Plenty of comment now from readers of ‘A Matter of Doubt – the novel of Claude Bernard’ – about his science, but then even more more about the women in his life!
Some readers say that Fanny – his wife by the arranged marriage – was so right. In no way should Bernard have used vivisection – they say – particularly since she was so against it. After all, it was her money – the dowry – that initially supported his research. Others are aghast at his attitude to his children (he should never have brought them into the world, if he knew that he was going to spend all his time in his laboratory!)
Several have commented on the way I portray his ‘use’ of women – his mother (financial help and sympathy); Fanny (first for her money, and then mainly to satisfy his sexual and domestic needs); Princess Mathilde (for arranging an introduction to his generous benefactor, Louis Napoleon – and who knows what else); Marie Raffalovich (for translation of articles and letters – and who knows what else) – and finally Agnes the maid (for the presumed ‘what else’!)
He was an internationally-praised 19th century scientist – yet apparently I may have portrayed him as a bit of a demon. Do you agree? I am now looking forward to receiving comment on the more recently-released French translation (Un défi sans fin): perhaps the French have different views!
There will be more, once I have had time to think about your comments. Ideas and opinions are welcome here, or on:
See you soon!