THE SWEDISH NIGHTINGALE: Jenny Lind by Elisabeth Kyle


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Jenny Lind is the epitome of the feminine adolescent identification heroine, and this biography projects straight and clearly to an audience of sympathetically vibrating girls. The years covered are from 1824, when at the age of 4 she first went to Stockholm, until 1844, the time that she at last consented to perform outside of Sweden, with a brief concluding resume of the rest of her life. Jenny Lind's life was concentrated around her musical career. She began the rigorous training of the Royal Opera School when she was 9 and made her spectacular debut at only 17. Her family life was unhappy, she disliked socializing, preferred simplicity, and was completely devoted to her metier. Nevertheless, this biography is as personally oriented as possible: her training and technique are discussed primarily in terms of her singular hard work, her dedication, her ability to transform herself into a part, with only a minimum of technical details; her attachments to other romantic figures such as Desiree and Hans Christian Andersen are brought out; her determination, her love of Sweden, her generosity are made quite evident. Fictionalized dialogue has been heavily relied on to convey this material, in contrast to Laura Benet's Enchanting Jenny Lind, which covers much the same ground. This book is by the author of Girl with a Pen: Charlotte Bronte (1964, p. 115, J-43) and will probably appeal to the same audience. The score is dolce, molto affettuoso.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1965
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston