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The pleasure of not being there

Peter Brooks, 18 November 1993

Benjamin Constant: A Biography 
by Dennis Wood.
Routledge, 321 pp., £40, June 1993, 0 415 01937 0
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Isabelle de Charrière (Belle de Zuylen): A Biography 
by C.P Courtney.
Voltaire Foundation, 810 pp., £49, August 1993, 0 7294 0439 0
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... Neuchâtel. Isabelle de Charrière’s existence is minutely detailed in this fine biography by C.P. Courtney, which is three times longer than Wood’s life of Constant, yet eminently readable, in large part because it is filled with quotations from her vast and enlivening correspondence. In particular, the letters to ...

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