Paris: Biography of a City by Colin Jones (Penguin Books Ltd)
In this intelligently-written and supremely entertaining new history, Colin Jones sets out to give a sense of the city of Paris as it has been lived in and experienced, from one period to the next. The focal point of generation upon generation of admirers and detractors, a source of attraction or repulsion, even for those who have never been there, this town has witnessed more extraordinary events than any other. No spot on earth has been more walked around, written about, discussed, painted and photographed. With an eye for revealing, startling and (sometimes) horrible details, Colin Jones takes the reader from Roman Paris to the present, recreating the ups and downs of this capital and its inhabitants, in an entertaining historical perspective. Attentive at once to the urban environment and to the experiences of those who have lived within it, at different stages of its evolution, "Paris: Biography of a City" will be hugely enjoyed by habitual "Paris dream" obsessives, by first-time visitors, and by those who know its landmarks only by repute.