[Read] ➪ The Times We Had: Life with William Randolph Hearst ➲ Marion Davies – Saudionline.co.uk

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10 thoughts on “The Times We Had: Life with William Randolph Hearst

  1. says:

    I read this book just after visiting Hearst Castle I impulse bought it on my way out of the gift shop It was a light read I finished it in a single evening.Overall, I enjoyed the book Marion Davies is full of interesting anecdotes of the time, and I felt I had learned a decent amount about both her and Hearst from a perspective that biographers might not present.By the end of the book, though, I found myself quite depressed Obviously she had not had a terrible life as the mistress of a wealthy man who clearly loved her intensely But there were aspects of her life that seemed frustrating or unfortunate She was an ambitious woman, despite her humility throughout the book Her comments are very self effacing, indicating she has no talent, etc even though many independent sources state that she was an extremely talented comedienne Hearst s devotion to her resulted in a level of skepticism towards her accomplishments as though she might not have succeeded without his PR machine, which in turn stifled her career in later years.The end of her life also seems depressing When Hearst dies, she was younger than he was when he met her But his death seems to ring a death knell in her life too His family, who while he lived were quite cordial to her, suddenly treat her as an outsider She notes this in the book, although charitably she does not mention how they sedated her the night he died, then removed all his possessions from her home so that not a trace of him was left there when she woke It is hard for me to imagine that happening after someone I was that close to for 30 years has passed away Another note briefly referenced in the book which I confirmed outside of it was that Hearst willed her a majority share of his company she sold this to the family for 1 a year and a few other minor boons like a lifetime consultancy and some press for her charitable works , mostly to show them that she wasn t after his money Another notable item in this respect was that as his company floundered in 1938, she pulled together 1 million of her own money and gave it to him to help his company get back on its feet.She lives only around a decade after he died, marrying someone who by all accounts looks just like a younger version of Hearst and increasing her drinking until she dies of cancer I cannot help but feel like she rejuvenated his life, but his death afforded her no such rejuvenation In a strange way, I think back to my wedding Sometimes people would say things along the lines of This will be the happiest moment of your life And I d think God, I hope not how horrible it would be to know that nothing in my life s future could match what I feel now That s how the end of this book left me feeling like I was reading a description of a moment in time that would leave Miss Davies unable to reach that pinnacle again.


  2. says:

    This book was based on a series of recordings that Marion Davies made over the years First off, she is not a reliable narrator She continually plays herself as a dumb clumsy blonde, she lies about her age, she can t remember people or dates correctlyI really wish she had been interviewed by someone or at least had written the book with someone who could have supplied the research Instead we have Marion meandering through her past in a completely non linear manner, compliments to the editors for somehow impressing some manner of theme to each chapter, and telling ancedotes that either show her to be an angel, a harridan or a dumb blonde It seems unfair to take her personal remiscences and plop them in a book with many flattering pictures after she was dead and had no say about how her life was portrayed I can t recommend it as a way to understand or really know Marion Davies To her life was a dream and nearly everyone was wonderful and a sweetheart and very understanding because if they weren t, Hearst would show em.


  3. says:

    A shallow, superficial book written by a shallow, superficial actress about her shallow, superficial life and friends She couldn t understand why Japanese Americans didn t want to be in the internment camps I didn t know what they were complaining about, because they had lovely menus in their camps I had a copy of the menu They had the most wonderful breakfasts, and chicken for luncheon, and anything they wanted at night But still they were dissatisfied p.290


  4. says:

    What a juicy read this was Marion Davies has spilled an absolute plethora of tea, she lets it all hang out I really love how direct and frank she is with the stories she tells, it made me laugh how uncouth she was There s a part where she s talking about how almost her entire family was wiped out within 2 years I kept thinking surely she doesn t mean they died, alas, she did, she just told it like it is, quite entertaining I must say She had such charisma If you love old movies and movie stars from the golden age of Hollywood then this really needs to be on your to be read list, it s outrageously good P.S you gotta see the movie about Marion called The Cat s Meow Kirsten Dunst plays her and it s just darling.


  5. says:

    Inside view of life with William Randolph Hearst by his mistress Very biased in his favor, of course, but candid and revealing Some local gossip, insights into his finances, politics, pets, and personal quirks And his many famous guests at his San Simeon ranch The author was a Hollywood actress who spoke with a stammer Her movies lost money but were underwritten by Hearst She says of her acting career, I couldn t act, but the idea of silent pictures appealed to me because I couldn t talk either An entertaining read if the topic interests you.


  6. says:

    A fairly good biography by Marion Davies, a showgirl turned movie actress, best known for being the long time mistress of William Randolph Hearst, who was many years her senior.In the end, it s a story of how a girl with a third grade education managed to parlay her looks into wealth An old story, to be sure She also encountered most every celebrity of her day, and has a little something to say about many of them No new information about the Thomas Ince death.Entertaining, but I bet her ghost writer had quite a job.


