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Books: Margot Fonteyn Biography?

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Hi, I was wondering if anyone knew of any biographies on Margot Fonteyn, or if she wrote an autobiography? Thank you very much.

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Dancenbm, I love Fonteyn's autobiography very much. There are a few parts in it that remind me of an action movie :wub: and yet it's her real life. I hope you enjoy it.

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from what i understand in the u.s.a., there is a new and fairly comprehensive biography of fonteyn coming out soon(?) researched by an author in england, a woman whose name escapes me at the moment. it's been in the works, so far as i can tell, from sometime after fonteyn died.

i BELIEVE it's due out in the fall but i'm not positive; british correspondents here might have more concrete news to report.

needless to remark, books about those w/ whom fonteyn worked closely include much about her as well, i.e. biographies of nureyev and ashton. (julie kavanagh's 'secret muses' about ashton includes much about fonteyn.)

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Her autobiography is great, and has great photos too. Hope you get to read it!

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I just got one from the library yesterday about her... it was written by her, with a copyright date of 1975 I believe... can't wait to read it- and it has a lot of beautiful pictures B)

Edited by dancenbm
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  • 3 months later...

Be sure to read her autobiography. It is great! She lead an amazing life and it is fascinating to read about it.


I have read autobiographies of several famous dancers and they have all been really good, but I think that her's is the best.

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  • 1 month later...

Meredith Daneman's new biography is an interesting book showing a "more interesting" side to Fonteyn. She talks about Dame Margot's "enforced" adulthood at the age of 14 when catapulted into the Vic Wells Company, her affair with Constant Lambert and certainly gives a greater impression of Fonteyn the "person" rather than as a revered goddess.


Is there anyone out there old enough to remember Meredith Daneman's novel A Chance to Sit Down? I read it some 20 or 25 years ago and it left such a lasting impression. The novel tells of life in the corps de ballet of a provincial ballet company and I believe that many of the issues mentioned still hold true today.


Ms Daneman is an Australian who trained at the Royal Ballet School before returning to dance with the Australian Ballet so she writes from a dancer's perspective.

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Lori64, thanks for telling us about Daneman's new Fonteyn biography. I'm looking forward to it. I've always heard dribs and drabs of Fonteyn's less-than-"G"-rating life. I hope this bio is written respectfully nevertheless. We are all imperfect and that's often what makes us recognize the humanity in each other.


I'd also never heard of Meredith Daneman's novel so I now have TWO new ballet books to read! Thank you for telling us about them. :wacko:

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
I haven't read the book yet but it should be reiterated that this is not a book for a young teen.  :flowers:


Hmm...............I'm probably about 75% of the way through the book - it is actually better that I initially thought it was - it really is very fascinating and very well written. I'm not sure that a young teen would find it interesting though - too many references to obscure ancinet history! :D


However, initially, I was going to lend it to my mother-in-law but I would say that it probably is very unsuitable for someone in their late 70's reading about an idol!


So.........my opinion so far - well worth reading if you have already read Fonteyn's autobiography. There are some very interesting anecdotes - such as Fonteyn's amazement the first time she saw Galina Ulanova dance and how she felt the need to "equal her" rather than to "better her". Also the fascinating details on Dame Ninette de Valois' "destruction" of the careers of numerous ballerinas!

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