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Review: The Woman Before Wallis

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Title:  The Woman Before Wallis Author:  Bryn Turnbull Publisher:  Mira Books Pub Date:  7/21/2020 How Acquired:  Edelweiss Synopsis:  Before Edward, Prince of Wales famously abdicated his throne for American divorcee Wallis Simpson, he loved another American woman: Thelma Morgan Furness, sister to the first Gloria Vanderbilt. This is her story. The daughters of an American diplomat, Thelma and Gloria Morgan were stars of New York social scene in the early 1920s, dubbed “the magnificent Morgans.” Both would marry into wealth and privilege beyond their imaginations, Gloria to Reggie Vanderbilt, and Thelma to a viscount. Thelma begins an affair with Edward, the dashing Prince of Wales, that will last nearly five years. Then, in 1934, Thelma's life is upended by her sister Gloria's custody trial — a headline-grabbing drama known as The Matter of Vanderbilt, which dominates global news for months and raises the bar for tabloid sensationalism. Back in New York,

SEDUCTION: Sex, Lies and Stardom in Howard Hughes's Hollywood

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Title: SEDUCTION Sex, Lies and Stardom in Howard Hughes's Hollywood Author: Karina Longworth Publisher: Custom House How obtained:  through the publisher What it's about:  In this riveting popular history, the creator of  You Must Remember This  probes the inner workings of Hollywood’s glamorous golden age through the stories of some of the dozens of actresses pursued by Howard Hughes, to reveal how the millionaire mogul’s obsessions with sex, power and publicity trapped, abused, or benefitted women who dreamt of screen stardom. My thoughts: It's been awhile since I've blogged for which I apologize. 2018 has been a difficult year in many ways for me, as well as a busy one. I started a new job which has been time-consuming as well as working on the Historical Novel Society conference which takes place this coming June in National Harbor, MD. I've also been traveling a great deal which has meant that blogging has fallen to the wayside. Reading, which has nor

Scandalous Review: The Favourite

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The Favourite – starring Olivia Colman (Queen Anne), Emma Stone (Abigail Hill Masham), and Rachel Weisz as Sarah Marlborough. I had totally forgotten that The Favourite was playing at the New York Film Festival until I saw it mentioned in Time Out magazine. So of course, I decided immediately that I needed to see it now and not when it comes out next month. All 8 showings were sold out, but I managed to get a stand-by ticket to the 7:00 pm showing. The film is directed by Yorgos Lanthimos who directed films such as The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer , neither of which I had seen. I read a brief blurb about the film which said that this is probably the most mainstream film he’s ever directed, so take that as you will. The plot:   Early 18th century. England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the coun

Winner of the Royal Wedding Giveaway

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This post was supposed to go up yesterday but I'm telling you, I have a wicked case of jet lag! I will also write up a post later about the Royal Wedding and my trip to London, but for now, can I have a drum roll please: the winner of the Royal Wedding Giveaway is: Wanda Wanda, I will be emailing you off line to get your address and to let you know when you can expect your goodies.

Royal Wedding Giveaway

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Hello everyone! I know it has been a long time since I have blogged but I have an exciting giveaway that I couldn't wait to share with you. May 19th is the Royal Wedding, and I will be heading to Windsor to celebrate. Yes, I'm going to the Royal Wedding, well kind of. I will be amongst the throng of people lining the long walk in order to get a glimpse of this historic couple, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Being there is kind of like full circle for me. My first trip to London was the summer that Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer, and I vividly remember all the excitement around the upcoming nuptials. The day after the wedding, the tour group that I was with, headed up to Scotland and a copy of Diana's dress was already in the window of a department store in Edinburgh! So in honor of the Royal Wedding, I am doing a giveaway. Some of the items in the giveaway include: A copy of American Princess: The Love Story of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry  by Leslie Carr

Nellie Bly: Daredevil Reporter

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“I have never written a word that did not come from my heart. I never shall." Nellie Bly, The Evening-Journal ; January 8, 1922 The young woman who helped launch a new kind of investigative journalism was born Elizabeth Jane Cochran on May 5, 1864. Her father’s death when she was 6 changed her life irrevocably. He left no will so all his assets were sold and the money divided amongst his fourteen children. In the blink of an eye, her family went from living in the largest house in town to having to live in straitened circumstances. Her mother remarried but the marriage was not successful. When her mother took the unusual step of filing for divorce from her second husband, Nellie testified in court about her step-father’s abuse. The experience left her determined to be self-reliant. Forced to leave school when money ran out, she moved with her mother to Pittsburgh, where they ran a boarding house. Her journalistic juices were piqued in 1885 when she   read a newspaper c

April Book of the Month - Ecstasy by Mary Sharratt

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Title:   Ecstasy:   A Novel Author:   Mary Sharratt Publisher:   Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 10, 2018) How acquired:   Edelweiss What’s it about? In the glittering hotbed of turn-of-the-twentieth-century Vienna, one woman’s life would define and defy an era Gustav Klimt gave Alma her first kiss. Gustav Mahler fell in love with her at first sight and proposed only a few weeks later. Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius abandoned all reason to pursue her. Poet and novelist Franz Werfel described her as “one of the very few magical women that exist.” But who was this woman who brought these most eminent of men to their knees? Coming of age in the midst of a creative and cultural whirlwind, young, beautiful Alma Schindler yearns to make her mark as a composer. A brand-new era of possibility for women is dawning and she is determined to make the most of it. But Alma loses her heart to the great composer Gustav Mahler, nearly twenty years her senior. He demands that sh