August Bournonville: My Dearly Beloved Wife! - Letters from France and Italy 1841

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In 1841 the great Danish choreographer and ballet-master, August Bournonville, made a six-months European journey that took him to France and - for the first time - to Italy. During this journey he kept a weekly correspondence with his wife, Helene, who had remained with their six children in Copenhagen. In these thirty-nine travel letters Bournonville describes in fine and vivid details his many personal and cultural encounters and theatre experiences abroad with a spontaneity of expression that is conspicuously absent from the majority of his other published writings. Bournonville here literally brims with vision, opinion and wit. The 1841 travel letters are here gathered in book form for the first time. They not only provide a great deal of factual information from this important European journey, but also reveal his fine, and sometimes even wild, sense of humour, which he clearly restrained or suppressed in his later, published autobiographical writings. Together these travel letters represent a fascinating and unique insight into his true artist's psyche, his professional career abroad, and his personal character as a man. Moreover, they reveal in fine detail how some of his most popular ballets were created and directly inspired from the strong impressions of art and nature that he had received during this, the perhaps most fortuitous of his many artistic journeys.