Praised as “undoubtedly the best of the many books on Judy Garland” by no less a critic than John Lahr (the son of Bert Lahr, the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz), Anne Edwards’s biography attempts to present a complete picture of the late actress, and not just the boozing, drug-addicted caricature of a woman that is central to lesser biographies. From Edwards's account we learn, for example, that Garland saw it as her duty to provide for her family financially, a generosity that her mother Ethel exploited with disastrous results. A student of great poets—Shelley, Keats, and Browning in particular—she often tried her own hand at verse; surviving poems are reproduced here. Above all Judy Garland sought to please, whether it was an audience or a studio head, and therein lies her powerful and heartbreaking story.
Anne Edwards is the author of several bestselling biographies of notable figures, including film stars Vivien Leigh and Katharine Hepburn, as well as Queen Mary and Gone with the Wind novelist Margaret Mitchell. A fastidious researcher and accomplished writer, Edwards received a Pulitzer prize nomination for her book Early Reagan: The Rise of an American Hero. Her memoir, Leaving Home (2012) is available from Scarecrow Press. She lives in Beverly Hills, California.