Hot Best Seller

The Sewing Circle: Hollywood's Greatest Secret: Female Stars Who Loved Other Women

Availability: Ready to download

This is the documented story of some of the most glamourous women in the world who lived two lives - in public as larger-than-life romantic heroines of the screen, and in private as lesbians or bisexuals. From the early years of the "talkies" through the beginning of the 1950s, they were secretly known as the Sewing Circle, and this is their story. Among them were Marlene This is the documented story of some of the most glamourous women in the world who lived two lives - in public as larger-than-life romantic heroines of the screen, and in private as lesbians or bisexuals. From the early years of the "talkies" through the beginning of the 1950s, they were secretly known as the Sewing Circle, and this is their story. Among them were Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Tallulah Bankhead, Katherine Cornell, Barbara Stanwyck, and Joan Crawford. Others whose secret lives are divulged for the first time: Maude Adams, Lynn Fontanne, Myrna Loy, Edith Head, Janet Gaynor, Jill Esmond, Elsa Lanchester, Isadora Duncan, Laurette Taylor, Libby Holman, Marjorie Main, Agnes Moorehead, and Dame Judith Anderson.


Compare

This is the documented story of some of the most glamourous women in the world who lived two lives - in public as larger-than-life romantic heroines of the screen, and in private as lesbians or bisexuals. From the early years of the "talkies" through the beginning of the 1950s, they were secretly known as the Sewing Circle, and this is their story. Among them were Marlene This is the documented story of some of the most glamourous women in the world who lived two lives - in public as larger-than-life romantic heroines of the screen, and in private as lesbians or bisexuals. From the early years of the "talkies" through the beginning of the 1950s, they were secretly known as the Sewing Circle, and this is their story. Among them were Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Tallulah Bankhead, Katherine Cornell, Barbara Stanwyck, and Joan Crawford. Others whose secret lives are divulged for the first time: Maude Adams, Lynn Fontanne, Myrna Loy, Edith Head, Janet Gaynor, Jill Esmond, Elsa Lanchester, Isadora Duncan, Laurette Taylor, Libby Holman, Marjorie Main, Agnes Moorehead, and Dame Judith Anderson.

30 review for The Sewing Circle: Hollywood's Greatest Secret: Female Stars Who Loved Other Women

  1. 5 out of 5

    R.J.

    I don't know why people cite **this** book as THE one that outs Judy Garland, Barbara Stanwyck, Crawford, Kate Hepburn and a host of other Hollywood actresses as lesbians or bisexual. The reporting is flimsy, without foundation (no actual observations by anyone just speculation based on what? Okay Stanwyck shared a hotel room with her female manager once when a hotel was full. . yeah okay THAT makes her gay). The chapters on Stanwyck and Garland are filled with fluff about other stuff. I'm not a I don't know why people cite **this** book as THE one that outs Judy Garland, Barbara Stanwyck, Crawford, Kate Hepburn and a host of other Hollywood actresses as lesbians or bisexual. The reporting is flimsy, without foundation (no actual observations by anyone just speculation based on what? Okay Stanwyck shared a hotel room with her female manager once when a hotel was full. . yeah okay THAT makes her gay). The chapters on Stanwyck and Garland are filled with fluff about other stuff. I'm not adverse to the idea of any person being one way or another, I just hate shoddy journalism--I remember reading Madsen's bio of Stanwyck years ago where his sources were the National Enquirer! ugh! The recent bios on Hepburn (by Mann and Lessing) set much higher standards with factual details, specific accounts by people who are named and several consistent observations by lifelong friends/acquaintances, not unnamed, paid hangerons or dreamt up observations made whilst typing.

