1 thought on “Portrait of a Seductress

  1. This book is Jean Chalon's portrait of Natalie Barney, the undisputed seductress of the Fin de siècle, and beyond. Make no mistake about it, this is not a proper biography but rather a portrait, and more accurately a tribute. The author's adoration for his subject is clear and he makes no attempt to restrain himself. It seems Chalon too was seduced by Barney. He can however be forgiven for this, for his is in good company. After all, royalty, famous demimonde courtesans and literary legends too [...]

  2. What can one say? There's never been a more outsized personality than Natalie Barney--until journalist Jean Chalon pushed his way into her aquarium-like, Paris drawing room, sat at her feet, grabbed her treasure trove of lesbian love lettersd never left.("But Jean," says the octogenarian, re-reading a steamy correspondence that triggers total recall of the scandalous events culminating in a dramatic breakup, "who was this Jacqueline?") Chalon thought Natalie Barney long dead when he was given th [...]

  3. I think other people are fascinating. And this is a portrait of a fascinating person for sure. How often do you read about an outspoken and self-assured lesbian from the early 1900s? This book has a lot of author bias at play, but is still so interesting.

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