Maude Adams: An Intimate Portrait

By Phyllis Robbins | Go to book overview

Chapter Nine

A QUICK TRIP to France took up part of the summer of 1910 for Maude: "to get my feathers," as she put it. For she was to play in Edmond Rostand Chantecler the next winter. She had first read the manuscript on a drab, wintry day in Chicago, but the sky had glowed for her. She knew she held in her hand the play that was to mean more to her than any of her others, because of Rostand's theme -- the importance of work-oddly as Rostand had clothed his belief, in the feathered figure of Chantecler.

She joined Mr. and Mrs. John W. Alexander in Europe.

"It was one day in Paris," she writes. "I said rather shamefacedly to Elizabeth Alexander: 'Will Mr. Alexander mind if I run off to the Louvre?'

"E. A. answered: 'We lived in Paris twelve years, and every morning John was sitting on the steps of the Louvre waiting for the doors to open.'

"We were going through the Louvre, all three. I had not been conscious of appalling lacks. I thought I knew a little about painting. As opportunities offered, I had gone to galleries and museums, as most people do, for the pleasure of it, and I had relied upon what appealed to me.

"At the end of that day in the Louvre, though I had been there many days in other years, I realized that something was the matter. I heard myself say, I know nothing about all this, and I must know at once. What am I to do?'

" Elizabeth Alexander laughed, delighted; but John Alexander became suddenly very serious. He said: 'Go with some

-140-

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Maude Adams: An Intimate Portrait
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Chapter One 3
  • Chapter Two 21
  • Chapter Three 40
  • Chapter Four 58
  • Chapter Five 75
  • Chapter Six 89
  • Chapter Seven 110
  • Chapter Eight 124
  • Chapter Nine 140
  • Chapter Ten 155
  • Chapter Eleven 165
  • Chapter Twelve 174
  • Chapter Thirteen 186
  • Chapter Fourteen 201
  • Chapter Fifteen 213
  • Chapter Sixteen 232
  • Chapter Seventeen 247
  • Chapter Eighteen 257
  • Chapter Nineteen 263
  • Chapter Twenty 284
  • Appendix 292
  • Index 299
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