LES PARISIENNES: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved & Died

LES PARISIENNES: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved & Died

ANNE SEBBA    Book Number: 83289    Product format: Paperback

'Elle en a le charme, l'oeil coquin, le velouté dans les manières en y ajoutant une nonchalance héritée probablement d'une läeule...' Here is Paris on the edge, abandoned, divided, ravaged, from the years 1939-44 and then Liberation and adjusting in 1946 and reconstructing, even becoming Americanised in 1948-49. Here were the years of fear, power, aggression, courage, deprivation and secrets until finally, renewal and retribution. Even in the darkest moments of Occupation, glamour was ever present. French women wore lipstick. Why? It was the women who came face to face with German conquerors on a daily basis, perhaps selling them clothes or travelling alongside them on the Metro, where a German soldier had priority over seats. By looking at collaborators and resisters, actresses and prostitutes as well as writers and teachers, the superb social historian Anne Sebba shows that women made life-and-death decisions every day. It was an atmosphere where sex became currency, and often women did whatever they needed to survive. Her cast includes native Parisians women and those living temporarily in Paris, American women and Nazi wives, spies, mothers, mistresses and fashion and jewellery designers. Some like the heiress Béatrice de Camondo or novelist Irène Némirovsky converted to Catholicism; others like lesbian racing driver Violett Morris embraced the Nazi philosophy. Only a handful like Coco Chanel retreated to the Ritz with a German lover. Sebba explores the aftershock of WWII and how the women who survived to see the Liberation of Paris came to terms with their actions and those of others. Politics lies at the heart of this most feminine of cities. 457pp in well illustrated large softback.
Published price: £14.99
Bibliophile price: £3.50

Additional product information

ISBN 9781474601733
Browse this category: Modern History/Current Affairs

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