From her days as a West End star of comedy and revue, Dame Maggie's path would cross with those of the greatest actors, playwrights and directors of the era. Whether stealing scenes from Richard Burton (by his own admission), answering back to Laurence Olivier, or impressing Ingmar Bergman, her career can be seen as a 'Who's Who' of British theatre in the 20th century.
This book also covers the little-known period in Canada, a prolific five-season run of leading roles that took place during the height of her success in Hollywood, soon after she won her first Oscar for her signature film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
Recently Dame Maggie has been prominent on our screens as ever, with high-profile roles as Violet Crawley, the formidable Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the phenomenally successful television series Downton Abbey, and as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter film franchise: what she herself describes as 'Miss Jean Brodie in a wizard's hat'. Yet paradoxically she remains an enigmatic figure, rarely appearing in public and carefully guarding her considerable talent.
Michael Coveney's absorbing biography, written with the actress' blessing and drawing on personal archives as well as interviews with immediate family and close friends, is therefore as close as it gets to seeing the real Maggie Smith.
Read by Sian Thomas.
Regular price: £24.99
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for £24.99
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Elinor Dashwood on 14-09-15
If someone had told me that a biography on the divine Maggie Smith could be as dull as dishwater, I would not have believed them. Nor would I have believed that at the end of 14 odd hours, I would know scarcely more about this magnificent actress than I knew before. But so it is.
It's clear that the author has not interviewed Dame Maggie, (or her friends, colleagues or family) in any but the most superficial depth. This "biography" is mostly a catalogue of her work, a reprint of bits of reviews and anecdotes already out there, and (for padding, presumably) synopses of the plots (and many of the lines) of the plays, films and TV productions she has acted in.
If you're looking for the heart of Dame Maggie, what makes her tick, what she hopes and fears and loves, you won't find it here.
I should say that the narrator makes a valiant effort with this soporific material!
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
By H.A.B. on 12-10-15
what a DISAPPOINTMENT!!!
Would you try another book written by Michael Coveney or narrated by Sian Thomas?
no.... as this was probably one of the dullest, most tiresome biographies I ever read/listened to!
I wouldn't be surprised if the wonderful Maggie Smith was never interviewed for this book.... what could have been a fabulous book - was a great disappointment!
well, i learned more about Judy Dench than about Maggie Smith ...
What could Michael Coveney have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
he could have interviewed his subject ... as one gets the impression that this didn't happen.
VERY DISAPPOINTING !
Have you listened to any of Sian Thomas’s other performances? How does this one compare?
cannot say.... in this case here , he was fine .
it wasn't his fault, that the book was dull ....
What character would you cut from Maggie Smith?
not worth answering - scrap the whole ebook!
Any additional comments?
8 of 8 people found this review helpful