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The Belly of Paris

Although he managed to escape Paris – and starvation – during the Prussian siege in the fall of 1870, the French novelist Émile Zola returned to the city in March 1871, in time to witness the bloody rise and fall of the Paris commune. The following year he moved to Les Halles where he wrote Le […]

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Food & the Siege of Paris

The story of Parisians being reduced to eating rats, cats, dogs, and even zoo animals, during the 1870-71 siege, has stuck with me ever since high school history. No anecdote could better represent the city’s suffering than the tale of its epicurean populace being reduced to eating from the gutter. At the same time, the story […]

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