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PN Review 275
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This report is taken from PN Review 83, Volume 18 Number 3, January - February 1992.

Petit Ange David Arkell
One of the most attractive of Stendhal's women was the 'little Jewish singer' Angéline Bereyter. She was seductive, intelligent, easy-going and full of fun. Her only mistake, perhaps, was to be too uncomplicated. Everything was so right that in the end her master got bored.

Stendhal probably saw her for the first time in Cosi fan tutte in 1809. She had just joined 'Buffa', the Italian comic opera company that took over the Odéon on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. He began sending her literary notes till his friend Félix Faure told him not to be a fool. A more suitable approach proved successful. 'The amiable and sweet Angéline allowed me to deliver my homage in person. She says that when I arrived I had tiny eyes and a smug look. Well anyway I kissed her tenderly that first day, then had her at my place on the second.'

The date was 29 January 1811, the place his flat in the fashionable rue Cambon - for Stendhal was now enjoying his grand (and brief) phase as a yuppie. He had accumulated honours in Napoleon's Civil Service and was toying with the idea of becoming a Prefect. Also he was trying out a particle to see how it would feel to be Monsieur de Beyle. When he'd called on Angéline that first day he stunned the rue de l'Echiquier where she lived by turning up in his own carriage and pair. He had almost everything he wanted but felt ...


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