Dawn of the Belle Epoque: The Paris of Monet, Zola, Bernhardt, Eiffel, Debussy, Clemenceau, and Their Friends
A humiliating military defeat by Bismarck's Germany, a brutal siege, and a bloody uprising—Paris in 1871 was a shambles, and the question loomed, "Could this extraordinary city even survive?"Mary McAuliffe takes the reader back to these perilous years following the abrupt collapse of the Second... show more
A humiliating military defeat by Bismarck's Germany, a brutal siege, and a bloody uprising—Paris in 1871 was a shambles, and the question loomed, "Could this extraordinary city even survive?"Mary McAuliffe takes the reader back to these perilous years following the abrupt collapse of the Second Empire and France's uncertain venture into the Third Republic. By 1900, Paris had recovered and the Belle Epoque was in full flower, but the decades between were difficult, marked by struggles between republicans and monarchists, the Republic and the Church, and an ongoing economic malaise, darkened by a rising tide of virulent anti-Semitism.Yet these same years also witnessed an extraordinary blossoming in art, literature, poetry, and music, with the Parisian cultural scene dramatically upended by revolutionaries such as Monet, Zola, Rodin, and Debussy, even while Gustave Eiffel was challenging architectural tradition with his iconic tower. Through the eyes of these pioneers and others, including Sarah Bernhardt, Georges Clemenceau, Marie Curie, and César Ritz, we witness their struggles with the forces of tradition during the final years of a century hurtling towards its close. Through rich illustrations and evocative narrative, McAuliffe brings this vibrant and seminal era to life.
Pages no: 387
Edition language: English
I can't recommend this one more. The only thing I really felt it was lacking was a color insert of the wonderful art that is being discussed. I accidentally read the sequel, which covers 1900-1920, first. Both are first-class. It is astonishing how many of the cultural elite knew each other,...
I can't stress enough how ignorant I was about this time in history. Certainly, I knew the names (except Morisot's) and I knew Impressionism, but otherwise: zip. So as someone who had virtually no knowledge of the subject material going in, I found this book to be easy to read and well-written in...
You know when you've convinced yourself you've done something only to turn around and realize it was your brain playing a trick on you? Apparently 3-4 reviews completely fell through the cracks; this was one and that's horrible because this book was quite an experience for me. I'll confess, French...
Dawn of the Belle Époque has a cast of hundreds, but because many of them are well known, including Zola, Monet, Marie Curie, Gustave Eiffel, Debussy, and Sarah Bernhardt, it’s not hard to keep track of them. Details of individual lives are reported, I learned for instance that Degas was petulant, c...