The City of Lights was once made bright by the flash of a revolution’s guillotine, and this app provides a glimpse into one of Paris' pivotal backstories.
Interwoven with dramatic string orchestrations, Charlotte Corday guides this walking tour examining key revolution sites surrounding Paris’ Palais Royal. Corday made an infamous name for herself by stabbing radical leader Jean-Paul Marat in the bathtub. Homage to his demise is given with a tongue-in-cheek bloody-dagger icon that leads from one page to the next. A clearly plotted table of contents includes such subjects as "Storm the Bastille" and "Reign of Terror," and classic artwork featuring the likes of Corday, Cardinal Richelieu and Marie Antoinette accompanies Corday’s narrative. Peppered among the period-appropriate tableaux are maps to such locales as Marat’s printing press, the royal gardens and the very site where Corday made her fateful cutlery purchase. The maps, conveniently provided in both traditional format and written step-by-step directions, even include visitation hours and public-transportation directions. Subject matter that could be stringently academic is alleviated by lighter factoids (readers will discover how la Révolution is responsible for France’s fine dining reputation) and interactive trivia questions (the correct answer to one such question leads to a discounted meal at the oldest café in Paris). Skipping from or returning to certain sections is made easy by simply revisiting the main menu, and forward/rewind controls easily allow scrolling of the audio. Currently optimized for iPhone, the display can be blown up to iPad-screen proportions with slight loss of image clarity.
An academic overview of la Révolution through the eyes of one if its key players, satisfying both historian and eager tourist. (iPhone informational app. 14 & up)