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Liz Goldwyn's Sporting Guide | THE VIOLET FILES | @violetgrey

— LOS ANGELES IN 1893. MAP COURTESY OF THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY, SAN MARINO, CA. FROM SPORTING GUIDE: LOS ANGELES, 1897 BY LIZ GOLDWYN

Liz Goldwyn's Sporting Guide | THE VIOLET FILES | @violetgrey
  • SPORTING GUIDE: LOS ANGELES, 1897
  • BY LIZ GOLDWYN / REGAN ARTS
Artist, director, style icon, and author Liz Goldwyn comes from storied Hollywood stock—she’s the granddaughter of film legend Samuel Goldwyn and actress Frances Howard, the daughter of producer Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., and sister of Tony Goldwyn (best known as the philandering POTUS on Scandal). So it’s little wonder that Goldwyn has a fascination with her hometown of Los Angeles, which she has channeled into her new book, Sporting Guide: Los Angeles, 1897. The volume is an homage to the period’s “Sporting Guidebooks,” or reference guides to a city’s brothels, and incorporates extensive research on actual bygone dens of ill-repute. Part history, part fiction, the book interweaves tales of rival madams and pimps, politicians and prostitutes (some real, some invented) with dispatches (written as if in 1897) on everything from sexuality and contraception to cosmetics to drug addiction. These disparate elements, plus photos of L.A.’s red light district at the time, come together to give a fascinating glimpse into the city’s seedy past. Or, as Goldwyn puts it, “The stories of my hometown, and the inhabitants I came to know through dusty archives, in hallucinations and dreams.”