Sarah Bernhardt’s family myth

The ancestry of Sarah Bernhardt, the “uncrowned queen of drama” of the early 1900’s, is a must for any-one interested in the famous actress and for those who are interested in the history of crime in early 19th-century. Her biography is a mix of fact and fiction, with the emphasis on the latter. No author deeply researched her backgrounds. This book will make clear that most of these “facts” are part of the myth Sarah was so eager to create. No wonder. Sarah Bernhardt’s grandfather Moritz Bernardt was one of the most evasive criminals of his time. This book reveals how Moritz Bernardt became a criminal vagabond, and describes his wheelings and dealings and the repercussions these had on his family.

Harmen Snel (1958) is senior archivist at the Amsterdam City Archives. He has published important source material on Jewish genealogy and demography, among which: Trouwen in Mokum/Jewish Marriages in Amsterdam 1598-1811(1991), Joodse voornamen Amsterdam/Jewish first names in Amsterdam (1996), Index van de joodse begraafplaats Muiderberg van 1812 tot 7850 (1997), Joodse achternamen in Amsterdam/Jewish surnames in Amsterdam 1669-1850 (2002). He educated numerous people in genealogy and paleography over the last 25 years, and plays a role in several TV-programs on genealogy and history, e.g. in the BBC-program “Who do you think you are?” and its Dutch counterpart “Verborgen verleden”.

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  • Book type: PDF
  • Suitable for: All digital media
  • Author: Harmen Snel
  • Subject: Theater history, genealogy, criminal history
  • Name tags: Sarah Bernhardt, Moritz Bernhardt, Harmen Snel