Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In Margot Fonteyn: Autobiography, Fonteyn re-creates the majority of her life, beginning as a young child and continuing into her fifties. Over a period of fifty-three years as a dancer, Fonteyn traveled across six continents and shared her talents with millions of people. Her autobiography documents these travels in two book sections made up of a total of twenty-three chapters, with each chapter identifying specific, related events within her life. An introduction and an epilogue serve as bookends for her life: One provides information about her family prior to and upon her birth, and the other provides a personal reflection about her written presentation of the people and events affecting her life.

Book 1 is composed of chapters 1 through 12, in which Fonteyn discusses her early life at home and the training in ballet that her mother encouraged when Fonteyn was three years old. Her formal entrance into the Sadler’s Wells Theater at the age of fifteen is detailed, as are her interactions with famous dancers and choreographers such as Ninette de Valois and Frederick Ashton. Fonteyn also describes her first and subsequent meetings with Robert Arias, known as Tito to his friends. Book 1 concludes with Fonteyn, at the age of thirty-four, depicting her total immersion in her work and the point at which the image that she wished to project totally eclipsed her own identity. Photographs from Fonteyn’s private collection illustrating these events...

(The entire section is 414 words.)