The flâneur and his city

Patterns of daily life in Paris 1815–1851

By Richard D. E. Burton

The flâneur and his city

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8187-3
  • Pages: 88
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £10.99
  • Published Date: April 2010
  • BIC Category: HISTORY / Europe / France, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Society & social sciences / Cultural studies, Language Texts, France, European history, Cultural studies, HISTORY / Social History
  • Series: Durham Modern Languages Series


The book provides a 'flâneur's eye view' of Parisian life in the first half of the nineteenth century: dress, cafés and restaurants, but also shops and passages, the omnibus, bals publics and carnival. The author provides general conclusions about the private and public spheres in 'le vieux Paris'. Like the flâneur, the author concentrates less on factual information for its own sake - which may be found in the secondary works cited in the text and footnotes - than on the 'semiological' or anthropological significance of the cultural forms in question. Links are drawn between cultural institutions and class relations in pre-1850 Paris, with particular emphasis on cultural inequality, on the persistence of cross-class contacts, and the growing differences between classes as reflected in behaviour and attitudes.


1. The flâneur
2. Human hieroglyphs: the role of dress in Parisian life
3. The rise of the café
4. The restaurant
5. *Guingettes*, *goguettes* and *marchands de vin*
6. Shops and shopping
7. The omnibus
8. *Bals public*
9. Carnival
10. *Saltimbanques* and prostitutes
11. Conclusion: 'public' and 'private' in pre-1850 Paris
Notes and references


Richard D. E. Burton (d.2008) was Professor of French and Francophone Studies, University of Sussex

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