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Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleonby Andrea Di Robilant
Synopses & Reviews
From the acclaimed author of A Venetian Affair comes the vivid and dramatic story of the fall of Venice and the rise of a new age during the tumultuous Napoleonic period, as seen through the eyes of his great-great-great-great-grandmother.
In 1787, Lucia, the beautiful sixteen-year-old daughter of a prominent Venetian statesman, is married off to Alvise Mocenigo, scion of one of the most powerful Venetian families. But their life as a golden couple will be suddenly transformed when Venice falls to Bonaparte. As the larger events unfolding around Lucia mingle with her most personal concerns, we witness—through her letters to her sister and other primary sources—her painful series of miscarriages and the pressure on her to produce an heir; her impassioned affair with an Austrian officer and its stunning results; the glamour and strain of her career as a hostess in Hapsburg Vienna and lady-in-waiting at the court of Napoleon’s stepson, Prince Eugne de Beauharnais, as well as her intimate relationship with the Empress Joséphine; and her amazing firsthand account of the defeat of Napoleon in Paris in 1814. In her later years, Lucia, regal and still beautiful and a bit battle-hardened herself, was Byron’s landlord during the poet’s stay in Venice. In a fitting finale to this sweeping drama, Lucia stands as a relic of a lost golden age: she created, in part, the aura that gave rise to the Romantic view of Italy and its culture that we still nourish today.
With the brave and articulate Lucia at the center of his re-creation of this remarkable historical period, Andrea di Robilant has once again reached across the centuries, and deep into his own past, to bring history to rich and vivid life on the page.
In 1787, the beautiful Lucia is married off to Alvise Mocenigo, scion of one of the most powerful Venetian families. But their life as a golden couple will be suddenly transformed when Venice falls to Bonaparte.We witness Lucia's painful series of miscarriages and the pressure on her to produce an heir; her impassioned affair with an Austrian officer; the glamour and strain of her career as a hostess in Vienna; and her amazingfirsthand account of the defeat of Napoleon in 1814. With his brave and articulate heroine, Andrea di Robilant has once again reached across the centuries, and deep into his own past, to bring history to rich and vividlife on the page.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The world of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Venice is revealed through the letters of Lucia Mocenigo to her sister as she details the milieu of the Venetian aristocracy, the fall of Venice to Napoleon, and her relationship with the EmpressJosephine.
About the Author
Andrea di Robilant was born in Italy and educated at Le Rosey and Columbia University, where he specialized in international relations. He lives in Rome with his wife and two children and works for the Italian newspaper La Stampa.
Table of Contents
Rome — Palazzo Mocenigo — Vienna — The fall of Venice — Colonel Plunkett — Viennese carousel — The education of Alvisetto — Lady-in-waiting — A year in Paris — Byron's landlady.
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