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Twilight of the Belle Epoque: The Paris of…
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Twilight of the Belle Epoque: The Paris of Picasso, Stravinsky, Proust,… (edition 2014)

by Mary McAuliffe (Author)

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Mary McAuliffe's Dawn of the Belle Epoque took the reader from the multiple disasters of 1870-1871 through the extraordinary re-emergence of Paris as the cultural center of the Western world. Now, in Twilight of the Belle Epoque, McAuliffe portrays Paris in full flower at the turn of the twentieth century, where creative dynamos such as Picasso, Matisse, Stravinsky, Debussy, Ravel, Proust, Marie Curie, Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, and Isadora Duncan set their respective circles on fire with a barrage of revolutionary visions and discoveries. Such dramatic breakthroughs were not limited to the arts or sciences, as innovators and entrepreneurs such as Louis Renault, Andr Citro n, Paul Poiret, Fran ois Coty, and so many others--including those magnificent men and women in their flying machines--emphatically demonstrated. But all was not well in this world, remembered in hindsight as a golden age, and wrenching struggles between Church and state as well as between haves and have-nots shadowed these years, underscored by the ever-more-ominous drumbeat of the approaching Great War--a cataclysm that would test the mettle of the City of Light, even as it brutally brought the Belle Epoque to its close. Through rich illustrations and evocative narrative, McAuliffe brings this remarkable era from 1900 through World War I to vibrant life.… (more)
Member:MHLloydDavies
Title:Twilight of the Belle Epoque: The Paris of Picasso, Stravinsky, Proust, Renault, Marie Curie, Gertrude Stein, and Their Friends through the Great War
Authors:Mary McAuliffe (Author)
Info:Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (2014), Edition: 1st Edition, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
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Twilight of the Belle Epoque: The Paris of Picasso, Stravinsky, Proust, Renault, Marie Curie, Gertrude Stein, and Their Friends through the Great War by Mary McAuliffe

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After all, I found this book quite disappointing. I enjoyed it, but I didn't feel that it amounted to much. The reader reads about what each famous person is doing each year, and then we move on. It is always very interesting to see a number of disparate developments brought into chronological order. And I think it was great that she brought into the technological breakthroughs and the scientific ones.

I had a hard time remembering what had happened last year to the same character...and with some, like Rodin, there was a lot of sameness. I just don't think the format held up to the material.

Also, maybe it is too expensive, but it would have been helpful to have some illustrations, or maybe a collage. But when she's talking about famous pictures, or clothing styles, it would be nice to be able to see a picture.
  franoscar | Aug 26, 2016 |
This book makes it easy to get caught up in the intertwined lives of painters, composers, entrepreneurs, politicians, innovators, performers, and scientists from the later years of France’s Belle Epoque. After loving the first volume, Dawn of the Belle Epoque, I knew I had to read this title and was not disappointed.

Each chapter covers one year from 1900 to 1918--so through The Great War, WWI--with a rich mix of returning characters. We learn about the achievements, love affairs, feuds, ambitions, and failures of many luminaries of the age including Monet, Degas, Picasso, Matisse, Ravel, Louis Renault, Stravinsky, Charles De Gaulle, Debussy, Coco Chanel, Marcel Proust, Georges Clemenceau, Isadora Duncan, Marie Curie, Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, André Citroën, Paul Poiret, François Coty, Nijinsky, Sarah Bernhardt, Dreyfus, and Diaghilev.

Among my favorite moments are Marie Curie and her family hiking with Einstein and his, Marcel Proust returning from an evening walk with shrapnel on his hat because though he was afraid of mice German air raids didn’t scare him and he even found the lit up skies beautiful, and a determined young Charles De Gaulle captured by the Germans while serving in the French army managing to repeatedly escape from increasingly locked down POW fortifications only to be caught each time and returned to prison.

If you want depth on any particular individual you’ll have to go elsewhere but Twilight of the Belle Epoque provides a lively, fascinating, and surprisingly moving overview of the era and many of its most interesting people. I read an advanced copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley. ( )
  Jaylia3 | Mar 17, 2014 |
bookshelves: published-2014, winter-20132014, net-galley, art-forms, e-book, history, nonfiction, paris, france, newtome-author
Read from February 03 to 09, 2014

ARC received with thanks from Net Galley and Rowman & Littlefield in exchange for an honest review.

