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Dancing to the Precipice: Lucie De La Tour Du Pin and the French Revolution by Caroline Moorehead
  

Dancing to the Precipice: Lucie De La Tour Du Pin and the French Revolution

Biography / Autobiography   

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Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2009.

Costa Book Awards 2009 Judges' comment: "An exemplary biography of an extraordinary woman."

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Synopsis

Dancing to the Precipice: Lucie De La Tour Du Pin and the French Revolution by Caroline Moorehead

Born Lucie Dillon, to a half-French mother and an Anglo-Irish father, her world was Versailles and the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. She married a French aristocrat, and narrowly survived the French Revolution, escaping to America at the time of Washington and Jefferson. Here, she lived a life of milking cows and chopping wood, having previously been accustomed to the lavish life of the French court. Returning to France prematurely, Lucie had to flee again, this time to England, where she took up sewing in order to support herself and her family. Repeatedly in the right place at the right time, Lucie saw the Battle of Waterloo, the fall of Napoleon and the return of Louis XVIII, and the Restoration.She was an outstanding diarist and a remarkable woman, who witnessed one of the most dramatic and brutal periods of history, playing the part of observer, commentator and, often, participant. For the last years of her life she was ambassadress to Holland and the Kingdom of Sardinia. Her friends included Wellington, Lafayette, Alexander Hamilton, Talleyrand and Madame de Stael. She died, aged 83, in Pisa. 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. Both as a witness and as a survivor, Lucie is a superb subject for an exemplary biographer.


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About the Author

Caroline Moorehead

Caroline Moorehead wrote a column on human rights first for The Times and then for the Independent (1980-91) and made a series of TV programmes on human rights for the BBC (1990-2000). She has written the history of the International Committee of the Red Cross (1998); and has helped to set up a Legal Advice Centre for refugees in Cairo, where she has also started schools and a nursery. Currently she works as a volunteer on the legal team for the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, while also continuing to review and write on human rights in many different papers. Her latest book, a biography of Martha Gellhorn, is available in Vintage.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th March 2009

Author

Caroline Moorehead

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Publisher

Chatto & Windus an imprint of Vintage

Format

Hardback
496 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography

Biography: general

ISBN

9780701179045

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