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Anna Held and the Birth of Ziegfeld's Broadway (Hardback)
  • Anna Held and the Birth of Ziegfeld's Broadway (Hardback)
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Anna Held and the Birth of Ziegfeld's Broadway (Hardback)

(author)
£41.50
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 30/03/2000
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Anna Held (1870?-1918), a tiny woman just over five feet tall with an hourglass figure, was America's most popular musical comedy star during the two decades preceding World War I. In the colourful world of New York theatre during La Belle poque, she epitomized everything that was glamorous, sophisticated, and suggestive about turn-of-the-century Broadway. Overcoming an impoverished life as an orphan to become a music-hall star in Paris, Held rocketed to fame in America. From 1896 to 1910, she starred in hit after hit and quickly replaced Lillian Russell as the darling of the theatrical world. The first wife of legendary producer Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., Held was the brains and inspiration behind his Follies and shared his knack for publicity (she remained famous for years for the milk baths in which she supposedly indulged). Together, they brought the Paris scene to New York, complete with lavish costumes and sets and a chorus of stunningly beautiful women, dubbed ""The Anna Held Girls."" While Held was known for a champagne giggle as well as for her million-dollar bank account, there was a darker side to her life. She concealed her Jewish background and her daughter from a previous marriage. She suffered through her two husbands' gambling problems and Ziegfeld's blatant affairs with showgirls, which eventually led to their divorce. With the theatre scene changing and the outbreak of fighting in Europe, Held returned to France and became a passionate supporter of the war effort. She braved the trenches to entertain troops and deliver medical supplies, and she was once briefly captured by the German army. She returned to the U.S. to star in one last show and to raise funds before dying of cancer a month before the armistice was signed. Anna Held and the Birth of Ziegfeld's Broadway reveals the truth about one of the most remarkable women in the history of theatrical entertainment.

Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 9780813121536
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 591 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Interesting reading for theater lovers and history buffs alike." -- Anniston Star


"A nicely researched, sprightly biography.... Half of the book's fun comes from watching Held's theater-dabbling second husband, Florenz Ziegfeld, become the dynamic producter he is remembered as today." -- Booklist


"Captures effectively Held's unique charm and stage presence and provides new insights into Held's often less-than-glamorous personal and professional life, including her war efforts in France during WWI." -- Choice


"Golden's authoritative biography of Ms. Held's rise from entertainer to wife of Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. is an excellent depiction of a woman famous for her milk baths and heroism during World War I, as well as a colorful picture of American culture." -- Dallas Morning News


"A fascinating look at a dynamic period in Western history through the life of one extraordinary woman." -- Library Journal


"Golden succeeds in communicating Held's charm." -- New York Times Book Review


"A consistently fascinating biography of the most popular star of musical comedy in the years before World War I." -- Palm Beach Post


"In this extravagantly entertaining biography, Golden places Held squarely center stage while painting a meticulously detailed portrait of the dawn of the last century.... Readers will succumb to her vibrantly told tale." -- Publishers Weekly

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