From the description: In Twilight of the Belle Epoque, McAuliffe portrays Paris in full flower at the turn of the twentieth century, where creative dynamos such as Picasso, Matisse, Stravinsky, Debussy, Ravel, Proust, Marie Curie, Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, and Isadora Duncan set their respective circles on fire with a barrage of revolutionary visions and discoveries. Such dramatic breakthroughs were not limited to the arts or sciences, as innovators and entrepreneurs such as Louis Renault, André Citroën, Paul Poiret, François Coty, and so many others—including those magnificent men and women in their flying machines—emphatically demonstrated. But all was not well in this world, remembered in hindsight as a golden age, and wrenching struggles between Church and state as well as between haves and have-nots shadowed these years, underscored by the ever-more-ominous drumbeat of the approaching Great War—a cataclysm that would test the mettle of the City of Light, even as it brutally brought the Belle Epoque to its close. Through rich illustrations and evocative narrative, McAuliffe brings this remarkable era from 1900 through World War I to vibrant life.

Dedication: In memory of my parents
Betty F Sperling and Godfrey Sperling Jnr.

Opening: Enter the King (1900): It was mid-October 1900 in the City of Light when Pablo Picasso arrived from Barcelona at Paris's bustling new railroad station, the Gare D'Orsay. He was almost nineteen years old and filled with bravado. After all, the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris Exposition had included one of his paintings in its exibit. What a coup!

Moving sidewalk Paris Expo 1900 Edison

Thomas Edison's L' Exposition Universelle de 1900 à Paris

Alphonse Mucha was prescribed to take a bottle of champagne a day to cure his nicotine poisoning.

Castel Béranger by Hector Gruimard

A German cartoon from 1914 showing the lay of the political land as seen from the German perspective at the outbreak of World War One. As the text below the picture states, Germany and the Austro-Hungary Empire defend “blows from all sides”, particularly from the east in the form of a huge snarling Russian face. To the right of the image a banner declares that 10% of the proceeds of the map’s sale will go toward the Red Cross. The map is accompanied by a contemporary version of a French woodcut depicting a very different looking Europe of 1870.

The images are from the Berlin State Library and are featured as part of the wonderful new project from Europeana, “Europeana, 1914-18” , which is marking 100 years since the outbreak of WW1 with a remarkable pan-European pooling of material, from both individuals and institutions, relating to the “Great War”

Isadora Duncan the instigator of modern dance.

This is a lovely overview of the period and what a busy time it was with huge advancements in every sphere imaginable and I love some of the tongue-in-cheek comments about bizarre behaviours from Mary McAuliffe. The part I am loving best is the motor industry and the racing, all goggles, scarves strung out and dusterjackets swirling around the hairpin bends of the alps - it's like 'Top Gear, 1900 Style'.

There are moments where you know that a fact has been given before, and then there are carrots, however this is a very readable text and in no way a dry or scholarly in nature, rather this is warm, informative and wide in scope. A minor point: because of the differing industries and culture in question, not every segueway is a smooth one.

There will be many of us going day by day through the events and carnage of the Great War and this book is a part of that process.
✮✮✮✮½

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  mimal | Feb 9, 2014 |
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Mary McAuliffe's Dawn of the Belle Epoque took the reader from the multiple disasters of 1870-1871 through the extraordinary re-emergence of Paris as the cultural center of the Western world. Now, in Twilight of the Belle Epoque, McAuliffe portrays Paris in full flower at the turn of the twentieth century, where creative dynamos such as Picasso, Matisse, Stravinsky, Debussy, Ravel, Proust, Marie Curie, Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, and Isadora Duncan set their respective circles on fire with a barrage of revolutionary visions and discoveries. Such dramatic breakthroughs were not limited to the arts or sciences, as innovators and entrepreneurs such as Louis Renault, Andr Citro n, Paul Poiret, Fran ois Coty, and so many others--including those magnificent men and women in their flying machines--emphatically demonstrated. But all was not well in this world, remembered in hindsight as a golden age, and wrenching struggles between Church and state as well as between haves and have-nots shadowed these years, underscored by the ever-more-ominous drumbeat of the approaching Great War--a cataclysm that would test the mettle of the City of Light, even as it brutally brought the Belle Epoque to its close. Through rich illustrations and evocative narrative, McAuliffe brings this remarkable era from 1900 through World War I to vibrant life.

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