barbMy late great mother, who passed away three years ago this week, loved reading biographies of the great stars of Hollywood’s golden era. So it is only fitting that this week I feature the wonderful book A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940 by Victoria Wilson.

Miss Stanwyck’s career spanned the early day of “talkies” to late career roles on iconic television programs. Now, her full life gets the complete biography treatment with a multi-volume set of which this is the first in the very capable hands of Ms. Wilson who clearly did the research and knows her subject well.

About A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940 by Victoria Wilson: “Fifteen years in the making, the first volume of the full-scale astonishing life of one of our greatest screen actresses whose career in pictures spanned four decades beginning with the coming of sound—the first to delve deeply into Stanwyck’s rich, complex life and to explore her extraordinary range of eighty-eight motion pictures, many of them iconic; her work, her world, her Hollywood through an American century. Frank Capra called her ‘The greatest emotional actress the screen has yet known.’ She was one of its most natural, timeless, and underrated stars. Now, Victoria Wilson gives us the first full-scale life of Barbara Stanwyck, whose astonishing career in movies (eighty-eight in all) spanned four decades beginning with the coming of sound, and lasted in television from its infancy in the 1950s through the 1980s—a book that delves deeply into her rich, complex life and explores her extraordinary range of motion pictures, many of them iconic. Here is her work, her world, her Hollywood.”

In this day and age when we know a ton about our movie stars and past stars are enigmas, it is always interesting to read the story of the lives of these icons we only know from their lasting legacy on the screen. I can’t think of a better subject to fit this bill than that of Miss Stanwyck and thanks to Ms. Wilson and her wonderful book I feel a little closer to my mom.

A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940 by Victoria Wilson by is available from Amazon and other fine book retailers.