Books: The Sages of Cirey

VOLTAIRE IN LOVE (320 pp.)—Nancy Mitford—Harper ($5).

Visitors to the chateau of Cirey came away so dumfounded that they could scarcely summon the strength to repeat everything they had seen and heard. One of them, arriving in broad daylight. claimed that he was led by a servant carrying a lantern through a succession of cavernous, shuttered rooms until a door opened into a brilliant drawing room lit by 20 candles. Here sat Emilie, Marquise du Chatelet, surrounded by scientific instruments and glittering "with diamonds like an operatic Venus." Above, "weaving spells" at the head of a secret staircase, sat "the Magician" who...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!