Talleyrandby Duff Cooper
“If biography is to be defined as “the history of an individual conceived as a work of art,” then Mr. Duff Cooper’s book would serve as an exhibit.” –Harold Nicolson
Unique in his own age and a phenomenon in any, Charles-Maurice, Prince de Talleyrand, was a diplomat and statesman of outstanding ability and extraordinary contradictions. At once bishop and libertine, iconoclast and traditionalist, he made himself indispensable and held high office in five successive reigns.
From the Revolutionary regime, through exile in America, to new eminence under Napoleon, Talleyrand plotted his way to the restoration of the Bourbons and his own crowning achievement—winning an effective voice for France in the settlement of Europe at the Congress of Vienna—and served a further twenty years before he retired, at eighty, under the constitutional monarchy of Louis Philippe. Duff Cooper’s classic biography charts his fascinating, checkered career with all the vigor, elegance, and intellect of its remarkable subject.
“A memorable book about an extraordinary man.”—Grenville Vernon, Commonweal
“If biography is to be defined as “the history of an individual conceived as a work of art,” then Mr. Duff Cooper’s book would serve as an exhibit.”—Harold Nicolson
“A brilliant presentation of France’s world-famous diplomat and statesman . . . his personality, his connection with the church, his political career and his love affairs.”—Boston Transcript