  2. 5 out of 5

    AZ (Saïd)

    This is a very appealing book, and certainly something that would seem to be useful as an academic source or even just for fun. However, I was incredibly disappointed by the lack of accurate scholarship displayed, particularly in relation to claims reliant on flimsy or unconfirmed evidence. Retroactively ascribing labels to someone's sexuality after their death, particularly when they lived during a very different time period (this book was published in 1994, and the primary subjects cover are al This is a very appealing book, and certainly something that would seem to be useful as an academic source or even just for fun. However, I was incredibly disappointed by the lack of accurate scholarship displayed, particularly in relation to claims reliant on flimsy or unconfirmed evidence. Retroactively ascribing labels to someone's sexuality after their death, particularly when they lived during a very different time period (this book was published in 1994, and the primary subjects cover are all Golden-Era Hollywood actresses), is a delicate situation. It's one of the reasons why the word "queer" can be so useful in modern Queer Studies—the word "lesbian" used to mean any woman who had sexual relationships with other women, regardless of what genders that women was romantically interested in; similarly, "gay" men were often in relationships with and even married to women, and it's almost always impossible to know if these men were in reality bisexual or just closeted or even just succumbing to the pressure of heteronormativity. "Lesbian" used to be a thing you did, not a thing you were (think Tallulah Bankhead, who was apparently fond of introducing herself at parties by saying, "I'm a lesbian, and what do you do?"). "Bisexual" used to mean intersex. The definitions of words change, our understanding of human sexuality changes, and the terminology we use to describe ourselves changes. Using the word "queer" to refer to any non-normative sexuality or sexual expression is often the safest and most accurate route to take. The tone of this book is that of a gossip column. Madsen uses as "evidence" that Barbara Stanwyck was a lesbian, for example, the fact that she once shared a hotel room with her (female) manager. This is tabloid-level assumption-making. The reporting is weak even by the loosest journalistic standards—there are no first-hand sources, no second-hand sources, no interviews with these women or their partners or even their friends and family, no revealing correspondence or journals, no photographs or witness accounts. Again: this book was published in 1994, and since then more evidence has been collected to corroborate the sexualities of many of these women, but being retroactively proven right does not excuse poor journalism. All this book provides is speculation based on rumour and hearsay, no solid foundation and no facts. Unfortunately, it's true that much hard evidence is lacking in instances like these. The simple and tragic truth is that many queer people were very secretive about their sexuality, typically for safety or privacy concerns. This is unfortunate, but it's also the reality of the situation, and something queer historians have to grapple with and address when studying queer history. It's altogether far too easy to make unfounded assumptions about someone's personal life, particularly when that person is a celebrity and a parasocial relationship can be created. And it's tempting to capitulate to confirmation bias when searching out people who are "like you." Believe me, I understand that. The fact that this book is so poorly put together is a real shame, because academic research on queer history, particularly in regards to queer women, is sorely lacking even today. But the truth of the matter is that academic work has high standards for a very good reason, and if you can't support your hypothesis with strong evidence, your work isn't going to be that credible. For now, I would recommend The Celluloid Closet, Coming Out Under Fire, Vita & Virginia, Becoming Visible, Les Invisibles, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, The Letters of Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf, Études et préludes (Renée Vivien), Hidden from History, A Queer History of the United States, To Believe in Women, and Epistemology of the Closet, all of which are books in my personal library which touch on the topic of queer women in Hollywood during this time period.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rama

