Talleyrand and His World

4 avg rating
( 1 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781890434816: Talleyrand and His World

The extent of Talleyrand's political complicity as foreign minister and his resultant important influence in the two coups de'tat--the coup du 18 fructidor and the coup du 18 brumaire--that accelerated Napoleon's rise to power are made abundantly clear. His relationship with the short Corsican general reads like a penny novel, ranging from his early, behind-the-scenes role that helped lead Napoleon to the imperial throne, to when he was Napoleon's collaborator and confidant during the early days of the empire, and ending, finally, with Talleyrand's betrayal of Napoleon, and the emperor's ultimate exile almost two decades later.

Women delighted in Talleyrand's company, and he in theirs. A bon vivant and womanizer in an age that accepted his indiscretions, he did not hesitate to use women friends to his political advantage. He was once discussing current events with the rising political star, Adolph Theirs, the future president of the Third French Republic, when the latter chided him: "Mon Prince, you are always talking to me about women. I would much prefer to talk politics." To which the older man retorted: "But what are politics, if not women?"

On his deathbed, Talleyrand prepared for his reception into the next world as carefully as he had his every action in this one. The blessing of the Church was essential. A priest heard his confession, his first in nearly fifty years, and the prince dispatched to the pope in Rome two documents of regret and entire submission to the Church on which he scrawled in large letters "Charles-Maurice, Prince de Talleyrand"--as he had done for his great diplomatic treaties.

Arguably the most influential European statesman of the first half of the nineteenth century and certainly the most colorful Frenchman of his era Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord (1754-1838) verbalized his desire for immortality thusly: "Centuries from now I still want people to talk about me, what I have been, what I thought, what I wanted."

Was the notoriously enigmatic Prince de Talleyrand the clever patriot he pictured himself? An opportunist? A venal scoundrel? And he was what? a bishop of the Catholic Church and a married one at that!

The life of Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, a "devil of a man", as Napoleon more than once referred to the controversial French statesman, is such a minefield of contradictions that anyone writing the story of his life can only point them out as part of his attraction. Talleyrand tailored his actions to his words, leaving innumerable discrepancies and gaps between verifiable reality and fantasy. He deliberately attempted to recreate himself for posterity both in his Memoires and elsewhere.

Most noticeably, this towering figure---born to a titled family, the confidante of both royalty and republicans, King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette as well as Napoleon Bonaparte---tried to obscure his prominent role during the crucial Revolutionary period of 1789-92. His success in seizing and burning pertinent, incriminating parts of the all-important Tuileries archives when the Allies entered Paris in 1814 destroyed most of the damaging written evidence therein concerning these three portentous years. The prince's Memoires, moreover, devote only a scandalously few pages out of their four volumes to them.

The rest of his long life Talleyrand tried to reduce and downplay his role in this cataclysmic upheaval from that of key participant to that of simple spectator. This notion is turned upside down by Rosalynd Pflaum's painstaking research in original, contemporary documents that have only recently been made available in France. In Talleyrand and his World, she skillfully pieces together his true influence, his political activity, and his intrigues during this critical time.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Rosalynd Pflaum attended Stanford University and graduated summa cum laude. She received the prestigious French Legion d'Honneur in 1978 and has won praise both in the United States and Europe for her biographies of the Duc de Morny, Mme de Stael, the Grand Duchess of Courland, and Madame Curie. She lives in Minnesota.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Rosalynd Pflaum
Published by Afton Historical Society Press (2010)
ISBN 10: 1890434817 ISBN 13: 9781890434816
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Afton Historical Society Press, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111890434817

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 85.81
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Pflaum, Rosalynd
Published by Afton Historical Society Press
ISBN 10: 1890434817 ISBN 13: 9781890434816
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Afton Historical Society Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1890434817 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1729496

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 98.75
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds