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In narrative history format, a historian explores the famous Vienna Congress that took place in Europe in 1815 and brought together such characters as Tsar Alexander, Wellington, Metternich, and even Napoleon. 15,000 first printing.
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A fascinating account of the Congress of Vienna, The Final Act describes the international intrigues surrounding the diplomatic confab of 1814-15. Gregor Dallas has wonderful groups of characters to work with, including Tsar Alexander, Talleyrand- Périgord, Castlereagh, Wellington, and Metternich. Even Beethoven makes an appearance, debuting his Seventh Symphony in Vienna that winter. The author successfully exploits this lively cast, and his penchant for reporting personal gossip helps make this popular history quite interesting. The figure of Napoleon looms constantly in the background as an exile at Elba, and Dallas spends the final sections of his book describing the general's escape and downfall at Waterloo. The Congress of Vienna as chronicled in history textbooks has always seemed like a dull interlude unfortunately thrust into the middle of the thrilling Napoleonic epic. Thanks to Dallas, it will never seem boring again.From Kirkus Reviews:
A broad, colorful, engaging panorama of a crucial moment in the shaping of modern Europe, tracing the fall of Napoleon and the wily maneuvers of the victors to carve up his collapsed empire. Dallas (At the Heart of a Tiger: Clemenceau and His World 18411929, 1993) has extraordinary material to work with, and he makes the most of it. The long, costly struggle of England, Russia, and their allies to vanquish Napoleon seemed, with his exile to the island of Elba in 1814, to be over. In the aftermath of the war, the mutually suspicious victors convened the Congress of Nations in Vienna to establish national boundaries, carve out zones of influence, and firmly reassert the place of monarchs in an increasingly republican world. A remarkable cast of characters gathered to map out the new Europe, among them Tsar Alexander of Russia, by turns a mystic and a determinedly shrewd expansionist; Talleyrand, France's representative, a man bright and adaptable enough to have survived both the Revolution and Napoleon's reign; Castlereagh, a moody, brilliant figure who had almost singlehandedly created the British Foreign Service; and Metternich, Austria's Machiavellian foreign minister. Then, incredibly, Napoleon broke loose, quickly rallied his armies, and set out to reclaim his empire. That quest ended at Waterloo, in the most pivotal battle of the 19th century in Europe. Dallas's portraits of leading figures, while frankly opinionated, are deeply informed. He uses his considerable research admirably, offering vivid, fresh depictions of Paris, London, and Vienna, and of the drawing rooms, counting houses, and battlefields that figured in the vast drama. His argument that the treaty that emerged from Napoleon's downfall largely created modern Europe--and the tensions that would lead to even bloodier wars--is persuasive. A gripping and highly original work of popular history. (50 illustrations, 3 maps, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Holt, 1997. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition.... NY: Holt, 1997. First Edition. First printing. Hardcover. New in dust jacket. Pristine, unread copy. 0.0. Seller Inventory # jill340
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