Tales of Two Cities

Jonathan Conlin

RRP: £9.99

5 June 2014

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781848870253

RRP: £25.00

1 June 2013

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781848870260

RRP: £8.99

1 June 2013

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781782390190

Paris and London have long held a mutual fascination, and never more so than in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when they both vied to be the world’s greatest city. Each city has been the focus of many books, yet here Jonathan Conlin uncovers the intriguing relationship between them for the first time. It is a history of surprises: Sherlock Holmes was actually French, the can-can was English and the first restaurant served English food in Paris.

Tales of Two Cities examines and compares six urban spaces – the street, the cemetery, the apartment, the restaurant, the music hall and the nocturnal underworld. The citizens of Paris and London were the first to create these landmarks of the modern cityscape. By borrowing, imitating and learning from each other they invented the modern metropolis and so defined urban living for us all.


Tales of Two Cities allows readers to reconsider what "everybody knows". For, with astonishing ease, Jonathan Conlin performs that most useful, and difficult, of tasks: he makes us see the familiar as though it were new.Judith Flanders
Sunday Telegraph

In Jonathan Conlin's Tales of Two Cities the little acknowledged but hugely significant histoire croisée of two rival metropoles gets a long overdue airing... The greatest compliment one can pay Conlin's book is that it provides endless food for thought.

Jonathan Conlin's wonderful new book is a fascinating walk through two of the greatest cities in the world. With admirable skill and a painter's eye, Conlin presents the reader with a richly woven tapestry of stories and events that is mesmerizing to behold. The reader will never think of London or Paris in the same way again.Amanda Foreman

Conlin provides some striking insights into these two capitals which are, in effect, mirror-images of one another. A thought-provoking glimpse into the history of our own London and its elegant, racy cousin, Paris. Beautifully illustrated and well-written.Catharine Arnold

Full of unexpected facts... Conlin's case studies of possible cultural exchange are both concise and entertaining.Miranda Seymour
New York Times