City of Light City of Poison Murder Magic and the First Police Chief of Paris

City of Light  City of Poison  Murder  Magic  and the First Police Chief of Paris Author Holly Tucker
ISBN-10 9780393248845
Year 2017-03-21
Pages 352
Language en
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
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“A fierce tale of conspiracy and retribution… Thanks to Tucker’s sympathetic necromancy and her luscious resurrection of everyday detail, even in gilded palaces the human psyche seems familiarly deceitful and self-justifying.” —Michael Sims, author of The Story of Charlotte’s Web and Arthur and Sherlock Appointed to conquer the “crime capital of the world,” the first police chief of Paris faces an epidemic of murder in the late 1600s. Assigned by Louis XIV, Nicolas de La Reynie begins by clearing the streets of filth and installing lanterns throughout Paris, turning it into the City of Light. The fearless La Reynie pursues criminals through the labyrinthine neighborhoods of the city. He unearths a tightly knit cabal of poisoners, witches, and renegade priests. As he exposes their unholy work, he soon learns that no one is safe from black magic—not even the Sun King. In a world where a royal glance can turn success into disgrace, the distance between the quietly back-stabbing world of the king’s court and the criminal underground proves disturbingly short. Nobles settle scores by employing witches to craft poisons and by hiring priests to perform dark rituals in Paris’s most illustrious churches and cathedrals. As La Reynie continues his investigations, he is haunted by a single question: Could Louis’s mistresses could be involved in such nefarious plots? The pragmatic and principled La Reynie must decide just how far he will go to protect his king. From secret courtrooms to torture chambers, City of Light, City of Poison is a gripping true-crime tale of deception and murder. Based on thousands of pages of court transcripts and La Reynie’s compulsive note-taking, as well as on letters and diaries, Tucker’s riveting narrative makes the fascinating, real-life characters breathe on the page.

Blood Work A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution

Blood Work  A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution Author Holly Tucker
ISBN-10 9780393080421
Year 2011-03-21
Pages 336
Language en
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
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“Excellent. . . . Tucker’s chronicle of the world of 17th-century science in London and Paris is fascinating.”—The Economist In December 1667, maverick physician Jean Denis transfused calf’s blood into one of Paris’s most notorious madmen. Days later, the madman was dead and Denis was framed for murder. A riveting exposé of the fierce debates, deadly politics, and cutthroat rivalries behind the first transfusion experiments, Blood Work takes us from dissection rooms in palaces to the streets of Paris, providing an unforgettable portrait of an era that wrestled with the same questions about morality and experimentation that haunt medical science today.

The Courtesan and the Gigolo

The Courtesan and the Gigolo Author Aaron Freundschuh
ISBN-10 9781503600973
Year 2017-01-11
Pages 272
Language en
Publisher Stanford University Press
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The intrigue began with a triple homicide in a luxury apartment building just steps from the Champs-Elyseés, in March 1887. A high-class prostitute and two others, one of them a child, had been stabbed to death—the latest in a string of unsolved murders targeting women of the Parisian demimonde. Newspapers eagerly reported the lurid details, and when the police arrested Enrico Pranzini, a charismatic and handsome Egyptian migrant, the story became an international sensation. As the case descended into scandal and papers fanned the flames of anti-immigrant politics, the investigation became thoroughly enmeshed with the crisis-driven political climate of the French Third Republic and the rise of xenophobic right-wing movements. Aaron Freundschuh's account of the "Pranzini Affair" recreates not just the intricacies of the investigation and the raucous courtroom trial, but also the jockeying for status among rival players—reporters, police detectives, doctors, and magistrates—who all stood to gain professional advantage and prestige. Freundschuh deftly weaves together the sensational details of the case with the social and political undercurrents of the time, arguing that the racially charged portrayal of Pranzini reflects a mounting anxiety about the colonial "Other" within France's own borders. Pranzini's case provides a window into a transformational decade for the history of immigration, nationalism, and empire in France.

