Paris and Her Remarkable Women
By Lorraine Liscio
"By summoning these extraordinary women from the shadows throughout the city (shadows of time and shadows of neglect as women), I let them stand out alone or beside their celebrated male counterparts. After all, when visiting Paris, the more ghosts one meets, the better."—from the Introduction
To visit a city is to wander through its stories and glimpse its ghosts. This book evokes Paris from the Middle Ages through the twentieth century through the stories of sixteen exceptional women whose lives intersected with Paris in remarkable ways. The women profiled include: Geneviève, Héloïse, Christine de Pizan, Marquise de Sévigné, Madame de Maintenon, Madame du Châtelet, Madame Roland, Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Rachel, George Sand, Sarah Bernhardt, Camille Claudel, Marie Curie, Colette, Coco Chanel, and Simone de Beauvoir.
Even those women whom most people thought they knew may prove surprising. Who would have guessed at the relation between Coco Chanel's convent school origins and her fashions? What are we to make of Emilie du Châtelet's fame as Voltaire's mistress when he touts her as a "great man whose only fault was being a woman"? Whenever possible, the author allows these women to speak for themselves: Manon Roland conveys how it felt to be sucked into the whirlwind events of the Revolution; Madame de Sévigné describes contemporary events like a reporter on assignment.
About the Author
Lorraine Liscio is a writer and editor who has taught at Boston College, where she was the Director of Women's Studies.