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Secret Memoirs of the Courts of Europe, Vol. 1 of 2 (Classic Reprint)

Secret Memoirs of the Courts of Europe, Vol. 1 of 2 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Secret Memoirs of the Courts of Europe, Vol. 1 of 2

The essential qualifications for an author of such a work as the present are an actual acquaintance with the persons mentioned, an intimate knowledge of their daily lives, and a personal familiarity with the scenes described.

The author of William II. and Francis-Joseph, sheltered under the nom de plume of Marquise de Fontenoy, is a lady of distinguished birth and title. Her work consists largely of personal reminiscences, and descriptions of events with which she Is perfectly familiar; a sort of panoramic view of the characteristic happenings and striking features of court life, such as will best give a true picture of persons and their conduct.

There has been no attempt to trammel the subject, - which embraces religious, official, social and domestic life, - by following a strictly sequential form in the narrative, but the writer's aim has been to present her facts in a familiar way, impressing them with characteristic naturalness and lifelike reality.

To this task the author has brought the habits of a watchful observer, the candor of a conscientious narrator, and the refinement of a writer who respects her subject. Hence she presents a true, vivid and interesting picture of court life in Germany and Austria. If such merely sensational, and too often fictitious, unsavory tales as crowd tile so-called court narratives expressly concocted for the "society" columns of the periodical press are not the most prominent features of the present work, it is because they receive only a truthful recognition and place in its pages.

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