Books

Dust Jacket for My Private DiaryRudolph Valentino's incredible popularity in his lifetime is comparable to the celebrities of today such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.  With his premature passing in 1926, interest in Rudolph Valentino has not really waned, but grown steadily through the years.  Therefore, like other film stars who died at a young age, he is the subject of many a biography, some good, some bad and some really wretched. 

The list that follows is not a wholly complete list, nor is it intended to be.  It will give you a good start with regard to a reading list.

My ambitions vaulted high above the earth and fastened themselves to the immemorial stars. I wanted Fame. I wanted LOVE. I wanted my name to ring around the world. And I wanted that name to awaken love in the world as it went its ringing round.

Rudolph Valentino, 1923

 

Books and Articles by Rudolph Valentino

  • Daydreams (1923) MacFadden Publications, Inc. (New York). A book of poetry authored by Valentino. This book is not too difficult to locate.
  • Daydreams (1923) Hurst and Blackett, Ltd. (London). Also published in a rare softbound version in 1924.
  • Sogni ad occhi aperti (Day Dreams). Italian edition translated by Marinella Grosa. (1995) Libreria Petrini Torino (Italy).
  • How You Can Keep Fit (1923) MacFadden Publications (New York). This was originally published in Liberty Magazine in the 20's and republished again in the 1930's. Thanks to Jim Lovelace for the image.
  • My Private Diary (1929) Occult Publishing Company (Chicago).  Originally published in Movie Weekly Magazine in serial form from February 1924 to August 1924. Valentino's travel diaries from his first trip back to Europe in 1923 after becoming a star. This book was available in hardback as well as paperback.
  • The Intimate Journal of Rudolph Valentino (1931) William Faro, Inc. (New York). This book is reported to be the private journal of Valentino. It is ghosted and heavily fictionalized and I would say it is not the least bit authentic. Does make for an interesting read one time through.

