Last of the Dandies: The Scandalous Life and Escapades of Count D'Orsay Hardcover – 1 May 2003
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'Brilliantly realised... nobody with the slightest empathy for (D'Orsay's) period and its values should fail to read this book' -- Literary Review
'Foulkes tells this strange story with admirable elan and confidently handles an impressive cast' -- Daily Telegraph
'Nick Foulkes has written this portrait of D'Orsay with gripping pace and delicious detail' -- Mail on Sunday
'Stuffed with entertaining anecdotes... lively and informative' -- Independent on Sunday
About the Author
Formerly associate editor of the London Evening Standard's ES magazine, Nick Foulkes writes regularly for the Financial Times, Country Life, and the Mail on Sunday. He is a contributing editor to GQ.
Top Customer Reviews
Nicholas Foulkes has actually produced a great work here, the way it's branded though perhaps explains its low profile. Brilliant book.
a Curious read, one not to be missed if this is an area in history of interest to you.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.