In her youth Isadora Duncan (1877–1927) more or less created what we now call American modern dance, and she soon became famous for it. She was also a beauty, leaving behind her a trail of glamorous lovers. But by 1927, when she was fifty, all that was over. Duncan was living in a rented studio in Nice. She was barely performing any longer, and years of hard living—above all, heavy drinking—had coarsened her looks. She had no money. She went to parties in order to eat the canapés. Partly, no doubt, to improve her financial situation, she decided to do something that she had talked about for years: write her memoirs.