Victor Hugo and Paris

Book: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo

Destination: Paris, France

It is hard for me to believe that I have never been to Paris. And yet, every time we start planning a trip to Europe, Greece exerts its magnet pull and I go there instead of the usual places that Americans head for in Europe.

But we ARE going.  Next year, the agenda is Paris and environs and Switzerland (mostly Bernese Oberland). The Switzerland part is because Mr. Traveler’s ancestors ALL came from the area of Bern. The Paris part is because, well, it’s Paris.

2884509295_63a21c249f Notre Dame

Traveler’s Bro. recommended reading Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame–not to be confused with the Disney movie of the same name.

If the size of the book (I have the 1833 version) deters you, skip directly to Book 3. There Hugo teaches a class in writing description, along with a class in the history of Paris and a few lessons in art and architecture as well.  He tells us how it looked in the early 19th century, and recreates earlier versions of the city. Because cities never sit still. They are always under construction to meet the latest fashion.

As usual, Traveler’s Bro. was right.  Although a few things may have changed between 1833 and 2010—armed with The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, today’s traveler will be able to see beneath the present day to historic Paris.

Please give me suggestions for books that will enhance my trip to Paris. What about Monet? A book from modern Paris? Hemmingway?  Suggestions, please.

Photo of Notre Dame by night by Brian Duffy, from Flickr, Licensed by Creative Commons.

The link to the title of Hunchback of Notre Dame leads to Amazon. Because I am an affiliate, anything you buy through that link, although it costs you no more, gives me a few pennies to support A Traveler’s Library. THANK YOU!

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About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, or recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons . She has written for Reel Life With Jane, Life is a Trip and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

3 thoughts on “Victor Hugo and Paris

  1. Pamposh: I’m late replying, but thanks for the recommendation. I love musical concerts in old churches and cathedrals. Ever hear one in the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.?

  2. During our last trip to Paris, my husband and I ended up sitting in on a service in the Notre Dame because we were so busy enjoying the cathedral we didn’t realize infidels like us were being asked to leave! It turned out to be a wonderful experience. So different without the tourists (like us!)
    On an earlier trip, my sister and I walked in on a Bach concert in one of the old churches (the oldest in the city, actually, but the name escapes me now). Again, fabulous.
    You might want to try something like that while you’re in Paris. Have fun!

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