Synopses & Reviews
From Catherine Hayes, the "Irish prima donna," and Maude Adams, "the most popular actress in America," to the legendary Sarah Bernhardt, Gilded Girls profiles fourteen of the liveliest, wildest, and most talented female entertainers ever to light up the boards of the western frontier. You'll meet "the Jersey Lily," who was wildly admired by men as various Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Diamond Jim Brady, and Judge Roy Bean; Mrs. Leslie Carter, a scandal-plagued society women who became a famous actress as an act of revenge against her patrician ex-husband; a French-Creole beauty known as the "Frenzy of Frisco" who took up the Zionist and feminist causes in between her daring acting roles; and "Klondike Kate," a flame-haired entertainer who took Alaska's gold rush country by storm but suffered a very public heartbreak.
Some of the fascinating women are renowned even to this day, others are remembered only in the pages of history, but all personified the daring, colorful, and independent spirit of the Old West.
is a delicious, illuminating glimpse at the colorful and often scandalous women who made their living performing for the restless souls of the Old West."
--Bob Boze Bell, True West magazine
"Before the hottest performer today, the unforgettable, feisty women in the Old West saga Gilded Girls
reigned supreme as the most luscious kind of talent available--truly a wonderful scathing read!"
--Jennie Lew Tugend, Capstone Pictures
The curtain rises and authors JoAnn Chartier and Chris Enss shine the spotlight on 14 entertaining women who sang, danced, acted in plays, performed equestrienne feats, and captured the hearts of the miners and homesteaders of the Frontier West. These "gilded girls" who performed in the mining boomtowns were literally showered with gold, but oftentimes their personal lives were marked by unhappiness. Still, their very presence on stage enchanted avid western audiences, and they were rewarded with flowery reviews and sensational editorials by local newspapers, as well as riches. Their every action was commented upon, but rarely did reporters know the whole story. Chartier and Enss now reveal what many people of the times never knew about these sometimes rowdy, sometimes refined female celebrities by providing a unique inside look at their lives via this collection of intriguing biographies.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 171-175) and index.
The curtain rises and authors JoAnn Chartier and Chris Enss shine the spotlight on 14 entertaining women who sang, danced, acted in plays, performed equestrienne feats, and captured the hearts of the miners and homesteaders of the Frontier West.
About the Author
is an artist and writer living in California's historic Gold Rush Country. She has worked as both a print and broadcast journalist and as a talk show host, devoting many programs to historical themes.
Chris Enss is a standup comic and comedy writer with an extensive background in radio and television. Her educational background includes studies in journalism and cinematography. Her hobbies are historical research and writing about the Old West. She lives in Grass Valley, California.
JoAnn and Chris are also the authors of With Great Hope: Women of the California Gold Rush and Love Untamed: Romances of the Old West.
Table of Contents
(1) Acknowledgments (2) Introduction (3) Maude Adams-The Most Popular Actress in America (4) Mary Anderson-Self-made Star (5) Sarah Bernhardt-The Divine Sarah (6) Mrs. Leslie Carter-Passionate Player (7) Caroline Chapman-Shakespeare to Slapstick (8) Catherine Hayes-The Irish Prima Donna (9) Matilda Heron-Star of the American Theater (10) Lily Langtry-The Jersey Lily (11) Adah Menken-The Frenzy of Frisco (12) Helena Modjeska-Polish Phenomenon (13) Lucille Mullhall-Cowgirl (14) Kate Rockwell-Flame of the Yukon (15) Lillian Russell-America's Beauty (16) Sarah Kirby Stark-Pioneer Manager