• Dead Famous

  • An Unexpected History of Celebrity from Bronze Age to Silver Screen
  • By: Greg Jenner
  • Narrated by: Greg Jenner
  • Length: 12 hrs and 45 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Celebrity, with its neon glow and selfie pout, strikes us as hypermodern. But the famous and infamous have been thrilling, titillating, and outraging us for much longer than we might realize. Whether it was the scandalous Lord Byron, whose poetry sent female fans into an erotic frenzy; or the cheetah-owning, coffin-sleeping, one-legged French actress Sarah Bernhardt, who launched a violent feud with her former best friend; or Edmund Kean, the dazzling Shakespearean actor whose monstrous ego and terrible alcoholism saw him nearly murdered by his own audience - the list of stars whose careers burned bright before the Age of Television is extensive and thrillingly varied.

In this ambitious history, that spans the Bronze Age to the coming of Hollywood's Golden Age, Greg Jenner assembles a vibrant cast of over 125 actors, singers, dancers, sportspeople, freaks, demigods, ruffians, and more, in search of celebrity's historical roots. He reveals why celebrity burst into life in the early 18th century, how it differs to ancient ideas of fame, the techniques through which it was acquired, how it was maintained, the effect it had on public tastes, and the psychological burden stardom could place on those in the glaring limelight.

©2020, 2021 Greg Jenner (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about Dead Famous

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I’ll read everything Greg writes

Especially if he narrates it as well! His podcast is great too. I’m looking forward to whatever he does next

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Greg Jenner is a brilliant historian

At this point if Greg Jenner wrote a history of the shopping cart, I’d read it. Whatever his subject it will be beautifully written, engaging, very well researched and interesting. Also funny but not to the detriment of the subject. His narration is clear and never annoying. This book was fascinating.