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PK - A Fan!
5.0 out of 5 starsA royal read!
Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2020
A book that crosses genres as well as genders, Miss Empress is a royal read! Fascinating as a mystery, a mini-biography, and early Hollywood and film history, Fort's affection for his subject captivated this reader.
Reviewed in the United States on November 28, 2019
Supposedly a "biography", with no referrences? No references means no facts - if you have nothing to back up your assumptions I can only conclude the whold tale is fantasy based on a few newspaper notices. Very disappointed - waste of my money.
this is bonkers my dude. i literally cannot stop theorizing. my head may explode. like idek if i COMPLETELY believe ms llewellyn (although it does make sense to a degree), or maybe i just don't want to? but man oh man ms empress was an ENIGMA and i am truly losing my mind.
4.0 out of 5 starsA Case of the Disappearing Empress
Reviewed in Japan on February 5, 2021
It’s crazy to think that one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and a well known name in American stage theater would simply disappear, not only in a literal sense, but from people’s memories as well. Punching her name into an internet search engine produces surprisingly few results (outside of this very book). Worse still, the links are quite sparse in terms of information provided.
She truly was a mysterious woman who vanished under unusual circumstances. I think, for that reason, the author should be commended. Taking what few facts and snippets of knowledge there are and weaving them into a coherent analysis must have taken a considerable amount of time and effort. He also deserves praise for not padding the book out with history lessons on the early American film industry or vaudeville, choosing instead to only explain things in so far as how they related to the life of Marie Empress. I think it’s also a common response when presented with a mystery to assume that the most likely course of events was what really happened. It’s a reasonable position to take, but with her there really isn’t any one possibility that stands above the rest as the most plausible scenario. In the final pages the author claims to have uncovered her true identity, at least, but I found myself doubting the certainty of his claim. For all we know these tantalizing clues were just pieces of yet another one of her guises.
Overall, it is a short but interesting read. The only things that keep me from giving it a perfect rating are few typos and lack of citation notes at the end. Still, I would recommend it to any armchair Sherlock Holmes or amateur historian with an interest in the time period.