Philip Mansel

In Polish Paris

Chopin's Funeral

By

Little, Brown 230pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

PARIS IN THE nineteenth century was a world city. Offering a hypnotic combination of freedom, pleasure and modernity, it defined itself as cosmopolitan by nature. Contemporary French books called it ‘the city of foreigners par excellence’, ‘the great European city par excellence’: the real foreigner in Paris was the native ” Parisian. One in ten Parisians, in the years between 1830 and 1870, was a foreigner. For Italians and Germans, Paris was the capital of freedom and ideas (and, in many cases, the best market for their talents): Marx became Marxist, and met Engels, while living in Paris in 1844-5. For the English, Paris was a capital of pleasure, and low prices. The nation for whom Paris was most important, however, and the nation which won the greatest ascendancy over Parisian hearts and minds, was Poland.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Start your week with a dose of Russian Revolutionary zeal. Donald Rayfield reviews Tobie Mathew's 'Greetings From t… ,
    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,
    • Jane Ridley reviews The Diaries of Kenneth Rose (ed. D R Thorpe) ,
    • ‘Look,’ says Trump. ‘The fact is I’m only human.’ On the evidence of this book that point is debatable. From the A… ,
    • From our December/January issue - here's John Banville's review of Colm Tóibín on the fathers of Wilde, Yeats and J… ,