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William Gillette, America's Sherlock Holmes [Kindle Edition]

Henry Zecher
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

William Gillette was one of the world's premier actors and playwrights for half a century. As a dramatist he sought complete realism in his sets, dialogue and performance. As an actor he perfected the strong, silent hero persona and put forth the actor’s personality as his most important asset. He also left us the image of Sherlock Holmes and created the template for mysteries on both stage and screen. Yet he is all but forgotten today while less successful playwrights are well remembered. This biography brings him back to life and unveils his enormous successes and accomplishments, as well as a brilliant mind, a sharp wit and bountiful heart that made him beloved as well as admired.

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About the Author

Former journalist and Federal government human resources specialist Henry Zecher is now a freelance writer specializing in historical subjects. Two leading works were an evaluation of German Reformer Martin Luther's impact on the English Bible (published in Christianity Today Magazine, October 23, 1983, republished several more times, recorded for the blind, and finally included in Christian History Magazine's special Martin Luther issue), and the and the first analysis from a biblical and historical point of view of the Papyrus Ipuwer, claimed by many to have been an Egyptian version of the plagues on Egypt described in the Old Testament Book of Exodus (The Velikovskian, A Journal of Myth, History and Science, Vol. III, No. 1, January 1997). His wife, Gay Zurich Zecher, is the founder and president of Art & Soul, Inc., producing personalized water color cartoons and selling scented candles. They live in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and between them have five children, three grandchildren, a cat and a fluctuating number of grand-pets.

Former journalist and Federal government human resources specialist Henry Zecher is now a freelance writer specializing in historical subjects. Two leading works were an evaluation of German Reformer Martin Luther's impact on the English Bible (published in Christianity Today Magazine, October 23, 1983, republished several more times, recorded for the blind, and finally included in Christian History Magazine's special Martin Luther issue), and the first analysis from a biblical and historical point of view of the Papyrus Ipuwer, claimed by many to have been an Egyptian version of the plagues on Egypt described in the Old Testament Book of Exodus (The Velikovskian, A Journal of Myth, History and Science, Vol. III, No. 1, January 1997). His wife, Gay Zurich Zecher, is the founder and president of Art & Soul, Inc., producing personalized water color cartoons and selling scented candles. They live in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and between them have five children, three grandchildren, a cat and a fluctuating number of grand-pets.

Former journalist and Federal government human resources specialist Henry Zecher is now a freelance writer specializing in historical subjects. Two leading works were an evaluation of German Reformer Martin Luther's impact on the English Bible (published in Christianity Today Magazine, October 23, 1983, republished several more times, recorded for the blind, and finally included in Christian History Magazine's special Martin Luther issue), and the first analysis from a biblical and historical point of view of the Papyrus Ipuwer, claimed by many to have been an Egyptian version of the plagues on Egypt described in the Old Testament Book of Exodus (The Velikovskian, A Journal of Myth, History and Science, Vol. III, No. 1, January 1997). His wife, Gay Zurich Zecher, is the founder and president of Art & Soul, Inc., producing personalized water color cartoons and selling scented candles. They live in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and between them have five children, three grandchildren, a cat and a fluctuating number of grand-pets.

Former journalist and Federal government human resources specialist Henry Zecher is now a freelance writer specializing in historical subjects. Two leading works were an evaluation of German Reformer Martin Luther's impact on the English Bible (published in Christianity Today Magazine, October 23, 1983, republished several more times, recorded for the blind, and finally included in Christian History Magazine's special Martin Luther issue), and the first analysis from a biblical and historical point of view of the Papyrus Ipuwer, claimed by many to have been an Egyptian version of the plagues on Egypt described in the Old Testament Book of Exodus (The Velikovskian, A Journal of Myth, History and Science, Vol. III, No. 1, January 1997). His wife, Gay Zurich Zecher, is the founder and president of Art & Soul, Inc., producing personalized water color cartoons and selling scented candles. They live in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and between them have five children, three grandchildren, a cat and a fluctuating number of grand-pets.

Former journalist and Federal government human resources specialist Henry Zecher is now a freelance writer specializing in historical subjects. Two leading works were an evaluation of German Reformer Martin Luther's impact on the English Bible (published in Christianity Today Magazine, October 23, 1983, republished several more times, recorded for the blind, and finally included in Christian History Magazine's special Martin Luther issue), and the and the first analysis from a biblical and historical point of view of the Papyrus Ipuwer, claimed by many to have been an Egyptian version of the plagues on Egypt described in the Old Testament Book of Exodus (The Velikovskian, A Journal of Myth, History and Science, Vol. III, No. 1, January 1997). His wife, Gay Zurich Zecher, is the founder and president of Art & Soul, Inc., producing personalized water color cartoons and selling scented candles. They live in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and between them have five children, three grandchildren, a cat and a fluctuating number of grand-pets.

