Lucie de la Tour du Pin was the Pepys of her generation. She witnessed, participated in, and wrote diaries detailing one of the most tumultuous periods of history. From life in the Court of Versailles, through the French Revolution to Napoleon's rule, Lucie survived extraordinary times with great spirit. She recorded people, politics and intrigue, alongside the intriguing minutia of everyday life: food, work, illness, children, manners and clothes.
Caroline Moorehead's richly novelistic biography sets Lucy and her dairies in their wider context, illuminating a remarkable period of history.
Dancing to the Precipice was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2009.
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Utterly captivating... brings to life both Lucie and the glorious and terrible years through which she lived with a novelistic vividness, full of sights and sounds and flavours - Sunday Times
A scintillating biography...Moorehead succeeds triumphantly [and] brings an assured grip on contemporary politics and a colourful sense of place - Daily Telegraph
A rich and satisfying book which not only adds to our appreciation of Madame de la Tour du Pin's story but brings the whole tumultuous period and its characters to life - Spectator
Lucie de la Tour de Pin has found a biographer worthy of her own storytelling skills. With a light-handed touch, Moorehead sets Lucie's story in its wider social and historical context, sketching the complicated political twists and turns in a way that makes them memorable without ever dumbing down - Mail on Sunday
Never less than a gripping story of an extraordinary life - Literary Review
Here is the latest from Caroline Moorhead whose work is never less than rigorously and beautifully composed - Daily Express
Moorehead has an eye for the detail... The book sparkles with gems about life at the court of Marie-Antoinette - The Herald
romantic adventure, staged in colourful historical settings...moral tale - Times Literary Supplement
The attraction of Moorehead's biography lies in her seamless fusion of Lucie's warm subjectivity with a broad historical canvas of bitter turmoil. - Irish Times
comprehensive and absorbing biography - Independent
An excellent, lively biography, full of background detail - Standpoint
Moorehead's biography, drawing on a trove of previously unpublished correspondence, captures the rhythm of the radical contrasts in her subject's like - The New Yorker
This utterly captivating biography brings to life, with novelistic vividness, both Lucie [de la Tour du Pin] and the glorious and terrible years through which she lived - The Sunday Times
It's not uncommon to enjoy a novel and want to read more novels by that author; it's less common to think the same about a biography, but after reading Dancing to the Precipice, I definitely want to read more biographies by Moorhead - Independent on Sunday
It is in describing Lucie's world in this biography so admirably succeeds - Contemporary Reviews
Enthralling look at the sharp-eyed 19th-century memoirist Lucie de la Tour du Pin. - Sunday Times Summer Reading
Caroline Moorehead is the biographer of Bertrand Russell, Freya Stark, Iris Origo and Martha Gellhorn. Well known for her work in human rights, she has published a history of the Red Cross and a book about refugees, Human Cargo and most recently, A Train in Winter. Caroline lives in London.