Born into the high aristocracy, where rank meant more than wealth, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord was to become one of the great politicians of all time. His early career in politics was marked with turmoil: a liberal who saw the need to curb the powers of the monarchy, Talleyrand fled from France when the violence of the revolution turned extreme in 1792, first to England and then to the United States. It was not until his return to France after the dust had settled in 1796 that his star would begin to rise in earnest.
First, he was appointed Foreign Minister. In this position, he aligned himself with the charismatic general who would become Emperor of France: Napoleon Bonaparte.
In the course of the next three decades, Talleyrand would prove himself perhaps the most adept politician of all time: his political pliability allowed him to survive the fall of Bonaparte and the consequent second Bourbon restoration. He was in the shadow of power in Europe through more upheaval than perhaps any other person of his generation.
Napoleon’s Master is a riveting portrait of an eternally fascinating man.
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"Swift, informed and literate."---Kirkus Reviews"Comprehensive and quite good."---Publishers Weekly"Yields insight . . . Lawday gives good account of Talleyrand's languid and imperturbable personality and throws light on his keen sense of political weather. Delivers complete coverage, stocking and all, of Talleyrand's remarkable, controversial career."---Booklist“A marvelous biography.”---The Daily Telegraph (UK)“A fast-moving romp through Talleyrand’s life, engagingly admiring of its subjects and appreciative of his many qualities.”---The Sunday Telegraph (UK)“Entertaining . . . strangely touching . . . tells of the extraordinary life of a politician who managed to survive and prosper through revolution, empire, restoration, empire, restoration, and revolution again.”---The Scotsman (UK)“Alive with the world of the Paris salon and the glittering connections of a most sociable diplomat . . . David Lawday is an ideal biographer of Talleyrand.”---The Economist (UK)
David Lawday was born in London and educated at Oxford. A writer and journalist who was a correspondent for twenty years with The Economist, he now lives in Paris with his wife and two children.