Death in the City of Light

Death in the City of Light Author David King
ISBN-10 9780307452917
Year 2011-09-20
Pages 432
Language en
Publisher Broadway Books
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Death in the City of Light is the gripping, true story of a brutal serial killer who unleashed his own reign of terror in Nazi-Occupied Paris. As decapitated heads and dismembered body parts surfaced in the Seine, Commissaire Georges-Victor Massu, head of the Brigade Criminelle, was tasked with tracking down the elusive murderer in a twilight world of Gestapo, gangsters, resistance fighters, pimps, prostitutes, spies, and other shadowy figures of the Parisian underworld. The main suspect was Dr. Marcel Petiot, a handsome, charming physician with remarkable charisma. He was the “People’s Doctor,” known for his many acts of kindness and generosity, not least in providing free medical care for the poor. Petiot, however, would soon be charged with twenty-seven murders, though authorities suspected the total was considerably higher, perhaps even as many as 150. Who was being slaughtered, and why? Was Petiot a sexual sadist, as the press suggested, killing for thrills? Was he allied with the Gestapo, or, on the contrary, the French Resistance? Or did he work for no one other than himself? Trying to solve the many mysteries of the case, Massu would unravel a plot of unspeakable deviousness. When Petiot was finally arrested, the French police hoped for answers. But the trial soon became a circus. Attempting to try all twenty-seven cases at once, the prosecution stumbled in its marathon cross-examinations, and Petiot, enjoying the spotlight, responded with astonishing ease. His attorney, René Floriot, a rising star in the world of criminal defense, also effectively, if aggressively, countered the charges. Soon, despite a team of prosecuting attorneys, dozens of witnesses, and over one ton of evidence, Petiot’s brilliance and wit threatened to win the day. Drawing extensively on many new sources, including the massive, classified French police file on Dr. Petiot, Death in the City of Light is a brilliant evocation of Nazi-Occupied Paris and a harrowing exploration of murder, betrayal, and evil of staggering proportions. From the Hardcover edition.

The Mistress of Paris

The Mistress of Paris Author Catherine Hewitt
ISBN-10 9781848319271
Year 2015-11-05
Pages 352
Language en
Publisher Icon Books Ltd
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Valtesse de la Bigne was a celebrated nineteenth-century Parisian courtesan. She was painted by Manet and inspired Emile Zola, who immortalised her in his scandalous novel Nana. Her rumoured affairs with Napoleon III and the future Edward VII kept gossip columns full. But her glamourous existence hid a dark secret: she was no Comtesse. She was born into abject poverty, raised on a squalid Paris backstreet; the lowest of the low. Yet she transformed herself into an enchantress who possessed a small fortune, three mansions, fabulous carriages, and art the envy of connoisseurs across Europe. A consummate show-woman, she ensured that her life – and even her death – remained shrouded in just enough mystery to keep her audience hungry for more. Catherine Hewitt’s biography tells, for the first time ever in English, the forgotten story of a remarkable woman who, though her roots were lowly, never stopped aiming high.

Mrs Sherlock Holmes

Mrs  Sherlock Holmes Author Brad Ricca
ISBN-10 9781466883659
Year 2017-01-03
Pages 432
Language en
Publisher St. Martin's Press
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Mrs. Sherlock Holmes tells the incredible true life story of Mrs. Grace Humiston, the New York lawyer and detective who solved the famous cold case of Ruth Cruger, an 18-year-old girl who disappeared in 1917. Grace was an amazing lawyer and traveling detective during a time when no women were practicing these professions. She focused on solving cases no one else wanted and advocating for innocents. Grace became the first female U.S. District Attorney and made ground-breaking investigations into modern slavery. One of Grace's greatest accomplishments was solving the Cruger case after following a trail of corruption that lead from New York to Italy. Her work changed how the country viewed the problem of missing girls. But the victory came with a price when she learned all too well what happens when one woman upstages the entire NYPD. In the literary tradition of In Cold Blood and The Devil in the White City, Brad Ricca's Mrs. Sherlock Holmes is a true crime tale told in spine-tingling fashion. This story is about a woman whose work was so impressive that the papers gave her the nickname of fiction’s greatest sleuth. With important repercussions in the present about kidnapping, the role of the media, and the truth of crime stories, the great mystery of the book – and its haunting twist ending – is how one woman can become so famous only to disappear completely.

