First published in 1936, with the chilling subtitle "A Guide for the Extra Woman," this bestseller became a manifesto for single women (and those "between husbands") keen on embarking on stylish solitary living. Although many of Hillis's prescriptions are naturally outmoded, it's impossible not to be charmed by her arch humor and old Hollywood glamour as she demands that her genteel readers simply must have four bed jackets, seven kinds of liquor and the right cold cream. A Vogue editor and proponent of "solitary refinement," Hillis exhorts women to indulge themselves unblushingly-albeit thriftily-within their homes. Despite her fascination with frou-frou and beaux, Hillis bucks convention-arguing that women should be free to entertain men at home, drink in bars and generally do as they please; "you will soon find that independence, more truthfully than virtue, is its own reward," she advises. If slight on prescriptions suitable to modern-day living, this slim guide is replete with entertaining illustrations by Cipé Pineles and case studies about "live-aloners" ("Miss P. is a young woman of limited income, but unlimited ingenuity...") providing ample nostalgic pleasure. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Live Alone and Like It: The Classic Guide for the Single Womanby Marjorie Hillis
Thus begins Marjorie Hillis' archly funny, gently prescriptive manifesto for single women. Though it was 1936 when the Vogue editor first shared her wisdom with her fellow singletons, the tome has been passed lovingly through the
"Whether you view your one-woman ménage as Doom or Adventure, you need a plan, if you are going to make the best of it."
Thus begins Marjorie Hillis' archly funny, gently prescriptive manifesto for single women. Though it was 1936 when the Vogue editor first shared her wisdom with her fellow singletons, the tome has been passed lovingly through the generations, and is even more apt today than when it was first published. Hillis, a true bon vivant, was sick and tired of hearing single women carping about their living arrangements and lonely lives; this book is her invaluable wake-up call for single women to take control and enjoy their circumstances.
Hillis takes readers through the fundamentals of living alone, including the importance of creating a hospitable environment at home, cultivating hobbies that keep her there ("for no woman can accept an invitation every night without coming to grief"), the question of whether single ladies may entertain men at home (the answer may surprise you!), and many more.
With engaging chapter titles like "A Lady and Her Liquor" and "The Pleasures of a Single Bed," along with a new preface by author Laurie Graff (You Have to Kiss A Lot of Frogs), LIVE ALONE AND LIKE IT is sure to appeal to live-aloners and many other readers alike.
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Meet the Author
Marjorie Hillis (1889-1971) worked for VOGUE for over twenty years, beginning her career as a captions writer for the pattern book and working her way up to assistant editor of the magazine itself. She was one of a growing number of independent, professional women who lived alone by choice. In 1936 she wrote LIVE ALONE AND LIKE IT, the superlative guide for 'bachelor ladies' (who became known as 'live-aloners'). It was an instant bestseller.Three years after the book's publication, at the age of forty-nine, Ms. Hillis bid a fond farewell to the live-aloners by marrying Mr. T.H. Roulston.
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