THE FABULOUS LIFE OF SARAH BERNHARDT by Louis Verneuil

THE FABULOUS LIFE OF SARAH BERNHARDT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Verneuil was Sarah Bernhardt's last playwright, and her grandson by marriage, and she told him her story, during the last years of her life. The public life of this greatest name in theatre is well established; her personal life until now has been conjecture. This will provide future biographers with definitive basic material, although of itself, it is not destined to be the definitive biography. Sarah's childhood and girlhood were not happy -- she was an illegitimate child of a famous courtesan, unwanted, unloved. In childhood she became a student of acting at the Conservatoire; her debut was unnoteworthy, her press unfavorable, her temperament was difficult and against her, for almost ten years of her career. Then at 25 she had her first success, and from that time on her star was in the ascendant, and she maintained her reputation as the outstanding genius of the stage until her first retirement at 70. Lovers (among them the Prince de Ligne, whom she loved best and gave up) -- one child, Maurice, by another man; an unhappy marriage to a handsome Greek; a lifetime of hard work (she went back to the stage at 76, even though she had lost one leg). Ardent, impulsive, extravagant, with a compelling charm, she was a fascinating, ""fabulous"" figure.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1942
Publisher: Harper