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Madeleine Carroll's "Health and Beauty Talks"

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In January 1931, a syndicated column purported to be written by actress Madeleine Carroll began appearing a number of British local newspapers, usually under the title "Health and Beauty Talks".

The column was used to impart a wide variety of tips for female readers and encouraged women to write to Carroll for personal advice.

At the start of the 1930s, Carroll was already a popular film star and the column would have ensured her name remained in the public eye, particularly with the female British cinema-going audience.

A year prior to her first column appearing, Madeleine Carroll won a court action against Athletic Publications Limited and Globe Rotary Press Limited after they published an article titled "How Do You Carry Yourself?" in the November 1929 edition of Health and Strength which falsely claimed to have been written by Carroll.[1] Interest in the case may have led to the creation of the "Health and Beauty Talks".

The Hull Daily Mail published the following piece prior to the very first column:[2]

Famous Actress Tells How to be Beautiful

An article making a special appeal to women will appear in the MAIL to-morrow.

It will be from the pen of Miss Madeleine Carroll, who as announced in the MAIL last week, will contribute each week a specially written article on health and beauty.

Few women have a better claim to knowledge of beauty matters than Miss Carroll, who in a short time has reached the front ranks of filmdom.

In addition to her articles Miss Carroll will give private advice by post to any woman reader of the HULL DAILY MAIL about personal problems concerning health and beauty, and letters should be addressed to her c/o The Editor, HULL DAILY MAIL.

At present, it is uncertain if Carroll herself wrote the columns or if they were ghost-written. However, nearly all of the columns contain various studio-style publicity stills of the actress.

The articles ran nearly continuously until the end of 1932 and then only appeared very sporadically in 1933, by which time Carroll was being courted by Hollywood.


The following is an attempt to index the articles.

The date given is of that of the first found appearance of the article. The article's headline occasionally varied across the newspapers it was printed it — in these instances, the most representative headline is listed.

Articles have been located in the following British newspapers:[3]

  • Cheltenham Chronicle
  • Derby Daily Telegraph
  • Gloucester Citizen
  • Gloucestershire Echo
  • Hull Daily Mail
  • Lincolnshire Echo

January 1931

9th — My Beauty and Good Health Secrets
13th — What Every Woman Should Know: The Road to Good Looks
20th — Art and the Use of Cosmetics
27th — If You Want to be Slim

February 1931

3rd — Baths that Befriend Beauty
10th — The Little Things That Matter
17th — Poise is an Asset You Can Acquire
24th — A Pretty Head for You

March 1931

3rd — Housewives Need Not Loose Their Looks
10th — Dips Into My Letter Bag
17th — Take Care of Your Hands
24th — Let Your Eyes Tell Their Own Story

April 1931

7th — The Sporting Way to Health and Beauty
14th — Your Nature Revealed By a Smile
21st — How to Look One's Best
28th — Don't Miss Your Beauty Sleep

May 1931

5th — Golden Rules for Fitness
12th — Freckles and Other Summer Blemishes
19th — My Fresh Air Cure for Dull Hair
26th — Teeth — Every Woman's Pearls

June 1931

2nd — Manners Maketh Women
9th — Magic Boxes to Take on Your Holiday
16th — Charm of a Gentle Voice
23rd — Mirrors of Personality
30th — Motoring Wisdom for the Holiday Tour

July 1931

7th — Beauty in a Hurry
14th — Fighting Summer Beauty Woes
21st — Take Care of Your Feet
28th — Be Yourself

August 1931

n.b. Carroll married Captain Philip Astley at Varenna, Lake Como, Italy, on 26th August.

4th — Keep Cool in the Heat
11th — Yourself and Your Mirror
18th — Store Up Your Energy
25th — What Readers Want to Know

September 1931

1st — When a Woman's Charm is Waning
8th — Beauty From the Garden
15th — The Right Way to Choose Clothes
22nd — "Looks" and the "Right" Figure
29th — Well-Groomed Women

October 1931

6th — Let Your Hat Enhance Your Looks
14th — Protect Your Looks During Winter
20th — Getting Ready for the Dance
27th — Solving Two Winter Problems

November 1931

3rd — Common Sense and Shoes
10th — Care of Hands and Ankles
17th — Daily Attentions that Matter
24th — You Can Have Attractive Arms

December 1931

1st — Don't be a Fireside Fan
8th — Can You Create a Good Impression?
15th — Christmas Shopping Trials
22nd — Make the Most of Your Holiday
29th — Review Your Faults

January 1932

5th — The Right Way to Keep Warm
12th — Keep Your Eyes Bright and Sparkling
19th — Smiles Do Not Always Please
21st — Life is Full of Pretence
26th — Can You Improve Your Looks?

February 1932

2nd — Study Your Hands and Feet
9th — These Are Days of Grace
16th — Cultivate Your Conversation
23rd — Clothes and Colours to Suit You

March 1932

1st — Details that Make Perfection
8th — Marriage... or a Career... What Not Have Both?
15th — Maxims that Have Ruled My Life
23rd — Off for the Easter Holiday!
29th — Getting Out of the Hurry Habit

April 1932

5th — Need Married Women Lose Their Looks?
12th — Do Women Dress to Please Men?
19th — Manners Maketh the Woman
26th — Does Intelligence Kill Charm?

May 1932

3rd — Dress and the Housewife
10th — Getting in Trim for Summer Sport
17th — Are You Tired of Being Ordinary?
24th — June Roses and Cream
31st — Cool Thoughts for Hot Days

June 1932

7th — Clothes and the Summer Sports Girl
14th — Little Attentions of Every Day
21st — When Beauty Goes to Bed
28th — Don't be a Sleeping Beauty

July 1932

5th — Look Below the Chin Line
12th — Don't be a Slave of Fashion
19th — How to a Take a Holiday
26th — Don't Worry

August 1932

1st — Choosing Jewels to Suit Your Style
9th — Advice for Blondes on Holiday
16th — Happy Feet on Holiday
23th — Praise that Pays in Beauty

September 1932

6th — Make the Most of Vitality
13th — Madam, Pray by Seated!
20th — Autumn Tints in Clothes and Cosmetics
27th — Beauty in the Bud

October 1932

8th — Winter Clothes Are So Becoming
11th — Make Fashion Serve You
18th — If You Are an "In-Between"
25th — Wise Women Make Good Husbands

November 1932

1st — Don't Be Too Thin
8th — Turning Your Back to Beauty
15th — Common Sense Spells Happiness
22nd — Beauty Hints for the Winter
29th — Keep Your Eyes Bright

December 1932

6th — Don't Be Afraid to Smile
13th — Perfume that Reveals a Woman's Personality
20th — Be Your Best for Christmas
27th — If You Want to Have Charm

March 1933

25th — Prepare for Spring

April 1933

24th — Make Up Your House for the Summer

August 1933

14th — Looks and the Woman
28th — Why Some Women are Always Wallflowers

September 1933

18th — The Art of Fitting into the Picture
25th — Charms that Are Not Forgotten

Notes & References

  1. For details of the settlement, see the Nottingham Evening Post (10/Feb/1930) and Yorkshire Post (11/Feb/1930).
  2. Hull Daily Mail (12/Jan/1931)
  3. As many local newspapers don't have online archives, it's likely the column appeared more widely than this list implies.