Unremembered Book 2

Actors, Artists, Entertainers & Influencers

Non-Fiction - Historical
263 Pages
Reviewed on 09/21/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite

Some characters make journeys through history fascinating. Although the memories of many of these people have faded, they become unforgettable once you have read about them. This is the case with Unremembered Book 2: Actors, Artists, Entertainers and Influencers by Ken Zurski. This book tells the stories of Isadora Duncan, James M. Barrie, and other figures that are more or less famous and often connected, even if only by a brief meeting, and gives you a picture of the world of entertainment at the time of the first performance of Peter Pan. This is not a biography but a one-of-a-kind book to explore history like never before.

I have always loved history and have often focused on lesser-known but fascinating characters as well as the more famous ones. Unremembered Book 2 allowed me to read stories about people I did not know before and find new information about the most famous characters. I loved the way Ken Zurski interweaved the lives of the many historical figures you meet in these pages and how often it is enough to mention one person while talking about another to start telling their story too. Despite this amount of information, the general picture is clear and never confusing and the book is delightful. Zurski took me on an exciting and well-documented journey, and I hope this is possible for many more readers. I recommend this book to those who like to discover history excitingly.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

You’ve probably heard of George Bernard Shaw. His play, Pygmalion, later re-created as the popular musical, My Fair Lady, continues to receive rave reviews even to this day. But have you ever heard of Mrs. Pat Campbell, fondly called Mrs. Pat, who played the lead character, Eliza Doolittle, in Shaw’s premiere of Pygmalion? Mrs. Pat’s agent felt she was too old to play the young flower girl, but Shaw begged to differ and so, too, did Mrs. Pat. It’s an inspiring story, one that many have never heard. Then there’s the photograph of the infamous train wreck at Montparnasse Station in Paris taken by Levi et Fils. I even have a reprint of that picture hanging in my home. There’s a story behind the photograph, just like there are countless stories surrounding other people and other events throughout history. We all know the famous characters that play auspicious roles in their fields of expertise, but how many people of prolific and creative expertise have disappeared from public record, neglected in history books, and forgotten in time? Sad, but true. As we all go through our lives making our meager contributions to society in multiple ways, one might certainly wonder what overall impact we'll have on the world in the future and whether we will be remembered as more than just an epigraph on a tombstone.

Ken Zurski’s book, Unremembered: Actors, Artists, Entertainers and Influencers, is the second book in his Unremembered series. The author has delved into the history of the arts, bringing back to life key figures who somehow slipped through the cracks of recognition. The characters are thoroughly researched and brought to life with the fine-tuned skill of a seasoned storyteller. Complete with photographs, short biographies, and anecdotes of a bygone era, the author leads the reader from one engaging story to the next, bringing together many key characters from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, people, known and unremembered, who made their mark on the creative world around them. This is a fascinating read that will intrigue both those who study history in the arts and those who have a compelling interest in the arts.

Foluso Falaye

After discovering photography, Nadar switched from pencil sketches of the most famous people in Paris to exploring more effective ways to take pictures. This led him to the revolutionary practice of taking photographs from balloons. Isadora and her brother were dancing in Kensington Square on an Indian summer night when an "extremely beautiful woman" approached them. This woman was revealed to be Mrs. Pat, one of London's best-known actresses. Nadar, Isadora, and Mrs. Pat are just three of the many amazing characters introduced in Ken Zurski's Unremembered Book 2: Actors, Artists, Entertainers and Influencers, a book about talented entertainers, astute businesspeople, and all the hard work that went into creating theatrical art in another era. The book discusses murder, suicide, passion, wealth, travel, the media, romance, friendship, and other intriguing topics.

Ken Zurski's meticulously compiled book offers a one-of-a-kind, vivid look at western theater entertainment from the 1800s to the mid-1900s, with beautiful photographs of entertainers and influencers as well as extensive references to books, newspapers, and other documents for those interested in verifying the stories. Isadora's barefoot, expressive solo dances, which "were all the rage" in France, England, and Germany are among the many interesting details and scenes in the book that made me wish I could have been there to witness them. If you enjoy historical accounts with interesting characters and want to learn more about the history of show business, you should read Unremembered Book 2. As a musician and entertainer, the main message I took away from the book was that doing what I love and creating memorable experiences for myself and others make life worthwhile, no matter what time or place one finds themselves in.