    Women who loved women during 20s/30s Hollywood. This is a highly readable book, and the author has way with words when she describes feminists of 1920s Hollywood who were redefining sexuality and relationships. This work is based on earlier publications about Hollywood lesbians, and many paragraphs and sentences look awfully similar to “The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood” by Diana McLellan, which was published in 2013. It appears that this book may have been a source for many stories described Women who loved women during 20s/30s Hollywood. This is a highly readable book, and the author has way with words when she describes feminists of 1920s Hollywood who were redefining sexuality and relationships. This work is based on earlier publications about Hollywood lesbians, and many paragraphs and sentences look awfully similar to “The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood” by Diana McLellan, which was published in 2013. It appears that this book may have been a source for many stories described by Ms. McLellan. For a quick read, I would recommend this book over McLellan’s, because the latter runs to about 506 pages! Some of the most interesting stories is probably about the ravishing ladies of golden era; Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Tallulah Bankhead. They were all bisexuals but had strong leanings towards women. The greatest "conqueror" of sewing circle was probably poet and playwright Mercedes De Acosta who had numerous gorgeous ladies in her count, from Europe to California. Her affairs with some of the well-known ladies like; Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Alla Nazimova, Eva Le Gallienne, Ona Munson, Natacha Rambova, Lilyan Tashman and many more “good-time Charlene(s).” Sexuality was another role for many women, and for vanity and fear of discovery some of them had lavender marriages with gay men so that they could form secret alliances. Women like Tallulah Bankhead and Patsy Kelly made no secrets of their Sapphic tendencies; in fact Bankhead was very vocal about her gender orientation. Isadora Duncan is another bisexual and a longtime lover of Mercedes de Acosta who openly expressed her joy in lesbian relationship. She wrote sensual lesbian poems about Mercedes before her untimely death in Paris in an auto accident at the age of 50. Once she waved a red scarf and bared her breast on stage in Boston, proclaiming, "This is red! So am I.” Alla Nazimova was famous for organizing gay orgies at the famous “Garden of Allah,” a high-priced apartment complex on Sunset strip in Los Angeles. She threw caution to the wind and spent her fortune lavishly to produce her movie, “Salome” that featured an all gay cast. Diana Wynyard, one of the first English ladies to become a member of the sewing circle, enjoyed the warmth of ladies hugs in sunny California. There were rumors that Barbara Stanwyck tried to seduce her future rival, Bette Davis when they were filming Edna Ferber’s 1932 movie “So Big.” Tallulah Bankhead’s wild flossy beauty attracted some of the most interesting lesbians of 1920s that included Katharine Cornell, Laurette Taylor, Sybil Thorndike, Beatrice Lillie, and Harlem’s Gladys Bentley, a three pound black Mae West, to put it mildly, donned in tuxedo and known to have married a woman in New Jersey in a civil ceremony in 1920s! Libby Holman is another lady who had passionate affairs with Du Pont heiress Louisa Carpenter and later married tobacco heir Zachary Smith Reynolds. Holman was charged with murder when her husband was found shot, but later the charges were dropped. She established a foundation for civil rights movement to the memory of her deceased son. Dr. Martin Luther King was the first to receive the grants to travel to India to study Mahatma Gandhi’s path of non-violence and civil disobedience. Paramount’s costume designer Edith Head and her gay husband Fox director Wiard “Bill” Ihnen pursued their homo sexuality for decades. Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck had failed marriages and gave them time to seek comfort in the tender arms of gorgeous females. Sexless Linda and Cole Porter apparently helped his career and the couple’s homosexuality. Jill Esmond struggled to accept her lesbian orientation, but remained married to actor Lawrence Olivier for years. Their marriage was newer consummated. Katherine Hepburn, Janet Gaynor, Lili Damita, and Agnes Moorhead were daisy chains of deceit. Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester; Vincente Minnelli and Judy Garland were also lavender couples. Alla Nazimova's marriage with actor Charles Bryant; Mercedes De Acosta with Abram Poole; Lilyan Tashman with Edmond Lowe, and Rudolph Valentino with Jean Acker and later with Natacha Rambova are well-known examples of lavender marriages. The book is filled with lot of interesting stories, and I recommend to anyone interested in the history of Hollywood and the movies (and theater) of golden era.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Graceann

    Terrible book - apparently it's entertaining to label actresses as lesbians (not that being gay is a bad thing, but come on) based on ridiculously flimsy evidence and innuendo. Stupid waste of time and paper. Terrible book - apparently it's entertaining to label actresses as lesbians (not that being gay is a bad thing, but come on) based on ridiculously flimsy evidence and innuendo. Stupid waste of time and paper.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    This was some of the poorest writing I have ever read. I didn’t object to the gossip rag quality of the information. I had issues with the lack of cohesiveness. Quite often a sentence would pop up in the middle of a paragraph that had no relationship to the content of the paragraph...it drove me a little nuts. I feel as if no editor ever read this book before publication. I love reading about film history and while I enjoyed learning more about the private lives of some of my favorite actresses, This was some of the poorest writing I have ever read. I didn’t object to the gossip rag quality of the information. I had issues with the lack of cohesiveness. Quite often a sentence would pop up in the middle of a paragraph that had no relationship to the content of the paragraph...it drove me a little nuts. I feel as if no editor ever read this book before publication. I love reading about film history and while I enjoyed learning more about the private lives of some of my favorite actresses, the poor quality of the writing would prevent me from recommending this book to anyone. I’m certain there must be more well written books on this subject.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    While I love the glamor, privilege, and intrigue of old Hollywood, this book didn't quite do it for me. I understand that, due to the nature of these relationships, there wouldn't be a huge record, but there has to be more evidence than what Madsen provided. Where are the sources? I thought a book like this would be chock-full of research on interviews (even if they were told second-hand), correspondence, and interesting footers, but there was none of that. And if there weren't any sources, addr While I love the glamor, privilege, and intrigue of old Hollywood, this book didn't quite do it for me. I understand that, due to the nature of these relationships, there wouldn't be a huge record, but there has to be more evidence than what Madsen provided. Where are the sources? I thought a book like this would be chock-full of research on interviews (even if they were told second-hand), correspondence, and interesting footers, but there was none of that. And if there weren't any sources, address why that might be. Don't just gather a bunch of rumors and call it fact. Also, the writing style was kind of bland. This is a fascinating topic- decadent lifestyles of the rich and famous who could and did eschew American moral tradition- but the book doesn't do it justice.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Corrie

