Live Alone and Like It: The Classic Guide for the Single Woman

Marjorie Hillis, Author, Cipe Pineles, Illustrator, Laurie Graff, Preface by . Grand Central/5 Spot $13.99 (154p) ISBN 978-0-446-17822-8

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)

Reviewed on: 04/07/2008
Release date: 06/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 978-0-446-57117-3
Hardcover - 176 pages - 978-1-84408-125-7
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