The Glass Character

By (author): Margaret Gunning

In the heady days of the 1920s Jazz Age, people went to the movies almost every day, living vicariously through their heroes: Valentino, Garbo, Fairbanks, and Pickford. But comedians were the biggest draw, and broad slapstick the order of the day, with one very significant exception. Standing beside Keaton and Chaplin in popularity and prowess was a slight, diffident man named Harold Lloyd – the silent era’s most influential comedian.

For sixteen year-old Jane he was a living god, and though Lloyd had as many female followers as Gilbert or Barrymore, Jane knew no one could adore him more than she did, and no one would be willing to sacrifice more to be part of his life. But as guileless as Jane may seem, her unaffected vision reveals much about the politics of the major studios, the power plays of the directors, producers, and actors. Her story also reveals much about the human heart and our desire to love against impossible odds.

“Margaret Gunning’s fascination with Harold Lloyd and the fabled silent era of Hollywood is compelling and full of surprises . . . Her writing is stunning, surprising, deeply insightful, and well worth the respect of readers and writers.” – David West, author, Franklin and McClintock, Caedmon’s Hymn, The Tragic Voyage of HMCS Valleyfield

“Having known the man and made a couple of films about him, I came to admire Harold Lloyd more and more. If you want to convert someone to silent films, just show them one, of his features. I’m sure he’d have been fascinated by this book.” – Kevin Brownlow, author, The Search for Charlie Chaplin, Behind the Mask of Innocence: Films of Social Conscience in the Silent Era

“Margaret Gunning writes with uncanny grace and unflinching clarity about what it is to be a young girl forgotten by the world . . . Her expressive turns can spur shivers of pleasure.” – Montreal Gazette


Margaret Gunning

Margaret Gunning’s experience in print journalism includes hundreds of columns and book reviews in such publications as the Globe &Mail, Vancouver Sun, Victoria Times-Colonist and Montreal Gazette. Her poems have appeared in Prism International, Room of One’s Own, Capilano Review and many others. Margaret’s first novel (Better than Life), described by the Edmonton Journal as “fiction at its finest”, celebrates the joy and anguish of family in small-town Ontario. Her second novel (Mallory) explores issues of bullying and social ostracism. Gunning currently lives in Coquitlam, BC.


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312 Pages
8.5in * 5.5in * .75in


March 30, 2014


Thistledown Press



Book Subjects:

FICTION / Media Tie-In

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