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The world’s worst-dressed woman

Ruth Bernard Yeazell, 1 August 1996

Queen Victoria’s Secrets 
by Adrienne Munich.
Columbia, 264 pp., £22, June 1996, 0 231 10480 4
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... of a personality’, of ‘something deeper, something fundamental ... that really tells’, than Adrienne Munich’s unwillingness to attempt ‘to uncover a real Victoria’. Rather than a woman whose force of character magnetised an age, hers is a consummate role-player and performer, a Post-Modern queen of contradictions. ...

Adieu, madame

Terry Castle: Sarah Bernhardt, 4 November 2010

Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhardt 
by Robert Gottlieb.
Yale, 233 pp., £18.99, October 2010, 978 0 300 14127 6
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... Phèdre (1874); Doña Sol in Hugo’s Hernani (1877); Marguerite in La Dame aux camélias (1880); Adrienne Lecouvreur, in Scribe and Legouvé’s eponymous tear-jerker (also 1880); and Fédora, doomed title character in the first of several wildly popular melodramas – La Tosca and Théodora would follow – Sardou wrote for Bernhardt between 1882 and ...

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