Beautiful and tortured Camille Claudel wants nothing more than to be one of the greatest sculptors of all time—until she meets Auguste Rodin. Then she wants him, too.
Caught between her relentless ambition and her searing desire for Rodin, Camille makes her way through 19th-century Paris. She's determined to etch her name in history despite society’s belief that women can’t be artists, her mother’s belief that she should stay home and get married, and the dark voices in her head that grow louder with each passing day. Webb (Becoming Josephine, 2013) tells the true story of sculptor Claudel and her struggle to be remembered by a world that rejects everything about her. Webb’s research is meticulous, and she transcends the historical romance genre by describing the undercurrents of Claudel’s world incisively. She details the sexism female artists faced and hints at the personal toll of being driven by great ambition. Still, Camille and Rodin are anemic creations. Despite Webb’s adroitly turned phrases and rich material, her descriptions of madness and passion deliver no heat or sizzle. And while she captures the complexities and contradictions of her characters, she doesn't offer any compelling answers for their behavior. Webb’s subject is fascinating, though, and readers will find themselves hunting up encyclopedias and visiting museums to learn more about Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin.
An entertaining guide that will take readers in and out of the salons and studios of 19th-century Paris and introduce them to one of history’s most tragic and unsung rebels.