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From Mary Pickford to Brooke Shields, this generously illustrated work traces Hollywood's marketing of, and the movie-going public's fascination with, nubile girls of the silver screen. But frequently the details of Nabokov's novel figure too insistently to draw a credible history and psychology of the "nymphet syndrome." The male directors, studio executives and co-stars who drifted in and out of these girls' lives are branded facilely as Humbert Humberts, and overzealous stage mothers are caricatures. The nymphet image of the '20s was largely shaped by Victorian mores, says Sinclair. These "sexual Victorians" were followed by Shirley Temple and other child stars of the '30s. The '40s hailed Judy Garland and Elizabeth Taylor. By the 1970s, Jodie Foster and Brooke Shields played roles that exploded with raw sexuality. Although speculative in its psychological assertions and superficial in its historical treatment, the book emerges as a lively anecdotal introduction to Hollywood's "Lolitas" and the forces behind them. Sinclair wrote Those Who Died Young.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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