The Affair of the Poisons

The Affair of the Poisons Author Anne Somerset
ISBN-10 9781466862807
Year 2014-01-14
Pages 400
Language en
Publisher St. Martin's Press
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The Affair of the Poisons, as it became known, was an extraordinary episode that took place in France during the reign of Louis XIV. When poisoning and black magic became widespread, arrests followed. Suspects included those among the highest ranks of society. Many were tortured and numerous executions resulted. The 1676 torture and execution of the Marquise de Brinvilliers marked the start of the scandal which rocked the foundations of French society and sent shock waves through all of Europe. Convicted of conspiring with her adulterous lover to poison her father and brothers in order to secure the family fortune, the marquise was the first member of the noble class to fall. In the French court of the period, where sexual affairs were numerous, ladies were not shy of seeking help from the murkier elements of the Parisian underworld, and fortune-tellers supplemented their dubious trade by selling poison. It was not long before the authorities were led to believe that Louis XIV himself was at risk. With the police chief of Paris police alerted, every hint of danger was investigated. Rumors abounded and it was not long before the King ordered the setting up of a special commission to investigate the poisonings and bring offenders to justice. No one, the King decreed, no matter how grand, would be spared having to account for their conduct. The royal court was soon thrown into disarray. The Mistress of the Robes and a distinguished general were among the early suspects. But they paled into insignificance when the King's mistress was incriminated. If, as was said, she had engaged in vile Satanic rituals and had sought to poison a rival for the King's affections, what was Louis XIV to do? Anne Somerset has gone back to original sources, letters and earlier accounts of the affair. By the end of her account, she reaches firm conclusions on various crucial matters. The Affair of the Poisons is an enthralling account of a sometimes bizarre period in French history.

Pregnant Fictions

Pregnant Fictions Author Holly Tucker
ISBN-10 0814330428
Year 2003
Pages 213
Language en
Publisher Wayne State University Press
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How male medical authorities and female literary authors struggled to describe the inner workings of the unseen—and competed to shape public understanding of it—is the focus of this engaging work by Holly Tucker. In illuminating the gender politics underlying dramatic changes in reproductive theory and practice, Tucker shows just how tenuous the boundaries of scientific "fact" and marvelous fictions were in early-modern France. On the literary front, Tucker argues, women used the fairy tale to rethink the biology of childbirth and the sociopolitical uses to which it had been put. She shows that in references to midwives, infertility, sex selection, and embryological theories, fairy-tale writers experimented with alternative ways of understanding pregnancy. In so doing they suggested new ways in which to envision women, knowledge, and power in both the public and the private spheres.

The Wicked Boy

The Wicked Boy Author Kate Summerscale
ISBN-10 9781408851135
Year 2016-05-05
Pages 400
Language en
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing
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Longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction 2017 The gripping, fascinating account of a shocking murder case that sent late Victorian Britain into a frenzy, by the number one bestselling, multi-award-winning author of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher 'Her research is needle-sharp and her period detail richly atmospheric, but what is most heartening about this truly remarkable book is the story of real-life redemption that it brings to light' John Carey, Sunday Times Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, thirteen-year-old Robert Coombes and his twelve-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow brick terraced house in east London to watch a cricket match at Lord's. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, leaving the boys and their mother at home for the summer. Over the next ten days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning family valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. During this time nobody saw or heard from their mother, though the boys told neighbours she was visiting relatives. As the sun beat down on the Coombes house, an awful smell began to emanate from the building. When the police were finally called to investigate, what they found in one of the bedrooms sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm, and Robert and Nattie were swept up in a criminal trial that echoed the outrageous plots of the 'penny dreadful' novels that Robert loved to read. In The Wicked Boy, Kate Summerscale has uncovered a fascinating true story of murder and morality – it is not just a meticulous examination of a shocking Victorian case, but also a compelling account of its aftermath, and of man's capacity to overcome the past.

Paris After the Liberation

Paris After the Liberation Author Artemis Cooper
ISBN-10 9780141912882
Year 2007-10-04
Pages 464
Language en
Publisher Penguin UK
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Post liberation Paris – an epoch charged with political and conflicting emotions. Liberation was greeted with joy but marked by recriminations and the trauma of purges. The feverish intellectual arguments of the young took place amidst the mundane reality of hunger and fuel shortages. This is a stunning historical account of one of the most stimulating periods in twentieth century French history.

The Woman on the Stairs

The Woman on the Stairs Author Bernhard Schlink
ISBN-10 9781474600668
Year 2016-11-24
Pages 240
Language en
Publisher Hachette UK
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From the author of the internationally bestselling classic THE READER, a tale of obsession, possession and a mystery painting. For decades the painting was believed to be lost. But, just as mysteriously as it disappeared, it reappears, an anonymous donation to a gallery in Sydney. The art world is stunned but so are the three men who loved the woman in the painting, the woman on the stairs. One by one they track her down to an isolated cottage in Australia. Here they must try to untangle the lies and betrayals of their shared past - but time is running out. The Woman on the Stairs is an intricately-crafted, poignant and beguiling novel about creativity and love, about the effects of time passing and the regrets that haunt us all.

