In the epilogue, Fonteyn states that “everything of importance about my life is somewhere in this book. I have not concealed anything. If there are omissions, they were simply superseded by stronger memories which crowded them out of the picture.” Her intention, therefore, was to present a factual account of her life and world events during her reign in the theater. She made every attempt, she claims, not to fictionalize these events.
This approach is a lesson to all readers of Margot Fonteyn. The author believes that artists must take their art seriously but not take themselves seriously at all. Fonteyn constantly indicates that she has always found her fame to be a difficult thing to grasp and was amazed at the affection that her audiences felt for her. Teenage readers, even if they are not fans of the ballet and Fonteyn, will enjoy and learn from the candid manner in which Fonteyn portrays her life and her field. In so doing, Fonteyn has written a book about how she perceives her profession as only a part of her life, and not necessarily as the most important part.
For the most part, Fonteyn’s memories are positive, with very little discussion of actual hardship, barring the physical injuries that are always of major concern to a dancer. At times, she almost seems to idealize the events of her life and provides the reader with only a superficial look, particularly at her first fifteen years. Nevertheless, the hardships of colleagues, financial and emotional, are addressed, and Fonteyn provides the reader with an insightful look at what many people do in order to achieve the...
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Since Fonteyn’s death in 1991, Margot Fonteyn has served as the major source for background information about this famous dancer. Her autobiography is an excellent informational book on a personal philosophy, on the place that one’s profession should occupy in one’s life, and on the lives of artists involved in the world of ballet.
The philosophy of taking each day as it comes and not worrying about things before they happen is a difficult concept for many young adults. Yet Fonteyn’s autobiography embraces this attitude and encourages readers to do the same. Her philosophy, along with the theme of perseverance, provides an excellent message. The careers of dance, choreography, teaching, set design, and administration are described, revealing valuable insights for those readers who are interested in the theater, particularly in the area of dance, but who desire knowledge regarding the options available to them. Additionally, Fonteyn’s autobiography serves as a valuable educational tool for those readers who believe that they have an incomplete knowledge about ballet as a branch of the fine arts.