    If you are interested in Hollywood lesbians of the 20ies and 30ies, The Sewing Circle is a fabulous wealth of information. There’s a strong resemblance with The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood by Diana McLellan but as that was published in 2013, it appears that she took a very ‘close look’ at The Sewing Circle for her source material. Her book is a whopping 506 pages though. A lot of famous names (and their stories) are in here: Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Tallulah Bankhead, Joan Crawford, Bar If you are interested in Hollywood lesbians of the 20ies and 30ies, The Sewing Circle is a fabulous wealth of information. There’s a strong resemblance with The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood by Diana McLellan but as that was published in 2013, it appears that she took a very ‘close look’ at The Sewing Circle for her source material. Her book is a whopping 506 pages though. A lot of famous names (and their stories) are in here: Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Tallulah Bankhead, Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck, Mercedes De Acosta, Alla Nazimova, Eva Le Gallienne, Natacha Rambova and many, many more. I recommend it to anyone interested in the history of Hollywood and the movies (and theater) of golden era. Themes: so many lesbians and gays in the movie industry, this book gives your brain a bit of a work-out, so many names to keep track off, I just love Tallulah Bankhead, and found out I didn't really care much for Garbo after getting to know her better. 4 stars

  8. 5 out of 5

    Margret

    I bought it in clearance and beside I waste my money it was a mistake. This is an awful book, it's only a gossip column. This book try to trashed Hollywood stars who are dead and can't defends themselves. A waste of my time and I didn't want to finish it. Terrible and who cares who's lesbian. Shameful book. I bought it in clearance and beside I waste my money it was a mistake. This is an awful book, it's only a gossip column. This book try to trashed Hollywood stars who are dead and can't defends themselves. A waste of my time and I didn't want to finish it. Terrible and who cares who's lesbian. Shameful book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Linking the hidden (or in some cases not so hidden) world of lesbians in the golden age of Hollywood, with a history of Hollywood, and a socialogical/psycholigical look at the time period, is no small task, but is handled deftly by Axel Madsen. This great history reads easily, includes great anecdotes as well as well researched history. A great read for anyone interested in LGBTQI and/or Hollywood history.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lara

    Spoilers for old Hollywood below! Don't say I didn't warn you! The main issue with this book is that it's 24 years old now. We all know now that Garbo was a lesbian and Dietrich was bi and Joan Crawford would bang anything and anyone that would get her famous and that the famed Hepburn-Tracy romance was a lesbian and a repressed gay man affectionately using each other as beards. None of this is as thrilling and titillating as it was in the 90s, and there are also no happy endings. Spoilers for old Hollywood below! Don't say I didn't warn you! The main issue with this book is that it's 24 years old now. We all know now that Garbo was a lesbian and Dietrich was bi and Joan Crawford would bang anything and anyone that would get her famous and that the famed Hepburn-Tracy romance was a lesbian and a repressed gay man affectionately using each other as beards. None of this is as thrilling and titillating as it was in the 90s, and there are also no happy endings.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jj

