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.
"I’d rather go to France with Ina Caro than with Henry Adams or Henry James." (Newsweek)
author of Lowcountry Legend's series
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.
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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!
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.
Also purchased Roads to the Past (hard copy) and used it as the basis for exploring the Loire
Some of her French pronunciation was difficult
Visited a number of the places after listening - including Chartres and Vincennes, and are planning quite a number of others in our next trip
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.
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