“In Twilight of the Belle Epoque, this brilliant social historian applies her novelistic approach...to the early 20th century, interweaving a multitude of stories to create — through skillfully chosen glimpses into the lives of its most talented inhabitants — an unforgettable portrait of Paris.... Deftly, McAuliffe gathers together the threads of her multiple tales for the arrival of that ultimate rite: war. Here, to her readers' possible surprise, the artists and inventors emerge as heroes.... With uncommon skill, she blends each ingredient of an incredible époque into a vivid and hugely enjoyable narrative of extraordinary times."
- Miranda Seymour, New York Times
"This is a work of serious history, but has some of the easy charms of the coffee-table book.... The conversational style may tempt readers to dip in and out. This would be a mistake, however, for there is a narrative. The divisions of French society are always just below the surface.... All of Ms. McAuliffe's Belle Epoque moments, bright and foreboding, build to the horrors and glories of the war of 1914-18."
- Allan Massie, Wall Street Journal
“McAuliffe revisits this vibrant, controversial era and weaves brief chronological snapshots of the eponymous figures—plus others like Sarah Bernhardt and Émile Zola—and their (often long-suffering) companions throughout her . . . eminently readable . . .
narrative.” - Publishers Weekly
“With Twilight of the Belle Epoque Mary McAuliffe offers a delightful romp through one of the most vibrant periods in French history, even as she elegantly captures the shadows looming on the horizon. Those unfamiliar with this period will be awestruck by its riches, while connoisseurs will delight as McAuliffe brings to life the colorful cast of artists and innovators—from Picasso to Peugot—who ushered in the twentieth century in the City of Light.”
- Rachel Mesch, Yeshiva College, author of Having It All in the Belle Epoque
"This is a fine tribute to an amazingly productive period in Parisian and world history."
“Twilight of the Belle Epoque provides an immensely enjoyable whirlwind account of the many artists, innovators, and dreamers of all stripes who were drawn to the City of Lights in the first years of the twentieth century to pursue their quest for glory.”
- Stephane Kirkland, author of
Paris Reborn: Napoléon III, Baron Haussmann, and the Quest to Build a Modern City
“McAuliffe has an eye for the evocative, using quotes—and salacious details—to bring these early 20th-century men and women to life…. The author excels at including material about women throughout.” – Library Journal
“This is a lovely overview of the period.... There will be many of us going day by day through the events and carnage of the Great War and this book is a part of that process. ✮✮✮✮½” - Bettie’s Books
This book is a delight for lovers of the Edwardian age. Full of tales about Proust, Matisse, Picasso and other luminaries of the age, it is a fascinating look at Belle Époque Paris.
Twilight of the Belle Epoque contains a virtual embarrassment of riches…. McAuliffe’s knowledge of and enthusiasm for this time is evident on every page.
- Foreword Review
By Mary McAuliffe