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Memoirs of Madame de la Tour du Pin:
Henrietta-Lucy Dillon was born in 1770 to an aristocratic French family, in the heyday of the glittering ancien régime. She was witty, beautiful, and brilliant; her parents soon had her married off to the Marquis de la Tour du Pin. She had been told before she met him that he was short and ugly, but upon their first meeting, as she politely says, "I did not find him so."
Such restraint and simplicity is typical of Madame de la Tour du Pin's memoirs. Living through the most turbulent period in modern history, she frankly and unaffectedly records what went on around her--the execution of many of her aristocratic friends; her own flight to Holland, England, America; her last years in Italy; the deaths of her husband and her daughter before her own at the great age of 83. She has few opinions and no resentments, and one quickly warms to her simply as a woman, wife, and mother struggling to survive in a hostile world. And her observations on some of the great figures of history are priceless. Take "I also met a very famous man, Mr Gibbon, whose appearance was so ridiculous it was difficult not to laugh," her sole comment upon the author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. --Christopher Hart, Amazon.co.uk [via]