Black Venus

Title: Black Venus

Author: James MacManus

Publisher: Duckworth Overlook originally Gerald Duckworth & Co.

Publication Date: February 27th 2014

Category: Historical Fiction

Source: Bought it from a closing book store

Rating: 3/5 stars

Source of Featured Image:

An intriguing story about love in Paris between a poet and cabaret singer but it’s not what you think.

‘Black Venus’ is a novel about a nineteenth century love affair between Charles Baudelaire, the scandalous poet and Jeanne Duval as the muse who captured his heart. It is however not your traditional love story where boy meets girl, they fall in love and live happily ever after. It is instead a book about how two different people cope within their relationship and the types of troubles caused because of it.

Throughout the novel, we follow Duval and Baudelaire through their constant battles with the community and with each other. Duval tries to make a living for herself through Baudelaire as he tries to build a positive reputation as a poet. Using each other as a muse for each owns’ benefits, we see how they develop over time into their later years.

It is interesting how James MacManus represents their lives and growth within his novel. The way he clashes the personality of Baudelaire with Duval is quite seamless. And by the end of the novel, we still don’t quite understand their relationship but only what each of them has done for the other. I also quite enjoyed reading about Paris life around them, it definitely gave more perspective into the community of that time and the couple’s life goals. With the main characters, Baudelaire & Duval as historical figures within his novel, they provided great background and depth to the story.

For those who love Paris or want to know more about what life could have been like, I recommend this book to you. If you like reading about love, its challenges and how a poet and cabaret singer can inspire each other during tough times, then this book is for you.

If you have any feedback or comments please provide below or via social media channels. My twitter handle is @LucindaF34 so feel free to follow me on there or get in touch.

Happy reading.

Next Book I’m reviewing: The Devil Delivered and Other Tales by Steven Erikson



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