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on 17 May 2012
Michelle Morgan's 'Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed' is a fully revised, expanded update to her earlier Monroe biography, first published in 2007. This new paperback highlights her research and writing, with a more comprehensive text.

Morgan lives in Britain where, for twelve years, she headed the Marilyn Lives Society. She approaches Monroe's life from a different time and place, with compassion. However, Morgan's attention to detail is rigorous, allowing a broader view of the subject.

Morgan chronicles the making of Monroe's films; her creative ambitions and triumphs; marriages and lovers; her agonising struggle to have children, and battles with addiction and depression. In each case, Morgan shares her findings and clarifies past mistakes, adding her nuanced perspective to a story so often retold.

The subtlety of Morgan's portrayal comes to the fore in the chapters surrounding Marilyn's untimely death. She pinpoints errors made in the official investigation, and considers less-explored possibilities while allowing readers to draw their own conclusions.

Some may find this grounded, scrupulous approach unsuited to an enigmatic figure like Monroe. But with 'Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed', Michelle Morgan has completed a biography as complex and appealing as Marilyn herself.
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on 28 May 2012
As a life long admirer of Marilyn Monroe, I can remember a time when the announcement of a new book about my heroine would bring me as much excitement as a child looking forward to Christmas. These days it's a very different feeling indeed, usually one filled apprehension and dread as through time I've come to learn that most biographers start of with the best intentions but end up making mistakes by relying on previous publications that contain poor research based on hearsay and gossip and mostly not very reliable sources. For a long time I have prayed to God for a book that would do justice to Norma Jeane's life story and this is it. At last we have a book worthy of the extraordinary woman who became Hollywood's most beloved icon...

'Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed' is in my view, the best Monroe biography in over 40 years. Not since Fred Lawrence Guiles' "Norma Jean," which I have always held in high regard, has there been such a book. In fact, I have enjoyed Michelle's style of writing so much I'd say it even eclipse's Guiles work!

I found myself reading things for the first time about someone whom I thought I knew very well. Michelle, through her meticulous research has uncovered new stories about Marilyn's childhood, the Knebelkamp family and Aunt Minnie, new details about her drama coach Natasha Lytess and her vocal coach Hal Schaefer, her frustration with her mother and the true depth of her relationship with her father, the true extent of Joe DiMaggio's devotion to her in her final year, her painful suffering from endometriosis, her struggles to improve herself, her ambitions, having her dreams turned into reality but all the while failing to find the personal happiness and professional fulfilment she ultimately sought.

In the fifty years since Marilyn died it seems that every few years there is a revival and a fresh flurry of interest in her. But the way the world is now, the Internet and with YouTube it would appear that Marilyn's popularity is at an all time high as it has soared to new heights. For anyone new to the Monroe world, perhaps through films like My Week With Marilyn garnering new interest in the legend, Michelle's account of Marilyn's time spent in England in 1956 will be of particular interest as we have a more historically accurately description of that time.

Each chapter covers a period in Marilyn's life and is like a short story in itself. I found myself going back and re-reading chapters I enjoyed the most and also because of this it's a good source of reference for clarifying incidents and dates. Michelle has been lucky enough to count among her sources, people who were there at the time and were a privy to what was happening behind the scenes.

Marilyn Monroe: Private And Undisclosed is an honourable and respectful portrait of the woman who came to define Hollywood glamour, stardom, female sexuality who had many human qualities, but at the same time could be difficult, complex and her own worst enemy. It's the most compelling account of the life of Marilyn Monroe yet and it's the one book everybody should read in this, the 50th Anniversary year of her premature death.
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on 23 September 2012
I would like to thank Michelle Morgan for getting her latest book sent to me so that I could review it. This is a new edition which has been revised and expanded, the original book having been published in 2007. I see this book as a lovely tribute to Marilyn Monroe being that this year marks 50 years since her death.

Michelle Morgan is a massive fan of Marilyn Monroe. Over the years Michelle has read a number of books about her, some of which were just plain awful. She got so tired of reading all the scandal, gossip and lies and this prompted her to write her own biography about Marilyn. It has taken years of painstaking research and interviews to get this book together.

'Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed' has been very well presented. A lot of information has been packed into this biography. Throughout the book you learn all about Marilyn's life including her childhood, acting career, her various marriages and lovers, her battle with depression and her struggle to have children. I am pleased to see that Michelle Morgan at least hasn't made any assumptions. There are also a number of lovely photographs. Towards the end of the book there is a postscript, a section where various people have remembered Marilyn, a reference guide and a very useful index.

I didn't know an awful lot about Marilyn so was very interested in reading about her. I'm so glad that she achieved her dream which was to be an actress. It's just a pity that Marilyn died so young especially as she appeared to have lots of plans. Having read this book I am now determined to sit down and watch a couple of the films in which Marilyn appeared.

