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  • Formats: None on file
  • Publisher: Warrington Publications
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Non-fiction/Biography
  • Audience: Ages 17 and Up

The First Superstar

The Life And Times Of Sarah Bernhardt, 1844-1923

Author: Robert W. Cabell
Editor: S. C. Moore

Mark Twain said, "There are five kinds of actresses: bad actresses, fair actresses, good actresses, great actresses-and then there is 'Sarah Bernhardt.'" George Bernard Shaw wrote: "She lives to mesmerize, to dazzle, to lure the public into the mysteries of sensuality and poetic illusion." D.H. Lawrence claimed: "She is fascinating to an extraordinary degree. She is the incarnation of wild emotion." Sigmund Freud's infatuation with Sarah was more than evident. All who entered his office beheld a portrait of Bernhardt prominently displayed with his own quote: "Every inch of that little figure lives and bewitches. Every limb and joint acts with her." In 1872, after her first performance as The Little Queen in "Ruy Blas", the great Victor Hugo knelt at her feet. In 1874, on her opening night as Doña Sol in "Hernani", Hugo claimed the tear of gratitude he wept, crystallized in to a tear shaped diamond, which he presented to her the next evening on a gold bracelet. The Czar of all Russia knelt to her, the Prince of Wales befriended her, and a prince of Belgium sired her only son. In short, all the great men of her era--- princes, czars, poets, and generals, -- "all" -- became eager lovers and little boys when blessed with her presence. Things of mystery and light tend to turn to brass or become mundane when held up to scrutiny. Few could equal or surpass the expectations of a maddening crowd. But, a siren, a goddess, a rose by any other name called Sarah -- the immortal beauty that defied explanation and cast a legendary shadow of elegance and sensuality across light years, became as Oscar Wilde dubbed her, "the Divine."

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