Black Venus

Black Venus A vivid novel of Charles Baudelaire and his lover Jeanne Duval the Haitian cabaret singer who inspired his most famous and controversial poems set in nineteenth century Paris For readers who have be

  • Title: Black Venus
  • Author: James MacManus
  • ISBN: 9781250014238
  • Page: 300
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A vivid novel of Charles Baudelaire and his lover Jeanne Duval, the Haitian cabaret singer who inspired his most famous and controversial poems, set in nineteenth century Paris.For readers who have been drawn to The Paris Wife, Black Venus captures the artistic scene in the great French city decades earlier, when the likes of Dumas and Balzac argued literature in the cafesA vivid novel of Charles Baudelaire and his lover Jeanne Duval, the Haitian cabaret singer who inspired his most famous and controversial poems, set in nineteenth century Paris.For readers who have been drawn to The Paris Wife, Black Venus captures the artistic scene in the great French city decades earlier, when the likes of Dumas and Balzac argued literature in the cafes of the Left Bank Among the bohemians, the young Charles Baudelaire stood out dressed impeccably thanks to an inheritance that was quickly vanishing Still at work on the poems that he hoped would make his name, he spent his nights enjoying the alcohol, opium, and women who filled the seedy streets of the city.One woman would catch his eye a beautiful Haitian cabaret singer named Jeanne Duval Their lives would remain forever intertwined thereafter, and their romance would inspire his most infamous poems leading to the banning of his masterwork, Les Fleurs du Mal, and a scandalous public trial for obscenity.James MacManus s Black Venus re creates the classic Parisian literary world in vivid detail, complete with not just an affecting portrait of the famous poet but also his often misunderstood, much maligned muse.

    • ☆ Black Venus || · PDF Read by ↠ James MacManus
      300 James MacManus
    • thumbnail Title: ☆ Black Venus || · PDF Read by ↠ James MacManus
      Posted by:James MacManus
      Published :2019-02-19T01:06:48+00:00

    1 thought on “Black Venus”

    1. Setting: 1842 Paris3 1/2 starsIn 1842, Charles arrives in Paris planning to use his inheritance to fund his writing. He takes one look at Jeanne and became obsessed with his "Black Venus" It isn't just love Charles feels for her,but a need to possess her mind and spirit and bring that into his poetry. Jeanne the daughter of a French plantation owner and a slave there,disdains Charles work which only makes him more determined to use her as his inspiration. This story explores the obsessive relati [...]

    2. I thought Black Venus was a truly great readyou can't go wrong when the story contains the famous Charles Baudelaire, the pampered-mama's-boy-over-indulged-poet, Jeanne Duval, the classic femme-fatale-exotic-cabaret-mistress, Auguste Poulet-Malassis, friend and publisher, and mother's-favorite Apollonie Sabatier, all interacting within the intriguing culture of Paris in the 1800's. I had many wonderings throughout the storyWhat would Jeanne do next to help or hurt Charles? How could Charles be a [...]

    3. "Black Venus" is a historical fiction novel focused on the relationship between infamous French poet, Baudelaire, and his Haitian mistress, Jeanne Duval. Duval became the inspiration for some of the poet's raciest and most shocking poems. I didn't know much about either of these people before this book but the book gives good insight into what their very stormy relationship was like.Overall, the story is very interesting. I love historical fiction that takes on real-life characters, especially o [...]

    4. This reads like a flowery entry (this happened and then this happened, etc.). I was hoping for something that might offer some true and/or provocative insights on anything (such as race or love or art or sex or gender). Alas. I should probably read some Jean Rhys or Maryse Conde to cleanse my brain.

    5. Black Venus is a novel about Charles Baudelaire and his mistress, Jeanne Duval. Charles Baudelaire was not a man of affluence, however, he yearned to be so. He desired the luxuries of life and strived for it, even at the risk of his own reputation. He spent money lavishly, gambling and womanizing, even indulging in drink and drugs. His mother and stepfather often came to his rescue when his debts got out of control and imposed a strict allowance, severely restricting him. And then in an obscure [...]

    6. BLACK VENUS is a fictional account of the volatile relationship between French poet Charles Baudelaire and his muse, Jeanne Duval. Duval was his greatest joy, yet also the cause of much pain and grief in life. She was the daughter of a French plantation owner and Hatian slave, who made her way to Paris in the mid-1800s. Baudelaire first became infatuated with her while she was working as a cabaret singer, soon becoming his inspiration for his most famous and controversial work, Les Fleurs du Mal [...]

