The Sphinx: The Life of Gladys Deacon by Hugo Vickers

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  • The Sphinx: The Life of Gladys Deacon by Hugo Vickers
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One of the most beautiful and brilliant women of her time, Gladys Deacon dazzled and puzzled the glittering social circles in which she moved. Born in Paris to American parents in 1881, Gladys emerged from a traumatic childhood – her father having shot her mother’s lover dead when Gladys was only eleven – to captivate and inspire some of the greatest literary and artistic names of the Belle Epoque. Marcel Proust wrote of her, ‘I never saw a girl with such beauty, such magnificent intelligence, such goodness and charm.’ Berenson considered marrying her, Rodin and Monet befriended her, Boldini painted her and Epstein sculpted her. She inspired love from diverse Dukes and Princes, and the interest of women such as the Comtesse Greffulhe and Gertrude Stein. The Sphinx is a fascinating portrait of this elusive but brilliant woman who was at the centre of a now bygone era of wealth and privilege – and a tribute to one of the brightest stars of her age.

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