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Flesh And Bronze [Kindle Edition]

Alison Leonard
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

This is Alison's first Kindle title and will no doubt add greatly to her already formidable reputation as both children's author and as a playwright for Radio 4. Its publication coincides with the new exhibition now showing at the Royal Academy in London - Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement. The young dancers made immortal by the great artist were often just a step away from prostitution - a central feature of this strongly written, powerful, literary novel.

At the beginning of a long journey in time and fortune we meet Juliette who as a young woman was a beautiful and wayward prostitute. She became an artist's model for Edgar Degas and became his famous Femme Assise, a much admired sculpture that was later cast in bronze by master bronze caster, Didier. Now she is an old, raddled and homeless woman. She can't believe her eyes when she comes face to face with her young and beautiful self - bronze, shining and standing in the front window of Didier's house. Her life and the lives of everyone in Didier's household are about to change as she finds new life and a new meaning to her existence as her friendship with a little deaf boy grows, transforming and transcending all that has gone before.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 492 KB
  • Print Length: 270 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Books Are Loud (9 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #295,072 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Alison Leonard's life as a writer ranges over a wide area: starting with fiction for young adults and children ('Tinker's Career', 'Kiss the Kremlin Goodbye' and 'The Mystery of the Rugglesmoor Dinosaur') she then wrote plays for BBC radio and for community theatre. Her work has always had spiritual and political resonances, and her specifically spiritual works ('Telling Our Stories' and 'Living in Godless Times') look at life through meditative eyes, merging Quaker mysticism with pagan earth-centredness. Poetry and short stories: not prolific in either of these areas, she is nevertheless receptive to a poem or a story when it comes. Now her passion is for fiction that turns its own particular world upside-down: in 'Flesh & Bronze' she looks at great art from the point of view of the model and the artisan, and in her 'Heavenly Lilies' trilogy (in preparation) she explores the politics and passions of three women during the last three turbulent decades of British history.

To see a short video about 'Flesh & Bronze', visit Alison's website at

Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The unexpected life of a work of art 3 Feb. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
We all make up stories around the paintings and sculptures we see in galleries. Alison Leonard has done this for a little sculpture by Degas. What must it be like to see a sculpture of yourself after many years? How does an artist capture such a moment of real life? Alison weaves a fascinating and engaging view of Parisian life - high and low - around the little bronze. Memorable characters and a story full of surprise and wonder.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unusual and compelling story 6 Mar. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I read much of this novel on two long train journeys, and became completely absorbed in it. I knew nothing about how Degas had worked, or about bronze-casting, and very little about the whole world of the story, and I found it fascinating. Juliette is a lovely, sympathetic character whose arrival in the household of the bronze-caster Didier and his family brings about change for them and a new sense of joy and meaning to her own life.

Although often concerned with thoughts and memories rather than dramatic action, the novel is lively, arranged in short sections that are full of vivid imagery. I found it easy to read and compelling. A few secrets are gradually revealed, and these contribute to a low-key but satisfying ending.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars those Impressionists 30 Jan. 2012
By nrho
Format:Kindle Edition
I thoroughly recommend this book. It's a great read, and if you're interested in the Impressionists, and how they worked, and the slightly seedy Paris of the late nineteenth century, this is fascinating. I'd always wondered about those very young looking models Degas used for his sculptures, where they came from, whether they were dancers or prostitutes or both, and this told me. Really well written.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars flesh and bronze review 18 Feb. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
A feast for the senses, particularly the tactile. Alison Leonard is an alchemist, bringing Degas' sculpture vividly to life in the beautifully imagined Juliette, the loves and miseries of her life so finely balanced. The writing is subtle and supple, full of surprises, not a word out of place.I found it inspiring and heartbreaking, and it left me with a richer understanding of Degas' wonderful works, and the grubby world in which they were created.
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