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The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It (P.S.) Paperback – 15 Oct 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (15 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061288586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061288586
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

“Joan of Arc and Madame Clicquot were the two women heroes I knew when growing up in France. What a gift to have this new, well-researched biography of one of the world’s first ‘legitimate’ businesswoman, our contemporary as a global business leader.” (Mireille Guiliano, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller, French Women Don't Get Fat)

“The Widow Clicquot is someone we should all know about.... Long a shadowy, legend-obscured figure, in Tilar Mazzeo’s agile hands the widow sheds her weeds and takes form before our eyes as a distinctly modern entrepreneur....The result is narrative history that fizzes with life and feeling.” (Benjamin Wallace, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Billionaire's Vinegar)

“Told in a light and graceful style that is just right for its subject…. [I]t’s a fascinating trip, made even more so by Ms. Mazzeo’s charming cameo appearances as a kind of tour guide…. This example of Barbe-Nicole’s voice is exceptional…an intoxicating business biography.” (Julia Flynn Siler, The Wall Street Journal)

“The Widow Clicquot, Tilar J. Mazzeo’s sweeping oenobiography of Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, is the story of a woman who was a smashing success long before anyone conceptualized the glass ceiling.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Mazzeo’s resulting book is an enticing stew of biography and history.” (USA Today)

“If you like champagne, “The Widow Clicquot” by Tilar J. Mazzeo is definitely worth a drink.” (Associated Press)

“Tilar J. Mazzeo’s informed and enlightening biography of Madame Clicquot, the widow and, more important, the businesswoman, retrieves her vintage story as if looking for a rare bottle in one of the Champagne region’s deepest caves.” (Newsday)

“This book is full of fascinating morsels of information.” (Canberra Times)

The Widow Clicquot is a miraculous feat of organization, one worthy of a doctoral thesis…. [I]n its moments of action, this is actually a gripping story. And while the book appears to be a feminist history/business biography, it’s also the appealing story of the author’s odyssey. (Austin Chronicle)

“Mazzeo’s tale moves swiftly through Barbe-Nicole’s many accomplishments, including her method for storing bottles nose-down—an innovation that allowed the second fermentation detritus to be cleared efficiently, setting her far ahead of her competitors.” (Los Angeles Times)

From the Back Cover

Veuve Clicquot champagne epitomizes glamour, style, and luxury. In The Widow Clicquot, Tilar J. Mazzeo brings to life—for the first time—the fascinating woman behind the iconic yellow label: Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, who, after her husband's death, defied convention by assuming the reins of the fledgling wine business they had nurtured together. Steering the company through dizzying political and financial reversals, she became one of the world's first great businesswomen and one of the richest women of her time.

As much a fascinating journey through the process of making this temperamental wine as a biography of a uniquely tempered woman, The Widow Clicquot is the captivating true story of a legend and a visionary.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Grenouille on 9 Oct 2012
Format: Hardcover
Although the topic is interesting and the book gives some sort of superficial insight into a world which is fascinating, the writing style almost killed it for me. Rarely have I read a book where the author (although it'd be probably more accurate to call him a 'gatherer of facts and anecdotes') repeated the same facts over and over and over and over - it was truly maddening at times. This book is in dire need of a good edit, but I bet that if all the repeatitions were removed, the book would be hardly half the size, so probably too short to justify the price.
Other flaws included the sloppy research (No! 'Bonheur' does NOT mean 'Good luck' in French! Surely that would have been easy enough to check!), the far-fetched extrapolations and over-interpretations and the annoying and pointless hindsights. I wouldn't recommend.
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By suzmorananne on 26 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fab loads of information you would not normally know about even working for the company does not tell you all this
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bella on 15 Sep 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is fascinating. Fascinating is the right word. It not only tells us more about Coco Chanel herself which from a social history perspective is interesting, it also tells us a lot about marketing - or the lack of marketing. It is also a history of perfume, how perfumes are formulated and how a slight adjustment creates a new smell. Fascinating on so many levels this book is on my Christmas gift list.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tsofa on 14 Mar 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book gave me a complete and fresh idea of Chanel No. 5 history, from the time of its creation until it became a huge success.

Mazzeo's writing is simple so one can understand some things like the production of a fragrance since its creation until it is out in the market for sales.

The reports of Coco Chanel's life and the detailed description of the facts that occurred at that time (since the 1920's) gives us a full picture of what that fragrance went through to become a legendary scent.

If you are a fanatic perfume lover such as I, then you owe to yourself to read and finally learn of how some perfumes where created. The writer has transferred to me her passion of an understandable and incredible reading, meaning to me a worth-reading book!
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By jacqueline s. on 6 Jan 2010
Format: Hardcover
Absolutely loved this book - Champagne is the subject and is certainly my taste! You learn a lot from this as well as a great story.
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