2011 Vol. 3 No. 4 — Winter / Books

Starring Madame Modjeska: On Tour in Poland and America

Helena Modjeska, a great 19th century Polish actress who came to the US at age 30, learned enough English in six months to play Ophelia, except for the mad scene which was too difficult. So she played that in Polish and wowed them. Aren’t all madwomen incoherent anyway? Margaret Araneo reviews Beth Holmgren’s great book about the very talented, and very independent, Madame Modjeska.