“To breathe Paris is to preserve one’s soul”
Victor Hugo ~ Les Misérables
Emily Cope ~ The Book Lover’s Guide to Paris
A must-have for every fan of literature and Paris – The Book Lover’s Guide to Paris is an extensive and informative travel companion, shedding new light on an ever-popular subject and spanning three centuries of the city’s unique literary history, from Victor Hugo’s Paris to the Lost Generation literati and present-day works such as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
Including unique, full-colour photographs to reveal the settings readers have imagined in their favourite books, as well as insights into the lives, literature, haunts and homes of some of the world’s best writers, this guide will enable book lovers to explore the abundance of literary history Paris has to offer, whilst making the most of the city itself.
Paris is one of my favourite cities and I love exploring all it has to offer, from the Père Lachaise Cemetery to the catacombs and more. And of course I love Shakespeare and Company – it’s a bookworm’s dream!
It’s easy to spend an entire day wandering the streets of Paris without hope or agenda and more often than not you’ll stumble across a hidden gem of a restaurant, a quirky bar or random statue.
Yet this book revealed to me many more Parisian secrets, all of which I am keen to discover and see for myself on my next trip. Did you know that Ernest Hemingway first read The Great Gatsby – on Fitzgerald’s request – at La Closerie de Lilas?
Not only does the book reference some of my favourite books (The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George is divine) and authors (I adore Oscar Wilde and he has his own chapter), there are also plenty of suggested pilgrimages to see plaques, graves and authors’ writing inspiration. Need to finish your novel? Take your laptop to the Jardin du Luxembourg where Victor Hugo sought inspiration.. or order a 51 dry martini at Bar Hemingway and soak up his aura amidst his old typewriters, letters and old cigarettes.
I’ve been to Harry’s Bar but have never been to any of the libraries, something I plan to rectify on my next trip – I may even treat myself to a stay in one of the literary themed hotels.
Accessible, digestible and pretty much pocket sized, this is a great guide for any travelling bibliophile!
Thanks to Pen & Sword Books and White Owl Publishing for my copy. Opinions my own.