A powerful story of revolution, love and intense rivalry set in 1870 during the four-month siege of Paris.
1870. All over Paris the lights are going out. The Prussians are encircling the city and Europe's capital of decadent pleasure and luxury is becoming a prison, its citizens caught between defiance and despair. Desperate times lie ahead as the worst winter for decades sets in and starvation looms.
One man seems to shine like a beacon in the shadows. Jean-Jacques Allix promises to be the leader the people need, to save the city itself. Painter Hannah Pardy, his young English lover, believes in him utterly; taking up arms for his cause, she is drawn into the heart of the battle for Paris. But as the darkness and panic spreads it is harder and harder to see things as they really are, and Hannah struggles to separate love from self-interest and revolutionaries from traitors.
Faced with impossible decisions, Hannah must confront the devastating reality of her beloved Paris to establish what truly matters to her - and what she will do to protect it.
Matthew Plampin was born in 1975 and lives in London. He completed a PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art and now lectures on nineteenth-century art and architecture. He is the author of two previous novels, The Street Philosopher and The Devil's Acre.