Book News from Research Girl


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Research Girl was scouring the attic and forwarded this gem to share with Paris Logue. Lucky for us that she did because this is one book you might have trouble finding either through Amazon or even Ebay. It’s listed as currently unavailable. Here’s the scoop from Research Girl:

We’re moving to clean out an attic storage area here at work and we’ve come across a lovely old 1885 book titled “Great Cities of the Modern World” by Helen Ainslie Smith (aka Hazel Shepard) — she really likes Paris describing it thus:

“Brilliant, beautiful Paris, the pride of the French, the delight of travelers, lies like some splendid gem on a fair and sunny plateau in the center of northern France…..In this vicinity there are many other general and special art schools, for in Paris the beautiful seems to be the grand pursuit of life, after which, if there is time, the homely and practical side may come…Beneath these Boulevards are the principal canals of the vast network of sewers which underlies Paris and keeps it one of the healthiest cities in the world.

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For an hour every morning when the water is turned on an army of housemaids may be seen with their brooms, washing the streets, so that when the traps are closed the thoroughfares are neat and clean from one end of the city to the other…The sewers are so well built and ventilated that cars, arranged to run on the ledges of the canals, often carry parties of ladies and gentlemen for miles over them….To the French people all these environs, with their valuable museums and galleries, are as a part of the beloved capital, the grandest, the most beautiful, the most desirable place in the world.”

(By the way, amid sections on New York, Boston, Cleveland and Chicago, there is also a healthy paragraph on Rochester noting that it has “one of the best universities in the country….The river has four high and beautiful falls in the city…great nursery gardens, from which plants and seeds are sent to all parts of the United States. Some of these nurseries bring a great deal of wealth into the place; and their owners have built magnificent villas surrounded with extensive grounds in or near the city. Nearly all the houses lining the handsome wide streets have pretty yards and gardens…”).

So much for two of the Great Cities of the Modern World!

If you’re interested in reading material that IS available on the internet, you can download
A History of Japan: In Words of One Syllable by Helen Ainslee Smith
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