Recommended Reading

"Golden Images"

by Eve Golden (McFarland & Company, Inc., 2001, 229 pages)

It just makes sense that Eve Golden's wonderful essays that have appeared over the past 10 years in Classic Images should be published in book form, and each one of the 41 essays is excellent, as is all of Ms. Golden's writing. Anyone familiar with her book Vamp: The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara (Emprise Publishing, 1996) (also reviewed on this page) knows her writing is both thorough and accurate. She also has an intuitiveness about what we want to know and need to know. Unlike some other writers, she doesn't over-analyze insignificant details about the star or make silly suppositions such as implying that there were sexual connotations when the star hugged a bedpost in a certain film (I won't name the book that was in!). Her short bios, such as the ones included in this book, are well-written and free of frills, no sensationalism or digging for dirt here. No, the book does not avoid the "bad." Reference is made to Clara Bow's alcoholic-abusive father. Jeanne Eagels', Alma Rubens' and Wallace Reid's drug problems are included. The essays also include Olive Thomas' questionable suicide-accidental death and acknowledge William Haines' homosexuality, but these are not the focus of the writings. Ms. Golden is more interested in the star's career and letting us know how the rest of the star's life played out after his or her movie career ended. The selection of essays is excellent, too. There is variety here. Some of the big names on whom we can find entire books are included - Clara Bow, Marion Davies, Alla Nazimova, Colleen Moore, etc. But there are also the "obscure" stars on whom information is difficult to find - May Irwin, Arthur Johnson, Florence LaBadie, Mary Nolan, etc. Each essay runs from 4-7 pages with one or more photos of the star. I like this type of book. George Katchmer's Eighty Silent Films Stars (McFarland & Company, Inc.., 1991) (also reviewed on this page) is a wonderful resource for concise biographies of silent stars, both well-known and little-known. With the passing of Mr. Katchmer, it is good to see Ms. Golden carrying on the tradition. Now that we have this wonderful book available to us, though, the only question is "When will the next one be coming out?" Available from McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Box 611, Jefferson, N.C. 28640 1-800-253-2187 Website:

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