Tragic Muse: Rachel of the Comedie-Francaise

by Rachel Brownstein

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | May 1, 2013 | Kobo Edition (eBook)

Not yet rated | write a review
Rachel Felix (1821-58), the homely daughter of poor Jewish peddlers, was the first stage actress to achieve international stardom - and the last person one would have expected to resurrect the cultural patrimony of France. Yet her passionate, startling performances of the works of Racine and Corneille saved them from almost certain obsolescence after the fall of Napoleon (who had relished classical French tragedy) and the emergence of Romanticism. Audiences in Paris, London, Boston, and Moscow thrilled to her voice, and devoured the rumors of her offstage promiscuity and extravagance. Her fame - equal parts popularity and notoriety - was so great that she could nonchalantly dispose of her last name. La grande Rachel virtually invented the role of the superstar, while remaining a symbol of the highest art and most serious cultural pursuits. Indeed, her identity was fraught with such contradictions - which intrigued the public all the more. From the moment she was discovered playing the guitar on the streets of Lyons, to her debut on the Parisian stage at the age of fifteen, to her critical and commercial triumphs as Camille, Phedre, and other tormented women, Rachel's career was exhaustively "managed." A series of theater gurus, influential reviewers, and impresarios - including her brash and opportunistic father - claimed the credit for her astonishing success. What this abundance of male managers has always obscured is Rachel's own decisiveness and control over her time and money - not only did she play her various champions (and high-profile lovers) against one another, she openly defied them. Some called her stubborn, even perverse; in these pages, we come to recognize her as a woman ahead of her time, a charismatic individual very much in charge of her own destiny. As her fascination with all things Napoleonic suggests, Rachel liked power - both personal and professional - and had the talent to command it.

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: May 1, 2013

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307831825

ISBN - 13: 9780307831828

save
0%

Available for download Hurry, only 0 left! Not yet released

$21.99  ea

Online Price

$21.99 List Price


See details

Easy, FREE returns. See details

Downloads instantly to your kobo or other ereading device. See details

Reviews

– More About This Product –

Tragic Muse: Rachel of the Comedie-Francaise

by Rachel Brownstein

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: May 1, 2013

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307831825

ISBN - 13: 9780307831828

From the Publisher

Rachel Felix (1821-58), the homely daughter of poor Jewish peddlers, was the first stage actress to achieve international stardom - and the last person one would have expected to resurrect the cultural patrimony of France. Yet her passionate, startling performances of the works of Racine and Corneille saved them from almost certain obsolescence after the fall of Napoleon (who had relished classical French tragedy) and the emergence of Romanticism. Audiences in Paris, London, Boston, and Moscow thrilled to her voice, and devoured the rumors of her offstage promiscuity and extravagance. Her fame - equal parts popularity and notoriety - was so great that she could nonchalantly dispose of her last name. La grande Rachel virtually invented the role of the superstar, while remaining a symbol of the highest art and most serious cultural pursuits. Indeed, her identity was fraught with such contradictions - which intrigued the public all the more. From the moment she was discovered playing the guitar on the streets of Lyons, to her debut on the Parisian stage at the age of fifteen, to her critical and commercial triumphs as Camille, Phedre, and other tormented women, Rachel's career was exhaustively "managed." A series of theater gurus, influential reviewers, and impresarios - including her brash and opportunistic father - claimed the credit for her astonishing success. What this abundance of male managers has always obscured is Rachel's own decisiveness and control over her time and money - not only did she play her various champions (and high-profile lovers) against one another, she openly defied them. Some called her stubborn, even perverse; in these pages, we come to recognize her as a woman ahead of her time, a charismatic individual very much in charge of her own destiny. As her fascination with all things Napoleonic suggests, Rachel liked power - both personal and professional - and had the talent to command it.
Item not added

This item is not available to order at this time.

See used copies from 00.00
  • My Gift List
  • My Wish List
  • Shopping Cart