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Tragic Muse: Rachel of the Comedie-francaise Paperback – 1 Mar 1995

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press (Mar. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822315718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822315711
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,455,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Brownstein's discerning analysis and sure command of her material provide the reader with tantalizing insights into the complex issues of gender, race, history, and politics provoked by the life and legend of this extraordinary woman. . . . The brilliance, hardness, and timeless allure of the star shine through."
--Julie Martin," New York Times Book Review"

"Rachel, the great tragic French Jewish actress, comes to us alive in this wonderful book. I have longed to read a fine book in English about the Tragic Muse of the French theater, and now, here it is."—Claire Bloom

From the Back Cover

"Rachel, the great tragic French Jewish actress, comes to us alive in this wonderful book. I have longed to read a fine book in English about the Tragic Muse of the French theater, and now, here it is."--Claire Bloom

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent study of the phenomenon of 'stars' or highly feted artists (in this case, a famed actress) - but not the straightforward biography I'd been expecting. I still want to know about the life and person of Rachel, and not just how she was received by the public of the time. Hers must have been a truly fascinating life - but that is not the focus of this book. In fact, the author makes it clear that she is interested in the 'star' phenomenon - but that I discovered only after the book arrived.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where is the woman beneath the costume? 4 Feb. 2001
By A. P. Larson - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Tragic Muse" will leave you with two regrets, albeit worthy ones: first, that her performances are lost to history; second, that you still don't have a grasp on her. This book is not meant so much as a biography as a recounting of Rachel as social and psychological phenomenon. It's an unusual and enjoyable approach, and Brownstein does a beautifully researched if nonlinear job of it. But while we're looking at the world's view of Rachel -- femme fatale, keeper of the antique flame, courtesan, child of Israel -- I'd enjoy more of a look at Rachel's view of herself. What were her letters really like? Why did so many men love her so well? What did she offer that the world in general did not have? There are lessons that could be learned from these answers; hopefully they too won't be lost to the ages.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 2 Nov. 2014
By Cheryl Simani - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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