her city life like Pissarro or Caillebotte she has also had a series of bards who wrote copiously having falling prey to their fascination Eug ne Sue Balzac the Goncourts Zola Proust and a long etcetera have left volumes and volumes of her splendor and sualor and luxury and vice and mythical grandeur And it is for this never ending string of men that she has taken care to present herself in an exuisite toilette For even if the concept of Haute Couture had its inception in her secluded royal courts it was thanks to her Couturiers that her style would rank as the most elegant that would set the fashions openly The English Charles Worth had to establish his business there if he wanted to drape the right model but plenty of locals Pauin Poiret Dior and Gautier later exported her allure to the rest of the world And since dress nicely but with no parures could seem that she was displaying a nudity of elegance thanks to the Cartier males father and three sons and their innovative use of platinum for jewellery she set a trend that most of the European Royals would copy in their tiaras forgetting the Republican nature of their inspirational modelAs we close this book after reading about her Seven Ages we are left with a whiff of her perfume for she the Eve of very many Adams could only use a scent named Le Fruit D fenduEvoking her mystery This review and others can be found at BW Book ReviewsFor me this book was a great big ball of meh I got it from a bookstore because I thought it sounded fascinating A historian telling me what he thinks the seven ages of Paris were and what happened during those ages Fascinating A social history in a way all focused on certain ages he noticed through his years of studyThat wasn t this book If anyone nows of a book like that please hit me up I think another reviewer said it best This book is an aging British scholar s love letter to Paris and it read that way He focused on the rulers and the politics of their reign not the experiences of the people in Paris Instead of a social history it was a political history And that made it super boring since it focused on the various rulers rather than what the people feltI found it pretty boring and watered down by the opinions of an aged historian Such as he loved assuming the sexuality of various rulers And he s
using a definition of homosexuality that was created in the 1800s and applying it to peoplea definition of homosexuality that was created in the 1800s and applying it to people were around centuries before it was created So that s a bad thing to do as a historian You don t apply modern terms to historical people As an example I wouldn t call Joan of Arc transgender because that term wasn t a thing back then even though she shows some signs of it That s not the best example but it s one I could come up with You just don t do that as a historian And he labeled multiple people as homosexual when they had relationships with women and some of them actually had ids Yeah He called them homosexual when they were at best bisexualThen he had a bias against Marie Antoinette and he made so many other snide comments that I became exasperated Great he has an opinion but they re not backed up by history And it felt like this was as the reviewer before me put it a love letter to Paris It was terribly boring Especially since Paris isn t my favorite city in the worldIn short I wouldn t recommend this book It s readable and somewhat interesting at times but it wasn t what I was looking for I should have read some reviews before I went and bought this one but I m glad it s off my TBR I both read and listened to this book over a time period of several weeks and to me a person who is unfamiliar with a great deal of European history I found it to be a great look at Paris through time I expected it might be a stodgy read but it was surprisingly opinionated and gossipy with lots of little stories that make the people and the movements and the city feel three dimensional Reading this book with its huge backdrop of centuries with the strong leaders and the ridiculously ineffective leaders with its wars with its dramatic governmental changes it was oddly calming to read this history during a time of a pandemic with horrific challenges to democracy here in America reminding me to persevere just as Paris has done Incredibly disappointing While this book #Is Marketed As Popular #marketed as popular to Parisian history perhaps something lively to read before a vacation the writing is dull and oftentimes confusing Horne could not decide on an audience for this book Such a cursory overview of millennia of French history cannot appeal to someone already familiar with the likes of Louis XIV or Napoleon Even so the obliue references to people and events often with no background explanation make the narrative difficult to follow Paris itself ostensibly the central focus of the book is too often mentioned as an afterthought as Horne spends much of his time discussing the virtues and foibles of monarchs and other greats instead Surely there are better histories of Paris but if you must read this one have a Paris guidebook and French dictionary ready Wikipedia wouldn t hurt either if you intend on eeping up with Horne s self aggrandizing name droppin. S splendidly to life With a een eye for the telling anecdote and pivotal moment he portrays an array of vivid incidents to show us how Paris endures through each age is altered but always emerges brilliant and beautiful than ever The Seven Ages of Paris is a great historian’s tribute to a city he loves and has spent a lifetime learning to now. .
