Talleyrand: The Art of Survival
Some lives are shaped in childhood, others in the course of time; still others must reach the threshold of advanced age before their purpose is clear. But not the life of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, born on February 2, 1754, whose family bore an illustrious name and had held a pre-eminent rank in society since the ninth century. At birth, his life pattern was set: opulence and renown, coupled with spiritual privation. He limped from the start, yet he was destined to go far. - p. 3.
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