The Hunt for Good Children’s Books – Part 13

theothermozart

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4 | PART 5 | PART 6 | PART 7 | PART 8 | PART 9 | PART 10 | PART 11 | PART 12 | PART 13 | PART 14 | PART 15 | PART 16

TITLE: THE OTHER MOZART: THE LIFE OF THE FAMOUS CHEVALIER DE SAINT-GEORGE

AUTHOR:
HUGH BREWSTER

ILLUSTRATOR:
ERIC VELASQUEZ

DESCRIPTION: An amazing account of the extraordinary exploits of a slave born man who rose to become a great fencer, violinist and composer in the Courts of Queen Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI King of France.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: It is rare to encounter a record of the exploits of men of color in the annals of European history. Hugh Brewster presents a tremendous account of a man who rose to the highest levels of achievement in French society at a time when slavery ruled the world. Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-George born to a sugar plantation owner and an enslaved Senegalese mother in the West Indies was trained from his youth to compete with the most privileged and educated young men in the French aristocracy. His skills as a swordsman drew large crowds of admirers including members of the royal court at Versailles. His prowess as a violinist and conductor generated comparisons to Amadeus Mozart and garnered the respect of Josef Haydn who was commissioned by Joseph to create several compositions for his orchestra. Joseph himself wrote operas and composed numerous violin concertos and pieces for symphonies. He was the choice of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI to head the Royal Opera House at Versailles although this did not materialize due to racist protests within the court. As a patriot Joseph raised the first legion of Black Frenchman to fight off an invasion from Austrian forces and supported the early days of the French Revolution in hopes that equality for all people would be achieved. It is exceedingly clear that Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-George deserves a significant place in the annals of history and in the hearts of those who love freedom and equality for all! As I listen to the classical wealth created and performed by this musical genius I am reminded that nobility rises up where it feels like rising up; and that could be just about anywhere! We see this most admirably in the life and contributions of Chevalier de Saint-George!

*To learn more about our learning services and resources visit www.AskDrMarta.com.

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4 | PART 5 | PART 6 | PART 7 | PART 8 | PART 9 | PART 10 | PART 11 | PART 12 | PART 13 | PART 14 | PART 15 | PART 16

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