JENNY LIND, THE SWEDISH NIGHTINGALE by Gladys Denny Shultz

JENNY LIND, THE SWEDISH NIGHTINGALE

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Though the sound of her voice is beyond living memory, the legend of Jenny Lind still lingers. The Swedish Nightingale was a fascinating study in contrasts: artistic temperament and religious conviction, intense professional dedication and a lifelong interest in charitable projects combined to give her the reputation of a ""highly spiritual songstress and wily promoter."" As the youngest pupil ever admitted to the Swedish Royal Theater School, she was seen to have ""an uncommon disposition for the theater."" She revered and epitomized the concept of fidelity to each composer's intentions, supporting that concept with a high degree of technical facility and a unique style. The most extraordinary feature of her career was, of course, Lindomania, the Jenny Lind Craze that swept Europe, reached incredible intensity in England, and developed its ultimate climax when it hit the United States. Raising the money to bring Jenny Lind to America was ""the hardest task of (P.T.) Barnum's life,"" but once tickets to her concerts were auctioned off at record prices and the public -- knowledgeable and otherwise --began to respond to her performances and her reputation, Barnum knew he had realized his dual ambition to attract cultural plaudits and make a great deal of money from the enterprise. The manifestations of the Jenny Lind Craze, absurd though they were, are a part of sociological history. From this charmingly nostalgic biography, the Victorian era and the Lind personality cast long and interesting shadows over an intermittently madcap world.

Pub Date: April 23rd, 1962
Publisher: Lippincott