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“Esperance had gone her way, trembling with happiness. Everything in life seemed opening for her. For the first time, she was aware of her own individuality; for the first time, she recognized in herself a force: Would that force work for creation or destruction?”
Fifteen-year-old Esperance Darbois, the only daughter of philosophy professor François Darbois, is determined to become a woman of the stage. But becoming an actress will sully the respectability of the Darbois family, damage her marriage prospects, and harm her father’s distinguished reputation.
A romantic adventure featuring thwarted love and dramatic duels written by pioneering actress Sarah Bernhardt, The Idol of Paris is the kind of prime melodrama Bernhardt would have starred in on stage or in film.
Originally published in French in 1920 and in English in 1921.