One thinks of these times as: there where the Jacobines and then Napoleon, not so. In fact, I enjoyed the author's work so much, I will probably read the other biographies she's written Bertrand Russell, Freya Star, Iris Origo and Martha Gellhorn. . By subscribing, you get access to a huge library of multimedia content, which is updated daily. I did vacillate over rating this book.
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. It is interesting from start to finish. 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. It was Lucie who plotted their exile to America using an ancien regime connection to secure false documents. Lucie comes across as remarkable but not without her faults, one of them being a belief in the innate superiority of the aristocracy. Other aspects of the book that we enjoyed were its portrayal of the life of France's émigrés a term which was created during this time , many of whom left and returned to France more than once over the decades of upheaval.
As a very fond mother, she saw five of her six children die before her and her long widowhood was extremely frugal. It is also a social and political history of the French Revolution and the aftermath. The plates include photographs of paintings of the key players you want to see i. Each regime change brought stress as family resources dwindled and debt grew. The fact that Franklin took two of the white angora ones back with him to Philadelphia even better. She doesn't slow down the narrative with too many details but she gives you enough sense of the time and place that you really feel like you understand the world Lucie lived in.
While in the United States to escape the Terror she was friends with the exiled Talleyrand and entertained Alexander Hamilton. Moorehead presents Lucie and Frédéric as having strong moral values, but as nonetheless believing that aristocrats should be in control, that they were the best people to govern. Her well connected father was away most of her childhood leaving Lucie and her mother to suffer under her abusive grandmother's thumb in a situation that worsened after her mother's death. There was time spent in hiding and in 4 different exiles. Lucie can be credited with holding out and perhaps scheming to marry Frederic, the man she loved. These qualities would prove indispensable as she entered adulthood and faced the many dangers and challenges of 18th-century Europe.
Tallyrand hangs out at her farm, where she's perfected butter making and goose slaying, freeing slaves, and befriending Native Americans. An acclaimed biographer of Martha Gellhorn, Bertrand Russell, and Lucie de la Tour du Pin, among others, Moorehead has also written for the Telegraph, the Times, and the Independent. Her husband served in every government and she was close to the centers of power her entire life. She describes Paris and Bourdeaux as in a frenzy, but it doesn't translate beyond the page. And when political enemies maneuvered her husband out of his job she rode from Belgium to Paris to personally demand a job for him from Napoleon Napoleon apologized profusely to her and promptly gave her husband a new post. She lives in London and Italy.
I thought this was an excellent biography and I will read the Lucie Dillon's memoirs sometime soon. Her husband and children are just names, not brought to life at all. Slowly her fortune and way of life drained away. If you are interested in this period, I rate this as almost an essential read. Sumptuous account of Revolutionary Europe. We also talked about about other historical figures who were born around the same time, such as Beethoven in 1770 and Jane Austen 1775.
She witnessed, participated in, and wrote diaries detailing one of the most tumultuous periods of history. But this being Lucie, she turned all of this into an advantage in the future, having the servants teach her how to do basically everything--eventually becoming an 18th century McGuyver. She was lady in waiting to Marie Antoinette and a favorite of Napoleon. So the problem must be the writing. She witnessed, participated in, and wrote diaries detailing one of the most tumultuous periods of history. Here women like the novelist Madame du Stael reigned over their salons, making witty or philosophical conversation. Lucie Dillon's life is overwhelmed by long accounts of the political life of the time.
The tales are drawn from her own memoirs as well as other sources, and the tale of her amazing journey as a young girl being trained to wait upon Marie Antoinette all the way until old age is one well worth reading! Lucie de la Tour du Pin was strong, but completely a woman of her time. Returning to France once again, Lucie witnessed the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy, the rise of Napoleon whom she liked and commanded private audiences with , and the second restoration. This is, in short, the sort of biography I most enjoy. At the Queen's levee they advanced in strict order of status and etiquette offering her articles of clothing. Moorehead's book is a splendid read, largely because of her approach.
There is a priceless description of Talleyrand also an exile creeping up behind her while Lucie was butchering a lamb and admiring her style with the knife. The only criticism I have for the writer is that occasionally there is an inconsistency like they characterization of Frederic and then at the end there is a line that says he was cold but then throughout the book they painted a picture of a loyal and passionate person so it was weird. I loved Lucie, and found in her a new mentor and heroine. As in that book, Moorehead enlightens without overwhelming the reader. Mixing politics and court intrigue, social observation and everyday details about food, work, illness, children, manners and clothes, Caroline Moorehead paints a vivid and memorable portrait of an era - lasting three-quarters of a century - that saw the fortunes of France, as well as those of Lucie herself, rise and fall and rise again. She was a devoted wife to her husband at a time when infidelity was fashionable, and made her family the center of her life.
Lucie lived a long life. The waddling King lacked grace in all his movements, 'shambling along like some peasant behind his plough, screwing up his short-sighted eyes'. She witnessed, participated in, and wrote diaries detailing one of the most tumultuous periods of history. Her husband met George Washington. Her husband served in every government and she was close to the centers of power her entire life. They also enjoyed one of those rare things of their time and class - a happy mar Dancing to the Precipice: Lucie de la Tour du Pin and the French Revolution is a beautifully detailed and extensively researched biography of the eponymous Marquise.