LELIA by Andre Maurois

LELIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The smooth flow and facile perceptiveness of Andre Maurois' writing shapes a complete and convincing biography of George Band. A feminist, socialist, prolific writer, liberti, and sincere seeker of absolutes, Maurois captures her in all these moods and conveys much of his own fascination with the life of 19th century France through which she moved. Using one of her novels, the autobiographical L as a focal point, he reveals her controversial personality with its many shadings; as a ""conscientious objector"" to marriage and domineering, matriarchal champion of a free love which led to associations with the cream of the century's artists from de Musset to Chopin; as a hard working rather than great thinker on political reform which championed ideas from the mysticism of Rousseau to an ideal communism; as the frustrated commentator on a woman- kind which she considered enslaved; as an energetic proponent of belles lettres who won respect and friendship from Sainte-Beuve, Balzac, Flaubert. Always frank, always forward, she was a thorn in many sides as well as her own, and enjoyed the elaborate personal intrigues which others might find encumbering... A striking figure, to which Maurois' polished prose lends a popular attraction.

Publisher: Harper