Joan DeJean (Bloomsbury USA) 2014, 308pp, RRP $32.99

There’s no doubt about how much Joan DeJean loves Paris in the spring… and the summer, autumn and winter. To write to such a meticulously researched book on the minutiae of Paris’s transformation through the ages can be nothing other than a committed labour of love. How Paris Became Paris - Joan DeJean - Bloomsbury USA - A and U - The Clothesline

DeJean, a Trustee Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has provided a book so detailed that the enthusiastic amateur historian will love this laborious journey through Paris.

She leaves no cobblestone unturned in her descriptions of the economic and political factors that were at play throughout the ages which conspired to make Paris the modern, romantic city we know it as today.  We learn about the introduction of pavements, the importance of the Pont Neuf, and even why centuries ago, clothes were often subject to being stolen.

Her tour de force also includes a very robust index at the back. The inclusion of lots of black and white sketches and paintings and several colour images further create Paris as picture perfection.

Jenny Thompson

This title is available through Allen & Unwin. Click here to purchase your copy.

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