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The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It

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The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It Cover

ISBN13: 9780061288562
ISBN10: 006128856x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Less Than Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The story of the visionary young widow who built a champagne empire, showed the world how to live with style, and emerged a legend.

Veuve Clicquot champagne epitomizes glamour, style, and luxury. But who was this young widow — the Veuve Clicquot — whose champagne sparkled at the courts of France, Britain, and Russia, and how did she rise to celebrity and fortune?

In The Widow Clicquot, Tilar J. Mazzeo brings to life — for the first time — the fascinating woman behind the iconic yellow label: Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin.A young witness to the dramatic events of the French Revolution and a new widow during the chaotic years of the Napoleonic Wars, Barbe-Nicole defied convention by assuming — after her husband's death — the reins of the fledgling wine business they had nurtured. Steering the company through dizzying political and financial reversals, she became one of the world's first great businesswomen and one of the richest women of her time.

Although the Widow Clicquot is still a legend in her native France, her story has never been told in all its richness — until now. Painstakingly researched and elegantly written, The Widow Clicquot provides a glimpse into the life of a woman who arranged clandestine and perilous champagne deliveries to Russia one day and entertained Napoléon and Joséphine Bonaparte on another. She was a daring and determined entrepreneur, a bold risk taker, and an audacious and intelligent woman who took control of her own destiny when fate left her on the brink of financial ruin. Her legacy lives on today, not simply through the famous product that still bears her name, but now through Mazzeo's finely crafted book. As much a fascinating journey through the process of making this temperamental wine as a biography of a uniquely tempered woman, The Widow Clicquot is utterly intoxicating.

Review:

"The Widow Clicquot is someone we should all know about....Long a shadowy, legend-obscured figure, in Tilar Mazzeo's agile hands the widow sheds her weeds and takes form before our eyes as a distinctly modern entrepreneur....The result is narrative history that fizzes with life and feeling." Benjamin Wallace, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Billionaire's Vinegar

Review:

"Mazzeo's tale moves swiftly through Barbe-Nicole's many accomplishments, including her method for storing bottles nose-down — an innovation that allowed the second fermentation detritus to be cleared efficiently, setting her far ahead of her competitors." Los Angeles Times

Book News Annotation:

Mazzeo, an author who admits to having been cheered in a bleak midwinter by the Widow, set out to repay her with a biography only to find that the founder of one of the greatest houses of champagne left few personal letters and no diaries to draw on, only shelf after shelf of account books. Undaunted, she scoured the region for traces of Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, the Widow Cliquot. From civic records, the history of the region and folk memory Mazzeo created a picture of the Widow's life and the time she lived in, from her childhood during the French Revolution to her death in 1866, immensely rich and famous. While it is impossible to know the woman herself intimately, the portrait that emerges is a convincing one of a smart and determined woman who took a small business and made of it an international enterprise. Mazzeo notes that, while Barbe-Nicole was one of the first, Louise Pommery, also a widow soon followed in her footsteps. However, until recently, there were no others. The widow Clicquot was a model for enterprising business women and one wonders why more did not emulate her. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

The Widow Clicquot brings to life the woman behind the famous champagne label — a daring and determined entrepreneur who, newly widowed during the chaotic years of the French revolution, assumes the reins of the fledgling wine business she and her husband had started.

Synopsis:

The Widow Clicquot is the New York Times bestselling business biography of the visionary young widow who built a champagne empire, became a legend in her tumultuous times, and showed the world how to live with style. Tilar J. Mazzeo brings to life the woman behind the label, Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, in this utterly intoxicating book that is as much a fascinating journey through the process of making this temperamental wine as a biography of a uniquely tempered and fascinating woman.

About the Author

Tilar J. Mazzeo is a cultural historian and biographer, and a passionate student of wine and food culture. An assistant professor at Colby College in Maine, she divides her time between the California wine country and New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

agnesjames, January 25, 2010 (view all comments by agnesjames)
Forgive me, for I am an unabashed fan of champagne, French or otherwise, but reading The Widow Clicquot has me convinced it's hight time to cash in the bonds and go back to France to tour this incredible region. What a woman she was to persist against all odds - against commercial failure and financial ruin, always teetering on a perilous political tightrope - but what a story to lure us to the roots of this beautiful beverage that makes any party a fiesta, any celebration a fete internationale!
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itpdx, April 7, 2009 (view all comments by itpdx)
The author, Tilar Mazzeo, takes the pieces of the slim biography that has come to us of the Widow Clicquot and fills in the history of France, and champagne and the industrialization of winemaking to give us the story of a remarkable woman. Mazzeo writes with an energy and liveliness that compliments her subject.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061288562
Subtitle:
The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It
Author:
Mazzeo, Tilar J.
Author:
J
Author:
Mazzeo, Tilar
Author:
by Tilar Mazzeo
Author:
by Tilar Mazzeo
Publisher:
HarperBusiness
Subject:
History
Subject:
France
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Beverages - Wine & Spirits
Subject:
Business
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Champagne (Wine) -- History.
Subject:
Clicquot-Ponsardin, Barbe-Nicole
Subject:
Biography-Women
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20081028
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.97 in 15.2 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » Business
Biography » Historical
Biography » Women
Cooking and Food » Beverages » Bartending and Liquor
Cooking and Food » Beverages » Wine » French » Regional
Cooking and Food » Beverages » Wine » General
Cooking and Food » Beverages » Wine » Wines of the World
Cooking and Food » Beverages » Wines and Beer
Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking
History and Social Science » Europe » France » 1815 to 1871

The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It Used Hardcover
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$8.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Collins Business - English 9780061288562 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The Widow Clicquot is someone we should all know about....Long a shadowy, legend-obscured figure, in Tilar Mazzeo's agile hands the widow sheds her weeds and takes form before our eyes as a distinctly modern entrepreneur....The result is narrative history that fizzes with life and feeling."
"Review" by , "Mazzeo's tale moves swiftly through Barbe-Nicole's many accomplishments, including her method for storing bottles nose-down — an innovation that allowed the second fermentation detritus to be cleared efficiently, setting her far ahead of her competitors."
"Synopsis" by , The Widow Clicquot brings to life the woman behind the famous champagne label — a daring and determined entrepreneur who, newly widowed during the chaotic years of the French revolution, assumes the reins of the fledgling wine business she and her husband had started.
"Synopsis" by , The Widow Clicquot is the New York Times bestselling business biography of the visionary young widow who built a champagne empire, became a legend in her tumultuous times, and showed the world how to live with style. Tilar J. Mazzeo brings to life the woman behind the label, Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, in this utterly intoxicating book that is as much a fascinating journey through the process of making this temperamental wine as a biography of a uniquely tempered and fascinating woman.
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