Mary McAuliffe

New York, NY: Historian, Writer – New York, NY: Historian, Writer – Author of several books on Belle Epoque Paris and medieval France.


Mary McAuliffe is author of Dawn of the Belle Epoque: The Paris of Monet, Zola, Bernhardt, Eiffel, Debussy, Clemenceau, and Their Friends; Twilight of the Belle Epoque: The Paris of Picasso, Stravinsky, Proust, Renault, Marie Curie, Gertrude Stein, and Their Friends through the Great War; and Clash of Crowns: William the Conqueror, Richard Lionheart, and Eleanor of Aquitaine. McAuliffe holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Maryland, has taught at several universities, and lectured at the Smithsonian Institution. She has traveled extensively in France and for more than a decade was a regular contributor to Paris Notes. In addition to the books mentioned above she has also published Paris Discovered: Explorations in the City of Light.

Title and Description of Lecture/Program

“An Evening with Mary McAuliffe”
McAuliffe will talk about the people, places, and stories of long-ago and not-so-long-ago Paris. She also will read from and [if requested by the chapter] sign copies of her books.


“In Twilight of the Belle Epoque, this brilliant social historian applies her novelistic the early 20th century, interweaving a multitude of stories to create — through skillfully chosen glimpses into the lives of its most talented inhabitants — an unforgettable portrait of Paris.... Deftly, McAuliffe gathers together the threads of her multiple tales for the arrival of that ultimate rite: war. Here, to her readers' possible surprise, the artists and inventors emerge as heroes.... With uncommon skill, she blends each ingredient of an incredible époque into a vivid and hugely enjoyable narrative of extraordinary times." - New York Times

"This is a work of serious history, but has some of the easy charms of the coffee-table book.... The conversational style may tempt readers to dip in and out. This would be a mistake, however, for there is a narrative. The divisions of French society are always just below the surface.... All of Ms. McAuliffe's Belle Epoque moments, bright and foreboding, build to the horrors and glories of the war of 1914-18.” - Wall Street Journal


Mimi Gregory, President of the Federation of Alliances Françaises, says of Dawn of the Belle Époque: “The Federation of Alliances Françaises is pleased to suggest Mary McAuliffe’s wonderful new book. Once again this historic period comes to life. A great read for your book clubs.“

Mark Eversman, editor of Paris Notes says; “Mary goes where no American writer has gone before. With historical precision and boundless passion, she reveals a Paris we never knew existed. Out of hundreds, this is simply the most enjoyable Paris book I have ever read.“

Jane Roberts, President of Renaissance Française - USA and former President, Federation of Alliances Françaises, says: “I love Dawn of the Belle Époque. I truly savored every insight. It gave me a whole new layer of Paris to appreciate.“

Jeffrey H.Jackson, author of Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910, says of Dawn of the Belle Époque: “Mary McAuliffe takes us on an engaging tour of Paris at a turbulent moment in its history. Her beautiful storytelling reveals the triumphs, challenges, and scandals of an age that brought one century to an end and launched another. Anyone who loves Paris will enjoy this delightful book.“


None; but McAuliffe requests that the hosting Alliance Française cover reasonable expenses

Technical Requirements


Contact person

Mary McAuliffe


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