Esperance grew pale; she took the card from her mother's hands, fearing that she might be mistaken. It was indeed the Countess and not the Count. She breathed again! Marguerite and the maid carried the basket into the salon; then the young girl went into the library with her mother. The newspaper clippings were spread out on the table, and the two famous trinkets had been taken from their cases. Madame Darbois clasped and unclasped her hands....
Pioneering actress Bernhardt wrote the The Idol of Paris. This is the kind of melodrama Bernhardt would have enacted on stage or in film. The romantic adventure that unfolds is a fancy retelling of one of Bernhardt’s real-life romances. Given Bernhardt’s famous acting career and iconic image, it is interesting to not see but only hear the trite dialogue and mannered descriptions. This book forces listeners to imagine; to invent their own quaint silent film or arch theater production, starring Bernhardt of course. What a fun exercise in nostalgia! Narrator J. J. Myers gives a dignified and elegant performance. Her serious and effortful presentation lends gravitas to the stilted language.
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