Sarah Bernhardt

Sarah Bernhardt (bûrn´härt, Fr. bĕrnär´), 1844–1923, stage name of Rosine Bernard, French actress, b. Paris. At age 13 she entered the Paris Conservatory, and later attracted attention during appearances at the Odéon (1866–72). With the Comédie Française (1872–80) she attained full stature with her superb portrayals of Phèdre (1874) and of Doña Sol in Hugo's Hernani (1877). In 1880 she began her tours of Europe and the United States. She managed several theaters in Paris before leasing the Théâtre des Nations, renaming it the Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt. Here she revived some of her former successes and appeared in the title role of Hamlet (1899) and in Rostand's L'Aiglon, which was written for her in 1901. In 1912 she appeared in the silent films La Dame aux camélias and Queen Elizabeth. She also wrote plays in which she appeared. Among them were L'Aveu (1898) and Un cœur d'homme (1909).

See her memoirs (tr. 1907); biographies by J. Huret (1899), M. Baring (1934), L. Verneuil (1942), A. W. Row (1957), C. O. Skinner (1967), G. Taranow (1972), R. Brandon (1992), and R. Gottlieb (2010).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Bernhardt and the Theatre of Her Time
Eric Salmon.
Greenwood Press, 1984
FREE! The Puppet Show of Memory
Maurice Baring.
Little Brown and Company, 1922
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XII "Sarah Bernhardt"
Life Was Worth Living: The Reminiscences of W. Graham Robertson
Johnston Forbes-Robertson; Graham W. Robertson.
Harper & Brothers, 1931
Librarian’s tip: "Of the Divine Sarah" begins on p. 107 and "More of Madame Sarah" begins on p. 117
Plays & Players; Essays on the Theatre
Bernard Shaw.
Oxford University Press, 1952
Librarian’s tip: "Duse and Bernhardt" begins on p. 33
These Things Are Mine: The Autobiography of a Journeyman Playwright
George Middleton.
The Macmillan Company, 1947
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XIX "Duse, Bernhardt, and Lucien Guitry"
The Kingdom of Art: Willa Cather's First Principles and Critical Statements, 1893-1896
Bernice Slote; Willa Cather.
University of Nebraska Press, 1966
Librarian’s tip: "Bernhardt and Duse: A Duel of Genius" begins on p. 116
Love + Marriage = Death: And Other Essays on Representing Difference
Sander L. Gilman.
Stanford University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Four "Salome, Syphilis, Sarah Bernhardt, and the 'Modern Jewess'"
On Playing Shakespeare: Advice and Commentary from Actors and Actresses of the Past
Leigh Woods.
Greenwood Press, 1991
Librarian’s tip: "Sarah Bernhardt" begins on p. 182
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