10 books like The Secret Collector

By Leon Pogelšek, Slavko Pregl,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Secret Collector. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Duke of Wellington, Kidnapped!

By Alan Hirsch,

Book cover of The Duke of Wellington, Kidnapped!: The Incredible True Story of the Art Heist That Shocked a Nation

If you saw the recent film, The Duke, then you’ll know the story of Kempton Bunton and the crazy art heist from London’s National Gallery, when Goya’s Portrait of the Duke of Wellington was stolen. This is one of the most interesting and quirkiest of all art heists and this book is the definitive telling of it.

The Duke of Wellington, Kidnapped!

By Alan Hirsch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Duke of Wellington, Kidnapped! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1961, a thief broke into the National Gallery in London and committed the most sensational art heist in British history. He stole the museum’s much prized painting, The Duke of Wellington by Francisco Goya. Despite unprecedented international attention and an unflagging investigation, the case was not solved for four years, and even then, only because the culprit came forward voluntarily.

Kempton Bunton, an elderly gentleman, claimed he executed the theft armed with only a toy gun, a disguise purchased for five shillings, and a getaway car inadvertently provided by a drunkard. Shortly after turning himself in, Bunton also invoked…


Context Matters

By David W. J. Gill,

Book cover of Context Matters: Collating the Past

David Gill is the leading authority on antiquities looting and the legitimate institutions that trade in it. This collection of essays, most published first in The Journal of Art Crime, is as good an introduction as any to the dark side of the antiquities trade.

Context Matters

By David W. J. Gill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Context Matters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Context Matters is a volume of essays on the illicit trade in antiquities, the ownership of cultural heritage and issues in archaeology. It is based on the twenty essays contributed to the Journal of Art Crime over its first ten years of publication. The contributions are supplemented by articles and review articles that were published alongside them. The chapters were written as museums in Europe and North America were facing a series of claims on recently acquired objects in their collections in the light of the photographic dossiers that had been seized from dealers in Switzerland and Greece. They engage…


Transnational Art Crime

By Edgar Tijhuis,

Book cover of Transnational Art Crime

When I first started out, there were very few books ever written about the study of art crime. Tijhuis was one of the few authorities, approaching it from a criminological perspective. This is a really strong academic survey of the phenomenon, perfect for those interested in the intersection of criminology and art.

Transnational Art Crime

By Edgar Tijhuis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Transnational Art Crime as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How does transnational crime interact with legal companies andgovernments? Are legal actors primarily victimized by transnationalcriminals or are the two connected by collaborative relationships? Andhow are these crimes often transformed into legitimate activities?This book seeks to answer these and related questions. Its main topicis the translational illicit art and antiquities trade, based on a thoroughempirical study of data gathered in France, Italy, the Netherlands andother places around the world. The reader will encounter a large numberof case studies, from auction houses selling looted antiquities to violentrobberies of museums and castles, and much more.Added to this is an analysis of the…


Art Forgery

By Thierry Lenain,

Book cover of Art Forgery: The History of a Modern Obsession

This book is part philosophy, part on art and forgery. Most approaches, my own included, to art forgery are art historical and criminological. This one is readable and thoughtful and fun but focuses on the big ideas behind the scenes.

Art Forgery

By Thierry Lenain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Art Forgery as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The obsession with art forgery appears to be a relatively recent phenomenon. In Art Forgery, the author's aim is not to suggest new methods of detection, but rather to look at the genealogy of faking and to interrogate the anxious, sometimes neurotic, reactions triggered in the modern world of art by these clever frauds. Thierry Lenain considers the idea of authenticity in the Middle Ages, when the issue of false relics and miracles often arose: if a relic gave rise to a cult, it would be considered as genuine even if it had evidently been 'forged'. Similarly, the seventeenth and…


July Crisis

By T. G. Otte,

Book cover of July Crisis: The World's Descent into War, Summer 1914

The First World War broke out in August 1914; by September 1914 articles and essays began to appear that defended – or attacked – the policies of the men responsible for the July Crisis. Books soon followed. And they have never stopped. No crisis in history has received more attention than that of July 1914. The topic, with its vast complexities, missed opportunities, and contradictory explanations, continues to fascinate us.

No book on the subject is more captivating than Thomas Otte’s day-by-day unravelling of the complicated diplomacy pursued by the statesmen of Europe. His mastery of the subject is impressive (he has written dozens of articles and essays on the diplomacy of prewar Europe) and his balanced treatment of the topic serves as a model of dispassionate scholarship.

July Crisis

By T. G. Otte,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked July Crisis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a magisterial new account of Europe's tragic descent into a largely inadvertent war in the summer of 1914. Thomas Otte reveals why a century-old system of Great Power politics collapsed so disastrously in the weeks from the 'shot heard around the world' on June 28th to Germany's declaration of war on Russia on August 1st. He shows definitively that the key to understanding how and why Europe descended into world war is to be found in the near-collective failure of statecraft by the rulers of Europe and not in abstract concepts such as the 'balance of power' or…


La Règle Du Jeu

By V.F. Perkins,

Book cover of La Règle Du Jeu

Virtually any volume in the BFI Film Classics series—now sadly defunct--is worth recommending. But I’m especially fond of this one, about Jean Renoir’s masterpiece The Rules of the Game (La Règle du Jeu)--my favorite movie along with Kubrick’s 2001 (a very different kind of film!). Perkins explores each of the film’s characters, bringing out the full dimensions of Renoir’s humanism, his grand comic flair, and the bittersweet aura of this great movie completed as World War II was about to engulf Europe.

