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Neither Angel nor Beast by Francis X.J. Coleman

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1

A SISTER’S BIOGRAPHY

There is no reason to suppose that a member of one’s own family should record a more accurate or benevolent account of one’s life than some impartial spectator of the same period or in some following century. Some of the most rancorous and warped biographies have been written by members of the same family, from the royal houses of Europe to the would-be royal houses of Hollywood. Yet the reasons for turning first to the biography of Pascal written by his sister Gilberte Périer militate against any predisposition against families writing about families. First, Gilberte, who was born in 1620, and was therefore the oldest of Pascal’s three sisters, had never been separated from him for any length of time. Surely such first-hand ...

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