The Sinner's Grand Tour: A Journey Through the Historical Underbelly of Europe
3 journalers for this copy...
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.
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]
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Released for May 2015 Ultimate Challenge hosted by jumpingin. This month's theme is Travel.
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I hope you enjoy the book!
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!]
*** Released as part of the 2015 Keep Them Moving release challenge. ***