Arthur is an Irish doctor, trained in Scotland. He walks all the way to Paris, visiting hospitals and infirmaries, in order to broaden his medical education. Bertie, like his father Alfred Albert before him, works for a publishing firm which specialises in medical textbooks. Alfred Albert sends Bertie to Paris to learn about the export side of the book trade. Maud is an English spinster. She has a secret life in Paris, the one place where she can blossom and fulfill herself. And Julia is a frightened and damaged teenager, alone in Paris, where she somehow manages to achieve maturity and healing ... The ordinary stories of the ordinary lives of an ordinary family form the backbone of this delightful book about the Latin Quarter of Paris, which covers a sweep of history including the blood-stained cobbles of the French Revolution and the devastation of the First World War. Footprints in Paris evokes all the resonance of The Left Bank --- 'Bohemia' with its students and artists and garrets and cafes.
Gillian Tindall is a master of miniaturist history, making much of an unknown person or single situation, and staking out a particular territory in idiosyncratic non-fiction that is brilliantly evocative of place. She lives in Kentish Town, the subject of her book The Fields Beneath- The History of One London Village.