Celebrity & the
Ironies of Fame


A Memoir About Travel Guides, Tabloid Exposés, and the Landmark Where They Were Produced

Darwin Porter & Danforth Prince

WHAT IS MAGNOLIA HOUSE? The name it bears has been on record with Staten Island's Borough Hall for at least a century, as it's a byproduct of owners who, in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, gave it a name that evoked their native Virginia. Dating from the 1830s, it's a Grande Dame with a knack for nourishing high-functioning eccentrics.

Many of them have lived or been entertained here since New York's State Senator Howard Bayne, a transplanted Southerner, moved in with his wife, the daughter of the Surgeon General of the Confederate States of America, in the aftermath of that bloodiest of wars on North American soil, the War between the American States.

Since then, many dozens of celebrities—some of them notorious—have whispered their secrets and rehearsed their ambitions within its walls. According to some, a few of them remain on site, working through the issues that tormented or perplexed them during their earthy and raucous experiences in the here and now.

This is the story of how this "Wise Victorian Lady"—in its role as the editorial headquarters for many of THE FROMMER GUIDES and later for BLOOD MOON PRODUCTIONS—adapted to America's frequently changing tastes, times, circumstances, and values.

Available now through internet purveyors that include both Amazon.com and Barnes &Noble.com, this is the first in Blood Moon's MAGNOLIA HOUSE series, books that explore the oddities, and "only in America" eccentricities of THE AMERICAN CENTURY and how they unfolded within Staten Island's most media-centric historic landmark.


Paperback 0-978-936003-65-5
Trim size 6x9 Page Count 230.

About the Author:

“Darwin Porter is the master of guilty pleasures. There is nothing like reading him for passing the hours. He is the Nietzsche of Naughtiness, the Goethe of Gossip, the Proust of Pop Culture. Porter knows all the nasty buzz anyone has ever heard whispered in dark bars, dim alleys, and confessional booths. And lovingly, precisely, and in as straightforward a manner as an oncoming train, his prose whacks you between the eyes with the greatest gossip since Kenneth Anger. Some would say better than Anger.” (as quoted from Alan W. Petrucelli’s THE ENTERTAINMENT REPORT at Examiner.com).

Porter began his career writing about politics and the entertainment industry for Knight Newspapers and The Miami Herald. Today, he’s one of the most prolific biographers in the world. His portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, J. Edgar Hoover, Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Howard Hughes, John and Jackie Kennedy, Paul Newman, Merv Griffin, Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando, Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, and Michael Jackson have generated widespread reviews and animated radio and blogsite commentaries worldwide. Some of his biographies have been serialized to millions of readers in The Sunday Times of London and The Mail on Sunday.

Porter is also the well-known original author of many editions of The Frommer Guides, a respected travel guidebook series that’s among the most prominent and well-respected in the world.

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Blood Moon Productions is a New York City-based publishing enterprise dedicated to researching, salvaging, and indexing the previously unrecorded oral histories of America's entertainment industry.


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