Sewing circle: Hollywood's greatest secret - female stars who loved other women

by Axel Madsen (Auteur)

Hardcover, 1998


Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, and Barbara Stanwyck--to name a few--maintained their images as glamorous big-screen sex symbols complete with dashing escorts, handsome husbands, and scores of male admirers, thanks to studio publicity departments. But off the set, all three box office divas were involved in "lavender" marriages (marriages of convenience, often to gay men) or remained stoically single. They, and several other Hollywood starlets of the era, were members of a discreet women's "club" called the Sewing Circle, Hollywood's underground lesbian society. Madsen takes a candid look at the very complicated dual lives these great stars led and the impact their preference for same-sex relationships had on their movie careers.   … (more)


Robson Books, London 1996

Call number

791 MAD


Media reviews

This trashy, scandal-mongering history of lesbian and bisexual women in Hollywood remains readable in spite of itself. Fran Lebowitz once said that "if you remove all gay influences from Hollywood, all you've left is Let's Make a Deal.'' In his perfervid attempt to detail this influence, Madsen
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(Stanwyck, 1994, etc.) names names and dishes dirt with an almost gleeful elan.... In the end this book is little more than a who-slept-with-whom compendium; further proof of how ultimately unrevealing sexuality tends to be and, at least in Madsen's hands, how trite.
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Physical description

256 p.
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