A Sensational Life
By Peter Kurth
Little Brown & Company - 2001
ISBN: 0316507261
- Hardcover
Nonfiction / Biography

Reviewed by Nancy Marie,
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Peter Kurth tells the story of Isadora Duncan's life with a flair for the dramatic, but how else could such a dramatic woman's life be told? From the time of her birth, through her many highly public love affairs, to the tragic deaths of her children, to her own unseemly, and highly dramatic death, Isadora's life was filled with both joy and tragedy.

Kurth relates the story of Duncan's life with liberal quotes from the dancer's own hand. Quotes such as, "In every effort to escape, I found only destruction, agony, death." (page 320). And this one on page 516, "'I made one vulgar gesture by marrying,' she wired the Russian authorities, 'I would not make another by divorcing…'", create in the reader's mind an image of Isadora that is both colorful and dark, tragic and beautiful.

The author also uses the text of many telegrams, letters, and other documents to highlight his own literary comments. ISADORA: A Sensational Life also includes many fascinating photos of Isadora, her lovers, her children, and the many famous portraitures created by her famous artists friends and lovers.

ISADORA: A Sensational Life, is a book that will capture your interest and your heart, as you read her account and the accounts of her many friends and lovers, of the pain she endured when she lost her children so suddenly. And you will see how her own tragic death affected those she loved most; those who, in turn, loved her without hesitation, or condemnation for her flamboyant lifestyle. They understood, as the reader will also by the end of this book, the complicated person that was Isadora Duncan.


Nancy Marie is the author of When You Wish Upon A Star.

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