A marvelous summary of the history of Paris I read the section on the Nazi occupation which was excellent I really liked this survey of French history enclosed by its impact on the city of Paris itself The Seven Ages trope exists to focus on the highlights of that history though other eras are discussed when necessary In reality it is a history of France in seven major eras su This book is thoroughly readable and yet ultimately disappointing I opened it expecting an account of how Paris came to take on its current form Horne does discuss this of course But his main focus is military and political history a series of rulers great and petty who march across the stage of history usually bringing war in their wake Horne s prose is engaging and smooth and he vividly captures the drama of rebellions affairs sieges and plots but as a result the descriptions of Paris itself were superficial and vagueEven so I did learn a good deal about the city s history especially the nineteenth century But I think the book could have been far better if less exciting had Horne focused on the city itself rather than the belligerent leaders for whom it served as a backdrop The final impression left by Horne s book is of a city whose streets run red with blood since he focuses so insistently on the admittedly many instances of the French slaughtering one another As if the tourist did not have enough to worry about already 3 stars Very generous Instinct told me do not read in chrono order So I began with the 6th Age which begins w La Belle Epoue and covers W1 and moves into the 7th Age W2 and ends c 1969 Instinct was erect Author Horne in 400 pages condenses centuries of French history and shows the importance of good writing and selectivity of material Reading about what I new fairly well enabled me to consider what he was up toYes he writes damn well but why can t I remember anything vital Is it important to learn that Josephine Baker danced wearing only a crotch feather and had a boff w author Georges Simenon Or that Nijinsky may have performed at least once minus a jockstrap I do like the Sacha Guitry uote The burdens of marriage are too heavy to be borne by two people alone In the 7th Age when author turns to post war2 culture and his researchers fail him here he ignores the New Wave cinema revolution with an off hand line or two which dismays me as this had a profound effect on La La Land Belmondo at this time was on the cover of LIFE for god s sake in a French movie That Man from Rio He was followed by Jeanne Moreau on the cover of TIME 1965 Very rare udos Blinkered author gives a mild hiccough over the disastrous building of La Tour Montparnasse started in 1959 and finished in 1973 that famously obscene skyscraper in the middle of the Left Bank a ghastly blight on the Paris he claims to love so well At this point I thought Aw piss off Mr Horne I do not believe he loves ParisSo I dutifully returned to the beginning Age 1 1180 1314 and plodded along cranky but curious He stays very chatty and is never hesitant to repeat a cliche like Paris is a woman Here I reuired a double vodka martini He mostly delivers political strategems betrayals deceits wars slaughters royal mistresses bastards and the stench of
Paris sewage It wasn t until the 1970s that every hotel room had a wc and many apartments too Aahsewage It wasn t until the 1970s that every hotel room had a wc and many apartments too Aah necessity of perfume so important I ponderedwell he didn t Bidet anyoneAuthor Horne likes Henry IV reign 1572 1610 who was stabbed to death by a Catholic crackpot in his open coach during a traffic jam Mull that Henry was indly to Protestants Nancy Mitford gushes over Louis XIV the Sun King though 1000s of Versailles chamber pots had to be emptied but let s move along ca va I like author Horne when he allows that life at Versailles was leaden unless you had a taste for cards hunting and gossip In sum my feelings are mixed And rather blurry Let me recommend anew The French by Sanche de Gramont who offers a perceptive look at everything French from bureaucracy and pettiness to grandeur fashion POLITICS AND PHILOSOPHY AND OF COURSE FOOD AND SEX and philosophy and of course food and sex is the book you want He points out that the US English id is told to be good By contrast the French child is always told sois raisonnable be reasonable This is called Thinking French Ca va This book is a real mediocrity I m living in Paris for a few months so it seemed only reasonable to read a book that is a history of Paris Well this isn t it What this is is a history of political events in France and the impact of those events on the rulers of Paris and to some extent the ordinary middle class and poor You learn very little of the changes in the governmental structure the #Organization Of The Food #of the food the periods of architectural change isn t that what a history of a city would tell you about Instead the author manages to pack in every bit of gossip he can imagine about the monarchs and generals We read that Henry IV smelled bad but had many lovers I suppose that s interesting We only learn of the architectural style associated with his reign in passingIf you just want an old fashioned political history of France centered on Paris with very little nuance regarding societal structure this book may be for you But it is thin gruel if you want to learn about the city MehIf you re looking for a history of Paris I wonder if perhaps one would just do better getting one of the excellent books on the history of France This book is an aging British scholar s love She is a woman I mean she is femaleAnd she is not just any female She is of colossal fameA mythical female she isAnd yet she is well alive and exists todayBecause she has presence than you or I have I am talking about resplendent ParisFor if this woman is outstandingly beautiful and alluring at times she as also been violent and bloodthirsty and this mix of personas has made her eminently enigmatic and mysteriousAlistair Horne in this book traces the history of Paris through what he sees as her Seven Ages As he traces her history we see that her life has evolved around a few celebrated men Or may be it In this luminous portrait of Paris celebrated historian Alistair Horne gives us the history culture disasters and triumphs of one of the world’s truly great cities Horne makes plain that while Paris may be many things it is never boringFrom the rise of Philippe Auguste through the reigns of Henry IV and Louis XIV who abandoned Paris for Versail.