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Madame Valentino the Many Lives of Natacha Rambova

Morris, Michael

52 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1558591362 / ISBN 13: 9781558591363
Published by Abbeville Press, New York, 1991
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Gumshoe Books (Columbia, SC, U.S.A.)

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beauriful book. life of madame valentino the widow of rudolph. Size: 4to. Bookseller Inventory # 016942

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Madame Valentino the Many Lives of Natacha ...

Publisher: Abbeville Press, New York

Publication Date: 1991

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


Looks at the life of Valentino's second wife, who rose from humble beginnings in Utah to the Imperial Russian Ballet, then to the Hollywood spotlights

From Kirkus Reviews:

Well-done life of Rudolph Valentino's wife, a woman of boundless gifts, by art historian Morris (St. Mary's College). With a keenly written text and 150 duotones (not seen), and considering Natacha Rambova's background in Egyptology, ballet, and as an exotic costume and set designer (she designed Alla Nazimova's film of Salome, basing her costumes and sets on Aubrey Beardsley's original drawings for Oscar Wilde), Morris's biography bids fair to satisfy in all departments. Born Winifred Shaughnessy in Salt Lake City, Rambova signed up with the Theodore Kosloff Imperial Russian Ballet in Manhattan, was given her stage name by her lover Kosloff, who first seduced her at 17. When she confronted Kosloff with his infidelities, he bloodied her leg with birdshot. Rambova's mother's sister-in-law was sapphic Elsie de Wolfe, the world's first interior decorator, who took on Rambova's mother as her partner; both became millionaires, decorating homes for the rich and mighty. Rambova herself, who read only world mythology both as a child and an adult, inherited the de Wolfe/Shaughnessy artistic temperament, designed her own ballet costumes, became a costume designer for Cecil B. De Mille, later designed Rudolph Valentino's image, costumes, and sets, and then became a writer/director. Valentino had made only one film when she met him and began shaping his publicity. When his studio fought her efforts, Valentino signed a contract excluding her from work on his pictures. She fled and divorced him. Chasing her, Valentino came down with a necrotic hole in his stomach, died of longing in Manhattan, had a riotous funeral. Rambova went on to become a playwright, an actress, and a spiritualist, with her huge labors in Egyptology winning the admiration of Carl Jung. She died at 56, of scleroderma, a disease that dried up her inner organs. A questing, creative woman far ahead of her time--and truly exotic. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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