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Dear Members,

I'd like to recommend to you ''In and Out of Character'' (if you haven't already read it ;) ), Basil Rathbone's autobiography.

Book Description

Publication Date: August 1, 2004

Long out of print and virtually impossible to find even in the rare book market, this autobiography recalls to life one of the most eminent actors of his time. Sherlock Holmes fans will be much interested in Basil Rathbone's remarks on the character with whom he has been so closely identified.

Rathbone's book is full of the lore and magic of a wonderful era in the art form of the 20th century called the movies. He gives us candid and insightful information on some of the original giants of the industry. Rathbone is romantic yet concise and realistic. His anecdotes are often hilarious...sometimes sad, always involving. The stories of his personal life show that qualities like true love, loyalty and dedication do exist in the fickle, often ruthless world of show business. Rathbone's account of his psychic experiences involving his brother is especially intriguing, and his devotion to his wife Ouida Bergere is moving. His advice on acting is right on and should be part of any aspiring or working actor's education. It is an intelligent book by a talented artist and decent human being.
Review written by David Macklin

"Basil Rathbone's book about better written than most books by or about actors and is more intellectually vigorous...Sherlock Holmes fans will be much interested in his remarks on the character with whom he has been so closely identified." -Library Journal "Quite naturally full of memories, full of names, full of glimpses of stars of stage and screen of yesterday and today."
New York Times Book Review

Paperback: 278 pages (in the middle of the book you can find 16 pages filled with pictures of Basil Rathbone in various plays as well as personal pictures of his family and friends)
Publisher: Limelight Editions (August 1, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0879101199
ISBN-13: 978-0879101190

Available at:

Please feel free to ask me if you have further question about the book. I have a copy at home :)
If you have already read the book, I'd be very interessted in how you liked it :)

Have a nice day!
chrisco97 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cool, will check it out. Nice to hear from you guys! :D
DarkSaxeBleu Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
... Been very seriously thinking of ordering it (together with few others) for the past month :) Could use a detailed personal opinion ...
ShinigamiVermont Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2011
I haven't given my detailed opinion about the book because I wasn't sure if I could descripe it very well, but I try ^^

As far as I can tell (I'm not a native speaker) it is very well written, filled with anecdotes which makes it very entertaining and sometimes also sad to read.
After a two page preface Mr.Rathbone starts his first chapter with his experience in the war. From that he goes back to his childhood up to the 50s. He tells the reader about his career, the background story to various plays he took part in, famous persons he knew, his family life as well as personal experiences which made him how he is. As I've mentioned above there are 16 black/white pictures in the middle of the book of his family and himself in various plays, which I think is a very nice collection.
One chapter is dedicated to his experience with the Sherlock Holmes movies, but the main focus of the book is clearly on his other work. I believe he only wrote a whole chapter about it for his fans ^^ A special goody of this chapter is the short story (about 3 1/2 pages)''Daydream'' which he has written about Sherlock Holmes and was published in Esquire Magazine.

In my opinion the book is great for everyone who loves Basil Rathbone and wants to know more about his life and who he was.
(One point, which I found particulary interesting, was that he deplored the decay of the 'modern' television world and that it's now a technological civilation which rules our thinking rather than the creative arts. He also said that ''for whereas the atom might one day destroy us all comepletely in matter of days, television might do an equally good job, over a much longer period, by merely reducing us to a state of such impotence that our ability to distinguish what is bad from what is good could be impaired for ever and ever.'' I think this in particular shows the great foresight he possessed for we have exactly the this situation nowadays.)

(for a hopefully better overview)

1. War [1]
2. The Great Illusion [11]
3. Repton School 1906-10 [31]
4. First Flush of Success [39]
5. Ouida [50]
6. A Gentleman's Gentleman [70]
7. The World Is Not a Stage [87]
8. Judas [109]
9. Katharine Cornell [119]
10. Motion Pictures [127]
11. A Home at Last [156]
12 The War Years [165]
13. ''Hi there, Sherlock, how's Dr.Watson?'' [178]
14. The Heiress [189]
15. Good-by, My Friend [207]
16. J.B [219]
17. Last Act, Please. Curtain Going Up. [228]
18. And So Good Night [264]
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December 29, 2011


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