Karin's Reviews > Wild Heart: A Life: Natalie Clifford Barney and the Decadence of Literary Paris

Wild Heart by Suzanne Rodriguez
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's review
Nov 26, 07

Read in November, 2007

I don't usually go for biographies, but I can't put this one down. NCB's story is fascinating. She was a feminist and a thinker far ahead of her time, and a strong individual woman during a time when women were lauded for their obedience. It is astonishing and inspiring to read about the social obstacles and prejudices she stared down. I feel cynical, however, because as I read about not just her ideas but also her background, it strikes me that her wealthy upbringing and associated sense of entitlement allowed her to be the free-thinker she was--a woman from a lower class would not, I think, have been able to take the same risks, partly for lack of resources, and partly because it may not have occurred to her.

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Meika I totally agree with what you say about her wealthy upbringing. Also, her father was not a significant influence in her life, and he died at a time that allowed for her to escape the social pressure to marry well.

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