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In The Courts Of Memory, 1858-1875, From Contemporary Letters
by Lillie De Hegermann-lindencrone
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This book of letters was written by an American woman, a diplomat's wife, gifted concert singer, and international socialite, who spent several years in the court of the last Napoleon. It is illustrated with over 25 images, many of them photographic, and also numerous facsimile letters.
The beautiful and talented Lillie de Hegermann-Lindencrone , the writer of these letters, was a native of Massachusetts. Her letters give a vivid picture of the court of the Napoleon III, among other experiences recorded. She was born, Lillie Greenough, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she lived with her grandfather, Judge Fay, in the fine old Fay mansion, which became a property of Radcliffe College.
Lillie de Hegermann-Lindencrone's letters form a fascinating glimpse at the high society, the men and women of greatest talent, power, wealth and influence of her day. There are politicians and statesmen, bankers, businessmen etc. but also all the most important figures in the world of music of the second half of the 19th century. This includes such great figures as Wagner, Liszt, Auber, Gounod, and Rossini. Many of her letters give us intimate glimpses into the lives of these people.
As a child Lillie Greenough developed the remarkable voice which later was to make her well known. When she was only fifteen years old her mother took her to London to study voice with Garcia. Two years later Miss Greenough became the wife of Charles Moulton, the son of a well-known American banker, who had been a resident in Paris since the days of Louis Phillipe. As Madame Charles Moulton, the charming American became an appreciated guest at the court of Napoleaon III. The Paris papers of the days of the Second Empire are filled with the praises of her personal attractions and exquisite singing. After nine years heady years in Paris came the war of 1870 and the Commune. After the fall of the Empire, Mrs. Moulton returned to America, where Mr. Moulton died, and a few years afterward she married Mr. de Hegermann-Lindencrone, at the time the Danish Minister to the United States, and later successively his country's Ambassador at Stockholm, Rome, and Paris.
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