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Madame de Stäel

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  77 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
In her lifetime it was widely said that there were three political powers in Europe—Britain, Russia, and Madame de Stäel. Byron described her as "the first female writer of this, perhaps of any age," Germaine de Stäel was certainly the most remarkable woman of her time and she remains unique—both for the scope of her artistic and intellectual achievements, and the force of ...more
Paperback, 524 pages
Published February 27th 2006 by Da Capo Press (first published 2005)
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Nov 26, 2015 Colleen rated it it was amazing
An absolute life changing book. I have, not joking, ordered an etching of Madame de Stael which is on its way, and then I plan to frame it and hang it up somewhere so I can daily give props to such a fantastic person.

I've also ordered some massive 900 page collection of her works, because while this book was excellent, I could have used more quotes. On that topic will get to the few complaints I have with this book and potentially Madame de Stael in particular:

1) Humongous things mentioned once
Mar 07, 2013 Dvora rated it liked it
Although Madame de Stael was an interesting and important woman, this book was disappointing. Fairweather never manages to provide you with a real person, presenting facts instead. The facts are great, but I felt something was missing.

Fairweather tells you that Stael was brilliant, but never demonstrates it. You have to accept it as a fact because people at the time said so and the author says so. I am willing to believe it, but it would have been better if I could have seen it for myself by be
Napoleon hated her like an arch-enemy. Apparently the feeling was mutual. This shit is ON, ASAP.
Robert Sheppard

Individual freedom, male or female, has in reality always been the exception rather than the rule, and in the early days of the
Czarny Pies
Oct 29, 2016 Czarny Pies rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who has read some of Mme. de Stael's works.
Shelves: french-lit
Maria Fairweather's biography of Germaine de Staël is unquestionably a great book for anyone lucky enought to the culutural baggage necessary to enjoy it. In today's terms, Madame de Staël was one of the great movers and shakers of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic era. The exact nature of her greatness is however a matter of dispute. In my view, Ms. Fairweather greatly undervalues Madame de Staël's accomplishments in the cultural sphere and greatly overvalues her achievements in the political ar ...more
Jan 04, 2009 Kristen rated it it was amazing
I'm rating this book (that Leah loaned me last year -- thank you!) so highly because of the subject matter: a politically influential genius of France's troubled revolutionary times, thought by all to be one of the time's most brilliant minds, but maligned by history as inconsequential. Every so often I encounter such historical women of genius and it angers me that I've never heard of them. Wikipedia quotes a 1911 encyclopedia that dismisses her ideas as unoriginal, but in reading her biography ...more
Joseph Teller
Sep 06, 2009 Joseph Teller rated it liked it
This book has been entered into my bookshelf of historical and biographical works as a permanent resident so I can go back to it later.

Unlike most folks I read this as part of my research on the era of Napoleon for a research project (roleplaying game setting design) so what I was looking for was a vast array of information about people, culture, politics and events that wasn't a dry history read, and it did the job admirably.

It definitely opened up information to me that I had not encountered e
Jun 19, 2007 Magid rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Napoleonic Aristocrats
An amazing book about an amazing woman, who evidently lived her life at full throttle, as only the super rich can truly afford to do. She defied the rigid conventions of pre-revolutionary France, survived the genocide of revolutionary France, and used her influence and fierce intellect to challenge Napoleon in post-revolutionary France. She suffered injustice, exile, miscarriages, sexism, and some ridiculous hairstyles, and finally gets the exhaustive, meticulous and enlightening biography that ...more
Lillian Shuff
Feb 06, 2015 Lillian Shuff rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book and it definitely helped me have a deeper understanding of this era. How Madame de Stael has been forgotten by so many I do not know but she was an incredible woman and deserves to be remembered.
Feb 13, 2008 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thoseinterested in biography
Recommended to Lynn by: cbc book review
I was intrigued by the life of an influential and intellectual female during and following the era of the French Rev. I found her daily life and character were of interest to me as were her relationships with other historical and literary characers.It is a highly readable and fascinating text.
Aria Ligi
Jan 23, 2016 Aria Ligi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well written and researched book. I loved it immensely. If you want a great book on not only Madame de Stael, but the times in which she lived, this is a great one.
Liz Wager
Aug 02, 2011 Liz Wager rated it it was amazing
One of the best biographies I've read in ages -- what a lady!
Oct 03, 2016 Sue rated it it was amazing
Not having heard of her before, I was absolutely fascinated by the story of this incredible, passionate, highly influential and important woman. I'm in awe.
Feb 13, 2011 Marianne rated it it was amazing
Fascinating woman and fascinating perspective. She is not always likable but always interesting.
Jan 05, 2009 Leah rated it it was amazing
I read this a while ago but loved it enough to lend to Kristen (read her great review). I found Madame de Stael's life fascinating enough to forgive some uneven writing. You will too, I hope!
Álvaro rated it liked it
Sep 25, 2014
Claudia Macau
Claudia Macau rated it it was ok
Aug 11, 2016
Anja Peyfuss
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Mar 04, 2016
Circa rated it really liked it
Oct 07, 2013
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Apr 07, 2011
Jessica rated it really liked it
Apr 24, 2014
Deborah Sullivan
Deborah Sullivan rated it really liked it
Apr 24, 2008
Maureen rated it it was amazing
Jan 20, 2017
Hania rated it it was amazing
Jan 11, 2013
John Springer
John Springer rated it it was amazing
Jul 22, 2014
Lana rated it it was amazing
Nov 12, 2016
Janet rated it really liked it
Oct 04, 2010
Laura rated it it was amazing
Nov 24, 2015
Sandra Portincaso
Sandra Portincaso rated it it was amazing
Jan 16, 2016
Melissa rated it really liked it
Oct 22, 2011
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