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Grandes Horizontales : The Lives and Legends…
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Grandes Horizontales : The Lives and Legends of Four Nineteenth-Century… (edition 2003)

by Virginia Rounding

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1254137,072 (3.64)1
Member:TheCriticalTimes
Title:Grandes Horizontales : The Lives and Legends of Four Nineteenth-Century Courtesans
Authors:Virginia Rounding
Info:Bloomsbury USA (2003), Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Non Fiction, Documentary

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Grandes Horizontales: The Lives and Legends of Four Nineteenth-Century Courtesans by Virginia Rounding

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Showing 4 of 4
Fascinating stories, and very well researched. No great, surprising conclusions about the role of courtesans in Napoleonic France, but an entertaining and informative read nonetheless. ( )
  amydross | Feb 4, 2011 |
Suffers a little next to Katie Hickman's "Courtesans"; there's a little overlap, particularly with Cora Pearl and La Paiva, but Rounding sticks more to courtesans in Paris (one of them English), while Hickman focuses on English courtesans (some in Paris). Rounding directly quotes more frequently, and yet somehow gives less information than Hickman does, I don't know. Still worth the read.
  cleolinda | Jan 13, 2008 |
I love this title, for all its evocative resonance. The subtitle of the book is "The Lives and Legends of Four Nineteenth Century Courtesans." I loved the sense of peeking into another society's underpinnings and how sexuality operated in that time. Four very different stories of four very different woman, some of whom were contemporaries. A delightful read. And the book has quite a tantalizing cover...
  sleigh | Jul 30, 2007 |
This book follows the lives and professional careers of four demi-mondaines, courtesans of Napoleon III's Paris. Well researched, and well written, the book is occasionally choppy as the author appears to struggle with when to bring their stories together, and when to focus on each story individually. Definitely worth the time to read. ( )
  Meggo | Mar 18, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0747562210, Hardcover)

Marie Duplessis, Cora Pearl, La Paiva and La Presidente, the four women whose lives and legends are examined in this fascinating book, were all representatives of the golden age of the French courtesan. In the reign of Emperor Napoleon III the opulent and pampered demi-monde became almost indistinguishable from the haut-monde, with mythical reputations growing up around its most glittering and favoured celebrities. Marie Duplessis became the prototype of the virtuous courtesan when Alexandre Dumas Fils portrayed her as Marguerite Gautier in La dame aux Camelias. Apollonie Sabatier, known as La Presidente, put men of letters and other arts at ease amidst the gracious manners and bawdy talk of her salon and was immortalised by sculptor August Clesinger and poet Charles Baudelaire. Through prejudiced eyes, the Russian Jew La Paiva appeared intent to prey on rich young men of Paris. Covetous onlookers resented her ability to amass and display great wealth, most notably in the design and building of her opulent hotel in the Avenue of the Champs Elysees. The English beauty who called herself Cora Pearl was another 'foreign threat', with her athletic physique, sixty horses and ability 'to make bored men laugh', including Prince Napoleon. Virginia Rounding disentangles myth from reality in her lively, thought-provoking study. Nineteenth-century Paris comes to life and so do its most distinguished and declasse inhabitants.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:40 -0400)

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