The Prince of Europe: The Life of Charles-Joseph De Ligne 1735-1814
Philip ManselISBN: 1842127314;
Book DescriptionThe Habsburg courtier Charles-Joseph Prince de Ligne seduced and symbolized eighteenth-century Europe. Speaking French, the international language of the day, he travelled between Paris and St Petersburg, charming everyone he met. He stayed with Madame du Barry, dined with Frederick the Great and travelled to the Crimea with Catherine the Great. But Ligne was more than a frivolous charmer. He participated in and recorded some of the most important events and movements of his day: the Enlightenment; the struggle for mastery in Germany; the decline of the Ottoman Empire; the birth of German nationalism; and the wars to liberate Europe from Napoleon. He had surprisingly radical views, believing for example in property rights for women, legalrights for Jews and the redistribution of wealth. He was also a highly respected writer and his books on gardens, his letters from the Crimea and his epigrams are considered minor classics of French literature. Though sometimes...
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