The Age of Conversation by Benedetta Craveri

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Synopsis

Benedetta Craveri describes the world of women and French salons in the 17th and 18th centuries. Salons brought together not only intellectuals (Voltaire was a frequent and much-sought-after guest) and socialites, but also members of the political and military worlds. The salons allowed differences between these various powerful sectors to be resolved through the art of conversation rather than through the art of war. This book describes in non-academic writing the women and the salons, the guests, the conversations, and the political and social environments of the ancient regime.
 

About Benedetta Craveri

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BENEDETTA CRAVERI is a professor of French literature at the University of Tuscia, Viterbo, and the Istituto Universitario Suor Orsola Benincasa, Naples. She regularly contributes to The New York Review of Books and to the cultural pages of the Italian newspaper La Republica. Her books include Madame du Deffand and Her World, La Vie privee du Marechal de Richelieu, and Amanti e regine: Il potere delle donne.
 
Published May 10, 2005 by New York Review Books. 475 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Age of Conversation

Publishers Weekly

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Craveri's account of the French aristocratic circles in which conversation emerged as an art offers a rich blend of personalities, anecdotes, scandal and genuinely amusing letters to flesh out an intellectual argument leading from early 17th-century aristocratic entertainment to the Enlightenment...

May 09 2005 | Read Full Review of The Age of Conversation

London Review of Books

Bell also claims that my ‘fable’ does not address the nobility’s ‘almost bourgeois dedication to profit’, although I refer to Daniel Dessert’s 1984 study, Argent, pouvoir et société au grand siècle, ‘which records the intense financial activity in the highest reaches of society … and points out a...

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The New York Review of Books

This was the salon…— John Leonard, Harper‘s Craveri’s account of the French aristocratic circles in which conversation emerged as an art offers a rich blend of personalities, anecdotes, scandal and genuinely amusing letters to flesh out an intellectual argument leading from early 17th century ...

Aug 01 2006 | Read Full Review of The Age of Conversation

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