Gentlemen Prefer Blondes & But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes

Author(s): Anita Loos (illus Ralph Barton)


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".


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Anita Loos was born in California in 1888. She began writing movie scripts and supplied film scenarios for D.W. Griffith and Douglas Fairbanks. First published in 1925, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was a best-seller in thirteen languages and was followed by its sequel, But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes. Anita Loos was the author of the novels A Mouse is Born and No Mother to Guide Her and two volumes of autobiography, A Girl Like I and Kiss Hollywood Good-by. She died in 1981.

Regina Barreca is a professor of English and feminist theory at the University of Connecticut. She is the editor of seven books, including The Penguin Book of Women's Humor, and the author of four others. She writes frequently for the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Hartford Courant.

General Fields

  • : 9780141180694
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : 0.203
  • : January 1999
  • : 198mm X 128mm X 14mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 288
  • : New edition
  • : Paperback
  • : Anita Loos (illus Ralph Barton)