By: Gertrude Christian Fosdick (1861-1961)
Beryl Carrington is a naïve young American artist following her ideals to Paris, where she meets three young men, all also artists and all in love with her. Georges is French-American and a bit wild, with a French mistress on the side. Clayton is a true-hearted human being as well as a single-minded painter, with room for little in his life besides Art. Harold is more of a bourgeois Bohemian, coming from upper-class New York society but also a gifted and devoted painter with dreams of greatness. It’s not at all clear which of the three Beryl will choose. This simple fin de siècle romance is not as simple as it appears, delineating the conflicts between social classes, between “innocent” America and “licentious,” “giddy” Paris, between the independence of men and the dependence of women in that era, even of bold women trying to carve out a place for themselves in the artistic world.