The Essay, Cities on the Brink Episode 2 of 5

Stepping back in time exactly a century, five BBC News correspondents present their personal perspectives on the principal cities of the major European powers that, later in 1914, would fight the Great War.

The programmes continue with Hugh Schofield reimagining the chic French capital of Maurice Ravel, the Ballets Russes and Henri Matisse - but which politically suffered continuing angst over its neighbour across the Rhine: Germany.

For many, the wounds of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1 had still not healed. And the assassination in Paris of the leading French pacifist and socialist, Jean Jaurès, in late July 1914 convulsed the city and crystallised the diverging views about France's relations with her European neighbours. Hugh Schofield tells the story of why this event provoked such turmoil at the time and why it still resonates powerfully today in the politics and culture of France.

Producer Simon Coates.

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15 minutes

Last on

Tue 7 Jan 2014 22:45

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