“A deeply empathic exploration of obsession and art, genius and madness. . . . Morgan’s ability to bring each character to life is virtuosic.” —The Washington Post Book World
In 1827 Harriet Smithson, a beautiful young Irish actress, determined to avoid the traditional route to stardom via the manager’s bed, joins an English company in the bold experiment of taking Shakespeare to Paris.
With the ferment of revolution in the air, the new generation is longing for passionate, spontaneous art. And to Harriet’s astonishment, it is embodied in her—La Belle Irlandaise. In the midst of this frenzy she finds herself pursued by a strange, intense young composer named Hector Berlioz. So begins a painful and profound love affair. She is his muse; his idée fixe; his obsession. And Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, directly inspired by Harriet, will change music forever.
“[Jude Morgan] deserves to be widely acknowledged as a writer to be read.” —The Washington Post Book World
“Morgan’s modernist style . . . nicely captures the multiple levels of consciousness a performer juggles on stage and gives the novel real texture.” —Publishers Weekly
“With empathy and formidable imagination, [Passion brings] the Romantic era to full, resplendent life.” —Entertainment Weekly, Grade: A