Elizabeth Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Elizabeth

Elizabeth Taylor was born on Feburary 27, 1932 to parents Sara and Francis. Although pleasant to look at, Elizabeth paled in comparison to her older brother Howard, who was considered the looker of the family. By the age of two, Sara had enrolled her daughter and singing and dancing lessons. By the age of four Elizabeth's striking beauty had begun to emerge - raven hair, violet/blue eyes and a dark mole on her face. Passersby in the street would stop Elizabeth's mother in the street and remark on her amazing beauty, comparing it to that of legendary actress Vivien Leigh. It was then that the seeds of Elizabeth Taylor the actress were sown into Sara Taylor's mind. From the beginning Sara was a determined mother, one who wanted her child to succeed in the business at all costs. Although the Taylor family spent many years living in London, the war forced the family to return to America for safety concerns. It is 1941 and the Taylors are living in California where Sara is making the rounds regarding Elizabeth's future as an actress. At the tender age of 9 Elizabeth is signed to a deal with Universal, where she proceeds to make her first film, There's one Born Every Minute. Elizabeth's career as a child star takes off with films like Jane Eyre, White CLiffs of Dover and her big break, National Velvet. National Velvet makes Elizabeth Taylor an international star, although it comes at a cost. During the making of the film Liz suffers a crushing spine injury that will reoccur throughout the rest of her life. In 1949 Liz has established herself as a major star and she begins to experience her first romances. It is in the fall of 1949 that she meets hotel heir Nicky Hilton. After a whirlwind romance, the two marry in winter of 1950. The marriage is a brutal one, during which Hilton viciously beats and abuses Liz. After seven months of torment, the marriage is finished. Now employed by MGM, Liz's career is still on the upswing as she makes Ivanhoe and meets her future husband, actor Michael Wilding. The two marry and have two children together, although it fails to keep their passionless marriage afloat. By 1956, the two are headed to divorce court and Liz has moved on to her next great love, Mike Todd. The day after Liz's separation from Wilding is announced, Todd professes his love to her and proposes marriage. At this time Todd is famously wealthy and showers Liz with diamonds, starting her life long love affair with the jewels. At this time Elizabeth is filming a Place in the Sun and forming a lifelong friendship with actor, Montgomery Clift. In February of 1957 Liz marries Mike Todd, giving birth to a child, Liza, in August of 1957. Tragically, Mike Todd is killed in a plane crash in March of 1958, devastating Elizabeth Taylor and sending her into the arms of Todd's good friend, singer Eddie Fisher. In that Eddie Fisher is married to America's sweetheart, Debbie Reynolds, America is in an uproar over the adulterous lovers. Despite the scandal and Debbie Reynold's pain, the two marry in May of 1959. Despite the scandal, Liz's career is at an all time high as she makes the film Butterfield 8 and wins the oscar. It is as Liz prepares to make the film CLeopatra that Elizabeth Taylor heads towards her romantic destiny with actor Richard Burton, the love of her life. As Liz engages in a passionate and disruptive affair with Burton, once again she is embroiled in scandal and facing the dissolution of a marriage.
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The review of this Book prepared by Sandra Calhoune

Chapter Analysis of Elizabeth

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Plot & Themes

job/profession:    -   actor/actress Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Story of entertainer?    -   Movie Drama Actor Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   actor/actress/producer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest    -   California Century:    -   1960's-1970's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   in awe    -   like laughing Graphic sex in book?    -   Yes If this is a kid's book:    -   Age 16-Adult Pictures/Illustrations?    -   A ton 16-20 B&W How much dialogue in bio?    -   significantly more descript than dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   26-50% of book

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J. Randy Taraborrelli Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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