    7. Black Venus: James MacManusFlowers have a certain alluring aroma when they are newly placed in a vase. The scent is pure, the color perfect and the stems perfectly straight and pronounced. But, after a while the color loses its luster, the scent fades and the odor might become rancid or more pungent. The stem begins to wilt and the flower might begin to crumble. But, in between the flower creates a spirit or mind of its own as the owner watches it take on its own life, breath and personality. Fl [...]

    8. Well researched and written novel set in Paris during a turbulent time. I found it so depressing though that I struggled with it. In no way does this mean it isn't a good book, just that the subject matter was dark, complex and sad.

    9. When I read the synopsis for Black Venus, it immediately grabbed my attention, with its mentions of Paris, artists, and bohemians, I immediately thought Toulouse-Lautrec and the Moulin Rouge. It turns out I was thinking a couple of decades too late, as Baudelaire lived from 1821 until 1867 and Toulouse-Lautrec was only born in 1864, but the spark of interest had been lit. The subject matter of Charles Baudelaire and his muse Jeanne Duval would suggest a romantic story; however, James MacManus gi [...]

    10. They were an unlikely pair to even meet. Charles Baudelaire was a French society gentleman, from a family with wealth and some social standing. He was part of the Bohemian crowd of artists and authors who frequented the Paris nightclubs to indulge their appetites and argue about art into the night. Men like Dumas, Balzac and Manet were his friends and acquaintances. Jeanne Duval was a Haitian cabaret singer, the product of a liaison between a French plantation owner and one of his slaves. She ha [...]

    11. Beaudelaire in nineteenth century Paris- a Bohemian haven for artistsLiving off his inheritance, Beaudelaire is an aspiring poet who lives his life high on late nights filled with alcohol, drugs and ladies. Impeccably dressed, this distinguished-looking young man in his early twenties enjoys his nights out on the town- and especially this particular cabaret where he meets the love, and demise, of his life.Jeanne Duval escaped Haiti with high hopes of becoming a famous singer. Born from the relat [...]

    12. A fictional account of daring but impoverished poet Charles Baudelaire and his lover and muse, Jeanne Duval, Black Venus is an intriguing look at Paris of the 19th century, when ground breaking artists, writers and poets frequented cafes and nightclubs, feasting on drugs and alcohol and attempting to right the political world. During one of his visits to a club, society gentleman Baudelaire meets captivating singer Duval and they embark upon an unlikely and stormy relationship that lasts for man [...]

    13. I read this because 19 y/o me was obsessed with Baudelaire because that's just what happens when you're 19. Anyhow this book was strangely boring and unemotional, given the tempestuous relationship between the two main characters that seemed so weird. I think the biggest issue I had with this book is that it tries to tell the whole story but in doing so it gets lost and caught up in too many other stories and so it just doesn't come across well. I remember reading this and suddenly in the story [...]

    14. I knew little about Charles Baudelaire and Jeanne Duval. It was a pleasure to get to know them in Black Venus. They were a seductive and intriguing couple that needed one another. Sadly they also annihilated one another. Their tempestuous relationship is at the heart of this novel.Jeanne Duval was essential to Baudelaire's poetry. Without her there would have been no Les Fleurs du Mal. The literary significance of that work cannot be understated.Baudelaire was charged with obscenity after Les Fl [...]

    15. MY GOD. I'm so ecstatic that I'm finished with this book. I felt such a responsibility towards it that I should finish and enjoy the history behind it, but I tell you, this book is frighteningly dull. I recall seeing a review on here that likened the book to a flowery excerpt: that's exactly what it is. This book dresses up a historical account with dialogue and inner monologue but it just fails to Immerse the reader into the stories of the characters. The author clearly did his research and tr [...]

    16. 19th century Paris was a hotbed of creativity for both artists and writers alike. In his novel, "Black Venus," author James MacManus takes his readers deep into the heart of the era that saw the likes of Manet, Balzac, Dumas, Hugo rise to the top of their professions, while their contemporary, the poet Charles Baudelaire, struggled with infamy and scandal as he embarked on a tumultuous affair with the mysterious Haitian cabaret singer Jeanne Duval. Before reading this novel, I was unfamiliar wit [...]

    17. An extraordinary recreation of literary and bohemian Paris in the mid-19th century. Fewer people know of Baudelaire than of novelists like Balzac or Hugo, whose sweeping stories traveled in a way that Baudelaire's poetry didn't. Almost none at all know that he spoke perfect English and translated Edgar Poe's stories so well into French that everyone, Poe included, considered the French version superior to the original. Baudelaire's love story with Jeanne Duval could only have happened in Paris, [...]

    18. The book is totally a jurney that I thought it would never end. So much depth in it. I was facing a quite hard time to finish the book. It started quite boring at first and slowly blooming into something I love to be in. I love the Paris setting in it. The story brought me to many lovely places that I wish I would be. Paris is just lovely and I think it's a good place for some romance story to take place. Relationship between Charles and Jean for me, is so complex. The storyline is more than jus [...]

