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From Progress to Catastrophe

Perry Anderson: The Historical Novel, 28 July 2011

... something Scott was on the whole reluctant to do. In War and Peace we are closer to the spirit of Alexandre Dumas’s maxim: ‘On peut violer l’histoire à condition de lui faire de beaux enfants.’ The question, of course, is whether Tolstoy’s fictional portrait of Kutuzov qualifies as such a handsome offspring – that is, a persuasive work of ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: British Art and the French Romantics, 20 February 2003

... observation of weather in Paul Huet’s picture of a lonely rider, Storm at the End of the Day. Dumas’s novel mixes operatic themes with the odd sourly realistic vignette. The exhibition shows how two different visual cultures produced what lives side by side in the novel: scenes of romantic action and scenes of contemporary life. As the century ...

Writing and Publishing

Alan Sillitoe, 1 April 1982

... considered important concerned writers and artists. Under 4 July 1802 was recorded the birth of Alexandre Dumas. On one page was an account of his life, with a list of his best known works, while opposite was a section from The Count of Monte Cristo. By browsing through such a mishmash of fact, fiction and brief biographies I became familiar, after a ...

Countess Bitch

Robert Tombs, 16 November 1995

The Notorious Life of Gyp: Right-Wing Anarchist in Fin-de-Siècle France 
by Willa Silverman.
Oxford, 325 pp., £24, June 1995, 0 19 508754 2
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... her house in semi-smart Neuilly, became acquainted with established literary stars such as Daudet, Dumas fils, Halévy and Goncourt and the promising novelists Anatole France and Maurice Barrès,who became one of her closest and most faithful friends. She held open house for her entourage during the summer in a villa on the Normandy coast. In short, she ...

Like a Carp on a Lawn

Graham Robb: Marie D’Agoult, 7 June 2001

The Life of Marie d'Agoult, Alias Daniel Stern 
by Phyllis Stock-Morton.
Johns Hopkins, 291 pp., £33, July 2000, 0 8018 6313 9
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Marie d’Agoult: The Rebel Countess 
by Richard Bolster.
Yale, 288 pp., £16.95, September 2000, 0 300 08246 0
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... sending up the chords to a gigantic bust of Beethoven which bisects the horizon like an Alp. Dumas père, Hugo, a trousered, cigarette-smoking Sand, a spindly Paganini and a tubby Rossini look on in admiration. Of the eight faces, only Marie d’Agoult’s is invisible. She is seen from behind, sitting on the floor, her head resting on the piano, in ...

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