Whether you're a fan of Marilyn Monroe or if like me you want to learn more about her, I recommend you read this book.
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on 27 October 2013
Since Marilyn's untimely death over 51 years ago a huge number of books have been written about her life & death. Unfortunately, the majority of these books are filled with more inaccurate information & completely fabricated "facts" than true information about Marilyn & who she was.

I have read many books about Marilyn, good, bad & ugly. And even the good ones tend to have information that is easily proven to be false.

This book, is different. It's amazing! I've read so many books & watched so many documentaries on Marilyn there are at least certain parts of her life that I thought I knew inside out with nothing more to be learned. So much so, I had begun questioning why I still read these books full of what I already know, but here I felt like I was learning something new on every page!

This is the book I'd suggest to anyone wanting to learn about Marilyn - new fan or old. It is an absolute must have!!

Michelle remains respectful to Marilyn but is in no way biased towards her because she's a fan. Her research is outstanding & she tells the good & the bad.

If you're looking for drama & conspiracy, this isn't the book for you. There are many books of her "affair" with JFK (unlikely it ever happened) or My Week With Marilyn (almost 100% certain it didn't happen) .. But if you want a detailed look at who Marilyn was & her life, & want the facts rather than the myth .... Buy this book. You'll never need another!!
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on 25 May 2012
In just a few days I have devoured this book and certainly there are numerous nuggets that I had not known despite being a fan for almost 25 years.

This is a sincerely respectful work that does not engage with salacious rumours, but counts on evidence and personal testimony. As such, it is possible to come to a closer understanding of the woman Marilyn was amongst those who genuinely knew her. I only normally buy books about Marilyn that are written by people who knew her, or where she has had some significant input herself, with "Marilyn Amongst Friends", "Marilyn: An Appreciation", "Fragments", and "Conversations with Marilyn" remaining favourites. Along with those, this is essential reading for anyone interested in who the woman behind the icon really was.

Extremely accessible, and written with sensitivity and warmth towards her subject as only a genuine fan can, Michelle Morgan's wonderful book is the perfect antidote to the many tabloid-style publications cashing in on the 50th Anniversary of her death.
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on 21 August 2012
I have read more books on Marilyn than is probably normal, but this is the best. I cannot fault it - the background of the girl who grew up to be the biggest star in the world, actually backed up by facts rather than hearsay. Can't be beaten.
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on 7 January 2013
For 19 years I have tried to "find" the real Marilyn Monroe. With over 200 books in my collection I have never felt like I have fully understood the woman behind the camera, untill now. Morgans book is so well researched and written that she could have been with Marilyn every step of the way. No stone unturned and facts and info that will make you very anti social to your friends, as this book is very hard to put down. I felt at the end of it, that I had sat and had coffee with the Legend and felt closer to Marilyn than any book had got me before. I urge you to read this book if you a. know nothing about Monroe b. think you know everything c. say Marilyn was just a dumb blond.
You will never find out the truth behind the smile if you dont read this!
Bravo Michelle for giving your time and dedication for us to read.
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on 2 September 2012
This is by far the best biography written regards Marilyn Monroe, it's unfair to say this is a revised edition of the writers previous book, it's much better to view this book as an entirely new production, massively expanded (by my reckoning some 75k words). Michelle leaves no stone unturned and offers a concise and unerringly accurate depiction of Norman Jeane Bakers life from cradle to grave without relying upon make believe scandal and nonsense, invented sources and drivel that by and large the majority of other biographers seem to rely on. Michelle's book is the real deal, after reading this any other biography on the subject will either pale into insignificance or be a blatant copy. This book is superbly written, honest and real...you can't go wrong.
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on 29 January 2014
Having never read any Marilyn Monroe bios I was interested in reading one that wasn't just gossip, this book comes across as incredibly well researched. While it does share information about her early years and also her personal life, it largely concentrates on the building of her career and the relationships built through that. I assume that no one can ever know the 'real story' this book certainly raises a number of different points, popular beliefs and opinions surrounding the star's life and death, in many instances referencing magazine & news stories of the time.
While the author is clearly extremely dedicated to the subject of Marilyn Monroe, she has made great efforts to maintain a balanced representation, not highlighting all the enchanting charms of Marilyn but including many of the weaknesses, faults and flaws. I personally struggled with the sheer volume of full street addresses, dates and times that are used to pinpoint key events, finding that it made the book quite difficult to get into and made some elements more laborious to read.
An extremely fascinating read- the collection of photographs (many of which I'd never seen before) are a great addition to the book. I will certainly view her movies with different eyes now.
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on 25 September 2012
I've read many biographies about Marilyn Monroe over the years.

However, like most, I felt the majority tend to side more with the wild rumours and hearsay.

What I loved about this book though, was the detail about Marilyn's early life - and the journey that led her to the silver screen.

At times it was almost like reading a diary; accounts of events backed up by pure fact.

I was very impressed by this, and it was refreshing.

You get to 'see' the real woman behind the icon.
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