‘He who contemplates the depths of Paris is seized with vertigo. Nothing is more fantastic. Nothing is more tragic. Nothing is more sublime.’ ― Victor Hugo
Think of Paris and you might picture romantic images of elegant boulevards, bohemian artists and café society. Those aren’t wrong, but the story of Paris is also a tale of riots and revolution, plagues and squalor, sieges, occupations and religious persecution. Ranging from ancient Gallic city conquered by the Romans to the 2015 terrorist attacks, Bloody History of Paris is a lively account of the political, military, social and cultural life of the capital. At times the largest city in Europe, Paris has been sacked by the Vikings, besieged by the Prussians and occupied by the Nazis; it has nurtured the artistic heights of Toulouse-Lautrec, Modigliani and Edith Piaf, but also witnessed their self-destructive lives. It has been the site of the Catholic massacre of Protestants in 1572, the execution of a king, and of thousands in religious and political conflicts. From Abelard and Héloïse to Joan of Arc, Coco Chanel to Princess Diana; from the Man in the Iron Mask to Marat, from Jacques Mesrine to Jim Morrison, the book takes a broad sweep over the more sinister moments in the city’s history. Expertly written and illustrated with 180 colour and black-&-white photographs, paintings and artworks, Bloody History of Paris tells the vibrant, unromantic tale of one of the world’s most romantic cities.