Last of the Dandies: The Fashionable Life of Count D'Orsay (Anglais) Relié – 1 mai 2003
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After the first third, then the book starts to get interesting, when the Count becomes a young adult. While the subject material is certainly rich and compels attention, it overall suffers from lack of details and anecdotes that would bring the material to life. In a very interesting period in history, there is no sense of placing the reader into the same time frame or state-of-mind. Then, there are no little stories. Given how the Count and Lady Blessington hosted parties for great figures, including the future ruler of France and Charles Dickens, Oh! what one would give to be the proverbial fly on the wall. Unfortunately, we're not taken there. Also irritatingly, key phases in French are left untranslated.
Finally, there is no epilogue. The book ends at the Count's death, so one is left to wonder about his influence immediately afterwards, what happened to the people close to him, and how the Count continues to influence until this day.
So, it's a good book and you get an accurate picture of the Count's life, but the flower of his story is just not fully developed.
But this is not just a flippant story of a great scandal. Amongst D'Orsay's comtemporaries were Byron, Beau Brummel, the Bourbon Kings of Europe, and the descendents of Napoleon. These were interestng times, when Europe as a whole was deciding her fate. There are enough interesting snippets of greater history to make this book worth reading. But it is the letters and journals that make this book come alive.
This is a time in history that I was not particularly familiar with, and to view it through the eyes of these flamboyant and wealthy characters, give it an interest and piquancy that nothing else could.