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cultural history
British history

Tales of Two Cities: Paris, London, and the Birth of the Modern City

 
 
Author
Jonathan Conlin.
Publisher Counterpoint  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.15 x 1 inches
ISBN 9781619022256
Pages/Publication Date 312/2013
Daedalus Item Code 53442
This item is not available.
Description
Paris and London have long held a mutual fascination, and never more so than through the 18th and 19th centuries, when London became a vast economic center and Paris a cultural one, and each vied to be the world's greatest city. Both of them borrowed, imitated, and learned from each other, and together invented the true metropolis. Here the author of The Nation's Mantelpiece (exploring Britain's National Gallery) and Civilisation (assaying the landmark BBC television series) looks at the evolution of five urban spaces in Paris and London—the pleasure garden, the cemetery, the apartment, the restaurant, and the music hall—and how they defined the modern city.

"Full of unexpected facts ... Conlin's case studies of possible cultural exchange are both concise and entertaining."—NYTBR

"From a European perspective, London and Paris in the late 18th and all of the 19th centuries must have seemed the twin centers of the world. London, the capital of the emerging British Empire, was quickly becoming a giant commercial and financial hub. Paris also was an imperial capital, but it became a great symbol and repository of cultural brilliance that led elites across Europe to ape French language and styles. Conlin, a teacher at the University of Southampton, traces the supposed 'rivalry' and the more frequent interaction between these great urban centers. Surprisingly, some 'typically' French foods and even the famed cancan had their roots in London, and the great British detective novels were probably based on Parisian models. On a more basic level, the parallel growth of both cities, with all of the now-familiar achievements and problems associated with urban sprawl, set the pattern for the growth of numerous mega cities around the globe. This is a fine account of both urban history and cultural interaction."—Booklist

 
 
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