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One Does It Like This

David A. Bell: Talleyrand, 16 November 2006

Napoleon’s Master: A Life of Prince Talleyrand 
by David Lawday.
Cape, 386 pp., £20, September 2006, 0 224 07366 4
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... there. The two most familiar images of the men express the contrast eloquently. First, there is David’s brilliant portrait of Napoleon on his rearing charger in the Alps, seemingly master of the wind, rocks and sky; second, Chateaubriand’s acid description of Talleyrand hobbling into the presence of Louis XVIII with the help of Napoleon’s sinister ...

He Roared

Hilary Mantel: Danton, 6 August 2009

Danton: The Gentle Giant of Terror 
by David Lawday.
Cape, 294 pp., £20, July 2009, 978 0 224 07989 1
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... over his life and over his conduct as a leader of the Revolution, and what is soon evident about David Lawday’s spirited and highly readable biography is that he stands Danton in a flattering light and pays insufficient attention to movements in the shadows. ‘The Gentle Giant of Terror’, the subtitle calls him: which suggests, along with ...

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