*The giveaway is now closed.

I’m delighted to welcome Christina Henry de Tessan, author of the new book Forever Paris, 25 Walks in the Footsteps of Chanel, Hemingway, Picasso, Molière, and More as a guest on FTRB today!

The Ones Who Got Away

One of the most difficult parts of creating my new book Forever Paris was figuring out who to include. Not for lack of choice but for the very opposite reason: out of the hundreds to choose from, how do you determine the most influential figures who have called Paris home? So I came up with some perameters, threw myself into my research, and fine-tuned, massaged and tinkered until I thought I had a reasonably representative group of trendsetters and tastemakers in whose footsteps you could follow. Ultimately, I was after people who were definitively changed by the city, not just those who passed through town for a few brief months of late nights in cafes. But to work with my walks format, they also had to go out to places, see and be seen, interact with the city itself.

Because of these self-imposed limitations, there were some fascinating figures that didn’t make the cut. Gertrude Stein, for instance, seemed at the outset like an obvious addition. Although she was less influential as a writer than she may have liked, she was the beating heart of the expat scene during Paris’s golden age. She was instrumental in connecting people whose lives were changed as a result of meeting in her living room. Picasso and Matisse owed their lifelong rivalry-friendship to Stein, and she introduced Hemingway to Ezra Pound, among others. Her literary salon is the stuff of legend, and writers continue to flock to Paris in hopes of recreating that particular magic. The trouble was she didn’t seem to get out much. Much as I wanted to include her in the book, the quintessential destination in Gertrude Stein’s life was her own extraordinary living room, and there was no hope of getting a walk of out that.

Jean Moulin was another fascinating figure who was eventually omitted. As a World War II resistance fighter, he played a crucial role in uniting the numerous resistance factions in France into a single effective force. There’s an entire museum dedicated to his endeavors on the roof of the train station at Montparnasse. But the trouble was that he lived his life in hiding, so other than the museum, there was no place to visit on a walk.

Finally, it boiled down to this: I wanted to convey the sheer, staggering breadth of Paris’s influence. Few can lay claim to changing the course of fashion, literature, art, politics, food, and history the way Paris can. To make that point, I had to limit my choices to a few leaders in each field. I tried to focus on the ones whose influence was palpable in some way. Whose sources of inspiration are still visible on the city streets today? Whose influence can be tasted, observed, and felt? That’s how I got down to 25. Whose footsteps would you have liked to walk in and why?

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Christina Henry de Tessan is the editor-at-large of the City Walks series, and the author of several travel books and decks on cities including Paris, London, and New York. She lives in Portland, Oregon. 

For your chance to win a copy of Forever Paris, just leave a comment on this post. A comment will be drawn at random one week from today. Good luck! Sorry but US residents only.

Written by FROM THE RIGHT BANK

31 Comments

Chelsea Babin

Sounds really fascinating! Thanks for the giveaway!

chelsea(at)casababin(dot)net

Karena

Ally this sounds like such a wonderful book!! Of course I would love to have it!
xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Inga de Beyer

Can’t wait to read and put this book to use. Hope I’m the winner!

Alicia Underlee Nelson

What a great idea! Paris is the best walking city in the world. NYC comes close, but Paris will always have my heart.

Dana

I love Paris, and this book sounds like an ideal companion for my next visit!

Britt T.

Sounds interesting. Count me in please!

brtucker89(at)gmail(dot)com

Julieta

Super interesting book…! I would love to have it..! Thank you so much for this awesome giveaway..!

Laura P

This sounds awesome!!! It would be a great book to have!!! What a wonderful giveaway!!

Kelly

What an incredible way to see an incredible city through different eyes…..I would love this…..

Zivile Januleviciute

Paris was always my dream and when I visited it twice the love for it grew only bigger :)

phil

my fiance sara would love this book and i would love her to have it so much that I commented for her.

Julie Khuu

Obsessed! You know how I’m a MAJOR Francophile…gotta have this one Ally ;D

I’m hosting 5 days of GIVEAWAYS with 5 chances to WIN in honor of my blog’s 2year anniversary! Would love for you to stop by and check it out!

xo-Julie
Peace. Love. LOL!

Haute Khuuture.com

Sophie

Love the sound of this book! And I love collecting and traveling with all my Walking travel guides because it is the best way to see and experience any city.

Vanessa

Book looks perfect! Makes me want to plan a Paris trip soon!

kate

loving the idea of winning the book! going to Paris in September and this would be perfect!
Kate

Huda

fascinating, I associate fashion, food and art with Paris, but there are other cities that come to mind in term of politics and literature. Anyway, I’ll definitely get this book.

karen

was in Paris for 6 months…would love to read this book and plan my next trip!

Deb

This book is the excuse I need to plan another trip to Paris…

Deborah Peterson Milne

My youngest daughter hopes to study in Paris next year, this book would be the most perfect teaching tool for weekend walks and excursions. I know I’d have to borrow it too! How wonderful that Christina is from Portland, OR. The coolest people are from Portland and Seattle!!! Thanks for the chance to win Ally and Christina.

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