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Dark Lover

Emily Leider traces the extraordinary journey by which Rodolfo Guglielmi became Rudolph Valentino - a silver screen legend who forever changed America's idea of 'the leading man'. Valentino wasn't just a star, he was a phenomenon - adored by women, despised by men. On-screen, he offered American women a dangerous sexuality unlike anything on offer from their husbands or lovers; in private, his first wife - a lesbian - refused to consummate their marriage. Gossip and rumour about his early life as a taxi-dancer haunted him, until his untimely death cut short a career that lasted only five years. This book now rehabilitates Valentino's reputation, both as a man and as an actor.
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About the Author

Emily W. Leider is the author of Rapid Eye Movement and Other Poems, California's Daughter: Gertrude Atherton and Her Times, and Becoming Mae West. She also edited Yesterday: The Memoir of a Russian-Jewish Family. She lives in San Francisco.


"'Emily Leider scores a bull's eye with this perceptive and compassionate treatment of the star who "helped deflower post-war America".' Sunday Times; 'Brilliantly evocative... brings to life all that was exciting and decadent about the so-called Jazz Age.' Film Review"

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