The Sinner's Grand Tour: A Journey Through the Historical Underbelly of Europe

by Tony Perrottet | Travel |
ISBN: 0307592189 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingFiregirlwing of Annandale, Virginia USA on 9/12/2011
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
This book is in a Controlled Release! This book is in a Controlled Release!
3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingFiregirlwing from Annandale, Virginia USA on Monday, September 12, 2011
From back cover: Sex and travel have always been intertwined, and never more so than on the classic Grand Tour of Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Today the Continent is still littered with salacious remnants of that golden age, where secret boudoirs, notorious dungeons, and forbidden artifacts lured travelers all the way from London to Capri.

In The Sinner's Grand Tour, celebrated historian and travel writer Tony Perrottet sets off to discover a string of legendary sites and relics that are still kept far from public view. In southern France, an ancient text leads him inside the chateau of the Marquis de Sade, now owned by fashion icon Pierre Cardin. In Paris, an 1883 prostitute guide helps him discover the Belle Epoque fantasy brothel Le Chabanais and the lost "sex chair" of King Edward VII. Renaissance documents in the Vatican Secret Archives point the way to the pope's very own apartments in Vatican City, wherein lies the fables Stufetta del Bibbiena, a pornography-covered bathroom painted by Raphael in 1516.

With his unique blend of original research, sharp wit, and hilarious anecdotes, Perrottet brings us a romping travel adventure through the scandalous backrooms of historical Europe.

Journal Entry 2 by wingFiregirlwing at Annandale, Virginia USA on Monday, February 11, 2013

Released 5 yrs ago (2/11/2013 UTC) at Annandale, Virginia USA


Sending out as part of the nonfiction VBB.

Journal Entry 3 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Thursday, February 14, 2013
Thank you, Firegirl - looks great!

Journal Entry 4 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Saturday, May 30, 2015
With his long-suffering wife and two sons in tow, Perrottet travels through several European countries, cajoling, begging, or scheming to gain access to sites important to 19th century sex tourists. There are the usual anecdotes about unforgettable and I-wish-I-COULD-forget adventures of the independent traveler, but in Perrottet’s hands they are all amusing. And he is not just any traveler, after all, but someone with a rather specialized itinerary and field of interest…

I had no idea that this stuff existed. The book was a real eye-opener for me and I enjoyed it. It’s not for everyone, so, although I do recommend it, reader beware!

[Perrottet has written some other books with intriguing titles that would be fun to check out: The Naked Olymspics; Pagan Holiday; Napoleon’s Privates]

Journal Entry 5 by wingeponine38wing at Panera Bread, 299 Harvard St. in Brookline, Massachusetts USA on Saturday, May 30, 2015

Released 3 yrs ago (5/30/2015 UTC) at Panera Bread, 299 Harvard St. in Brookline, Massachusetts USA


For the special Saturday BookCrossing meetup.

Released for May 2015 Ultimate Challenge hosted by jumpingin. This month's theme is Travel.


Welcome to BookCrossing!

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Take your time reading the book, and after you finish, please make another journal entry to record your thoughts about it. This book is now yours, and you can keep it if you choose, though we would love for you to share it. If you pass it along, please make a release note to let others know where you left it “in the wild”, or a journal entry if you gave/sent it to a known person.

I hope you enjoy the book!

Journal Entry 6 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, May 30, 2015
I got this book from BCer eponine38 at today's Boston BookCrossing Meetup; many thanks! Looks like a lot of fun!

Journal Entry 7 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, July 27, 2015
I really enjoyed this book, from its explanations of the changing levels of museum-related prudery over the centuries to the author's very personal experiences. In these internet-enabled days, a high percentage of the once-hidden artifacts can be viewed online (though some may trigger some web-browser flags that could result in a very unusual set of ads popping up!), and many of them are on display in their respective museums without the tourist's need to apply for special permission; whether this takes some of the fun out of it or not may depend on the individual's preference for breaking the rules {wry grin}.

I knew I was going to love the book from the moment when the author's grand tour plans were appropriated by his wife, who announced that she and the kids would be coming along. This had some very entertaining ramifications down the line, and - I hope - will give the kids some fabulous "what I did during my summer vacation" essay-topics someday.

I loved the accounts of how certain collections wound up where they are, how hard the author had to work to find some of them, and the ups and downs of family travel in general. And there were many items and incidents that I made note of for further web research, as one does...

Lord Byron, the Marquis de Sade, the Hellfire Club, Casanova - these and many more feature in this funny and informative account. Recommended!

[For more weird-travel reading, there's Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation, with a presidential-assassinations/history theme; Peter Manseau's Rag and Bone, focusing on religious relics as objects of veneration and pilgrimage; and An Irreverent Curiosity by David Farley, in which he goes hunting for the foreskin of Christ!]

Journal Entry 8 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Released 3 yrs ago (7/29/2015 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA


I'm sending this to BCer UnwrittenLibra in Wisconsin, to fill a wish. Enjoy!

*** Released as part of the 2015 Keep Them Moving release challenge. ***

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