A Passion for Paris by David Downie

My Rating:
A Passion for Paris by David Downie
A Passion for Paris by David Downie

A Passion for Paris by David Downie takes us on a tour of Paris from the Père-Lachaise Cemetery to Montmartre. Instead of writing about the famous American expatriates of the 1920s, the author chose to shed light on the Romantics of the 19th century: Félix Nadar, Victor Hugo, Charles Beaudelaire, Honoré de Balzac, George Sand, Eugène Delacroix, Alexandre Dumas, Émile Zola, etc.

David Downie guides us through the City of Light to show us where the Romantics lived, worked, loved and died. I found it fascinating how all these artists knew each other and were friends, lovers or enemies. In fact, they all lived within walking distance of each other, and most of their apartments, houses or studios are still standing. Some have been converted into museums, but others are privately owned.

The author has an impressive knowledge of the writers and artists of the time. In addition, he is not afraid of exploring sites normally not open to the public. His wife, Alison Harris, took most of the photographs that appear in the book, and they illustrate the text perfectly.  I must say though that I found a few chapters to be a bit too long, especially the one about Paris’ architecture. It didn’t interest me as much as the rest of the book. In the end though, A Passion for Paris will appeal to Francophiles interested in French art and literature.

A Passion for Paris was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review.

Fun facts about the book and the author:

  • David Downie has written a dozen non-fiction books and 2 thrillers.
  • He also created two apps: one about Paris history, and the other about the food and wine of Rome.
  • The author lives in Paris, in the Le Marais neighborhood, with his wife.
  • He offers custom walking tours of City of Light (Paris, Paris Tours).

About the author and his work: David Downie’s Website.

If you liked this book, you might also like:

Paris, Paris by David Downie
Paris, Paris by David Downie
Paris by Edward Rutherfurd
Paris by Edward Rutherfurd
Passionate Minds by David Bodanis
Passionate Minds by David Bodanis
Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore
Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore
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Written by Cecile

Cécile Sune was born in Lyon, France, and her obsession with books started when she was 14. Her grandparents had lent her Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, and she spent part of the summer indoors reading. Needless to say, her tan didn't really improve that year! It was also around that time that Cécile fell in love with the English language. Several years later, in 1999, Cécile moved to Toronto, Canada, with her cat and 5 suitcases. Her love of reading greatly increased when she discovered that English books were much cheaper than French novels. In 2013, she decided to start a blog to share her passion. Cécile now lives in Ottawa, Canada, with her husband and their daughter, and works as a freelance translator (CS Revision).

Cecile