Hardback
March 7, 2023
9780813196831
English
672
49 b&w illustrations
9.25 Inches (US)
6.13 Inches (US)
2.35 Pounds (US)
$50.00 USD, £36.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
March 7, 2023
9780813196848
9780813196831
English
672
49 b&w illustrations
9.25 Inches (US)
6.13 Inches (US)
$50.00 USD, £36.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
March 7, 2023
9780813196855
9780813196831
English
672
49 b&w illustrations
9.25 Inches (US)
6.13 Inches (US)
$50.00 USD, £36.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Woman Who Dared

The Life and Times of Pearl White, Queen of the Serials

In the early days of motion pictures—before superstars, before studio conglomerates, before even the advent of sound—there was a woman named Pearl White (1889–1938). A quintessential beauty of the time, with her perfectly tousled bob and come-hither stare, White's rise to stardom was swift; her assumption of the title of queen of American motion picture serials equally deserved.

Born the youngest of five children in a small, rural Missouri farm town, White first began performing in high school. She would eventually make the decision to cut her education short, dropping out to go on the Trousdale Stock Company. A bit player in the early years of her career, she was eventually spotted by the Powers Film Company in New York. She made her film debut in 1910 and soon set herself apart from her female colleagues with her reputation for fearless performances that often involved her own stunt work.

It was that same daring attitude that would put her on the map internationally as an actress. From flying airplanes to swimming across rapid rivers, to racing cars in serials like The Perils of Pauline (1914), White was undaunted by the demands of her onscreen career. She went on to star in popular serial classics such as The New Exploits of Elaine (1915), The Iron Claw (1916), The Fatal Ring (1917), and The Lightning Raider (1919). As active socially as she was professionally, White would also lend her audacious spirit to activism as she took part in the early feminist movement. Her bravery and mastery of her craft made her a positive role model for suffragettes who battled for women's rights in the United States.

The Woman Who Dared: The Life and Times of Pearl White, Queen of the Serials
, is the first full-length biography of this pioneering star. In this study of film history and female agency, Drew delves into the cultural impact of White's work and how it evolved along a concurrent trajectory with the social upheavals of the Progressive Era.

About the Author

William M. Drew is a film historian who has written extensively on the subject of early cinema. He is the author of numerous books including Speaking of Silents: First Ladies of the Screen, At the Center of the Frame: Leading Ladies of the Twenties and Thirties, and The Last Silent Picture Show: Silent Films on American Screens in the 1930s.

Reviews

"I hadn't expected such intensive research. It is an astonishing story and should lead to the revival of the Pearl White films many of us thought had been consigned to the vaults for evermore."—Kevin Brownlow, film maker and film historian

"Amazingly well researched The Woman Who Dared is a most welcome addition to the growing body of literature devoted to women's participation in film production during the 1910s and 20s. It is the first full-length biography of Pearl White and an astonishing document following White's life trajectory from her early career, the glamorous days of serials, the years after she left the film industry until her early death and even continues discussing her legacy in the years to come. Even though the volume provides much material of Pearl White as a star persona, the commitment of the author does not cease when White's days of stardom are fading but rather keeps the full focus at every step of her career, even when it comes to projects that were not realized. Apart from extra-textual materials the volume also includes analysis of films that are difficult to get hold on and even those that have not survived. The background/context of White's career gives a detailed account of the first decades of the American film industry and as such an invaluable contribution to Cinema Studies."—Marina Dahlquist, Professor of Cinema Studies, Stockholm University

"A fascinating study of a fascinating woman who virtually defined the era of silent serial motion pictures. Comprehensive in its scope, meticulous in its research, accessible in its style, and immensely entertaining throughout, William M. Drew's masterful examination of serial queen Pearl White's life and times offers insights into an exciting period of American cinema history."—Barbara Tepa Lupack, author of Silent Serial Sensations: The Wharton Brothers and the Magic of Early Cinema

"It is time that the contributions of the silent-era serial queens are fully recognized, and William Drew's thoroughly researched and wide-ranging study of Pearl White's life and career helps cement White's legacy as a groundbreaking action heroine and international film star. Film fans and scholars will find the details fascinating—everything from translated Soviet booklets about Pearl to the practicalities of filming her serials, to their reception and distribution. The Woman Who Dared captures the magic and mayhem of cinema's early years and the global influence of the new medium."—Radha Vatsal, co-editor, Women Film Pioneers Project

"Author William M. Drew takes us on a fascinating journey in this biography of the most remarkable Pearl White, 'Queen of the Serials.' Renowned for her trailblazing adventure exploits on the cliffs of Fort Lee, New Jersey, Pearl White, like Pickford, Griffith, DeMille, Valentino, Gish, and Swanson, was a true original when movies began. The Woman Who Dared is rich in the history of the early silent film era. Pearl White's pictures and life were filled with adventure, daring do, and wonder. An astounding, lavish and lovingly written book, brilliantly researched, and comprehensively detailed... William M. Drew's brilliant The Woman Who Dared is a 'must read' for any motion picture historian and film buff. Highly recommended."—Stephen Michael Shearer, author of Patricia Neal:An Unquiet Life

9780813196831 : the-woman-who-dared-drew
Hardback
March 7, 2023
$50.00 USD
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March 7, 2023
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Electronic book text
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