La Belle Époque in Paris


Paris, France


September 17 – 24, 2013

For more information on this trip please contact Literary Traveler



The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, by David McCullough
Nineteenth-Century French Short Stories – selections


After a humiliating military defeat by Bismarck’s Germany, a brutal siege, and a bloody uprising, Paris in 1871 was a shambles. Yet out of this demoralized rubble, 19th-century Paris became the centre of European culture. Out of the political and social tumult, ideas collided and a creative dynamism took root, beginning with the Belle Epoque and continuing for a hundred years. From Classicism and Romanticism to Realism, Impressionism and Art Nouveau, all the arts blossomed and flourished. The siren call of Paris also drew many Americans to the La Ville-Lumière.

We will be returning to the Trianon Rive Gauche, a lovely small hotel right next to the Luxembourg Gardens. Bien sur, we will eat and drink in wonderful cafés and restaurants, many retaining their Belle Époque opulent décor.


Day 1
We’ll meet at the hotel this afternoon and begin our exploration into La Belle Époque with a visit to the Pantheon, and a stroll in the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens. Tonight we enjoy our opening dinner together.

Day 2
Today we take in the world famous Louvre. Sean will be with us to discuss Neoclassicism and Romanticism. It’s been said it would take nine months to see every item in the Louvre, so we have the whole day here to see everything we can!
B, D

Day 3
We have our first discussion this morning in a charming café, then after lunch Lisa will take us on our first walk. This one will focus on the Left Bank and offer an overview of the period. We’ll be able to discuss figures like Colette and Delacroix, stopping by his house and studio.
B, L

Day 5
After our discussion this morning, we’ll join Lisa for a second walk, on the Right Bank this time to see Paris through the eyes of Sarah Bernhardt. We’ll focus on the flowering of theatre and music in the period, and later we hope to visit the elegant Garnier Opera House for a tour.
B, L

Day 6
Today we’ll be at the Rodin Museum, and then on to the impressive l’Orangerie, where we’ll view Monet’s masterpieces and discuss Impressionism with Sean.
B, L

Day 7
We’ll have our final discussion over the readings after breakfast this morning. Our walk with Lisa today will explore the lively area of Montmartre, where we’ll learn more about the Belle Époque’s “Americans in Paris” including Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Singer Sargent, and Mary Cassatt. Tonight we’ll gather for a celebratory closing dinner.
B, D

Day 8
After breakfast we say au revoir to Paris, and catch our flight home.


Sean Forester is a San Francisco-based painter and art historian with a passion for 19th Century art and literature. From the paintings of the French — Delacroix to Degas, the paintings and sculpture of Americans in Paris – Cassat to Whistler, and the
short stories of Flaubert to de Maupassant, Sean will help us better understand how La Belle Époque gave birth to the modern world as we visit the Louvre, the Musée D’Orsay, the Garnier Opera House, the Rodin Museum, and the Musée de l’Orangerie.

Lisa Pasold is a Canadian writer and journalist who divides her time between Paris and New Orleans. Lisa has designed three custom “show and tell” walks for us that will illuminate the who, what, where and why of this period.


Approx. CDN$4695 per person

Fee includes books, accommodation based on double occupancy, two meals a day, discussions, tours, excursions and admissions.


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