“Essay by essay, Mercier assembled a masterpiece of observational journalism and a repository of urban lore. We learn, for example, that Monsieur Maille, purveyor of the mustard still sold under his name, keeps below the counter a ‘vinegar’, much in demand from brides-to-be who worried that their chastity might be questioned on their wedding night: its ‘effects restore confidence in her and inspire it in her husband’.”Jonathan Beckman on Mercier’s Le Tableau de Paris


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