Eleonora Duse was born in Vigevano, Lombardy, and began acting as a child. Both her father and her grandfather were actors, and she joined the troupe at age four.
She came to fame in Italian versions of roles made famous by Sarah Bernhardt. She gained her first major success in Europe, then toured South America, Russia and the United States; beginning the tours as a virtual unknown but leaving in her wake a general recognition of her genius. Eleonora was idolized all over the world for her great interpretive roles in the heroines of the playwright Henrik Ibsen.
Eleonora Duse appeared also in many plays by contemporary
French dramatists. She formed her own theatre troupe with which she toured the world;
she died while on tour in the United States.
She was a humane freethinker, whose insightful psychological novels paved way to modern character portrayals - contemporary of Dostoevsky, who at the same time in Russia developed similar narrative techniques. Eliot's liaison with the married writer and editor George Henry Lewes arose among the rigid Victorians much indignation, which calmed down with the progress of her literary fame.
Her great novels are 'Adam Bede', and 'The Mill on the Floss' and 'Middlemarch'.
She painted large public altarpieces, a rare distinction for a woman artist.
After moving to Rome around 1603, she created the best known of her
public commissions, 'The Stoning of St. Stephen Martyr'. This altarpiece,
painted for the church of S. Paolo fuori le Mura, one of the seven pilgrimage
churches of Rome, was destroyed by fire in 1823.
Margaret Fuller was born in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts.
In 1839 she established formal conversations on various topics, primarily for women, which were very successful for five years. She wrote 'Women in the Nineteenth Century' - a plea for the intellectual and spiritual fulfillment of women.
In 1844 she became America's first woman foreign correspondent, reporting from Europe for the New York Tribune. In Italy she became involved in the Revolution of 1848. She died on her return voyage to the U.S. when her ship sank in a storm.
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