    I liked the idea, but the editing was terrible ("Greta" was spelled "Great" as the first word of chapter 3) and the writing style sounded like a gossip column. Too much name-dropping, unsupported allegations, and slang. I didn't finish it. I liked the idea, but the editing was terrible ("Greta" was spelled "Great" as the first word of chapter 3) and the writing style sounded like a gossip column. Too much name-dropping, unsupported allegations, and slang. I didn't finish it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fin

    I'm officially proclaiming this one unreadable and moving on. Got to page 154 of 216. I love a good name drop as much as the next pretentious twit, but this book dispenses with all else, including paragraph transitions and grammatically sensical sentence construction. I'm officially proclaiming this one unreadable and moving on. Got to page 154 of 216. I love a good name drop as much as the next pretentious twit, but this book dispenses with all else, including paragraph transitions and grammatically sensical sentence construction.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anthony McGill

    Pretty dull and uninteresting. Lots of dubious facts which made it a tiresome and "sus" read. I was interested in the subject but in the end I shrugged it off with a "who cares?" Very disappointing book from Axel Madsen who wrote an excellent William Wyler biography in 1973. Pretty dull and uninteresting. Lots of dubious facts which made it a tiresome and "sus" read. I was interested in the subject but in the end I shrugged it off with a "who cares?" Very disappointing book from Axel Madsen who wrote an excellent William Wyler biography in 1973.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    Felt like fiction and speculation dressed up as fact. Not only that, it felt a little intrusive as I read, but might just be me? Take it all with a grain of salt, that much was clear. Overall not satisfied, but it wasn’t a complete wreak either, just something I wouldn’t recommend.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Evelina

    This book is like if there had been celebrity gossip blogs in the 1930s and 1940s.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brenna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is a product of it's time for sure, but besides the issues with the mainly gossip based stories, I think the real issue is the poor writing. The author jumps from decade to decade, person to person, and if just listing as many names as possible in one paragraph was an Olympic sport, they would take gold. If you have an encyclopedic knowledge of golden age Hollywood, maybe it will be less of a slog, but I found it way to clunky to enjoy half the time. The writer does well by creating comp This book is a product of it's time for sure, but besides the issues with the mainly gossip based stories, I think the real issue is the poor writing. The author jumps from decade to decade, person to person, and if just listing as many names as possible in one paragraph was an Olympic sport, they would take gold. If you have an encyclopedic knowledge of golden age Hollywood, maybe it will be less of a slog, but I found it way to clunky to enjoy half the time. The writer does well by creating compelling introductions and conclusions to each chapter, but fails to weave them together satisfactorily. And the point tends to get lost halfway through anyway. I did enjoy the poignant concluding chapter. Though it did feel like a sudden switch in genre since half of that chapter was summarizing studies on gay men and lesbians in the 70s and 80s. If anything, the book is a starting place for this subject (a clunky one, but a starting place nonetheless) and does source some interesting books I am going to check out. It introduced me to lesbians of yore I was not familiar as well.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Creolecat

    This has to be taken with a grain of salt. Some of this is just plain nonsense.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Gibson

    Fun for its gossip value, and some great quotes, but poorly written and all over the place. I was disappointed.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    Perfect companion book to The Celluloid Closet". Perfect companion book to The Celluloid Closet".

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    if u are also suffering from lack of gossip rn this is the perfect book. lots of salacious gossip about who slept with who in old hollywood, it's so great if u are also suffering from lack of gossip rn this is the perfect book. lots of salacious gossip about who slept with who in old hollywood, it's so great

