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Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Miranda Seymour, author of the award-winning In My Father's House has written many acclaimed novels and biographies, including lives of Mary Shelley, Robert Graves, Ottoline Morrell and Helle Nice, the Bugatti Queen.
I just completed reading a wonderful biography on Virginia Cherrill by the British authoress Miranda Seymour. I knew Virginia Cherrill and this book brought back many good memories and captured her spirit superbly. Unfortunately this book is only published in England, and fortunately, Amazon has many links to book sellers in London for you to procure both hardbound and paperback editions.
Virginia was once one of the most famous Hollywood stars during the 1930s, but this is only one aspect of her exciting life that led from being married to Cary Grant, dating many famous men to eventually marrying the Earl of Jersey in England becoming a Duchess and consequently giving this privileged lifestyle all up for the one love of her life; Florian Martini, a Polish pilot, who flew for the Free-Pols out of England during the WW II. Virginia gave up everything marrying Florian and returned to California to live happily in obscurity in Santa Barbara, California for over 45 years.
During the 1970s and for a short duration, I had the good fortune meeting and renting her guest cottage for two years in Santa Barbara, and I was able to share many wonderful moments with her and Florian. I was fresh out of college and Virginia was like a mother to me constantly in her own manner giving me advice on life and my girlfriends. Often Virginia would get me to be a bartender for several of her famous friends' parties, including the famous Dame Judith Anderson. I stayed in communication with Virginia continually, except for the last few bedridden years, mostly by the telephone, her favorite mode of communication.Read more ›
An excellent biography of actress Virginia Cherrill who is best known for her first film as the blind flower girl in Chaplin's City Lights. While she was in other films, none were as successful and she was not aggressive in following a film career. Her second husband was Cary Grant. Much of the narrative of the book was taken from tape recordings Cherrill made with her caregiver and you felt like Cherrill was telling her own story directly to you. The author also interviewed many who knew or worked with Cherrill. After her divorce from Cary Grant, Cherrill went to England and the book gave you an idea of what life was like for the gentry as Cherrill married the Earl of Jersey. However, with their open marriage you also got the impression that Cherrill had numerous affairs or at least close relationships. During WWII, she met a Polish flier and gave up everything and was married to him for 48 years. Cherrill is discreet in her talks but you still read wonderful stories of Gable and Lombard, John Wayne, David Niven, and so many others. The book was easy to read and provided a good look at Cherrill's life and what things were like in Hollywood in the early 1930's and England before and during the war. It would have been nice to have a summary at the end of all the characters in Cherrill's life and what happened to them.
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I am related to Virginia Cherrill, Adolphus Cherrill was my great great grandfather, and my mom's last name was Cherrill. I did catch inacuracies. I live in Carthage and know much of it's history. However, it was interesting to read more of the family history.
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