Books about Rudolph Valentino

  • Valentino as I Knew Him by S. George Ullman. (1926) Macy-Masius Publishers. One of my favorite books on Valentino since it was written by a person who knew him and shows the real side of Valentino as a person. I recommend it highly. The book is not too hard to locate as it sold in the thousands shortly after his passing and was reprinted the following year in a popular edition (see below).  This book was also published in the UK, France, Finland and other countries.
  • Valentino as I Knew Him by S. George Ullman (1927) A.L. Burt. This is the book in a popular edition with a different dust jacket and half the photos as the first edition.
  • Rudy: An Intimate Portrait of Rudolph Valentino by his wife Natacha Rambova. (1926) Hutchinson & Co. Ltd. (London). Not an easy book to locate. This book only had one printing in 1926 and next to How You Can Keep Fit is one of the most difficult books to find.
  • Rudolph Valentino Recollections by Natacha Rambova. (1927) Jacobson Hodgkinson Company. A cheap paperback edition, abridged of Rambova's book. More readily available than the hardback, but difficult to find in good condition.
  • The Life and Loves of Rudolph Valentino (1926) Biographical booklet published after Valentino's passing in 1926.
  • Rudolph Valentino - His Romantic Life and Death by Ben-Allah. (1926) Ben-Allah, Co. (California).
  • La Vie Amoureuse de Rudolph Valentino by Edouard Ramond. (1926) Librairie Baudiniere (France).
  • Rudolph Valentino Sa Vie - Ses Films - Ses Aventures (1926) Les Publications Jean-Pascal (Paris, France)
  • Het liefde-leven van Rudolph Valentino by J. G. Burdon. (1927) Koloniale Boek Centrale (Amsterdam).
  • Rodolfo Valentino cavaliere dell'amore by Sarah Weskaja. (1927) Licino Cappelli Editore Bologna (Italy).
  • Rodolfo Valentino by Ivan Pissilenko (1927) Edizioni Vitagliano (Milan, Italy).
  • Avventure d'Amore di Rodolfo Valentino by Ligurgo Serradifalco, (1927) Ediziono Pervinca (Milan, Italy).
  • Die Liebesabenteuer des Rudolf Valentino by Ligurgo Serradifalco, (1927) Verlag Ross GmbH (Berlin, Germany).
  • La vita amorosa di Rodolfo Valentino by Edouard Ramond. Translated by Enrico Piceni. (1927) A. Mondadori Milano (Italy).
  • Los Amores d Rodolfo Valentino by Edouard Ramond. Translated by A.O. Sole. (1927) Films Selctos, Bacelona.
  • What the Fans Think of Rudy Valentino  - A Memorial Book by Charles Mank, Jr. (1929) 
  • Valentino: The Unforgotten by Roger C. Peterson. (1937) Wetzel Publishing Co. This book has the odd twist of being a tribute to Valentino by the fans who make a pilgrimage to his gravesite.
  • Remember Valentino by Beulah Livingstone (1938). A little paper magazine/book of recollections of Valentino along with a complete synopsis of his two final films The Eagle and The Son of the Sheik. Lots of photos, but since the book is essentially newsprint, not too high in quality. It was published to coincide with the 1938 reissue of the two above-mentioned films.
  • Rodolfo Valentino Avventure Amorose by Licurgo Serradifalco (1944) Italian Book Company, New York, NY (U.S. reprint of 1927 edition)
  • Die Liebsabendeuer des Rudolf Valentino (1927) Verlag Ross, Berlin.
  • Valentino by Alan Arnold. (1952) Hutchinson & Co, Ltd.
  • Rodolfo Valentino En el 25th Aniversario de su Muerte by Jesus Basañez Arrese (1951) Graficas Bilbao (Spain). A nice lavishly illustrated bio to commemorate Rudy 25 years after his passing. Issued in paperback and hardback.
  • Rudolph Valentino, The Man Behind the Myth by Robert Oberfirst. (1962) Citadel Press [Library of Congress Catalogue No. 62-21008]. This book is dedicated to Nita Naldi who was Valentino's co-star in several films. This book was republished in 1977 in paperback format.
  • Ciao Rudy by Luigi Magni (1965) Cappelli Editore Rocca San Giovanni (Italy).
  • Valentino, An Intimate Shocking Expose by Brad Steiger and Chaw Mank (1966) MacFadden Books. It was issued with a very nice cover for the U.K. edition paperback. This little volume is really stinko, avoid it if you can.
  • Valentino by Irving Shulman (1967) Trident Press, division of Simon and Schuster [Library of Congress Catalogue No. 66-12335]. One of the earlier "trash the celebrity" biographies. The book focuses a great deal on Valentino's funeral and in between there is a great deal of imaginative dialogue! This book focuses on the death of Valentino and the circus of the New York riots at Campbells, it’s very thorough in that respect.
  • The Magic of Rudolph Valentino by Norman A. Mackenzie. Research Publishing Co. [ISBN 0-7050-0018-4] Before Emily Leider’s 2003 biography (see below) This along with the Alexander Walker book was the preferred modern biography of Valentino. This books is flawed in that it relies upon the book The Intimate Journal of Rudolph Valentino as fact, aside from that, it’s good general bio. Currently out of print in the U.S., but you may be able to find it in a book search.
  • The Intimate Life of Rudolph Valentino by Jack Scagnetti. (1975) Jonathan David Publishers [ISBN 0-8426-0197-1]. This book is the recollections of a former employee of Rudolph Valentino and Natacha Rambova, Luther Mahoney. An interesting insight into Valentino the man as well as some thoughts on Natacha Rambova.
  • Rodolfo Valentino by Sergio Trinchero & Sergio Russo. (1975) Priuli & Verlucca. This is a small Italian photo book, the image quality is terrible.
  • Rudolph Valentino by Alexander Walker. (1976) Stein and Day [ISBN 0-8128-2098-1]. Another good modern era biography of Valentino. Recommended along with the Norman MacKenzie volume listed above.
  • Valentino - The Love God by Neil Botham and Brad Donnelly. (1976) Everest Books.
  • Valentino, The True Life Story by Vincent Tajiri. (1977) Bantam Books.
  • Valentino by Robert Oberfirst. Italian edition translated by Bruno Oddera. (1977) Longonesi & C.Milano (Italy).
  • Rudolph Valentino By Jeanne DeRecqueville. (1977) Empire Editions (Paris), also printed in Canada by Presses Select (1978).
  • Valentino La Seduccion Manipulada by Antonio Tello and Gonzalo Otero Pizarro (1978) Editori Bruguera (Barcelona, Spain)
  • There's a New Star in Heaven .. Valentino (1979) International Filmfestpiele Berlin (Berlin, Germany)
  • Il Mistero Rodolfo Valentino by Leo Pantaleo. (1995) Idea Books Milano (Italy).
  • Rudolph & Rodolfo - La Vita Breve e Felice di Valentino by Vito Attolini (1995) Schena Editore (Italy).
  • Rodolfo Valentino Una Mitologia Per Immagini by Chicca Guglielmi Morone and Antonio Miredi. (1996) Libreria Petrini Torino (Italy).
  • Valentino Lo Schermo Della Passione Paola Cristalli (ed.) (1997) TransEuropa (Italy)
    ISBN: 88 7828 110 7
  • Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino by Emily W. Leider (2003) Farrar, Straus and Giroux (US) ISBN: 0374282390. The best modern biography of Valentino to date.
  • Valentino Forever by Tracy Terhune (2004) Authorhouse Books.  A chronicle of the annual memorial services held at Hollywood Memorial Park (now Hollywood Forever). ISBN: 1418405221.
  • The Valentino Mystique by Allan Ellenberger (2005) McFarland A great reference tool for the Valentino fan, many great tools for your research into Valentino life and untimely death.  ISBN: 0-7864-1950-4. 
  • Valentino: The Unforgotten by Roger C. Peterson, edited by Tracy Terhune (2007) Authorhouse Books.  ISBN: 1425996736.  Tracy Terhune has republished and expanded this rare 1937 book and added new photos.
  • Rudolph Valentino - The Silent Idol His Life in Photographs by Donna L. Hill (2010) Blurb Books, ISBN: 978-0-615-30912-5. Yes, it is a little egotistical to list my own book here, can't help it, I am proud of it.

