La Belle Créole: The Cuban Countess Who Captivated Havana, Madrid, and Paris (2020)

La Belle Créole: The Cuban Countess Who Captivated Havana, Madrid, and Paris Alina García-Lapuerta La Belle Cr ole The Cuban Countess Who Captivated Havana Madrid and Paris Known for her beauty and angelic voice Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo la Belle Cr ole was a Cuban born star of nineteenth century Parisian society She befriended aristocrats and artists alike incl
  • Title: La Belle Créole: The Cuban Countess Who Captivated Havana, Madrid, and Paris
  • Author: Alina García-Lapuerta
  • ISBN: 9781613745366
  • Page: 345
  • Format: Hardcover
La Belle Créole: The Cuban Countess Who Captivated Havana, Madrid, and Paris Alina García-Lapuerta Known for her beauty and angelic voice, Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo, la Belle Cr ole, was a Cuban born star of nineteenth century Parisian society She befriended aristocrats and artists alike, including Balzac, Baron de Rothschild, Rossini, and the opera diva La Malibran.A daughter of the creole aristocracy, Mercedes led a tumultuous life, leaving her native Havana asKnown for her beauty and angelic voice, Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo, la Belle Cr ole, was a Cuban born star of nineteenth century Parisian society She befriended aristocrats and artists alike, including Balzac, Baron de Rothschild, Rossini, and the opera diva La Malibran.A daughter of the creole aristocracy, Mercedes led a tumultuous life, leaving her native Havana as a teenager to join her mother in the heart of Madrid s elite society As Napoleon swept Spain into the Peninsular War, Mercedes family remained at the center of the storm, and her marriage to French general Christophe Antoine Merlin tied her fortunes to France Arriving in Paris in the aftermath of the French defeat, she re created her life, ultimately hosting the city s premier musical salon Acknowledged as one of the greatest amateur sopranos of her day, she nurtured artistic careers and daringly paved the way for well born singers to publicly perform in lavish philanthropic concerts Beyond her musical renown, Mercedes achieved fame as a writer Her memoirs and travel writings introduced European audiences to nineteenth century Cuban society and contributed to the debate over slavery Scholars still quote her descriptions of Havana life and recognize her as Cuba s earliest female author.Mercedes epitomized an unusually modern life, straddling cultures and celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic Her memoirs, travel writings, and very personal correspondence serve as the basis for this first ever English language account of the passionate and adventuresome Belle Cr ole.
La Belle Créole: The Cuban Countess Who Captivated Havana, Madrid, and Paris Alina García-Lapuerta

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One thought on “La Belle Créole: The Cuban Countess Who Captivated Havana, Madrid, and Paris

  1. Erin

    Find this and other reviews at flashlightcommentary.I picked up Alina Garc a Lapuerta s La Belle Cr ole The Cuban Countess Who Captivated Havana, Madrid, and Paris on a whim Much like Sylvia, Queen of the Headhunters An Eccentric Englishwoman and Her Lost Kingdom and Louisa Catherine The Other Mrs Adams, the title highlighted an individual I d not heard of and boasted an intriguing premise, but unfortunately the reality didn t live up to my expectations To be clear, Mercedes Santa Cru z y Montal [...]

  2. Mandy

    Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo, often known as La Belle Cr ole, was a Havana born singer and socialite who hosted one of the most acclaimed and popular salons in Paris and met many of the leading figures of the day A fascinating woman who led a fascinating life, the author has done a great deal of painstaking research and describes the historical background in meticulous detail But she fails to bring Mercedes herself to life and seems less interested in Mercedes inner life than her outer one Thi [...]

  3. Louisa Treger

    Mercedes is an fascinating, unforgettable character, skilfully brought to life by Alina Garcia Lapuerta in her wonderful new biography All the characters are vividly alive, and seamlessly woven into the turbulent historical background, so that you understand not just their personalities, but also the events that shaped them The book is beautifully written, and impeccably researched flawless and highly recommended.

  4. Vykki

    This was a excellent Biography I love reading about her life she sure went through a lot this book was well written and well research This was a excellent book and I recommend it to everyone I won this book on Thank you.

  5. Kristy

    As a history major I have always been frustrated by the lack of biographies and histories of women who were not part of the Western European Royal and Noble elite When I was given the opportunity to read La Belle Cr ole, I was intrigued I had never heard of Mar a de las Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo, the Comtesse Merlin, to be honest I didn t know anything about Cuban culture during the Spanish Colonial period let alone the women who lived through it Comtesse Merlin, or Mercedes, was born into [...]

  6. Lauralee

    Before La Belle Creole, I had never heard of Mercedes, the Countess of Merlin However, I can see why because La Belle Creole is the first biography of Mercedes to be in English After reading this novel, I was surprised why she hadn t been a popular subject to English and American historians Mercedes is a fascinating character She was the daughter of a Cuban elite, and became a fashionable hostess of salons in Paris, entertaining celebrities such as Balzac, Rossini, and royalty in her day She als [...]

  7. Stephanie

    I love learning about intriguing women throughout history The story of Mar a de las Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo or just Mercedes, is no exception Born in Cuba to a well connected family in the 19th century, Mercedes was perfectly placed to drive her own destiny Raised in her great grandmother s household and then sent to her mother s household in Spain in the midst of political tumult, Mercedes continued to thrive and grow She eventually married becoming the Comtesse Merlin and hosted the pre [...]

  8. Tessa Arlen

    A daughter of the creole aristocracy in the 19th century Mercedes was transplanted to Paris via Madrid as a young woman and is the central character in this story of an extraordinary women acknowledged as one of the greatest sopranos of her time Her salon in Paris nurtured the artistic careers of singers and musicians alike But most of all Mercedes introduce the world to nineteenth century Cuban society through her writing Mercedes is a very real woman, unbowed by the events that shaped her life [...]

  9. Tess Tobin

    I had never heard of Mercedes, the countess of Merlin before reading this book She lived a fascinating life considering the tumultuous times which the author skillfully brings to life in La Belle Creole I enjoyed reading about Mercedes life as a young child in Cuba At 13 she is sent to Spain to be reunited with her mother The author gives us extensive details about how her family managed during the Peninsula Wars revealing the aristocrat life of that era Mercedes marries Christophe Merlin, a Fre [...]

  10. Dusty Summerford (Reviews by Reds)

    Finally a story about a very likable and strong woman in history And what a great story it is Mercedes is such a fascinating person I love that her father placed her in a convent to be educated, and possibly a nun, only to have her escape and go back home to relatives Loved her gumption love for life Thanks to giveaway for the opportunity to read about such a wonderful woman

  11. Azabu

    Downton Abbey fans, here is a great story that connects Cuba to Europe with a glamorous and intelligent central character The Countess was the original saloniste who understood how to persuade the upper class to underwrite charity Fascinating, especially in light of new normalized relations between the US and Cuba.

  12. Nancy

    I received this book as a holiday gift from a friend who knows my reading tastes very well I m looking forward to reading, and then sharing it with others.

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