La Règle Du Jeu

By V.F. Perkins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked La Règle Du Jeu as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Renoir's famous and controversial comedy of manners has a troubled history. Victor Perkins presents here a sensitive socio-historical study of Renoir's revised edition of the film, released 20 years after its premiere; shaped by the profundity and originality of its form.


Les Parisiennes

By Anne Sebba,

Book cover of Les Parisiennes: Resistance, Collaboration, and the Women of Paris Under Nazi Occupation

Les Parisiennes lays out in graphic detail the significant inequities handed down throughout the war with regard to social, economic, and religious status for women of world war II Paris. Ms. Sebba uses a timeline of pre-, during, and post-world war II to paint a picture of what daily life was like depending on how much money you had or whom you knew. She uses real-life examples like Coco Chanel, Genevieve de Gaulle, and Edith Piaf to help the reader understand the consequences of various choices made during wartime.

Les Parisiennes

By Anne Sebba,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Les Parisiennes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Anne Sebba has the nearly miraculous gift of combining the vivid intimacy of the lives of women during The Occupation with the history of the time. This is a remarkable book.” —Edmund de Waal, New York Times bestselling author of The Hare with the Amber Eyes

New York Times bestselling author Anne Sebba explores a devastating period in Paris's history and tells the stories of how women survived—or didn’t—during the Nazi occupation.

Paris in the 1940s was a place of fear, power, aggression, courage, deprivation, and secrets. During the occupation, the swastika flew from the Eiffel Tower and danger lurked…


Three Hours in Paris

By Cara Black,

Book cover of Three Hours in Paris

I loved this book because the Heroine is a woman who is not only handy with a gun, but uses it to attempt to remove the Villain of WWII, in Paris on her own, but finding unique paths, as we all should, to make our way, no matter the doors closed in our path. As a historic book of WWII, our Heroine has lost what she most lives for and the British Intelligence takes advantage of her talents to use her in a ruse, whilst she outperforms even her own expectations.

Ms. Black manages to minute by minute follow our Heroine, Kate Rees, an American markswoman, through Paris after special training by British Intelligence, to her goal and that of the World, with all the details of the time, the place, the uniqueness of the people, including their dress, bodily differences, and human drives with such finesse that I felt…

Three Hours in Paris

By Cara Black,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Three Hours in Paris as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In June of 1940, when Paris fell to the Nazis, Hitler spent a total of three hours in the City of Light—abruptly leaving, never to return. To this day, no one knows why.

Kate Rees, a young American markswoman, has been recruited by British intelligence to drop into Paris with a dangerous assignment: assassinate the Führer. Wrecked by grief after a Luftwaffe bombing killed her husband and infant daughter, she is armed with a rifle, a vendetta, and a fierce resolve. But other than rushed and rudimentary instruction, she has no formal spy training. Thrust into the red-hot center of…


Paris

By Patrice Higonnet,

Book cover of Paris: Capital of the World

At first sight, the title evokes a certain Gallic hauteur, but it does not take long to see that this is simply a foretaste of the rich exploration of the myths of Paris – how the great city has been depicted, imagined, and perceived over time. This is the story of Paris as the capital of modernity, art, fashion, revolution, sex, pleasure, science, and crime. With writers, artists, poets, and visitors as witnesses, and lavishly illustrated, this is a colourful meander through the myths and illusions that have shaped the many images of Paris. 

Whatever the actual realities beneath these multiple faces, asks Higonnet at one point, ‘who could, in our culturally unanchored world, imagine life without this city?’    

Paris

By Patrice Higonnet,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Paris as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In an original and evocative journey through modern Paris from the mid-eighteenth century to World War II, Patrice Higonnet offers a delightful cultural portrait of a multifaceted, continually changing city. He explores Paris as the capital of revolution, science, empire, literature, and art, describing such incarnations as Belle Epoque Paris, the Commune, the surrealists' city, and Paris as viewed through American eyes. He also evokes the more visceral Paris of alienation, crime, material excess, and sensual pleasure.


Journal à quatre mains

By Benoîte Groult, Flora Groult,

Book cover of Journal à quatre mains

A funny and moving account of life in occupied Paris by two young sisters, one sensible and studious, the other fun-loving. Written in diary form by each sister in turn, hence the ‘four hands’. Some signs of touching up with hindsight before publication in 1962. There is an English translation, ‘Diary in duo’ (1965) but currently out of print.

Journal à quatre mains

By Benoîte Groult, Flora Groult,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Journal à quatre mains as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nouvelle édition en 2002


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Paris, World War 2, and France?

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