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Rosa Lyster: Diamond Fields, 26 May 2022

Empire of Diamonds: Victorian Gems in Imperial Settings 
by Adrienne Munich.
Virginia, 296 pp., £27.50, May 2020, 978 0 8139 4400 5
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Blood, Sweat and Earth: The Struggle for Control over the World’s Diamonds 
by Tijl Vanneste.
Reaktion, 432 pp., £25, October 2021, 978 1 78914 435 2
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... is all kinds of material here to divert our attention. Take the reports, cited by Adrienne Munich in Empire of Diamonds, of diamonds being discovered in the walls of the old huts built with river mud that were dotted around Vooruitzict, the barren farm owned by two devoutly Christian brothers, Johannes and Diederik de Beer. Or the ...

The world’s worst-dressed woman

Ruth Bernard Yeazell, 1 August 1996

Queen Victoria’s Secrets 
by Adrienne Munich.
Columbia, 264 pp., £22, June 1996, 0 231 10480 4
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... of a personality’, of ‘something deeper, something fundamental ... that really tells’, than Adrienne Munich’s unwillingness to attempt ‘to uncover a real Victoria’. Rather than a woman whose force of character magnetised an age, hers is a consummate role-player and performer, a Post-Modern queen of contradictions. ...

Adieu, madame

Terry Castle: Sarah Bernhardt, 4 November 2010

Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhardt 
by Robert Gottlieb.
Yale, 233 pp., £18.99, October 2010, 978 0 300 14127 6
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... Phèdre (1874); Doña Sol in Hugo’s Hernani (1877); Marguerite in La Dame aux camélias (1880); Adrienne Lecouvreur, in Scribe and Legouvé’s eponymous tear-jerker (also 1880); and Fédora, doomed title character in the first of several wildly popular melodramas – La Tosca and Théodora would follow – Sardou wrote for Bernhardt between 1882 and ...

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