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on 20 December 2013
I have read deep on the question of French courtesans and this book is a great read. Detailed as it can be with any information available from well over 100 years ago. Written by a ballerina, who knows the ballet of 'Margeurite and Armand' by Sir. Frederick Ashton. The life story of one Marie Duplessis, a famous Parisian courtesan in the 1840's. Books have been written about her under different disguises, statues have been produced of her, La Traviatta was composed because of her and various other films and stage entertainments have been produced because of her, plus, the Ashton ballet mentioned above. This book is brilliant at placing Marie right there, told in a well researched manner that makes sense of a largely forgotten part of history and culture.
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on 22 September 2013
I got a bit lost here, at times, between the real Alphonsine and her fictional and operatic counterparts. Certainly, Alphonsine's history is opaque at times, fact and fiction -- Alphonsine renames herself Marie -- become intermingled. The author discovered her through her work on Nureyev, and the ballet by Frederick Ashton; and it's clear, given the frequency of phrases like 'a life of vice' and adjectives like 'sleazy' that she doesn't really approve of Marie, as, of course, is her right. Yet, had she been able to tell the unvarnished story of how a poor country girl, sold or 'trafficked' by her father, educated herself, set herself up as a courtesan in Paris with flocks of admirers, then ultimately succumbing to the Captain of the Men of Death, and then related how Marie achieved fame through a novel, a play and an opera, it would have worked much better. And, perhaps, she would have been more sympathetic.
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on 27 August 2016
Superb book takes the dust and varnish off this well known character of Victorian melodrama and reveals a likeable human being
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on 13 December 2015
A beautiful book given as a gift
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on 28 June 2013
brilliantly written,easy to remember all the names,which is somtimes hard in history books.Really could not put it down,if you love womans historical books and scandel this book is for you!!
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on 5 January 2016
I love this book. It fills in my whole picture of this young lady, who features in opera etc. Great!
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on 2 August 2015
Excellent deal and prompt service thanks
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on 22 August 2013
as always good service and good products first class I would recomend the book to anyone interested in french life in the 19th centuary
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