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Paris captures literary imaginations. Though Proust wrote all seven volumes of In Search of Lost Time from his bed, the celebrated novel depicts the city in vivid detail: from the elegant Haussmannian buildings of the Champs Elysées, to the leafy alleys of the Bois de Boulogne. 

© Alamy

The feat is remembered in the city’s Musée Carnavalet, which houses a replica of Proust’s bedroom.

Traditionally the city’s Left Bank has hosted the literary scene, where cafés such as the still-standing Le Procope served coffee — a lot of it — to greats such as Voltaire and Balzac.

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The French capital is also the circumstantial birthplace of some of the best English-language novels of the 20th century. James Joyce’s Ulysses was published by Shakespeare and Company, the English-language bookshop facing Notre-Dame. Today, the bookshop is a social hub for English-language readers. 

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Still on the Left Bank, café Les Deux Magots on the formerly bohemian Boulevard Saint-Germain was the place to be for Hemingway, Breton and Picasso in the 1920s, and then Camus, Sartre and de Beauvoir in the 1950s. 


The illustrious café has run an annual literary prize since 1933.


Moments from Boulevard Saint-Germain’s iconic cafés, this 222 sq m apartment includes three reception rooms and five bedrooms with adjoining bathrooms. 

Set in an 18th-century building with a lift, it has an 80 sq m terrace overlooking the Luxembourg Garden.

Available through Christie’s International Real Estate, €6.9m

Faubourg Saint-Honoré

Near the Rue Royale in the central 8th arrondissement, this three-bedroom apartment is on the first floor of an 18th-century mansion. 

The master bedroom overlooks gardens in an interior courtyard, a couple of metro stops away from the Musée Carnavalet.

Available through Knight Frank, €5.6m

Photographs: Xavier Muyard; AFP/Getty Images; edpics/Alamy; Hemis/Alamy; Lebrecht Music and Arts Photo Library/Alamy; Loomis Dean/The Life Picture Collection/Getty

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