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With Clara Schumann, the only other career woman of Germany's 19th century, a rabid feminist, combative, self willed, single-minded, and an extraordinary beauty, Elizabet Ney is a provocative if unlikable character. Determined to become a sculptress at a time when sculpture was no fit occupation for a woman, equally determined to know the great, Elizabet battled her way to notoriety and notice, was granted sittings by royalty and intelligentsia. In love, in her way, with Edmund, a scientist, she denied him marriage on the grounds of her belief in free love; she derived the benefits -- (outside affairs), he paid the price. She made a long siege of Ludwig of Bavaria, but never completed his bust. She then retreated to America with Edmund, where they bought a Texan wilderness plantation; she became unwillingly a mother and her first child died, the second lived to hate her. Old age brought only loneliness, increasing eccentricities, and negligence. Intelligently interpreted biography of a strange, compelling personality.

Pub Date: April 5th, 1942
Publisher: Knopf