B0146. (MELBA) Ann Blainey. Marvelous Melba – The Extraordinary Life of a Great Diva. Chicago, Ivan R. Dee, 2009. 390pp. Index; Bibliography; Photos; DJ. - 9781566638098
“Underneath the Poiret gowns and in the echo of Melba’s fabulous trill, Blainey depicts a woman often sad, morose and unhappy….[Melba’s] secure Marchesi schooling and her fierce will propelled her on and on. She was a snob and certainly a bit of a poseur. She demanded homage and got it. She calculated her own worth and developed a keen business sense. She could also be plain, frank, generous, friendly and, not surprisingly given her background possessed an earthy sense of humour. A wide gap separated the public and private woman, and Blainey has mingled the two nicely.”
- Andrew Cottonaro, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2009
"'Nobody sings like Melba, and nobody ever will," proclaimed the impresario Oscar Hammerstein in 1908. Like many others of his time, he considered her the world's greatest singer. The wild acclaim showered on her by American fans led to the coining of the word "Melbamania." Year after year she toured America on the "Melba" train, bringing opera and concerts to out-of-the-way cities and towns; thanks to the new gramophone, she could also be heard in the remotest locales. Ann Blainey's beguiling life of Nellie Melba tells the story of a woman who-in an era when no woman was prime minister, chief justice, head of a church or financial firm, or a universal film star-became perhaps the most famous woman in the world. Ms. Blainey's Marvelous Melba punctures many of the myths surrounding Melba's life and career, and offers a new portrait of the great diva."