Paris and London have long held a mutual fascination, and never more so than in the period from 1700 to 1914, when each vied to be the world’s greatest city. Each city has been the focus of countless books, yet here Jonathan Conlin explores the complex relationship between them for the first time. The reach and influence of both cities was such that the story of their rivalry has global implications. By borrowing, imitating and learning from each other, Paris and London invented the modern metropolis.
Tales of Two Cities examines and compares six urban spaces—the street, the cemetery, the apartment, the restaurant, the underworld and the music hall—that defined urban modernity in the nineteenth century. The citizens of Paris and London first created these essential features of the modern cityscape and, in doing so, defined urban living for all of us.