Playing to the Gods: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, and the Rivalry That Changed Acting Forever

Playing to the Gods: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, and the Rivalry That Changed Acting Forever

The riveting story of the rivalry between the two most renowned actresses of the nineteenth century: legendary Sarah Bernhardt, whose eccentricity on and off the stage made her the original diva, and mystical Eleonora Duse, who broke all the rules to popularize the natural style of acting we celebrate today. Audiences across Europe and the Americas clamored to see the divin The riveting story of the rivalry between the two most renowned actresses of the nineteenth century: legendary Sarah ...

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Title:Playing to the Gods: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, and the Rivalry That Changed Acting Forever
Author:Peter Rader
Rating:
Genres:Biography
ISBN:Playing to the Gods: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, and the Rivalry that Changed Acting Forever
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:277 pages pages

Playing to the Gods: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, and the Rivalry That Changed Acting Forever Reviews

  • Jonathan Mandell
    Oct 14, 2018
    Sarah Bernhardt remains the most famous stage actress of all time, the subject of the play Bernhardt/Hamlet on Broadway. But during her lifetime she had a rival, Eleanora Duse. The two didn?t just compete; they represented opposing views of what acting, and the theater, should be, ac...
  • Jennybeast
    Feb 21, 2018
    Fascinating and well paced dual biography of Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse. I learned so much about both of them, about the development of acting, and about early cults of celebrity. I have talked more about this book with random friends than most things I can remember reading over...
  • Jason
    Sep 22, 2018
    A fascinating look at Bernhardt (Queen of the Indicators) and Duse (Queen of the Actors) and how their two different acting styles ignited their profession and the world. While not a full biography of either amazing woman, this is an in depth look at their personalities (public and pri...
  • Steven
    Feb 03, 2019
    This is a highly entertaining book about two actresses who were roughly contemporary but who had very different approaches to their craft. Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) was a much more externalized performer, using grand gestures and poses to create her characters. Eleonora Duse (1858-19...
  • Marc
    Nov 28, 2018
    An enjoyable book for anyone that has an interest in theatre and its history and the lives of 2 acting legends -their love affairs, their scandals, their competitive one-upmanship. Fun read. ...
  • Jill Hutchinson
    Oct 04, 2018
    Down through history (late 19th/early 20th century), two actors have held a position of honor and were worshiped by theater goers......Sara Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse. Their style was totally different and neither would probably be appreciated in modern times. (See my note at the end ...
  • Cindy Burnett
    Jul 04, 2018
    Playing to the Gods is a must-read for theater fans. While I was familiar with Sarah Bernhardt, I had never heard of Eleonora Duse. Peter Rader effectively chronicles their life stories, the rivalry between the two women, and their lasting impact on acting. The book is chock full of dr...
  • Stormie
    Nov 19, 2018
    Fantastic! I was fortunate enough to see Mucha's portrait of Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet in person a few years ago (or at least a reproduction?), and that was enough to spark my interest in her--who was she? What was her life like? With this fast-paced double biography, you get not...
  • Katra
    Oct 30, 2018
    I knew of the competing acting styles but was completely unaware of the personal rivalry between these two great divas. Wow! ...
  • V. Briceland
    Aug 27, 2018
    Actor Sarah Bernhardt would have claimed she single-handedly invented the cult of celebrity. She slept in a coffin?or at least made sure publicists announced she did?wore hats adorned with stuffed bats, and traveled with a menagerie of animals, including an alligator on a gold chai...
  • Strawberry
    Feb 07, 2018
    *I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review* Before the "Divine Feud" between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in the Golden Age of Hollywood Cinema, there was the on- and offstage rivalry between theatrical actresses Sarah Bernhardt and E...
  • Kristine
    Aug 21, 2018
    Playing to the Gods by Peter Rader is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early July. A story told in elaborate, extensive tandem between 'The Divine' Sarah Bernhardt vs. 'The Duse' Eleanora Duse as they steal each other's spotlight, roles, inspirations, tour dates, and trappings ...
  • John
    Jan 19, 2019
    Entertaining dual biography of the two famous actresses, with a bit of history on the art of acting thrown in. Good villain (Gabriele D'Annunzio) thrown in. Very entertaining audible listen. I wouldn't be surprised if this work is adapted as a miniseries. ...
