The Memory of Scent
Art and Murder in 19th Century Paris
by Lisa Burkitt
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"Henri is a bit of a night owl. I like him. I think his insecurities make him comfortable to be around and he is instantly recognisable - this little bearded man with the bulbous nose and checked trousers. And he adores Maria, which is probably why he paints her so much. 'Henri de Toulouse Lautrec', his name has the ring of the nobility that he does indeed spring from, but I would say he is more at home among the girls of Montmartre." Set against the backdrop of Paris in 1883, this is the story of two French women, Fleur and Babette, and of how their lives diverge when the artist they both model for is found dead. For Fleur, her life is lived on the fringes of the Impressionist movement in a world of art and muic; for Babette, her life begins to unravel after she is imprisoned for the artist's murder, eventually become a courtesan on the French streets. This novel is told in alternating chapters, from the perspective of both women, as the truth is slowly revealed that they are the one person, whose personality was shattered by childhood trauma.
- The History Press, November 2011
The History Press Ireland
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