First Actress, The

First Actress, The A Novel of Sarah Bernhardt

Paperback (19 May 2021)

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From her beginnings as the daughter of a courtesan to her extraordinary transformation into the most celebrated actress of her era, Sarah Bernhardt is brought to life by an internationally bestselling author praised for his historical novels featuring famous women. Sarah's dramatic story begins when, finished with her schooling, she faces her mother's demand to follow in the family trade as a courtesan. To escape this fate, Sarah pursues an acting career at the esteemed Comédie-Française, until her rebellious style leads to her dismissal. Only nineteen years old and unemployed, Sarah is forced to submit to her mother's wishes. But her seductive ease as a courtesan comes to an end when she discovers she is pregnant. Unwilling to give up her child, Sarah is cast adrift, penniless and alone. With her striking beauty and innovative performances in a bohemian theatre, Sarah catapults to unexpected success; suddenly, audiences clamour to see this controversial young actress. But her world is torn asunder by the brutal 1870 siege of Paris. Sarah refuses to abandon the ravaged city, nursing wounded soldiers and risking her life. Her return to the Comédie sets off a tempestuous affair with her leading man, until she breaks away to risk everything to become France's most acclaimed actress, enthralling audiences with her portrayals of female and male characters. Sarah's daring talent propels her to worldwide celebrity, with sold-out tours in Europe and America. Told in her own voice, this is Sarah Bernhardt's incandescent story—a fascinating, intimate account of a woman whose unrivalled talent and indomitable spirit has enshrined her in history as the Divine Sarah.

Book information

ISBN: 9780525620914
Publisher: Random House USA Inc
Imprint: Ballantine
Pub date:
Language: English
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 338g
Height: 133mm
Width: 204mm
Spine width: 27mm