  • Mandy
    Sep 25, 2018
    Thoroughly entertaining and informative dual biography of Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse, two of the most celebrated actresses of the 19th century. In chronicling their lives and careers, the author also explores the evolution of modern theatre and acting styles, plus the rise of ce...
  • tim
    Jan 22, 2019
    In the late 19th century, theater was an essential and wildly popular. Sara Bernhardt and Eleanora Duse exemplified divergent approaches to the craft of stage acting that in varying degrees remain: the external outer driven performance (think of musicals) and psychological realism (fil...
  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    May 12, 2018
    Netgalley #49 Many thanks to Peter Rader, Simon and Schuster, and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my unbiased review. A generation apart Sarah Bernhardt and Eleanora Duse came from two different schools of acting methods. Sarah was very expressive with few pauses; Eleanora w...
  • Allen Adams
    Sep 07, 2018
    https://www.themaineedge.com/style/a-... Sarah Bernhardt is one of the most legendary names in the world of the theater. She was the first global superstar actress, renowned for her beauty and talent on both sides of the Atlantic. Her performances were considered iconic, once in a l...
  • Jessica T.
    Jan 26, 2018
    This biography reads like fiction. Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse were the most famous actresses of their day. This is a fascinating account of what theatre was and how the innovative Duse created what we know as drama today. I could go on and on AND ON about this biography but if y...
  • Emily
    Apr 22, 2018
    I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I was very excited to read this book and it did not disappoint! I was mostly excited to read it because I am a huge Oscar Wilde fan and wanted to learn a little more about his connection to Sarah Bernhardt and I am gl...
  • Gianna
    Aug 08, 2018
    An interesting read, not just about these two actresses, but also partially about the history of theatre, particularly in late Victorian times. I love biographies with a lot of context, so I can truly understand why these people think and act the way they do, and this book was great in...
  • Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
    Sep 04, 2018
    Such an intriguing topic! I remember grabbing this review copy months ago and being excited to read about something I wasn't even aware of. Maybe it's an odd choice, considering that I mentioned that I barely even go to theatre ? but I think Playing to the Gods is relevant to all...
  • Lady Alexandrine
    Jul 23, 2018
    Before I read "Playing to the Gods" I haven?t heard about Eleonora Duse. It was fascinating to read about her role in the creation of modern acting. Of course I knew about Sarah Bernhardt, the great diva?s success and eccentrics, but I was able to learn much more about her early li...
  • Rosann
    Jan 26, 2018
    Nice! I very much enjoyed Peter Rader's tale of two of the most powerful figures in theater history- Sarah Bernhardt, and Eleonora Duse. These two actors represented in many ways a changing of the guard at the turn of the nineteenth century. Frenchwoman Bernhardt remains well known int...
  • Karoliina
    Feb 25, 2018
    I received an ACR through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. I picked this up because I am very interested in Sarah Bernhardt and especially her portrayal of Hamlet. I hadn't heard of Eleonore Duse before and now that I have read this I know why; in the end she was overshado...
  • Mary Overgaard
    Jan 01, 2019
    Fascinating Look at Origins of Modern Acting Although this pro-ports to be a book about The rivalry between Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse it is a fascinating look at how modern acting developed. Seeing what it had been as Bernhardt, and what it could be through Duse, and all...
  • Jean Mehochko
    Feb 08, 2019
    Interesting book about French actress Sarah Bernhardt and her extremely long career, and Italian actress Eleonora Duse, a contemporary of Bernhardt's whose acting methods diverged completely from Bernhardt's. I learned a lot -- always a requirement to keep me reading. ...
  • Maria
    Sep 06, 2018
    I know very little about theater and its vast actors and actresses but I know art and Sarah Bernhardt has been known to me since I saw Alphonse Mucha's work for her theatrical posters of Gismonda. His illustration of her propelled his career and brought attention to his door so I've al...
  • Lily
    Sep 23, 2018
    I did not like the subject material. ...
  • Al Berry
    Jan 21, 2019
    A rather frivolous book on the rivalry between these two actresses; as biography and entertainment it fails, I?ve already forgotten most of it; just dull writing compounding a dull story. ...
  • Sam Law
    Feb 21, 2018
    Sex. Rivalry. Betrayal. Reconciliation. Art. Read More Book Reviews at It's Good To Read Towering over all, the two greatest actresses of the 19th century challenging and competing with each other, in a time of turbulent change in both the acting world (with the advent of art n...