Former journalist and Federal government human resources specialist Henry Zecher is now a freelance writer specializing in historical subjects. Two leading works were an evaluation of German Reformer Martin Luther's impact on the English Bible (published in Christianity Today Magazine, October 23, 1983, republished several more times, recorded for the blind, and finally included in Christian History Magazine's special Martin Luther issue), and the and the first analysis from a biblical and historical point of view of the Papyrus Ipuwer, claimed by many to have been an Egyptian version of the plagues on Egypt described in the Old Testament Book of Exodus (The Velikovskian, A Journal of Myth, History and Science, Vol. III, No. 1, January 1997). His wife, Gay Zurich Zecher, is the founder and president of Art & Soul, Inc., producing personalized water color cartoons and selling scented candles. They live in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and between them have five children, three grandchildren, a cat and a fluctuating number of grand-pets.

Former journalist and Federal government human resources specialist Henry Zecher is now a freelance writer specializing in historical subjects. Two leading works were an evaluation of German Reformer Martin Luther's impact on the English Bible (published in Christianity Today Magazine, October 23, 1983, republished several more times, recorded for the blind, and finally included in Christian History Magazine's special Martin Luther issue), and the first analysis from a biblical and historical point of view of the Papyrus Ipuwer, claimed by many to have been an Egyptian version of the plagues on Egypt described in the Old Testament Book of Exodus (The Velikovskian, A Journal of Myth, History and Science, Vol. III, No. 1, January 1997). His wife, Gay Zurich Zecher, is the founder and president of Art & Soul, Inc., producing personalized water color cartoons and selling scented candles. They live in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and between them have five children, three grandchildren, a cat and a fluctuating number of grand-pets.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5860 KB
  • Print Length: 734 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Xlibris (March 26, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004W82NWE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #766,153 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
As a child growing up in Hartford, Connecticut, in the early and mid-1960s, I spent countless hours skipping school in order to visit Mark Twain's Riverboat-styled house not far from where I once lived. Next door to Twain's was the quaint home of authoress Harriett Beacher Stowe...such memories! But when I did attend school, I (and we of Mrs. Jones' homeroom) would embark twice a year on a field trip to the storied mansion of Miss Stowe's and Mr. Twain's friend, the great American stage actor, William Gillette. Oh, what a treat it was! Gillette Castle was a favorite of mine, and while I, at that time, had no full understanding of Mr. Gillette's contribution and importance to the stage, I see it now in author Henry Zecher's new book, "William Gillette, America's Sherlock Holmes."

Henry Zecher has written a much detailed, yet concise biography of one of America's greatest thespians and playwrights. Meticulously researched and footnoted, and jam-packed with many heretofore unknown aspects and insights into Gillette's private life and public career, Zecher covers all the bases.

"William Gillette, America's Sherlock Holmes" is without a doubt the definitive history of the man, who more than anyone, defined what we today recognize as fiction's greatest sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. Zecher takes the reader on a journey that covers Gillette's ups and downs with honesty and integrity. I could quote from Mr. Zecher's book, but why should I? This review is best served by simply saying that Henry Zecher has written a history of Gillette and his peers which cannot be matched by any other biographer or historian.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
William Gillette was perhaps the first great actor to make the character of Sherlock Holmes accessible to mass audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. For several decades he toured both Britain and the United States in his own adaptation of Conan Doyle's character, often to great acclaim. Like many after him, however, he became so identified with the character that it often proved difficult for him to essay any other roles. This biography is fantastically detailed - almost excessively so - but is nonetheless worth reading for the sheer enthusiasm with which Gillette's story has been recounted. Worthwhile grabbing a copy if you can.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Long-Awaited Reveal June 15, 2011
Format:Paperback
To begin, I have to say for the sake of full disclosure that I have something of a personal investment in this book. I have worked for the past few summers at Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam, Connecticut. Gillette Castle, William's retirement estate, is more or less the last thing for which the man is remembered. To make matters worse, there has never been a serious biography on him. This is bad enough for reasons of general interest, but doubly bad on us poor tour guides who have been left with a rather scanty store of information with which to educate the public. My co-workers and I have been awaiting this book with baited breath (ok, so maybe only I have, but we've all at least thought about it.) In addition, I am personally acquainted with a number of the people and institutions used as sources for this work, which has let me follow along for the last few of its thirteen year synthesis. Thus, I will do my best to avoid the Lues Boswelliana that Zecher himself states he did his best to avoid.

First, some background information: William Gillette was born in 1853 in Hartford, Connecticut. Long story short, he became the premiere blockbuster American actor and playwright, Dean of American Theater, and just about the first show-biz millionaire without even touching Hollywood. His most successful show was the first official adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, in which he played the title character and became the template on which all later Holmes were based; the classic costume and demeanor, right down to that bent pipe, was Gillette's creation. He was also a revolutionary in modern acting method and design. He was at the forefront of realistic acting and coined the term 'the illusion of the first time'.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Redundancy again and again July 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book could have used some editing. It contained lots of information, but how many times did we need to be subjected to particularities of his personality as if they hadn't come up five or thirty times before. And the extensive plot outlines of his various plays were tedious. I found myself skim reading the last six chapter and portions of the earlier ones. To bad - it had potential that wasn't quite realized.
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