Glamour, Glitz, & Gossip at Historic Magnolia House



From the silver screen of Hollywood to the lights of Broadway, celebrity secrets exposed within the walls of this old house

Darwin Porter & Danforth Prince

Built in stages between 1830 and 1870, Magnolia House is an award-winning AirBnb and a historic landmark on Staten Island, the least-visited Outer Borough of New York City.

Set within a 10-minute walk from the (free) Staten Island ferry that accesses Manhattan, it's also the home of the widely distributed independent press, BLOOD MOON PRODUCTIONS, a feisty wordsmith noted for celebrity biographies that have been reviewed in THE DAILY MAIL, the New York DAILY NEWS, show-biz news reports, and literary journals across the country.

Before that, it was the editorial and research headquarters for many editions of THE FROMMER GUIDES, the most widely-read travel guidebook series in publishing history.

Some visitors liken Magnolia House to a grande dame with a centuries-old 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. They've included movie vamps from the silent screen, MIDNIGHT COWBOYS, dancers from the dance, BUTTERFLIES IN HEAT, a heavyweight boxing champ, writers from every hue, faded film goddesses, playwrights who crafted blockbusters for both Marilyn (Monroe) and Elizabeth (Taylor), ultra-avant-garde diarists, every known variety of prima donna and diva, including some from the world of opera, and a world-class Olympic athlete.

They've also included Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince, who spent decades here renovating it and producing a stream of award-winning celebrity biographies.

This book illuminates Magnolia House's contribution to the American Century, when dozens of celebrities--some of them sane and emotionally stable, others not--visited it or were subjected to intense scrutiny and tabloid exposés, from within its walls.

Issued as a celebration of the the American definition of scandal and notoriety, this book reveals what Magnolia House's celebrities did and the secrets they revealed within its walls.


Paperback 978-1-936003-73-0
Trim size 6x9 Ppg 325 with 200 photos
Price $34.95
Available now

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

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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