The Final Act

Cover Art for 9780805031843, The Final Act by Gregor Dallas
ISBN: 9780805031843
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Published: 15 October, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Links Australian Libraries (Trove)
Saving: Saving: $55.31 or 72%

A fascinating account of the Congress of Vienna, The Final Act describes the international intrigues surrounding the diplomatic confab of 1814-15. Gregor Dallas has wonderful groups of characters to work with, including Tsar Alexander, Talleyrand- Périgord, Castlereagh, Wellington, and Metternich. Even Beethoven makes an appearance, debuting his Seventh Symphony in Vienna that winter. The author successfully exploits this lively cast, and his penchant for reporting personal gossip helps make this popular history quite interesting. The figure of Napoleon looms constantly in the background as an exile at Elba, and Dallas spends the final sections of his book describing the general's escape and downfall at Waterloo. The Congress of Vienna as chronicled in history textbooks has always seemed like a dull interlude unfortunately thrust into the middle of the thrilling Napoleonic epic. Thanks to Dallas, it will never seem boring again.

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