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The Lives and Loves of Daisy and Violet Hilton: A True Story of Conjoined Twins Paperback – September 1, 2006
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From the Publisher
The true rags-to-riches-to-rags tale of conjoined twins their journey from freak-show notoriety to vaudeville stardom to movie celebrity, and their heart-wrenching descent back into poverty. A richly detailed account of the romantic adventures of these attractive and accomplished young women who were at the epicenter of one of the most celebrated sex scandals of 1930. Chronicles the hurly-burly history of American entertainment from the turn of the 20th century through the 1950s. Illustrated throughout with rare black-and-white photographs.
About the Author
DEAN JENSEN is a former journalist who owns and manages an art gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Top customer reviews
I found this a fascinating, absorbing and ultimately tragic assessment of two women who were exploited practically from birth, as well as an insightful and colorful dive into the times in which they lived.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but as some readers have already suggested, felt that I never knew Daisy or Violet as individuals. The author goes to great pains to make sure the reader knows they were two very different women -- which indeed, obviously, they were -- without really telling us who either of them was outside being individual halves of "the girls," "the sisters," or "the twins." This perhaps is a disservice.
I'm a huge history buff, and a great lover of biographies, and over the course of that predilection have read scores of human stories, including a couple of books on Eng and Chang Bunker. In some of the Bunker biographies, I felt that I came away with more insights into what it really might be like to go through life literally attached to another human being, especially in an era in which separation was not possible. (And even today is often not possible, depending on the physiology of the connection.) I didn't feel the same emphasis on the individuals here, and found myself wanting to know much more about these women beyond who chose to be blonde and who chose to be brunette.
Other than that somewhat empty frustration, I found this a very enjoyable read.
An excellent companion to this book is the documentary "Bound by Flesh," another insightful and well-researched biography of Daisy and Violet.
The memoir is about twin sisters Violet & Daisy that are joined at the hip.(no pun intended) & were born in 1908,where the occurrence of such a birth was considered the devil's work.
Their natural mother,denied them,but they persevered to become the talented darlings of their era.They traveled from place to place & entertained for more than five decades.
Try this book for yourself,it won't let you down & will keep you enthralled to the end.
In spite of everything, they were talented, intelligent, articulate and engaging. They were also deeply lonely. Jensen handles their story with respect and admiration. The result is a compassionate book. The two women were highly accomplished but could never have a "normal" life. Still, they brought all their considerable warmth and commitment to their performances and earned the accolades they received.
Tragedy, betrayal and disappointment dogged them to the end, but they gave life their best, with more determination than most people with far fewer challenges.