"Actor Marion Davies (1897–1961) may have lived ‘a life shrouded in mystery, rumor, and half-truths,’ but she was witty, talented, and loyal, according to this sparkling debut from film historian Gabrielle. . . . a breezy, colorful saga of Old Hollywood, full of showbiz picaresque, glamorous parties at Hearst’s San Simeon castle, and a touching romance between two flawed, magnetic personalities. Film buffs will want to check this one out."
— Publishers Weekly
"[A] scrupulously researched biography of American actress Davies (1897–1961), who was for a long time better known as the mistress of tabloid publisher William Randolph Hearst. . . . For fans of old-Hollywood lore and classic movies, especially those starring Marion Davies."
— Library Journal
"Now, finally, there is a deeply researched and fair-minded biography of Davies’s life and movie work . . . . Gabrielle, like a detective or an archaeologist, has reconstructed a life history and made a convincing case . . . . that Marion was a complex, happy, and talented actress . . . . her love affair with W.R. Hearst was genuine, long-lasting, and intensely satisfying."
— Alta Journal
"An entertaining, first-rate biography that necessarily serves . . . . as a corrective to Hollywood myth.”
— Air Mail
"Author Gabrielle has given us a gift: an honest biography of a woman whose life and career have long been misunderstood. . . . In short, this is the book Marion Davies has always deserved."
— Leonard Maltin site
"Gabrielle's book proves to be a fascinating read, from start to finish. The author documents the glamorous and epic parties at San Simeon, giving readers a picture of Hollywood's golden era. She also reveals the complicated, but enduring romance between Hearst and Davies."
— Pop Culture Classics
"One of the most striking qualities of Captain of Her Soul
is how the author powerfully portrays the actress’s spirit through the pages. . . .a must-read."
— The Wonderful World of Cinema
"Davies was a fierce woman who blazed a trail amidst a Hollywood increasingly dominated by powerful men. At last, she is treated with the respect and reverence she merits through Gabrielle's writing."
— Entertainment Weekly
"Gabrielle’s research is impressive. . . . [she] points out that Davies’s motto came from William Ernest Henley’s famous poem, 'Invictus,' which deals with the struggle to overcome vicissitudes and to triumph: 'It matters not how strait the gate, / How charged with punishment the scroll, / I am the master of my fate, / I am the captain of my soul.'"
— The New York Sun