Geneviève Halévy Bizet Straus; Laure de Sade Comtesse de Adhéaume de Chevigné; and Élisabeth de Riquet de Caraman-Chimay, the Comtesse Greffuhle—these were the three superstars of fin-de-siècle Parisian high society who, as Caroline Weber says, "transformed themselves, and were transformed by those around them, into living legends: paragons of elegance, nobility and style." All well but unhappily married, these women sought freedom and fulfillment by reinventing themselves, between the 1870s and 1890s, as icons. At their fabled salons, they inspired the creativity of several generations of writers, visual artists, composers, designers, and journalists. Against a rich historical backdrop, Weber takes the listener into these women's daily lives of masked balls, hunts, dinners, court visits, nights at the opera or theater. But we see as well the loneliness, rigid social rules, and loveless, arranged marriages that constricted these women's lives. Proust, as a twenty-year-old law student in 1892, would worship them from afar, and later meet them and create his celebrated composite character for The Remembrance of Things Past.
- Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
- Random House Audio
- Publication Date:
- OverDrive MP3 Audiobook 820.8 MB
- OverDrive Listen 820.7 MB
Caroline Weber (Author)
CAROLINE WEBER is a professor of French and Comparative Literature at Barnard College, Columbia University; she has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton. She is the author of Queen of Fashion: What Marie-Antoinette Wore to t...