The Place de la Bastille

The Story of a Quartier

Keith Reader

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ISBN: 9781846316654

Publication: May 1, 2011

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
Epicentre of the Revolution of 1789, erstwhile bastion of the skilled working-class and centre of radical agitation, along with Pigalle and Montmartre a focus for popular and raffish night-life in the early twentieth century, the Bastille area of Eastern Paris (also known as the Faubourg Saint-Antoine) is now an ethnically and socially mixed quartier which still bears the traces of its previous avatars. In a fascinating tour, Keith Reader charts the history and cultural geography of this unique area of Paris, from the fortress and prison that gave the area its name to the building of the largest and costliest opera house in the world.

Keith Reader is Professor of Modern French Studies at the University of Glasgow. His previous books include Jean Renoir’s ‘La Règle du jeu’ (I. B. Tauris, 2009), 'French Cinema : A Student’s Guide' (Longman, 2003) and 'The Papin Sisters' (OUP, 2001).

Acknowledgements Introduction: The Place de la Bastille 1. What's that poor creature doing here? : the area and the fortress before the Revolution of 1789 2. 'Thought blew the Bastille apart': the fall of teh fortress and the revolutionary years, 1789- 1815 3. 'The strategy of the generals of Africa shattered': the Restoration, Orleanist and Second Republic Years, 1815-1851 4. 'Where is the noise of the storm that I love?: The Second Empire from Hausmann to the Commune 5. 'Satan's bagpipes' : La Belle Epoque's forty-three years of peace 6. 'Villains, stars and everybody in between': The First War and the 'entre-deux-guerres' 7. 'Slicked hair and splendid sideburns': Occupation and Liberation 8. Let's have some sun!: post- Gaullisma and the Mitterrand years 9. 'A building, not a monument': the construction of the Bastille Opera 10.'A real earthquake': the impact of the Opera on the quartier 11. Flanerie in the archive: the Faubourg/ Bastille today Notes Bibliography Index

This is a fascinating and adventurous book, which points the way for an interdisciplinary synthesis of French studies, history, and cultural geography. ...the result is enjoyable, stimulating, and suggestive of new research directions
  The Historians, Vol. 75 No. 4 25

Reader’s vast knowledge about this area makes The Place de la Bastille an engaging book for those interested in Parisian history and in French culture more generally.
  French Forum, Vol. 37, No. 3 Fall

... highly entertaining and informative... an engaging and knowledgeable portrait...As a bonus, the author concludes with a walking tour of the faubourg worthy of any seasoned flâneur of Paris.
  Dalhousie French Studies 97

This in-depth study of the Place de la Bastille and its surroundings is a welcome addition to the study of the cultural history of Paris. The work is made even more appealing by the literary and cinematic depictions of the life in the quartier. The final chapter’s detailed description of present-day streetscapes is useful for visitors, who may now approach the area with a more informed attitude.
Alice J. Strange   French Review, 85.4
Southeast Missouri State University

The book will be a useful reference work for students of literary and cinematic representations. It also fills a niche as a historical survey of an area that has played major roles in the political, economic, and leisure life of Paris.
  French History
University of Massachusetts

... a well-argued, thoroughly-researched and scholarly work, it is vibrant and readable enough to interest a readership from outside the academic community from which Reader comes.
  Urban Landfill

A wonderful piece of work that cuts a new path through French studies. Using topography to bring history, anthropology, literature and the arts into a single focus, the book is also a guide or mode d'emploi for each and all who have affection for Paris and, more broadly, gallic culture.
Tom Conley  
Harvard University

What is provocative about the text is an underlying argument that Paris cannot yet be consigned as a living museum. It is this spark which catches fire soon into the book and makes it so entertaining and accessible … an important book not only because it illuminates one of the many shadowy places in Parisian history, but because it has an importance for anyone interested in cities and what they might mean.
Andrew Hussey  

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

184 Pages

ISBN: 9781846316654

Publication: May 1, 2011

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