The City of Light seen through the eyes of special characters who shaped the soul of Paris
“The wealth of facts and erudition bring magic to Dirk Velghe’s Paris. A place where even tragedy seems less sombre. Anyone who does not already love Paris will fall for it after reading this book. ‘Ich bin ein Pariser’, as Kennedy might have said.”
— Herman Van Rompuy, former president of the European Council
In this book, reality always trumps fiction, truth always trumps myth. Get ready for a personal encounter with police inspectors and filles à la cuisse légère, Impressionists and art thieves, collaborators and résistants, Cubists and anarchists, artists’ models and terrorists, criminals and executioners.
In fascinating and often unknown stories, such as ‘Chanel versus Wertheimer’, ‘Lenin’s yellow jersey’ and ‘Selling the Eiffel Tower’, hundreds of Parisian souls are brought back to life behind the façades, in the passages, and along the avenues and boulevards of the City of Light.
In Paris Souls, readers taste the idiosyncratic harvest of someone who, after many seasons in his favourite city, is still enraptured by its fruits. Dirk Velghe recounts facts and stories about the extraordinary people and events that coloured Paris, sometimes with paint, sometimes with blood. Histories as only a true Parisian can tell them. Light-hearted but always deeply reasoned, Velghe gives an entirely new twist to the history of Paris. His no-nonsense prose and narrative flair guarantee compelling reading.
Dirk Velghe is former founder-CEO of Vacature and later of Mediafin, the publisher of Belgian newspapers De Tijd and L’Echo, where he still chairs the board. He was a member of the DPG Media Group committee for more than 20 years, which is where he began his publishing career in 1987. In addition to his passion for the media, Dirk Velghe also nurtures one for Paris. The City of Light has kept him pleasantly awake for more than 30 years.
A selection of statements in the Dutch-language press:
“This book shows Paris as a swirling, ever-restless organism where wondrous lives colour history with paint, blood and ink.”
“Dirk Velghe stays far away from well-trodden paths.”
“A book that is almost as much fun to read as going to Paris.”
- 24 x 16 cm
- 368 pages
- English edition
- ISBN 978 94 6466 640 3