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Dancing to the Precipice: The Life of Lucie…
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Dancing to the Precipice: The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Eyewitness…

by Caroline Moorehead

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151279,164 (4.07)10
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    Bluebird, or The Invention of Happiness by Sheila Kohler (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: The Kohler book is a novelization of de la Tour du Pin's true story.
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Caroline Moorehead brings the fascinating Lucie de la Tour du Pin to life in her well-researched, beautifully written biography of the onetime lady in waiting to Marie Antionette. Born into privilege, Lucie lived during France's most tumultuous era, bearing witness to the revolution, the Directorate, the Napoleonic Empire and the Restoration. Derived largely from Lucie's memoirs and personal papers, Moorehead's biography depicts a strong, intelligent and supremely rational woman who was admired by Queens and Emperors as well as American farmers and slaves. I have read many wonderful accounts of the French revolution, and Lucie's story is by far one of the most engaging. ( )
  mefs | May 3, 2011 |
Take me to another place, and another time. Sometimes looking back at other more violent times in history makes me feel not so terrible about our own times.
The aristocracy is weakened, and the masses have risen. The French Revolution is so important as a symbol of nationalism. I loved this book! ( )
  lorespar | Mar 1, 2010 |
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Though there is no shortage of chroniclers of the French Revolution... “Dancing to the Precipice” brings to the story a gruesome immediacy and an elegant sense of the absurd.
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061684414, Hardcover)

Her canvases were the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette; the Great Terror; America at the time of Washington and Jefferson; Paris under the Directoire and then under Napoleon; Regency London; the battle of Waterloo; and, for the last years of her life, the Italian ducal courts. Like Saint-Simon at Versailles, Samuel Pepys during the Great Fire of London, or the Goncourt brothers in nineteenth-century France, Lucie Dillon—a daughter of French and British nobility known in France by her married name, Lucie de la Tour du Pin—was the chronicler of her age.

La Rochefoucauld called her "a cultural jewel." The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire favored her for his dinner companion in Paris. 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. She witnessed firsthand the demise of the French monarchy, the wave of Revolution and the Reign of Terror, and the precipitous rise and fall of Napoleon. She spent two years as an ÉmigrÉ in the newly independent United States (on a farm in Albany) but was also a familiar of Regency London. A shrewd, determined woman in a turbulent age of men, Lucie de la Tour du Pin watched, listened, reflected—and wrote it all down, mixing politics and court intrigue, social observation and the realities of everyday existence, to offer a fascinating chronicle of her era.

In this compelling biography, Caroline Moorehead illuminates the extraordinary life and remarkable achievements of this strong, witty, elegant, opinionated, and dynamic woman who survived personal tragedy, including the loss of six children, and periods of extreme danger, exile, poverty, and illness. Meticulously researched, brilliantly written, and vastly entertaining, Moorehead's chronicle of Lucie's life is an incomparable social history of her times.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:16 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Shares the story of a turn-of-the-nineteenth-century social chronicler, from her early years among the French and British nobility to her first-hand witness to such events as the demise of the French monarchy and the Reign of Terror.

» see all 3 descriptions

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