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26.7.03

Latest reading

For about a year now, I have been reading all the novels I can find with storylines set in Paris. The most recent book in this unordered series is Alexandre Dumas's The Man in the Iron Mask. I am reading it in the old codex technology, but it is one of so many old books you can read online for free (alternate link for e-text). This book is a great read, and I am going to move on to Dumas's other historical novels relating to Paris after it. It's fascinating because other than the Middle Ages, the other period I study in music history is the 17th century, so this fictionalization of the ancien régime is quite interesting. Where history and fiction cross each other and all that.

The book that I read immediately before this was Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities. This got me interested in the history of prisons in the city of Paris (Charles Darnay is imprisoned at La Force, a very interesting place historically). It's an entirely different view of the French monarchy from that in Dumas, too. In his preface, Dickens recommends Thomas Carlyle's The French Revolution, and that's how that book also made it onto my list. More about my Paris reading project later.

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