Chopin's Funeral by Benita Eisler

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Synopsis

Frédéric Chopin’s reputation as one of the Great Romantics endures, but as Benita Eisler reveals in her elegant and elegiac biography, the man was more complicated than his iconic image.

A classicist, conservative, and dandy who relished his conquest of Parisian society, the Polish émigré was for a while blessed with genius, acclaim, and the love of Europe’s most infamous woman writer, George Sand. But by the age of 39, the man whose brilliant compositions had thrilled audiences in the most fashionable salons lay dying of consumption, penniless and abandoned by his lover. In the fall of 1849, his lavish funeral was attended by thousands—but not by George Sand.

In this intimate portrait of an embattled man, Eisler tells the story of a turbulent love affair, of pain and loss redeemed by art, and of worlds—both private and public—convulsed by momentous change.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Benita Eisler

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Benita Eisler's subject is the life and work of artists, and their worlds. She has written on the Romantics, Byron, Chopin, and George Sand, and is the author of a dual biography of early modernists Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz. She lives in New York City.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Chopin's Funeral

Kirkus Reviews

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The elite were just the ones he was after: though his music, like Beethoven’s, has long been considered progressive and even revolutionary, Chopin, writes Eisler, “had a horror of ‘the People’ as a force of upheaval or even change” and was “repelled by marginality: by poor Poles, by Jews, by the ...

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The Guardian

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Chopin's Funeral by Benita Eisler 240pp, Little, Brown, £16.99 Fryderyk Chopin belonged to a generation of European artists who were expected to dramatise their culture's version of romanticism in their selves as much as in their works.

Jun 21 2003 | Read Full Review of Chopin's Funeral

Publishers Weekly

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and she writes with real vigor and sympathy of the byzantine family politics that embroiled the Sand household, both at the country retreat Nohant and in Paris, where the novelist turned away from her daughter Solange and rested her hopes on her far less worthy son, Maurice.

Mar 02 2003 | Read Full Review of Chopin's Funeral

The Bookbag

How is Frederic Chopin best remembered today – as one of the leading composers of his time, or as a sickly man who endured an unhappy affair with a man-eating lady novelist and was fated not to survive middle age?

Nov 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Chopin's Funeral

Deseret News

Benita Eisler, using an intriguing back-door approach, begins this curious biography of Frederic Chopin with his funeral, Oct. 30, 1849.

Jul 25 2004 | Read Full Review of Chopin's Funeral

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