Books » Fiction & Literature » Classics
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes AND But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics S.)
By Anita Loos, Regina Barreca (Introduction by), Ralph Barton (Illustrated by)
Lorelei Lee is just a little girl from Little Rock who takes the world by storm and teaches its gentlemen that "kissing your hand may make you feel very good but a diamond and sapphire bracelet lasts forever". Anita Loos first published the diaries of the ultimate gold-digging blonde in the flapper days of 1925 and even Edith Wharton had to agree: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is "the great American novel".
Blondes follows Lorelei and her best friend Dorothy from Hollywood to Manhattan to the capitals of Europe, pursued by eager suitors all the while. ("Paris is divine", she finds, but "London is really nothing".) In "the Central of Europe", with a new diamond tiara in her handbag, she meets a traveling American millionaire who just might be the one. So she retires her diary, but not for long, because, as she writes in the opening pages of But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, "it is bright ideas that keep home fires burning, and prevent a divorce from taking all of the bloom off Romance".
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and its brunette sequel are together at last in a two-in-one volume, beautifully reset, with the original hilarious Ralph Barton illustrations restored throughout. Feminist humor maven, Regina Barreca, provides an introduction to what George Santyana once (smilingly) called, "the best philosophical work by an American".