Biographical fiction- or fictional biography? In either category this might be defined as the rescue of a virtually unknown...

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A CHANCE FOR GLORY

Biographical fiction- or fictional biography? In either category this might be defined as the rescue of a virtually unknown figure who played a colorful part in the life of the Marquis de Lafayette, and who figures as a not altogether admirable man-of-the-world in the Europe of the early 19th century. This was Dr. Justus Erich Bollman, who felt he had been brought into the world for a more important role than the practice of medicine in Hoya, Hanover, where his father was a solid citizen. Bollman managed to eke out a livelihood by his charm, his magnetism for women, his urbane sophistication (acquired by diligence never attained in his profession), and his uncanny ability to find patrons who saw potentials in him for performing minor miracles. But the major goal, financed by various individuals and groups, was to have been the rescue of Lafayette, imprisoned first one place, then another, when his form of revolution proved too limited for the powers in Paris of the Terror. Bollman employed all his gifts as he journeyed about central Europe; eventually he located Lafayette's prison, plotted his release, only to have him whisked away, to another, less accessible prison. The story follows the tortuous processes by which eventually escape was achieved, only to be lost by a fluke. Bollman's life was a succession of strange adventures, amatory, as well as picaresque; his background shifts from Germany to France, to Paris of the Revolution, to England, to Austria, to America. Source material substantiates the facts, the details; but the color, the pace and the drama lend a fictional quality to the whole.

Pub Date: March 11, 1957

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Holt

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1957