The Woman Who Dared

One of early Hollywood’s most popular types of film was the serial, exposing audiences to repeated, familiar characters in a broad range of scenarios. From dramas, comedies, romances, and cliffhangers–or a mix of each–serials were exceptionally enjoyed by moviegoing audiences of all ages.

Pearl White was considered to be one of the most successful serial stars of her day, appearing in popular serials such as The Perils of Pauline, The New Exploits of Elaine, The Iron Claw, The Fatal Ring, and many others. She would tackle dangerous stunts in addition to the expectations of executing her roles, quickly becoming a favorite among audiences.

William M. Drew’s The Woman Who Dared: The Life and Times of Pearl White, Queen of the Serials is the first full-length biography devoted to White’s life and career. While Drew showcases exceptional research in documenting the career and professional trajectory of White, he also succeeds in capturing the personal endeavors and priorities of this classic Hollywood star. White’s story is one that is not explored often at all in comparison to her classic Hollywood counterparts, making this biography quite fascinating. Beyond the screen, White was also an activist, feminist, and suffragette, constantly working to battle for women’s rights in the United States.

The Woman Who Dared is not to be missed. It will definitely interest fans of early film as well as individuals interested in stunt work and the lives and careers of women in the nascent film industry.

The Woman Who Dared is available for purchase through the University Press of Kentucky.

About Annette Bochenek

Dr. Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is an avid scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for TCM Backlot, she also writes for Classic Movie Hub, Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine.
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