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Summer in Paris, by Michelle Schwartzbauer

Summer in Paris, by Michelle Schwartzbauer

Paris is a subject with timeless allure. Its mystery is its magnetism. Following in the footsteps of historical figures or indulging in its rich traditions, arts, and culture, we reach for all that Paris offers. How do we capture its grandeur? We don’t. We celebrate the diversity of our days and remain in awe at what we compress into our visits.

Whether you are soon to arrive in Paris or planning your next visit, here are a few more titles from our bookshelves that you might enjoy. To share your favorite books, email: barbara@awomansparis.com

Book: Walks Through Marie Antoinette’s Paris

By Diana Reid Haig. (Hardcover – July, 2010.)

Travel through the pages of Walks Through Marie Antoinette’s Paris and experience the historical drama of the 18th century French queen, Marie Antoinette, whose indulgence in all the wealth Versailles had to offer has become legend. At first the young Queen, showered with jewels and fine clothes, was much adored by the Parisians, but eventually her extravagance attracted the hostile criticism and outrage of the people.

Walk through historic Paris and the royal palaces of Compiègne, Versailles, Fontainebleau, and Rambouillet, and follow Marie Antoinette’s life from her arrival in France in 1770 to her journey to the guillotine in 1793. In this captivating book, Haig leads us on four guided walks. She introduces us to the historic sites connected by the history and tragic story of Marie Antoinette. This attractive pocket-size book will appeal to travelers and lovers of history. 144 pages illustrated in color. Haig is an award winning songwriter, annotator, and audio producer. She is a member of the Napoleonic Society of America and the Napoleonic Alliance. Haig is the author of Walks Through Napoleon & Josephine’s Paris. (Little Bookroom, 2003.) Ravenhall Books. (Marie Antoinette’s Paris.)

Book: Mariage Frères French Tea: Three Centuries of Savoir-Faire

By Flammarion. (Hardcover – February, 2010.)

Tea, after its introduction in Europe in the 17th century, was tremendously popular in France, arriving in Paris in 1636, twenty-two years before it appeared in England! Cardinal Mazarin, the most powerful man in France under Louis XIV, took tea regularly. In 1660, Nicolas Mariage was appointed by Louis XIV to convince the Shah of Persia into commerce with France. By 1665, the Sun King himself became a tea drinker. Mariage, the son of a merchant family who traded in exotic goods, soon became well known as the most important purveyor of tea for the Parisian high society during the Second Empire.

This book traces the history of Mariage Frères, the esteemed teahouse, from its early beginnings in the 17th century. The tea and vanilla import firm, Mariage Frères, based in Paris, was officially founded in 1854. In 1983, Henri Mirage’s granddaughter, Marthe Cottin, then in her 80s, guided two young tea enthusiasts, Richard Bueno and Kitti Cha Sangmanee, into the world of grand teas. Bueno and Sangmanee purchased the legendary firm in the early eighties. They envisioned a “French-style tea” and searched for the best tea buds from around the world, and created a gourmet cuisine to go with tea. This beautifully illustrated coffee table book shares the secrets of the Mirage Frères tea ritual and the pleasures of tea. 261 pages with illustrations. Flammarion.

Book: Pampered in Paris: A Guide to the Best Spas, Salons and Beauty Boutiques

By Kim Horton Levesque. Photographs by Kristyn Moore. (Paperback – May, 2010.)

Elisabeth has beautiful skin. She is radiant. She is confident. She is Parisian. This spring, during the five days we spent together in Berlin, I took notice of the three cosmetics resting on her side of the glass shelf above the bathroom sink. In contrast my collection of eleven cosmetics and six makeup brushes placed opposite hers. During my yearly month-long visits to Paris, by necessity and desire, I reexamine my book of lists and retrace my city walks to settle on the right beauty salon, manicure and pedicure bar, and perfume boutique to keep me looking my best. My schoolgirl French is adequate for shopping, museums, and ordering in restaurants. But to journey into the uncharted waters of beauty and skin treatments? Absolutely not!

Ladies, if you are like me, this book is for you! Pampered in Paris showcases the 50 best places to indulge in makeup, perfume, and skin treatments. Levesque describes how to navigate the cultural nuances of spa etiquette and provides recommendations for each venue’s treatments and products. This wallet-size book offers two glossaries of useful terms (skincare and makeup, spa and institut) and tips for beauty. “Madame, this is more natural to you,” whispered the Parisian woman at the beauty counter in the original Chanel boutique at 31, rue Cambon who selected a simple and subtle palette of colors for me. My old cache has been replaced and now rests in a zippered case tucked away at the back of my drawer. 232 pages with color illustrations. Levesque is a writer and French translator in the U.S. beauty industry. Moore is a U.S.-based photographer who specializes in interiors and natural-light portraiture. Little Bookroom.

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Fine art paintings of Paris

Fine art prints of paintings by Barbara Redmond of famous streets and places and gardens of Paris. Printed on archival 100% cotton paper, each print is signed and dated. Visit us! Or email Barbara at barbara@awomansparis.com. Free shipping in the continental U.S.A.

Text copyright ©2010 Barbara Redmond
Illustrations copyright ©Barbara Redmond
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