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    The Sewing Circle is a history of women who loved women in Golden Age Hollywood. I found it on a list of recs for lesbian history, and kept it on my want-to-read despite the very mixed reviews. "Sometimes, reviews and ratings are unnecessarily harsh on LGBT works!" I thought. "Especially if people got weird and defensive about their favorite Old Hollywood celebrities being linked with lesbianism!" Unfortunately, my optimism was misplaced. The Sewing Circle is poorly edited, shallow, and gossipy. The Sewing Circle is a history of women who loved women in Golden Age Hollywood. I found it on a list of recs for lesbian history, and kept it on my want-to-read despite the very mixed reviews. "Sometimes, reviews and ratings are unnecessarily harsh on LGBT works!" I thought. "Especially if people got weird and defensive about their favorite Old Hollywood celebrities being linked with lesbianism!" Unfortunately, my optimism was misplaced. The Sewing Circle is poorly edited, shallow, and gossipy. When I read the Notes section and saw the author's main interview sources, that made sense -- he heavily used gossip journalists. The book as a whole was unsatisfying to me -- I picked it up wanting an in-depth look at how closeting worked in the studio system, with the combined pressure of intense scrutiny and the way the studios protected their money-makers and did not get that. The Sewing Circle is not written by someone who thinks being gay is a crime, but it's written like a hit-piece of the era.  The editing is incredibly poor; there are frequent typos that change the meaning of sentences, and many sentences are borderline incoherent. It's a quick, shallow read, but the frequent errors slow it way down. If you like kind of trashy, gossipy pieces, The Sewing Circle will be more enjoyable for you than it was for me. I was incredibly disappointed at the approach Madsen took to the subject and the execution of it. I do think it's possible to write a version of this book that would appeal to me -- since The Sewing Circle came out, so have several actresses (part of Madsen's reasoning for writing the book was stated to be about the fact that no actresses had come out as of the writing), and Garbo's letters have been opened (they were locked until 2000). Having Garbo's own words would lend weight to Madsen's conviction about her sexuality.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jack Peachum

    One thing I find very interesting about current Hollywood gossip is its fascination with female love-affairs as opposed to the male stars – but then when I was doing my own work I found myself constantly in the company of the female personage. This may have something to do with the “female” personality—but then what do you do when you encounter a “masculine” such as Garbo or Dietrich? I read & studied this book in connection w/ preparing for the publication of my own work—IMPROV: Character Voice One thing I find very interesting about current Hollywood gossip is its fascination with female love-affairs as opposed to the male stars – but then when I was doing my own work I found myself constantly in the company of the female personage. This may have something to do with the “female” personality—but then what do you do when you encounter a “masculine” such as Garbo or Dietrich? I read & studied this book in connection w/ preparing for the publication of my own work—IMPROV: Character Voices of Old Hollywood—a series of Dramatic Monologues from the Golden age of Filmdom-- my work along the same lines, but personal & creative I would suggest that anyone interested in the Sewing Circle or anything connected with the distaff side of the movie industry read this book to get a grounding in film history & proceed from there— indeed, the book is limited in its range. It begins with De Acosta & early Hollywood & goes not far from there. Understand, I make no judgements on connection with the “other” side of Hollywood—I’m simply trying to understand & appreciate what made these wonderful people move & behave in the way they did. I would also argue that it is time we take the wraps off so-called Lesbianism and “deviant behavior” & see it for what it is— another aspect of human activity. The Hollywood crowd were a lot of tremendously talented people and they left us a great legacy and a heap of entertaining works. Our curiosity of their private lives should not blind us to their worth as cultural icons.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    This book is a mess - it goes backward and forward more often than a tennis match. It does not even proceed in chronological order. Where was the editor??? - Oh I forgot the editor was a computer so you have numerous errors such as a sentence that should have had the word "thought" which has instead the word "though". A computer editor only checks to see if a word is a word; it cannot read context!!!! Instead of the subtitle of "Female Stars How Loved Other Women" the replacement should be "Anyo This book is a mess - it goes backward and forward more often than a tennis match. It does not even proceed in chronological order. Where was the editor??? - Oh I forgot the editor was a computer so you have numerous errors such as a sentence that should have had the word "thought" which has instead the word "though". A computer editor only checks to see if a word is a word; it cannot read context!!!! Instead of the subtitle of "Female Stars How Loved Other Women" the replacement should be "Anyone vaguely connected with the film industry in the 1910's to the 1990's who loved anyone vaguely connected with the film industry or not." When it doubt throw in the name Mercedes de Acosta - she must have had a relationship with every lesbian in Europe and the United States... Or Sandy Dennis - how does she relate to "The Sewing Circle"?? How does Fatty Arbuckle's debacle related to the same?????? Only occasionally does book provide information that goes beyond "Hollywood Babylon" or the Inquirer. Very disappointing. Kristi & Abby Tabby

