Book Reviews: A Parisian Cabinet of Curiosities, Deyrolle

Book Reviews: A Parisian Cabinet of Curiosities, Deyrolle

Deyrolle’s stuffed menagerie of towering giraffes, menacing wildcats and speckled butterflies has enticed and intrigued connoisseurs and rubberneckers for 185 years. Founded by Jean-Baptiste Deyrolle, a well-known entomologist, Paris’s natural history emporium has become a veritable place of pilgrimage.

The temple to taxidermy flourished in the 19th century, bolstered by a growing interest in natural science, and quickly established itself as a centre for education and research – garnering quite the band of devotees in the process, not least Dalí and Nabokov.

Devastated by a fire in 2008, Deyrolle rose from the ashes with a fresh horde of wondrous creatures and curious beasties. Venture into the spine-tingling haunt and sneak a peek behind the scenes at the Parisian institution favoured by Damien Hirst and Wes Anderson.

Highly recommended. A Parisian Cabinet of Curiosities: Deyrolle. List price £22.50, published by Flammarion.

From France Today magazine

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