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Historical novel set in Paris art world

  • Submitted: 21st June 2024

The Paris Muse – Louisa Tregar

If you love novels about women who history has hidden away then this is the novel for you.

Map of locations in The Paris Muse

Historical novel set in Paris art world


Destination : PARIS

Author guide: Louisa Treger

Genre: inspired by a real figure

Food and drink to accompany: nothing allowed in the art studio!




A novel to transport you to Picasso’s Paris


Map of locations in The Paris Muse

After having read Madwoman – about the real life Nelly Bly, a journalist, who incarcerated herself in an asylum to blow the lid of what was really going on inside – was anything to go by, this was  a book I knew I had to read.

This time we meet Dora Maar – a woman who had a romance with Pablo Picasso. I say romance – it was more complicated than that. But what struck me is that I have spent a lot of time in Barcelona reading about Dora and I knew nothing until I read this book. Of course, Pablo was the more famous one but I see how Dora has been hidden – literarily painted out of the picture if you will. The relationships is not all happiness either and there are some disturbing scenes. Dora what were you thinking!? I wanted to shout.

Map of locations in The Paris Muse

The backdrop to all this of course was the Spanish Civil War. Such a turbulent time and one filled with so much bloodshed and heartache for families. I have read a lot about this, but again, there was so much here that was new to me, new angles, new scene setting and a new sense of the chaos of it all. With all this going on, one of the greatest artists of recent times was painting a whole other picture entirely.

It’s true to say that I have a totally different view and impression of Pablo now. I realise such artistic geniuses are highly strung but there were many disturbing tales in this novel. Dora’s journey was interesting and compelling. I wanted to hug her, shake her, knock some sense into her but also have a good chat over coffee with her. It’s quite an intense read.

This woman has been overshadowed or even left out of history so I really commend Louisa for giving her a voice.

Map of locations in The Paris Muse



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More books set in Paris


BookTrail Boarding Pass: The Paris Muse

Twitter:    @louisatreger

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