I just finished reading Dancing to the Precipice – The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin.
Lucie Dillon, the Marquise de la Tour was a French aristocrat born in 1770. Her father fought with the Americans during the revolutionary war. She was a lady in waiting to Marie Antoinette, witnessed the French revolution, and barely escaped being imprisoned and possibly guillotined. She and her family escaped France on a ship for America and ended up farming in upper New York state. Eventually they returned to France. She knew Napoleon and Lucie's husband was part of Napoleon's government. She was friends with the Duke of Wellington and had played with him as a child. You can see why the subtitle of this book is eyewitness to an Era.
Lucie wrote a memoir and Caroline Moorehead used it as the foundation for this biography. I found parts of the book fascinating and at times even riveting. At other times Dancing to the Precipice dragged a bit. It is a classic example of how a biography can educate you about a period in history. I learned a lot from Dancing to the Precipice about French history, the revolution and Napoleon and I definitely enjoyed reading it.
This is book number 34 for me this year. If you would like to see a list of all the books I have read in 2009 you can find it here.