Book Review

Marilyn Monroe

mmPrivate and Undisclosed

New Edition: Revised & Expanded

Michelle Morgan

Robinson, May 2012

Kindle ed, 254 pages, also in hardcover and paperback

Genre(s) Memoirs & Bios

Source Purchased at full price


Following a number of sensationalist biographies of Marilyn Monroe in recent years, this comprehensive, meticulously researched volume brings an important fresh perspective on the many controversies in her life. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Marilyn Monroe and the Golden Age of Hollywood.

This new edition of Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed has been thoroughly revised and expanded to include an additional 60,000 words. It reveals a very different Marilyn from the celluloid invention. For the first volume, Michelle Morgan interviewed approximately 100 people who knew or were related to Marilyn in some way, including key figures in her life – family and friends, as well as work colleagues, and more casual acquaintances. This new edition includes information gleaned from many more interviews, as well as additional family background and many new stories. Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed is the most comprehensive Monroe biography yet. It covers her trip to England in great detail and gives the true story behind the making of The Prince and the Showgirl.

About the Author:

Michelle Morgan is the author of The Ice Cream Blonde, The Mammoth Book of Hollywood Scandals, Marilyn’s Addresses, and Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed. She has been interviewed on dozens of radio stations and featured on many television programs, including the BBC National News.

Michelle Morgan is the founder and president of the UK fan club, the Marilyn Lives Society, established in 1991. She has appeared on BBC national news, Sky News and regional UK radio, as well as answering questions in one-hour live internet chat for the BBC. She lives in Northamptonshire, UK.

My Disclaimer:

I purchased this book. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.

~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review: ✭✭✭

I have never read any of Ms. Morgan’s other works on Marilyn, but this one is well researched. The biography itself is the first 72% of the book. Then remembrances are another 2%. The references are 12% of the book. An in-depth index takes up 12%. Then the photos take the last 2% of the book. She has talked to people who have never been spoken to before, especially about Marilyn’s early years.

She uses a tone that seems like straight-up reportage sometimes and a novel at others. But I guess that’s life. There is significant information and the pace moves it along fairly quickly. Two things bothered me about this book. One is everything seemed to have the same importance. Nothing was stressed or highlighted more than anything else. Almost like a monotone. A bit mind-numbing I found.

The other thing was the address book aspect. I wanted to get out a map and some map pins and mark every address she mentioned. I was tempted to go back and count how many addresses were mentioned in the book!

It seemed to be a thorough look into Marilyn’s early years and the relationships from those years. The later years that had been much more publicized, were not covered as deeply and seemed to almost be just touched on. After all the detail and addresses of the earlier parts, the ending was tied up fairly quickly. The Kennedy and Sinatra involvements were down-played, I felt. Overall, it showed a woman who was totally unprepared for the life she stumbled into and just tried to handle it as best she could.

This is not the bio I would recommend for someone who hasn’t read anything about Marilyn Monroe before, but as a secondary read, it’s fine.

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