Occult Paris

Occult Paris Author Tobias Churton
ISBN-10 9781620555460
Year 2016-10-14
Pages 528
Language en
Publisher Simon and Schuster
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How fin-de-siècle Paris became the locus for the most intense revival of magical practices and doctrines since the Renaissance • Examines the remarkable lives of occult practitioners Joséphin Peladan, Papus, Stanislas de Guaïta, Saint-Yves d’Alveydre, Jules Doinel, and others • Reveals how occult activity deeply influenced many well-known cultural movements, such as Symbolism, the Decadents, modern music, and the “psychedelic 60s” During Paris’s Belle Époque (1871-1914), many cultural movements and artistic styles flourished--Symbolism, Impressionism, Art Nouveau, the Decadents--all of which profoundly shaped modern culture. Inseparable from this cultural advancement was the explosion of occult activity taking place in the City of Light at the same time. Exploring the magical, artistic, and intellectual world of the Belle Époque, Tobias Churton shows how a wide variety of Theosophists, Rosicrucians, Martinists, Freemasons, Gnostics, and neo-Cathars called fin-de-siècle Paris home. He examines the precise interplay of occultists Joséphin Peladan, Papus, Stanislas de Guaïta, and founder of the modern Gnostic Church Jules Doinel, along with lesser known figures such as Saint-Yves d’Alveydre, Paul Sédir, Charles Barlet, Edmond Bailly, Albert Jounet, Abbé Lacuria, and Lady Caithness. He reveals how the work of many masters of modern culture such as composers Claude Debussy and Erik Satie, writers Arthur Rimbaud and Charles Baudelaire, and painters Georges Seurat and Alphonse Osbert bear signs of immersion in the esoteric circles that were thriving in Paris at the time. The author demonstrates how the creative hermetic ferment that animated the City of Light in the decades leading up to World War I remains an enduring presence and powerful influence today. Where, he asks, would Aleister Crowley and all the magicians of today be without the Parisian source of so much creativity in this field? Conveying the living energy of Paris in this richly artistic period of history, Churton brings into full perspective the characters, personalities, and forces that made Paris a global magnet and which allowed later cultural movements, such as the “psychedelic 60s,” to rise from the ashes of post-war Europe.

General s Niece

General s Niece Author Paige Bowers
ISBN-10 9781613736128
Year 2017-06-01
Pages 272
Language en
Publisher Chicago Review Press
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Based on interviews with family members, former associates, prominent historians, and never-before-seen papers written by Geneviève de Gaulle, The General's Niece is the first English-language biography of Charles de Gaulle's niece and daughter-figure, Geneviève. Journalist Paige Bowers leads readers through the remarkable life of this young woman who risked death to become one of the most devoted foot soldiers of the French Resistance. Beginning with small acts of defiance, she eventually ferried arms and false transit letters to fellow résistants and distributed the nation's largest underground newspaper, until she was finally arrested and sent to the infamous Ravensbrück concentration camp. The General's Niece reveals the horrors the young de Gaulle witnessed and endured there that could have broken her spirit, but instead inspired her many remaining years of activism on behalf of former prisoners. Bowers details de Gaulle's later years, during which she continued to stand up for what was humane and just, participating in campaigns to help France's neediest citizens and to force the Germans to pay restitution to a group of Polish women on whom the Nazis had performed crippling experiments at Ravensbrück.

In the Skin of a Lion

In the Skin of a Lion Author Michael Ondaatje
ISBN-10 9781509823352
Year 2017-06-01
Pages
Language en
Publisher Pan Macmillan
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With an introduction by Anne Enright Before the real city could be seen it had to be imagined, the way rumours and tall tales were a kind of charting. It is the 1920s, and Patrick Lewis has arrived in the bustling city of Toronto, leaving behind his Canadian wilderness home. Immersed in the lives of the people who surround him – the immigrants building the city, as well as those who dreamed it into being – Patrick begins to learn, from their stories, the history of the city itself. And he has his own adventures: searching for a missing millionaire, tunnelling beneath Lake Ontario, falling in love. In the Skin of a Lion is Michael Ondaatje's sparkling predecessor to his Booker Prize-winning The English Patient. Here we encounter Hana the orphaned girl and Caravaggio the thief for the first time, as well as a large cast of other characters, all lovingly and intimately portrayed. Exquisite and musical, In the Skin of a Lion is a novel that challenges the boundary between history and myth. It is a stunning modern classic.