    19. I have to say I ran hot and cold with this book. I found the characters memorable but all unlikable. They were all quite shallow, which I believe MacManus intended. The descriptions of the grittier side of Paris, France in the 19th century were great. However, I found the plot lacking and the pace boring in many places in the book.When I was approached to review this book, I jumped at the chance. The description made it sound so good. However, for me, it was disappointing. I did preserver and fi [...]

    20. A biographical sketch that struggles unsuccessfully to become a novel of passions with a historical background. The story is fascinating but unfortunately it’s told in a conventional style that doesn’t convey the spirit of the place and time. In part it seems a romance written for 19th century teenagers, and when it tries to be “bohemian” in an effort to make the scenes more real it sounds vulgar. Most situations and dialogs would perfectly fit in a telenovela. The figures of Baudelaire [...]

    21. I vey rarely give one star and even now, I was torn between one and two stars. The descriptions of the period and setting were very good. I'm not very familiar with 1850s Paris, so I found those descriptions to be very helpful. Other than that, the story really fell flat. I wasn't able to get a good feel for the internal whys of Charles and Jeanne, it felt like I was simply watching a scene in a window. You see what's happening but you don't know why. Also, there were massive jumps in time that [...]

    22. Before reading Black Venus by James MacManus I had never heard of poet Charles Baudelaire. His most famous work Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil) was inspired by his Haitian mistress Jeanne Duval. As a white man living in Paris during the mid-1800s, it was quite scandalous for someone like Baudelaire to associate with such a woman. She was the product of a former slave and her owner, who made a life for herself as a nightclub singer. They were never married, but in a decade-plus of compani [...]

    23. I feel like I should have liked this book more. The characters were interesting and who could resist a fictionalized version of Baudelaire and his mistress, Jeanne Duval? It had lots of good things in it poetry, love, legal troubles, revolution, drugs and some nice writing, too, but for me, for some reason it seemed to leave out a lot of the answers to questions that I would have liked to have answered for me. And I would have liked to know more about Jeanne when she was younger. Oh, and every c [...]

    24. More like 2.5 stars. Within the first 50 pages, I couldn't stand Baudelaire, but even by the end of the book, I didn't feel very connected with Jeanne Duval either. The time shifts confused me too. The overall arc of the story didn't hold my attention well, but the author did a nice job bringing discrete scenes to life. Also the background is interesting--mid-19th century Paris was chaotic, the bohemians--even Manet--did more drugs than I realized, and there's the trial against Baudelaire and hi [...]

    25. I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.I liked the description of 19th century Paris & the seedy clubs & underworld scene & that this was based on real historical figures. However I would have like liked more insight into the characters feelings & motivations, especially about Jeanne. It must have been terribly hard for her as a mixed race woman with no family, coming from a slave colony into 19th century Paris but I don't feel [...]

    26. This book about Charles Baudelaire and his mistress Jeanne Duval was as chaotic and squalid as the time in which it takes place. How decadent were the wealthy and hypocritical. I do appreciate that the author portrayed Jeanne Duval as a person in her own right and shared some of who she might have been. She obviously made quite an impression on Baudelaire if those lush, decadent, intense poems were truly inspired by her.

    27. 4.5 stars. Black Venus is a mesmerizing fictionalized novel about French poet Charles Baudelaire and his oftentimes turbulent relationship with his mistress and muse Jeanne Duval. James MacManus brilliantly incorporates fact and fiction into an incredibly fascinating story that I found impossible to put down. Please click HERE to read my review in its entirety.

    28. Time, place! For those there was a fair sense of ambiance and description. I got a feel for and connection to the setting.The characters themselves, not at all. I never found them either understandable or likable. Actually rather stupid and insipid to be living at any degree by their wit.This was absolutely not my cup of tea. I only gave it the second star because of the Paris descriptions. I had to force myself to finish this book.

    29. I really liked this book. I think the author did a great job of giving both perspectives of the relationship. He did a good job writing about how a woman might feel while she's trapped in a relationship with someone like Charles Baudelaire. Not too much flowery description, which I appreciate. Just a well-told story that made me want to know more. However, when I googled Jeanne Duval, she didn't seem to have very big boobs. That part made me wonder about the author a bit.

    30. I normally don't like books set in France, especially Paris. Paris is normally portrayed as a really impressive important place, a place that almost takes over the novel, with characters who aren't really likable. This is not that book. Paris is the setting without being a character. The characters aren't necessarily likable, but you know going in that you don't have to like them. You do understand them pretty well. It was a quick enjoyable read.

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