March 31, 2000
57 b&w photos, 6 line drawings
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.4 Pounds (US)
$40.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

Anna Held and the Birth of Ziegfeld's Broadway

" Anna Held (1870?-1918), a petite woman with an hourglass figure, was America's most popular musical comedy star during the two decades preceding World War I. In the colorful world of New York theater during La Belle Époque, 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. 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. With the outbreak of fighting in Europe, Held returned to France to support the war effort. She entertained troops and delivered medical supplies, and she was once briefly captured by the German army. Anna Held and the Birth of Ziegfeld's Broadway reveals one of the most remarkable women in the history of theatrical entertainment. With access to previously unseen family records and photographs, Eve Golden has uncovered the details of an extraordinary woman in the vibrant world of 1900s New York.


"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

9780813121536 : anna-held-and-the-birth-of-ziegfelds-broadway-golden
304 Pages
$40.00 USD

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