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The Life of Astolphe De Custine Paperback – January 1, 1999
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From Library Journal
A contemporary of Napoleon, Balzac, and Chateaubriand, Astolphe de Custine (1790-1857) achieved fame with his book La Russie en 1839. An unconventional aristocrat who managed to survive the French Revolution, Custine lived openly for most of his life with his partner, Edouard Sainte-Barbe, and wrote a series of unextraordinary books. But after a trip to Russia, he wrote unflinchingly of the fear, violence, and despotism there and thereby achieved fame. Today, many critics consider La Russie en 1839 one of the best books ever written about Russia, offering insights that are both emotional, rational, and prophetic of the Stalin regime. Muhlstein, who won the French Prix Goncourt for this biography in 1996, quotes liberally from Custine's letters and writings, revealing much about the man who became a prominent opponent to abuses of political, social, and moral authority. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.ARobert Kelly, Fort Wayne Community Schs., IN
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Against the fascinating background of early-19th-century France, Anka Muhlstein presents the gifted if at times deplorable Custine with vivacity, elegance, and insight. It is a splendid introduction to the Marquis and his world and to his famous 1839 tour of autocratic Russia" -- Daniel Aaron
"Briliant, visionary, beautiful Astolphe -- man of letters and man of society -- finally gets his biography . . . " -- French elle Magazine
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