  7. says:

    Yes, I enjoyed this memoir of the mistress of possibly the most powerful and influential man in the United States from 1900 to 1950 William Randolph Hearst Her book is richly salted with numerous reprints of many photographs which greatly enhance the story.I was enlightened by the Foreword written by Orson Welles in 1975 He was the author of Citizen Kane which is a very renowned book and movie usually described as the story of William Randolph Hearst, but in his foreword Wells explains how Citizen Kane darkened an otherwise brilliant career of Marion Davies who would have been a star if Hearst had never happened..a delightful and very considerable person He says that Marion was the opposite of the mistress in Citizen Kane After reading her memoir, Marion seems to me to have been very intelligent, beautiful, talented, successful, likeable and unusual She was born into a wealthy family, both her mother and father came from wealthy families of judges, attorneys and magistrates who owned mansions, racehorses, country club memberships and the like She could have had any life she chose, but from the beginning she wanted acting She was the youngest of three older sisters who were all in the theater From the beginning as a young child she followed her sisters and she passionately devoted herself to her stage and acting training Her first job on the stage was through the Lou Herrick Agency with a contract at age 14.She loved acting and throughout her entire career was never late and was happy to work overtime Her passionate goal throughout her life was to act I wanted to have talent She acted, danced and sang and became a Broadway star as a teenager In addition to his newspapers, W R Hearst was in the business of the new entertainment industry and followed the stage stars He knew of Marion as a young star and and later as a showgirl in the 1915 Zeigfeld Follies Marion became a famous beauty with many adoring suitors bringing flowers and gifts to her stage door Hearst was 34 years older than Marion and he had an estranged wife and five sons He signed Marion to a generous contract for silent movies Hearst used all of his power and influence to build up his new star Marion went from starring on the Broadway stage to starring in silent movies with all the backing and the powerful publicity of the Hearst papers Hearst wanted to marry Marion, but she was perfectly content to be his adored star and treasured mistress and valuable companion Marion then transitioned into talkies and became the richest actress of her time She invested wisely in real estate and also inherited family trust funds Later at one time she loaned Hearst a million dollars cash.Her first sentence is I was born in 1905 However, the editors note that her real birthday was 6 00 am, Sunday, January 3, 1897 Although she has a few self promoting lies in her book, I am still endeared to her The book is improved by the two editors who note corrections and explanations throughout the book and clarify her omissions They explain in their Introduction that Marion Davies began her book in the summer before W.R Hearst died on August 14, 1951 at age 88 She died ten years later on September 9, 1961 at age 64 She withheld her memoir from publication during her life because she felt that she may have revealed too much.Marion writes candidly and with humor and personal insight about her fabulous life They regularly travelled with their entourage of servants She was Hearst s hostess at his fancy parties held at his famous castles and mansions San Simeon and St Donat s Castle in Wales, Wyntoon Village, Santa Monica Beach Mansion Ocean House and , each property maintained by many full time servants The guests were kings, presidents, politicians and all the famous Beautiful People I commend this book to anyone for simple and enjoyable entertainment, it s a peek into the life of a very wealthy rich person Although Marion is not a literary genius, her writing is appealing, engaging and revealing I also commend this book to anyone interested in Hollywood history, it has a good index referencing many of the big stars and big names of the first half of the twentieth century.


  8. says:

    I got this book while at Hearst Castle in Cali It was fun to read after having been to Hearst Castle It is written in first person and it is like listening to someone talk and not be able to ask any questions This also means that the telling of her life is from completely her perspective and time line The editors add in little notes to make sense of things or give details on an event This book is a fun, light read Marion Davis is the fascinating mistress of W.R Hearst However, she seems like a spoiled daughter she was much younger She makes me think of some of the empty headed starlets of today Yes, the empty headed starlet has always existed She did do good works and open hospitals and cared about others She also worked hard to create her own name and knew when it was time for her to quit because she had no talent for the talkie films she was a silent film star There is no doubt about it, she had a fabulous life I wouldn t mind being her for awhile


  9. says:

    I just bought his book at Hearst castle since I was curious about Hearst and his kid mistress She positionned herself as a poor little girl but I think that she was much smart than that Why do you stay with a man 40 years your senior Advantages, money, etc She seems to have liked him but it must have been much on his part to kind of love her However, it was interesting to read parts of it because of the movie scene in the early years The authors interviewed her when she was quite old, around her sixties according to her but around her eighties in reality It was nice to find out that Clark Gable was a nice man, I kind of like him a lot.


  10. says:

    Fascinating oral memoir as spoken to a tape recorder by William Randolph Hearst s mistress of many years who was is not always a reliable witness, but all the intriguing because of it My husband was reading a biography of Hearst at the same time I was reading this book, and we had a lot of fascinating discussions about the differences in Davies perception of the facts and the biographer s.


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