Even though Eleonora Duse (1858-1924) referred to her books as her own artistic wardrobe, her most highly-valued possessions, scholars and biographers have insisted on neglecting her library and, what’s more, it had for years been considered lost forever. In this article Anna Sica explains the value of the founding of the Murray Edwards Eleonora Duse Collection in Cambridge. She specifically refers to a selection of books which have been renamed ‘Cleopatra’s Books’. They are remarkable examples which are representative of Duse’s library as a whole and lay bare the roots of Duse’s intellectual evolution. Many have believed the romantic notion that Duse acted out her own personal life on stage. But the complete reconstruction of her personal library is sufficient evidence to state that while it is a deceptively attractive theory, it is ultimately an incorrect one.
|Publication status||Published - 2010|