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Dancing to the Precipice: The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Eyewitness to an Era
 
 
Author
Caroline Moorehead.
Publisher Harper  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
ISBN 9780061684418
Pages/Publication Date 480/2009
Daedalus Item Code 23375
This item is not available.
Description
La Rochefoucauld called her "a cultural jewel," the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire favored her for his dinner companion in Paris, and Napoleon requested she attend Josephine. Her friends included Talleyrand, Madame de Staël, Chateaubriand, Lafayette, and the Duke of Wellington, with whom she played as a child. Lucie de la Tour du Pin was a shrewd, determined woman in a turbulent age of men, who witnessed firsthand the demise of the French monarchy, the wave of Revolution, and the precipitous rise and fall of Napoleon. She watched, listened, reflected, and wrote it all down, mixing politics and court intrigue, social observation and everyday existence, in a fascinating chronicle of her era. Here the biographer of Bertrand Russell, Freya Stark, and Martha Gellhorn illuminates the extraordinary life and remarkable achievements of this strong, witty, elegant, opinionated, and dynamic woman.

"In 1820, at the age of 49, Lucie Dillon, the Marquise de la Tour du Pin, started writing her memoirs, an endeavor that went on for 30 years and produced one of the great monuments of French history. Lucie began life as an aristocrat, débuting at Versailles at the age of 11; at the beginning of the Terror, as friends and relatives fell to the guillotine, she fled France with her husband and children. Resilient and resourceful, the family thrived on a farm in upstate New York, where Lucie churned butter, traded with Indians, and played hostess to Talleyrand. A return to France brought Lucie and her husband into Napoleon's inner circle; in later years, following an exile in London, they found favor with the restored Bourbon monarchy. Moorehead's biography, drawing on a trove of previously unpublished correspondence, captures the rhythm of the radical contrasts in her subject's life."—The New Yorker

 
 
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