Front Cover
Macmillan, 2007 M12 10 - 374 pages

In 1827 Harriet Smithson, a beautiful and talented young Irish actress, makes an unusual decision. Determined to avoid the traditional route to stardom via the manager’s bed, she 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 a novel kind of 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.

Symphony is an audacious, brilliant, and haunting novel, set against a background of nineteenth-century theatre, Romantic art, music, and revolutionary Europe. But at its heart lies the story of two lives transfigured and destroyed by genius, inspiration, and madness.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - meacoleman - LibraryThing

Terrible writing! I couldn't get past the first chapter. Jude Morgan is a horrible storyteller. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bolero - LibraryThing

Jude Morgan has become one of my favorite authors. It took awhile for this to develop into the strong novel I expected from Morgan on this historical account of Hector Berlioz and his actress love Harriet Smithson. Read full review

Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12

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About the author (2007)

Jude Morgan, who studied writing with Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter, lives in Peterborough, England.

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