Loos, Anita. Barton, Ralph (illustrator)
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
New York: Boni & Liveright, 1925. Octavo, original red gilt-stamped cloth over patterned paper boards, paper label to front board, in a later issue dust jacket. Shelfwear to boards, chipping and soiling to dust jacket, pencil and ink figures to rear pastedown.
Early printing of a Jazz Age classic, published one month after the first, inscribed by Loos on the front free endpaper in the voice of Lorelei Lee: “For George Gershwin / who really knows more about music than really any gentleman in America / with humble admiration / Anita Loos / Dec 28, 1925." The romantic adventures of Lorelei and her wisecracking sidekick Dorothy first appeared as a recurring feature in Harper's Bazaar; the first printing of the book sold out in a single day in November 1925. “I mean a girl has to look out in Paris, or she would have such a good time in Paris that she would not get anywheres. So I really think that American gentlemen are the best after all, because kissing your hand may make you feel very very good but a diamond and safire bracelet lasts forever." Famous admirers of the novel included James Joyce, Edith Wharton, Winston Churchill, and William Faulkner; the American composer George Gershwin, to whom this copy is inscribed, was a friend of Anita Loos in Hollywood. Decades later, Marilyn Monroe's memorable performance of Gershwin's “Do It Again" would win her the part of Lorelei, Monroe's breakout role, in the musical revival of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Pollack 264). A wonderful copy.