Home » Cole Porter: The Definitive Biography by William McBrien
Cole Porter: The Definitive Biography William McBrien

Cole Porter: The Definitive Biography

William McBrien

Published
ISBN : 9780002154956
Hardcover
288 pages
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 About the Book 

Its not quite as witty as a Porter song (who could equal the incomparable Cole?), but this thorough biography honors the Broadway musicals worldliest, most intelligent composer by taking him seriously. Voluminous research buttresses WilliamMoreIts not quite as witty as a Porter song (who could equal the incomparable Cole?), but this thorough biography honors the Broadway musicals worldliest, most intelligent composer by taking him seriously. Voluminous research buttresses William McBriens portrait of a charmed life scarred by tragedy. Born in 1891, Porter left his wealthy family in Indiana to thoroughly enjoy himself at Yale University in Connecticut, where his sassy songs gave the Midwestern outsider social clout. Although exclusively homosexual, Porter was nonetheless devoted to the wealthy widow he married in 1919, and McBriens narrative of their 1920s travels through Europe captures the glamorous sheen of their life together. Porter had some early success with shows like Fifty Million Frenchmen, but his sustained run of hits began in 1932 with Gay Divorce, continuing through the 50s and Kiss Me Kate. The author liberally quotes from Porters deliciously naughty lyrics, reminding us how corny most show tunes seem when compared to Love for Sale or Anything Goes. McBriens painful account of the ghastly aftermath of a 1937 riding accident, which left Porter in pain that ended only with his death in 1964, reveals a quiet, uncomplaining stoic whose substance matched his dazzling style. --Wendy Smith