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Jameson

    Kind of a hard slog to get through in places, but meticulously researched, although not a lot of new ground covered. Some sentence structuring was so weirdly awkward I had to re-read over a couple of times to understand, and a lot of petty typos that are always distracting to me. A good source for other sources; I made notes throughout my reading of other books to read and great old films to see. I’m an old, old film lover, so most were familiar to me, but caught some obscurities I had missed an Kind of a hard slog to get through in places, but meticulously researched, although not a lot of new ground covered. Some sentence structuring was so weirdly awkward I had to re-read over a couple of times to understand, and a lot of petty typos that are always distracting to me. A good source for other sources; I made notes throughout my reading of other books to read and great old films to see. I’m an old, old film lover, so most were familiar to me, but caught some obscurities I had missed and actually were able to find on Amazon Prime-so bravo! I WOULD recommend this book for younger people than myself with an interest in turn of the last century gay history in general. The book is thorough, I’ll definitely give it that; starts before the “talkies” and ends pretty much at it’s publishing date, 1995. Oh what a difference 25 years can make! 😕

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Abeel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book fascinated me from start to finish. Learning about gay & lesbian stars who I knew of hide who they were really affected me. As I was someone who was also closeted for years, I couldn’t imagine doing it for most of my life & marrying someone I didn’t love. A lot of them kept this secret unless it was amongst someone in the circle. A lot has changed in the film, TV & real life world since this book has come out which is refreshing seeing where we came from but the writer took me on the t This book fascinated me from start to finish. Learning about gay & lesbian stars who I knew of hide who they were really affected me. As I was someone who was also closeted for years, I couldn’t imagine doing it for most of my life & marrying someone I didn’t love. A lot of them kept this secret unless it was amongst someone in the circle. A lot has changed in the film, TV & real life world since this book has come out which is refreshing seeing where we came from but the writer took me on the the journey from the beginning and I think it’s important for every person Queer or not to understand where we used to be.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ginny Goldberg

    Disappointed. That is the first thing that comes to mind when I say the question, "What did you think?" Disappointed. It started off good and then about 2/3's of the way through it felt like he was grabbing filler from any source he could find and adding it to the book. I was thoroughly disappointed by the time I finished the book. Especially when the very last chapter was basically statistics. Disappointed. That is the first thing that comes to mind when I say the question, "What did you think?" Disappointed. It started off good and then about 2/3's of the way through it felt like he was grabbing filler from any source he could find and adding it to the book. I was thoroughly disappointed by the time I finished the book. Especially when the very last chapter was basically statistics.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Kloda

    I wasn't crazy about the author's writing style. At times, it didn't seem coherent. Also, I wonder if a lot of it is true, because the people written about are no more. So, they couldn't defend themselves. Personally, I believe an actor or actress should be judged on their performance, not their sexual preferences. Even people in the Entertainment business are entitled to a private life. I wasn't crazy about the author's writing style. At times, it didn't seem coherent. Also, I wonder if a lot of it is true, because the people written about are no more. So, they couldn't defend themselves. Personally, I believe an actor or actress should be judged on their performance, not their sexual preferences. Even people in the Entertainment business are entitled to a private life.

  28. 4 out of 5

    julia

    everybody says this book is trash, but it’s not that bad?? it was interesting, but after reading “the girls” by diana mclellan, i don’t feel like i’ve learned much. the book has a lot to cover so it doesn’t dig very deep and mostly names events (like lizabeth scott’s lawsuit against Confidential) but doesn’t spill much tea

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Zaccaria

    A wonderful nonfiction that felt like fiction sometimes giving us glimpses into the lives of some of the most famous closeted stars. Sad and amazing all at once. A must-read for fans of the Old Hollywood actresses and stars like Garbo.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ilena Holder

    Had heard of this book for years, finally bought a copy from Alibris. Boring, second-rate and mainly gossipy info on actresses from days gone by. Not worth a second look. You'll get better (and better researched) info on online tabloids nowadays, Had heard of this book for years, finally bought a copy from Alibris. Boring, second-rate and mainly gossipy info on actresses from days gone by. Not worth a second look. You'll get better (and better researched) info on online tabloids nowadays,

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...