A Description of Paris in the 18th Century

A description of Paris between the years 1787-1789. An Englishman visits Paris and this is what he had to say...

"Walking, which in London is so pleasant and clean that ladies do it every day, is here a toil and a fatigue to a man and an impossibility to a well-dressed lady. Paris is an ineligible residence for persons who cannot afford to keep a coach, a convenience which is as dear as at London." An English Visitor

Quote from: Young, Arthur. 1792. Travels during the years 1787, 1788, and 1789, undertaken more particularly with a view of ascertaining the cultivation, wealth, resources, and national prosperity of the kingdom of France. Bury: St. Edmund's, J. Rackham.


  1. Wow.... If only Louis the 16th was a more powerful king, he could have turned everything around. I read some of the income distribution ideas and new laws he had made that nobles were against and they had so much potential.

    1. Fascinating! It would have been interesting to see what he could have achieved as he aged.

    2. Here is something you might find interesting. Note what the charges say: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_of_Louis_XVI

  2. This King Louis XVI was filthy rich for sure.

  3. The point of the description is not the fatigue to be incurred in twisty streets, but the hazard to one's sense of smell and clothing on account of the unsanitary conditions. In other words, a gentleman might pick his way with difficulty, but a well-dressed lady could not possibly arrive at her destination with skirts and shoes unsoiled, if she did not have the use of a coach.