A Few of the Stranger Books in the Lexicon of Valentino Ephemera

  • The Return of Rudolph Valentino by Rev. Carol E. McKinstry. (1952) Kirby & Gee (Los Angeles). One of wackier titles in the cannon of books on Rudolph Valentino. In 1938, while living in England, Rudy appeared to Carol McKinstry and dictated the story from beyond the grave as a "warning throughout the ages."
  • Rudolph Valentino is My Spirit Friend by Anna Lou Erhard. (1959) William-Frederick Press (New York). Biographical report of an intimate psychic experience. Need I say anything more?
  • The Voice of Valentino by Lynn Russell (1965). Spirit messages from Valentino through the medium, the late Leslie Flint.
  • Valentino Speaks - The Wisdom of Rudolph Valentino by Wayne Hatford (2011) Whitley Heights Publishing ISBN: 978-0983343608 -"Valentino’s observations on life propel you on a uniquely beautiful mind, heart, and soul expanding experience."

Books Relating to Valentino

  • Madame Valentino: The Many Lives of Natacha Rambova by Michael Morris. Abbeville Press [ISBN 1-55859-136-2]. A heavily researched book on Rudolph Valentino's second wife. There are a few candid family photos of Rudy and Natacha in the book.  A must read, Natacha was a fascinating woman, far ahead of her time, much maligned and misunderstood, rightly or wrongly, Rudy loved her and this book helps explain why.

Photoplay Editions

  • Beyond the Rocks by Elinor Glyn, The Macauley Company, 1922.  Pictoral dust jacket and 4 illustrations from the film inside.
  • Blood and Sand by Vincente Blasco-Ibañez, E.P. Dutton, Illustrated Edition, August 1922, September 1922, and October, 1922.  Pictoral dust jacket and 16 illustrations from the film inside.  This edition can be difficult to locate in any form, nearly impossible with a dust jacket.
  • Cobra by Martin Brown and Russell Holman, Grosset and Dunlap, 1925.  Pictoral dust jacket and 6 illustrations from the film inside.
  • Cobra by Martin Brown and Russell Holman, Readers Library (UK edition), 1925.  Pictoral dust jacket, no interior illustrations.
  • The Eagle by Hayter Preston and Henry Savage, Readers Library (UK edition), 1925.  Pictoral dust jacket, no interior illustrations.
  • L'Aigle Noir, French illustrated edition, softbound.
  • El Aguila Negra, Spanish illustrated edition, softbound.
  • The Four Horsemen of the Apocalyspe by Vincente Blasco-Ibañez, A.L. Burt Company, 1920's edition, pictoral dust jacket, no interior illustrations.
  • Monsieur Beaucaire by Booth Tarkington, Grosset and Dunlap, 1924.  Pictoral dust jacket, illustrated endwraps and 6 illustrations from the film inside.
  • The Sheik by E.M. Hull, Readers Library (UK edition), 1922.  Pictoral dust jacket, 1 interior illustration.
  • Le Cheik, French illustrated edition, softbound.
  • The Sons of the Sheik by E.M. Hull, A.L. Burt Company, 1926, art dust jacket, 4 illustrations from the film inside.
  • The Sons of the Sheik by E.M. Hull, Nash's Popular Library (UK edition), 1926, pictoral dust jacket, no interior illustrations.

Want to see covers to some of the books?  You can find them here.

Books on Valentino
Do you have a favorite book relating to Valentino that you don't see here?  Drop me an email and let me know! 

Where are the book covers?  You can see them here.

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