“This is an excellent and honest portrayal of an exciting and vital era in European history.”   - Booklist


“McAuliffe chronicles the story of Paris's rebirth, capturing the artistic freedom of Impressionism in painting and music, and new ideas in sculpture and on the stage even as Republican secularists, lingering Communards, and the royalist Catholic hierarchy fought for political and popular control. . . . [T]he relationships and creative output of the era's innovators create a marvelous vision of Paris at its heady, uncertain best."                                                                                                   - Publishers Weekly


"McAuliffe deftly explores the inner lives of the artists and those who surrounded them, and in the process humanizes these larger-than-life characters. . . . McAuliffe has added a truly remarkable degree of insight into both the lives of the participants and the turbulent world they inhabited.”

Washington Independent Review of Books


“Rich with the flavor of words taken from primary sources, the book provides an intimate look at the very human side of history.”                                                           - The New York Journal of Books  


"Mary McAuliffe takes us on an engaging tour of Paris at a turbulent moment in its history. . . . Her
beautiful storytelling reveals the triumphs, challenges, and scandals of an age that brought one century to an end and launched another.  Anyone who loves Paris will enjoy this delightful book.”

                                                                                                     - Jeffrey H. Jackson,

author of Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910


“Mining a host of printed primary sources--journals, correspondence, and memoirs--the author seeks not so much to explain as to inform and entertain. And what a story she has to tell! In a world of breathtaking achievement in art, music, drama, dance, sculpture, literature, and occasionally even politics, the "to-ings and fro-ings" of those synonymous with the period--Zola, Bernhardt, Clemenceau, Eiffel, Debussy, Rodin--are set against the perpetual high drama that was the Third Republic. . . . Highly recommended. . . . the volume will enhance 19th-century collections at all levels."

- G. P. Cox, Gordon College, Choice


"The Federation of Alliances Françaises is pleased to suggest Mary McAuliffe's wonderful new book.  Once again this historic period comes to life as the Paris of 1871recovers to greet the 'full flower' of the Belle Epoque.  A great read for your book clubs."

- Mimi Gregory, president, the Federation of Alliances Françaises


"Composers, scientists, engineers, architects, politicians, painters, sculptors, novelists, poets, hoteliers, restauranteurs, journalists, actors, dancers, courtesans, merchants, patrons. . . . McAuliffe, in Dawn of the Belle Epoque, manages to unwrap the essences of all of their lives and to uncover their almost unbelievable interconnectivity during an astonishing inflection point in Paris—indeed, world—history.  Out of hundreds, this is simply the most enjoyable Paris book I have ever read."

- Mark Eversman, editor, Paris Notes

Dawn of the Belle Epoque

The Paris of Monet, Zola, Bernhardt, Eiffel, Debussy, Clemenceau, and Their Friends

By Mary McAuliffe