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Last of the Dandies: The Scandalous Life and Escapades of Count D'Orsay Hardcover – 1 May 2003

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 484 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company (1 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316855499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316855495
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 4.4 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 769,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'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.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book isn't just a narrative based on a famous dandy, its really a story about the life in the period of after Napoleons fall in France, with events and life for the aristocracy of the day described with a great richness. the research into the period has brought a book which isn't dull like an old history textbook, but something which is fast moving, witty and easy to read.

Nicholas Foulkes has actually produced a great work here, the way it's branded though perhaps explains its low profile. Brilliant book.
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Format: Hardcover
The stately pleasure domes of Kensington, St James and Mayfair where the lovely man lived throughout the 1830s and 40s were crammed with pretty things.This is an intriguing account into the life of a man that lived a very extravagant lifestyle.
a Curious read, one not to be missed if this is an area in history of interest to you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but could have been great. 27 Feb. 2006
By T. Schmitt - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Reading this book isn't a waste of time, but it doesn't bring Count D'Orsay to life.. The book doesn't become compelling until after the first third. Until then, the author spends more time describing the Count's friends and acquaintances then the Count himself. There is scant attention to the Count's childhood and upbringing, of what life was like for him. I was beginning to wonder if this was a biography on the Count or someone else.

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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blah 12 April 2010
By Laurie Lankhaar - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book goes into more detail about D'Orsay's inner circle than D'Orsay himself. I would have liked to read more about the "life and escapades" of D'Orsay, and the creation of a fashion icon instead the of the life of Lord & Lady Blessington. Foulkes makes many interesting points pertaining to the early life of D'Orsay and his budding relationship with the Blessingtons. Nonetheless, this book is rather dull read.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining view of stardom in interesting times 29 Dec. 2004
By Lesley West - Published on
Format: Hardcover
THis is a rather unusual book. It looks at a time in history where there was still enormous class distinction, and among the "upper class" there was scandal galore. And among the best of them was the Comte D'Orsay, handsome and witty Frenchman, who scandalised society with his wit, bisexuality and flagrant affiars with Lady Blessington, one of the beauties of her age.

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.
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