Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Dancing to the Precipice: The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Eyewitness to an Era Paperback – July 27, 2010
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From The New Yorker
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 77%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top Customer Reviews
Beginning with her choice of subject, Caroline Moorehead has delivered something wonderful; a biography and work of history that sets the events of the French revolution and the Napoleonic era in context. By telling them through the life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, born Lucie Dillon in 1770, she makes those events both more fascinating -- we see them as they affect Lucie and her family and friends -- and more understandable (since the discussion doesn't start in 1789 with the fall of the Bastille and stop suddenly with Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo in 1815.) Lucie, born into a noble family of Irish and English Catholics (her mother is French), grows up and marries in the final years of the reign of Louis XVI; she becomes a lady-in-waiting to Marie Antoinette. Escaping the guillotine, she and her husband flee to America, where they take up farming in upstate New York, then return to Europe to try and rebuild their lives. Indeed, before she turned 50 and began to write her own life history (a document that Moorehead draws on heavily, alongside extensive and unpublished correspondence between Lucie and her extended family and friends), Lucie has fled into exile on no fewer than four occasions, trying to keep ahead of the political changes that sweep through France.Read more ›
I admire them both for their devotion to one another and for their resourcefulness. They adapted to setbacks and tragedy and moved on. Lucie went from attending to Marie Antoinette at Versailles to making butter in the New World and back again to a very changed France.
I liked this book; I never got bored while reading it. THE END or finis!
In this book, Caroline Moorehead covers Lucie's remarkable life, the life of an aristocrat survivor whose wits kept her family alive and afloat.
This book is compelling for many reasons: it well describes the plight of the emigres who escaped to England and America. She was a former lady in waiting to Marie Antoinette, escapes near death by the intervention of Therese Tallien, then Lucie meets up with Talleyrand in New York, and helps host receptions for Josephine. The details and research are a treasure trove of historical and social background--down to the fact the the color of the toiles changed from pastels to darker colors during the upheaval of revolution.
There were a few areas I felt not as strong--Talleyrand is painted with the same brush, and there are a few editing errors (page 53: In the spring of 1794 Lucie turned 14--should be 1784. Also USA (more modern) instead of America or the United States.
Still--if you read this book, you should read books recommended in my earlier reviews. They, too, cover the same era and the reader will appreciate this book, and the others better.
Though born within the highest reaches of pre-revolutionary French society, she was able to flourish in any situation, no matter how dire or deprived. And though scores of her friends and relatives, including her own father and her husband's father, were victims of the guillotine, she and her husband - without treachery or compromise - were survivors.
A loving mother and devoted wife, she had the uncanny ability and good fortune to pass through the very gates of hell without succumbing to disaster.
Based on Lucie de la Tour du Pin's own memoir, as well as hundred of her letters, Caroline Moorehead has given us a harrowing, yet warm tale of an incredible woman who lived through incredibly difficult and dangerous times.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The life story of one of the most fascinating women who lived through the most turbulent and dangerous years of French history. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Harro
This book was such a disappointment. Moorehead is clearly in need of a good editor here--there are typos, incorrect dates and run-on sentences galore. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jamie
Inspiring story of a woman of great courage.in addition you learn a lot about the French Revolution.Published 12 months ago by barry bernstein
ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING! I learned so many delightful details. I would strongly recommendPublished 16 months ago by Alan R Schlesinger
This is a fabulous biography that reads very easily right up to the last couple of chapters. These sort of feel like a neat wrapping up of a novel, but the balance is in favor of... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Ferg's Mom
Caroline Moorehead has beautifully assembled the memoirs and letters of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, an eyewitness to the reign of Louis XVI, the Revolution, Napolean, and the multiple... Read morePublished 17 months ago by William O. Bank