The Glitter Girls : Charity and Vanity, Chronicles of an era of excess, Macmillan Canada 1993

Rosemary Sexton in pink

Chatelaine magazine 1991

From the cover blurb:

“Thank God for the no-names. With the hours they put in [organizing charity balls] and all the good work they do, they ensure our survival.” –Catherine Nugent

Catherine Mackenzie Nugent, Anna Maria de Souza, Cathie Bratty, Nancy Paul, Marilyn Lastman, the late Pat Appleton, Carole Grafstein-  these are some of the “glitter girls” whose social survival is ensured by those indispensable no-names in the glamorous, often cutthroat and always hectic world of charity fundraisers. The only prerequisites to becoming a glitter girl, it seems, are to have social ambitions, to chair a ball- the more opulent and outrageous the better- and to know how to spend masses of money.

In the heady, high-rolling eighties, glitz was a given at big-ticket charity events. The Brazilian Ball, the Opera Ball, the Mistletoe Ball and the royal gala stacked Toronto’s social calendar, raising millions for worthy causes (raising the eyebrows of Old Money society stalwarts, too) and vaulting the nouvelle socialites into the spotlight they craved.

Rosemary Sexton, for five years the society chronicler for The Globe and Mail, has the inside scoop on the ladies who lunch. From parties awash in champagne and charity board meetings where the claws are out, to spa vacations, limos and shopping sprees, she provides delicious details about the glitter girls’ lifestyle during the decadent eighties, and insight into what motivates them now, in the nineties, to cling to their status.

Cheaper than a ball ticket, and a lot more fun, The Glitter Girls gives you a long look at Toronto’s rich and somewhat infamous- no jacket required!

Confessions of a Society Columnist, Macmillan Canada 1995

From the cover blurb: Excerpted from Chapter 3: “Dear Rosemary”:

Rosemary Sexton in profile

Toronto Life magazine 1993

“Don’t be too upset by this criticism… for in the future I will be very careful not to read your column, not even by oversight!”

“Dear Rosemary: Your depressing looks spoil my breakfast.”

“Unhappily another week has passed by without my name being in Rosemary Sexton’s column.”

Just when you thought you were safe, Rosemary Sexton, bestselling author of The Glitter Girls, tells all in Confessions of a Society Columnist. The scented pen strikes again with published and unpublished letters to the editor, full reprints of her most controversial columns, columns that got killed and juicy selections from her own, personal diary.

Rosemary Sexton’s tenure as gossip columnist at The Globe and Mail from 1988 to 1993 covered a turbulent period at Canada’s national newspaper, and none of the high and mighty is spared her sharp observation and sly wit….

In this autobiographical account of her life in the spotlight, Rosemary Sexton reveals herself as never before, and talks about her reaction to the social hoopla surrounding the publication of The Glitter Girls. (Some people still aren’t speaking to her.)

Love her or hate her, you can’t ignore Rosemary Sexton. Rosemary’s got the goods and she proves it again with Confessions of a Society Columnist.