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Paris to the Past: Traveling Through French History by Train | [Ina Caro]

Paris to the Past: Traveling Through French History by Train

In one of the most inventive travel books in years, Ina Caro invites listeners on 25 one-day train trips that depart from Paris and transport us back through 700 years of French history. Whether taking us to Orléans to evoke the visions of Joan of Arc or to the Place de la Concorde to witness the beheading of Marie Antoinette, Caro animates history with her lush descriptions of architectural splendors and tales of court intrigue. "[An] enchanting travelogue" (Publishers Weekly), Paris to the Past has become one of the classic guidebooks of our time.
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Publisher's Summary

In one of the most inventive travel books in years, Ina Caro invites listeners on 25 one-day train trips that depart from Paris and transport us back through 700 years of French history. Whether taking us to Orléans to evoke the visions of Joan of Arc or to the Place de la Concorde to witness the beheading of Marie Antoinette, Caro animates history with her lush descriptions of architectural splendors and tales of court intrigue. “[An] enchanting travelogue” (Publishers Weekly), Paris to the Past has become one of the classic guidebooks of our time.

©2011 Ina Caro (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"I’d rather go to France with Ina Caro than with Henry Adams or Henry James." (Newsweek)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (26 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Simone 11-19-13
    Simone 11-19-13 Member Since 2006

    Join me on GoodReads too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Day Trip From Paris?... Look No Further!"

    It’s a first hand account of the author’s travels through France, most sights and destinations are within a 90-minute radius from Paris, all accessible either by metro or train (regional train or fast train / TGV). The destinations are set up in chronological order in an attempt to educate the reader a bit about French History – it works! It’s a wonderful guidebook – although not the type you’d carry around with you.

    Perhaps it’s because I am planning a trip to Paris for next spring and I am all ears when it comes to suggestions that I was so enamoured by this book, but I think anyone could benefit from the ideas presented.

    You can be sure this book will be a resource for every trip to France I ever make! The entire thing was interesting, but I really perked up when it covered places I’d already visited (most of Paris, Versailles, Fontainebleau, Chartres and Rouen) or the parts that cover things I plan to see and do on my next trip (more of Paris, Tours and Lyon).

    It was a great book, and excellent idea, and a lot of fun to read! Can’t wait to get over there and follow in her footsteps!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brit Seattle, WA, United States 09-05-13
    Brit Seattle, WA, United States 09-05-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful stories of incredible people & places"

    This is the perfect book to have in your arsenal when planning a trip to Paris/France! Such great storytelling (and gossip) about the epic people,places, art, and food that one finds when travelling by way of French history. I can't wait to go to these places. Caro has truly whet my appetite and I am certain my travel experiences will be much richer because of each and every one of her lovely and thoroughly researched chapters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Elizabeth Reynolds SUMMERVILLE, SC, United States 04-12-14
    Mary Elizabeth Reynolds SUMMERVILLE, SC, United States 04-12-14 Member Since 2010

    author of Lowcountry Legend's series

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Generation / Culture gap"

    I had high expectations for this book and plan to go through it again when I understand French history better. I cannot specifically say there was anything wrong with the book, but I kept feeling like it was my uptight great aunt taking me through France. I didn't get any of the romance of France within the pages. It left me a bit flat, but it could be personal. I'm a historian and such things don't usually bother me.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirsty 10-01-13
    Kirsty 10-01-13
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    "History comes to life"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I love the history but am really quite uninterested in where the picnics happened, or which restaurants were eaten in. In this respect, I found the juxtaposition of personal preference for one diner over another very distracting. However, I used the historical information to plan a number of day trips when I was staying in Paris. I feel there should be two editions and I would prefer the abridged one with the non historical detail taken out.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Ina Caro? Why or why not?

    Also purchased Roads to the Past (hard copy) and used it as the basis for exploring the Loire


    What aspect of Christa Lewis’s performance would you have changed?

    Some of her French pronunciation was difficult


    Did Paris to the Past inspire you to do anything?

    Visited a number of the places after listening - including Chartres and Vincennes, and are planning quite a number of others in our next trip


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-4 of 4 results
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  • Joy
    HengeloNetherlands
    4/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gentle History"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Innovative way of recounting French history - by using the train to visit significant places in the evolution of the French monarchy. The author clearly is in love with France and its history. She brings her enthusiasm through in her story telling. This book will add extra interest and enjoyment to a French holiday - even if you think you know a lot about France.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Napoleon - until he got pretensions to become Emperor.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Christa Lewis’s performances?

    No. I found her style really irritating. I decided it's because I'm not used to listening to one American voice for extended periods of time. She sounds like Kim Catrall (who isn't American) so I had to keep out of my mind visions of 'Sex in the City'! I think it is a positive indication of the book that I kept listening!


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The Royal train through France


    Any additional comments?

    This is very much a history of kings and queens. There is very little insight into the lives of ordinary people so the French revolution comes as a bit of surprise - not that the author is uncritical of some of the excesses of the French monarchy.The one thing I didn't like about the book was the rather tedious detail about meals the author and her husband ate. There are also some irritating 'tourist guide tips for visiting Americans' which could have been put in an Annex and the listener could choose to skip over them (which is much easier when reading a book).I listened to this book while in the gym. I really looked forward to listening to the next installment - I don't usually look forward with enthusiasm to my visit to the gym! - and I didn't notice the hour passing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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