Saturday, August 24, 2013
Madame De Stael The First Modern Woman
I had never heard of Madame De Stael before I ran into this book at Half Price. I've been going through a biography/autobiography phase, slowly over the last couple of years. It's been all women, which has not been intentional. After this book, I think I am going to find a good biography of Napoleon.
Madame DeStael lived, and was influential during the time of the French Revolution, Napoleons take over and the re institution of the monarchy. She was educated, intelligent, a prolific writer and manic depressive. Even though it is stated often through the biography that she is plain and does not dress well, men fall at her feet wherever she goes.
This biographer had a very specific interpretation of Madame De Stael, her motivations and her life. I am interested in finding another biography about her to hear another biographers perspective. My main complaint with the writing is that she used the same descriptions and rationalizations multiple times. Once an author says points out a rationalization once or twice, I can start seeing the pattern and making the conclusion myself. I don't need it pointed out to me every single time.
If you enjoy biographies this is definitely worth reading. I read it over two days because it was very hard to put down. I was always wondering the new way she was going to tick off Napoleon or what her next exploit/romantic conquest was going to be.
Labels: Book Review