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My Double Life The Memoirs of Sarah Bernhardt   By: (1845-1923)

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MY DOUBLE LIFE

The Memoirs of Sarah Bernhardt

1907

CONTENTS

Chap. I. CHILDHOOD

II. AT BOARDING SCHOOL

III. CONVENT LIFE

IV. MY DÉBUT

V. THE SOLDIER'S SHAKO

VI. THE FAMILY COUNCIL AND MY FIRST VISIT TO A THEATRE

VII. MY CAREER FIRST LESSONS

VIII. THE CONSERVATOIRE

IX. A MARRIAGE PROPOSAL AND EXAMINATIONS THE CONSERVATOIRE

X. MY FIRST ENGAGEMENT

XI. MY DÉBUT AT THE HOUSE OF MOLIÈRE, AND MY FIRST DEPARTURE THEREFROM

XII. AT THE GYMNASE THEATRE A TRIP TO SPAIN

XIII. FROM THE PORTE ST. MARTIN THEATRE TO THE ODÉON

XIV. "LE PASSANT" AT THE TUILERIES FIRE IN MY FLAT

XV. THE FRANCO PRUSSIAN WAR

XVI. SARAH BERNHARDT'S AMBULANCE AT THE ODÉON THEATRE

XVII. PARIS BOMBARDED

XVIII. A BOLD JOURNEY THROUGH THE GERMAN LINES

XIX. MY RETURN TO PARIS THE COMMUNE AT ST. GERMAIN EN LAYE

XX. VICTOR HUGO

XXI. A MEMORABLE SUPPER

XXII. AT THE COMÉDIE FRANÇAISE AGAIN SCULPTURE

XXIII. A DESCENT INTO THE ENFER DU PLOGOFF MY FIRST APPEARANCE AS PHÈDRE THE DECORATION OF MY NEW MANSION

XXIV. ALEXANDRE DUMAS "L'ETRANGÈRE" MY SCULPTURE AT THE SALON

XXV. "HERNANI" A TRIP IN A BALLOON

XXVI. THE COMÉDIE GOES TO LONDON

XXVII. LONDON LIFE MY FIRST PERFORMANCE AT THE GAIETY THEATRE

XXVIII. MY PERFORMANCE IN LONDON MY EXHIBITION MY WILD ANIMALS TROUBLE WITH THE COMÉDIE FRANÇAISE

XXIX. THE COMÉDIE FRANÇAISE RETURNS TO PARIS SARAH BERNHARDT'S COMMENTS ON ACTORS AND ACTRESSES OF THE DAY

XXX. MY DEPARTURE FROM THE COMÉDIE FRANÇAISE PREPARATIONS FOR MY FIRST AMERICAN TOUR ANOTHER VISIT TO LONDON

XXXI. A TOUR IN DENMARK ROYAL FAMILIES THE "TWENTY EIGHT DAYS" OF SARAH BERNHARDT

XXXII. EXPERIENCES AND REFLECTIONS ON BOARD SHIP FROM HAVRE TO NEW YORK

XXXIII. ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK AMERICAN REPORTERS THE CUSTOM HOUSE PERFORMANCES IN NEW YORK A VISIT TO EDISON AT MENLO PARK

XXXIV. AT BOSTON STORY OF THE WHALE

XXXV. MONTREAL'S GRAND RECEPTION THE POET FRÉCHETTE AN ESCAPADE ON THE ST. LAWRENCE RIVER

XXXVI. SPRINGFIELD BALTIMORE PHILADELPHIA CHICAGO ADVENTURES BETWEEN ST. LOUIS AND CINCINNATI CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

XXXVII. NEW ORLEANS AND OTHER AMERICAN CITIES A VISIT TO THE FALLS OF NIAGARA

XXXVIII. THE RETURN TO FRANCE THE WELCOME AT HAVRE

INDEX

I

CHILDHOOD

My mother was fond of travelling: she would go from Spain to England, from London to Paris, from Paris to Berlin, and from there to Christiania; then she would come back, embrace me, and set out again for Holland, her native country. She used to send my nurse clothing for herself and cakes for me. To one of my aunts she would write: "Look after little Sarah; I shall return in a month's time." A month later she would write to another of her sisters: "Go and see the child at her nurse's; I shall be back in a couple of weeks."

My mother's age was nineteen; I was three years old, and my two aunts were seventeen and twenty years of age; another aunt was fifteen, and the eldest was twenty eight; but the last one lived at Martinique, and was the mother of six children. My grandmother was blind, my grandfather dead, and my father had been in China for the last two years. I have no idea why he had gone there.

My youthful aunts always promised to come to see me, but rarely kept their word. My nurse hailed from Brittany, and lived near Quimperlé, in a little white house with a low thatched roof, on which wild gilly flowers grew. That was the first flower which charmed my eyes as a child, and I have loved it ever since. Its leaves are heavy and sad looking, and its petals are made of the setting sun.

Brittany is a long way off, even in our epoch of velocity! In those days it was the end of the world. Fortunately my nurse was, it appears, a good, kind woman, and, as her own child had died, she had only me to love. But she loved after the manner of poor people, when she had time.

One day, as her husband was ill, she went into the field to help gather in potatoes; the over damp soil was rotting them, and there was no time to be lost. She left me in charge of her husband, who was lying on his Breton bedstead suffering from a bad attack of lumbago... Continue reading book >>




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