JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Summer 2014) finish him self at once' by drinking himself to death'' (16869). No matter how charming she may have seemed in social settings, and no matter how charmed her life may have appeared to outsiders, the more private aspects of this public woman's life call to mind some of the closing lines ´ from Ferenc Molnar's 1920 play, The Swan: ``Your sainted father used to call you his swan. Think often of what it means to be a swan . . . gliding proudly . . . majestically . . . where the moon gleams on the mirror of the water . . . gliding always in that purple radiance . . . and never coming ashore. For when a swan walks . . . when she waddles up the bank . . . then she painfully resembles another bird,'' for on land ´ ``the swan is nothing but an aristocratic duck'' (Ferenc Molnar, Fashions for Men and The Swan: Two Plays, trans. Benjamin Glazer [New York, 1922], 309). Kierner's sympathy for her subject, while certainly well placed, is also well balanced. One of the hallmarks of her biography is its fairness
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
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