Cole Porter: a biography

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
Vintage Books,
Pub. Date:
1998.
Language:
English
Description
The most richly told biography we have had of one of the most important and beguiling composer/lyricists of the century--the incomparable Cole Porter, whose songs were the essence of wit and sophistication and whose life was marked by tragedy, courage, sorrow, and secrecy.        McBrien reveals the private Porter: his privileged Indiana youth (he composed his first song at ten). He went East to boarding school and to Yale, where he wrote the football anthems "Hail to Yale" and "Bull Dog," and show after show in which many of his classmates appeared--among them, Archibald MacLeish, Gerald Murphy, Dean Acheson, and Averell Harriman. Then a brief, unhappy stint at Harvard Law School. Off to Paris at twenty-six, and in crisis joining the French Foreign Legion during the First World War. Two years later, Cole Porter had his first Broadway hit.        William McBrien's biography, the result of ten years of work and bursting with stories and scenes of Porter's life, takes us beyond the patina of Porter's very public career, beyond the high and low aristocratic worlds of Venice (Porter with Elsa Maxwell in 1923 together put Venice back on the map as the place to be), beyond the opulent parties and costume balls on two continents he not only attended but threw himself--and made into an art form. McBrien takes us into Porter's seemingly conventional marriage to reveal his complicated emotional life--the lost, privileged man who had a wild, irrepressible talent to amuse but at first find couldn't find his voice; the man who married "the most beautiful woman in the world," the very social, very southern Linda Lee Thomas, but who preferred his own sex. He had long relationships as well as frequent dalliances with many men but for thirty-five years maintained a loving marriage to the woman he truly adored.        We see the supremely gifted Porter who created twenty musicals on Broadway (Anything Goes, DuBarry Was a Lady, Gay Divorce, Born to Dance), writing for such stars as Ethel Merman, Fred Astaire, Mary Martin, Bert Lahr, and Bea Lilly; and who gave Hollywood Fifty Million Frenchmen, The Gay Divorcee, Rosalie, Broadway Melody of 1940, Night and Day, High Society, Silk Stockings, Can-Can, and Kiss Me, Kate.        Porter was "the top" and lived at the top, but his life was catastrophically transformed after a near-fatal horseback-riding accident. The thirty-one operations during the next eighteen years brought on increasing pain, and the growing paralysis that darkened his life was never hinted at publicly nor in his work.        Interweaving the life and the music, McBrien shows us a man whose genius as a composer flowered in deceptively simple melodies that were thought to be completely modern but today are considered ingenious, complicated, and steeped in the nineteenth-century tradition of lieder; a composer whose craft concealed complicated solutions to musical problems while it enchanted his audiences. And we come to understand how Porter's doubts and desires, longings and infatuations, insinuated their way into the heart of his incomparable words and music.
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ISBN:
9780679727927
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work IDc6ebf81e-8bde-a8e6-2d78-0c943f609feb
Grouping Titlecole porter
Grouping Authormcbrien william
Grouping Categorybook
Last Grouping Update2019-08-23 04:38:34AM
Last Indexed2019-11-13 04:47:39AM

Solr Details

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authorMcBrien, William.
author_displayMcBrien, William
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collection_arlingtonAdult Nonfiction
detailed_location_arlingtonShirlington Adult Nonfiction
display_descriptionWilliam McBrien's biography, the result of ten years of work and bursting with stories and scenes of Porter's life, takes us beyond the patina of Porter's very public career, beyond the high and low aristocratic worlds of Venice (Porter with Elsa Maxwell in 1923 together put Venice back on the map as the place to be), beyond the opulent parties and costume balls on two continents he not only attended but threw himself - and made into an art form. McBrien takes us into Porter's seemingly conventional marriage to reveal his complicated emotional life - the lost, privileged man who had a wild, irrepressible talent to amuse but at first couldn't find his voice; the man who married "the most beautiful woman in the world," the very social, very southern Linda Lee Thomas, but who preferred his own sex. He had long relationships as well as frequent dalliances with many men but for thirty-five years maintained a loving marriage to the woman he truly adored.
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local_callnumber_arlington782.14026 PORTER MCBRI
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Detention Center
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Local History
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owning_location_arlingtonShirlington
primary_isbn9780679727927
publishDate1998
record_details
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:.b19055298BookBooksFirst edition.EnglishVintage Books, 1998.xiii, 459 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.
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ils:.b19055298.i20571835On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue9999
subject_facetComposers -- United States -- Biography
Porter, Cole, -- 1891-1964
title_displayCole Porter : a biography
title_fullCole Porter : a biography / by William McBrien
title_shortCole Porter
title_suba biography