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The First Actress

The First Actress

The tumultuous life of the legendary French star Sarah Bernhardt--the world's first modern actress and international celebrity--dazzles in this stunning novel for readers of Love and Ruin and Mistress of the Ritz.

From her beginnings as the daughter of a high-class courtesan to her extraordinary transformation into the most celebrated actress of her era, Sarah Bernhardt is brought to life by an internationally bestselling author praised for his historical novels featuring famous women.

Her highly dramatic professional life begins when Sarah's mother pulls her out of convent school to set Sarah up in her own trade as a sexual companion to a rich elderly gentleman. Despite her desire to pursue a career in stage acting, her mother cuts her off and Sarah has no choice but to comply. Pregnant and unmarried at sixteen, she is expected to give up her baby to the nuns, but she refuses to let him go.

A natural talent and darkly beautiful, Sarah gets a few theatrical roles, thanks to her bold, innovative acting style that attracts both admiration and scorn. Audiences want to see this controversial young actress, and amazingly, she is hired by the famed Comédie Française--only to have her life torn asunder in the savagery of the 1870 Siege of Paris. Amidst the ruins of the city, Sarah nurses wounded soldiers while falling passionately in love with her leading man.

Rising to the height of her fame as the toast of Paris, shocking audiences with her uninhibited acting style and portrayal of male characters, Sarah becomes world famous, touring America and Europe to sold-out crowds. Told in her own voice, this is Sarah Bernhardt's incandescent story--a fascinating, intimate account of a woman whose wholly original talent and indomitable spirit has enshrined her in history as the Divine Sarah.

Titulo:The First Actress
Idioma de edición:English
ISBN:9781524799076
Tipo de formato:



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Acerca de C.W. Gortner

Bestselling author C.W. Gortner holds an MFA in Writing, with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies. Raised in Spain and half Spanish by birth, he currently lives in Northern California. His books have been translated in over 20 languages to date.


    The First Actress Comentarios

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Worthy of every star! Thank you, Random House, for the gifted ARC. I also purchased a finished copy for my favorites shelf. My friends who love historical fiction, this one’s for you. This book, The...

  • Faith

    French actress Sarah Bernhardt had a complicated life. She was the oldest child of a courtesan who was not really suited to motherhood. Sarah became an acclaimed actress, part-time courtesan, painter ...

  • Jeanette (Again)

    Sarah Bernhardt. Quelle femme sauvage! I knew very little about her, and almost nothing about France during the era in which she lived. I was captivated by every page of this novel. Sarah lived a fasc...

  • Lori

    Absolutely fantastic! Love her, or hate her, Sarah Bernhardt was definitely a woman before her time. Spoiled, defiant, and utterly unapologetic in her quest for fame she was her own worst enemy and no...

  • Krista

    Rating: 5 dramatic starsI am a bit of a Historical Fiction junkie, and this author, C. W. Gortner, is one of my top go-to authors in this genre. Once again, he has written a book that was compelling a...

  • Annette

    Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) was a French stage actress and the world’s first modern actress and international celebrity. She did what she set out to do. She made a name for herself. After sold-out p...

  • Karen

    THE FIRST ACTRESSBY C.W. GORTNERThis was very interesting to me because although I have always known of Sarah Bernhardt I didn't have a comprehensive understanding of what a true trail blazer she was ...

  • Whitney

    Overall: This book is exactly what good historical fiction is! A captivating heroine, great storyline, wonderful writing, and completely enrapturing. Highly recommend 5/5Summary: This novel follows th...

  • Allison Keith

    Sarah Bernhardt was a trailblazer of a woman, revolutionizing theatre and launching the celebrity culture. Unconventional and driven, she was a woman desperate for fame and unapologetic in her pursuit...

  • Susan Johnson

    3.5 stars The entire time I read this I couldn't stop thinking of the Michael Jordan documentary, "The Last Dance". It is apparent to me that to be at the very top of your profession you have to be so...

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