Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Kelly Murphy with Hallie
Publisher: Zest Books
“One way or another, the 50 people in this book made other people swoon. Each entry explains why these people were sexy to their contemporaries and why they still matter to us today, sometimes for the better …” Kelly Murphy, with Hallie Fyrd’s assistance, writes in her book, Historical Heartthrobs: 50 Timeless Crushes – From Cleopatra to Camus.
This two hundred and twenty-four page small paperback targets ages those interested in iconic men and women that captured the public’s attention during their era. After a two page introduction, fifty lives are discussed, ending with further reading and a thorough index. Using mostly black and white photographs and drawings, there are a few color depictions spread throughout the book.
At four pages each, the heartthrob listed starts with a full-page photograph with a small insert of vital statistics that include years living, country of origin, area of influence, and style of seduction. After a brief paragraph, a short biography follows, along with a summary of his or her sex life, why he or she matters, the best feature of the individual, and the perceived heat factor of one to five degrees. Colored boxes are added of quotes, highlights, or information.
Sometimes written with dry humor, Cleopatra is the earliest “hottie,” dating back to 30 B.C. Skipping to seventeen hundred years later, next are names like Benjamin Franklin, Marie Antoinette, and Lord Byron. As the years progress up to 2007, well-known politians, scientists, writers, entertainers, athletes, artists, and actors are mentioned, complete with photographs.
One reader may want to know more about the unsmiling Czarina Alexandra, the last empress of Russia who is only a one on the heat factor meter or Jim Thorpe, the greatest athlete in the world at the time who scored a three on the meter. Names like Frederick Douglass, Annie Oakley, Nellie Bly, Coco Channel, and T.E. Lawrence were some of the high-five scorers.
For the novice, the historian or middle schooler doing a book report, this small table-top book would make a nice conversational starter as debates begin who were the heartthrobs of their day. A gift for the person who loves the past, this limited collection covering three thousand years briefly paints portraits of fifty famous figures that apparently swooned their admirers.
Thanks to Zest Books and Bookpleasures for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.