At the Court of Napoleon

Laure Junot Abrantes, Author, Duchesse D'Abrantes, Author Doubleday Books $19.95 (387p) ISBN 978-0-385-26639-0
A longtime friend of the Bonaparte family, the Duchesse d'Abrantes, Laure Permon Junot, was part of the inner circle which came to power in Napoleonic France between 1800 and 1814. Written in 1837 with the encouragement of novelist Honore De Balzac and edited here by French historian Bernier ( Louis XIV , etc.), her memoirs provide a droll account of the manners and foibles of the French upper middle class that resurfaced in full glory after years of hiding in the aftermath of the 1789 Revolution. Her acquaintance with Napoleon since childhood gave her a seasoned view of the imperious general who referred to her as ``La Petite Peste.'' The duchess's extensive social contacts combined with her trenchant wit make her account of Imperial Paris especially entertaining. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
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