Date Published: 1924 to 1966
Binding: No binding & hard cover
Anita Loos was an American screenwriter, playwright and author, best known for her blockbuster comic novel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She wrote film scripts from 1912, and became arguably the first-ever staff scriptwriter, when D.W. Griffith put her on the payroll at Triangle Film Corporation. She went on to write many of the Douglas Fairbanks films, as well as the stage adaptation of Colette’s Gigi. "In attempting to chronicle the sordid end of Anita's life, Carey is restricted by the impassive voice he has assumed. In her last few years, Anita devoted herself to Gladys and her young charge, Miss Moore. But when Anita was ill, Gladys was 70 years old and possibly had a drinking problem. Carey's description of the battle over Loos' will and her friends scandalized reaction to her relationship with Gladys and Miss Moore, who are African-American, is blank, uninflected. The sadness and tragedy of Anita's loneliness are left unexamined. Quoted from Aline Brosh review of Gary Carey's 1988 Anita Loos a Woman in a Man's World book.
The collection consists of 13 items dating from 1924 to 1976, specifically, 1 typescript, 4 books, 5 letters, 1 photo, 1 movie herald and 1 Loos’s signature on a card.
1 Typescript (ts):
“The Great Caresse”, incomplete ts. of a play, possibly written by Loos for television, circa 153 pp., sent to Loos by Town and Country Magazine (designated “xtra copies old stuff”). Torn manila envelope post-marked 14 May 1954. Typed on different colors of paper. Irregular pagination, for example, 1-7-26 to 1-7-30, etc. Some repetition of the script, and some pages are cut or half sheets. The characters include: Caresse (Baroness Polgary), Sherman Shaw (in love with Caresse, has an industrial empire, and is the sponsor of a TV program, “Do You Remember?”), Polgary, Rosie, Poiret, Ilona, Gitta, Pista, Ilka (house keeper), and others. Reference is made to Polgary Castle in Hungary, Budapest, and a dress salon in Paris in 1931.
• Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. London: Brentano’s, [I926]. The first printing of the English trade edition (no date on the title page, copyright page blank), red ripple patterned cloth quarter-bound in yellow cloth, ill. Ralph Barton, in slightly chipped dust jacket.
Laid in is a card with reference to Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, signed by Loos, [1930?], featuring an original mixed media illustration by notable collector H.M. Brehm.
• But Gentleman Marry Brunettes. London: Brentano’s: Ltd, 1928. Ill. Ralph Barton. First English ed. in blue cloth, browning on the half title, chipped dust jacket, tape on the verso of the spine panel, ads for other books on the verso of the dust jacket.
Card signed by Loos for Art Backstrom, dated 31 October 1976, pasted on to the front pastedown.
• The Girl Like I. New York: The Viking Press, 1966. Red paper boards, quarter bound in black cloth, in slightly dust jacket, very good, with Loos’s signature on the half title.
• Boyd, Ernest. Portraits: Real and Imaginary. New York: George H. Doran Company, 1924. Brown marbled paper boards, quarter bound in green cloth over boards, a little bumped and rubbed and with both hinges cracked but still tight and functional. From the collection of Anita Loos with her estate stamp and book label. This copy inscribed by the author to Loos and husband John Emerson. Dust jacket with some loss of surface paper, tape repairs to the verso panel, and a couple of chips. Chapters on major writers and personalities of the period.
5 Letters - 3 Autographed Letters Signed (ALS) and 2 Typed Letters Signed:
• ALS addressed Dearest Lady Me [Lady Michelham], Wednesday, encloses a card (not present) of a lady who teaches the Bates system of eye exercises, sister-in-law of Aldous Huxley, hopes to see her at Howard’s in the afternoon.
• ALS addressed Darling Sultana [Lady Michelham], 9 August [l954?], “Our Pericles has sent me the sad telegram which never reached me in Rome”, she was in Hassler, Sultana is an angel, feels that she did not have a holidays because “I did not see you”, New York hot and deserted, she is a working girl, “Howard Sturgess, Henry May and I had a wonderful cure in Montecatini and spoke of you so often”, the Marlboroughs.
• ALS to Francie, 13 December 1936, mentions returning to California when the film of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes will be made, “and I hope by that time to be fat and full of pep.”
• TLS to Lady Michelham (née Beatrice Capel was the daughter of Arthur Capel, a wealthy shipping merchant), 29 July [l953?], says goodbye, “beautiful memories of the glamorous days you have given me in London”, “will be in Monte Carlo where I will shatter Pericles with tales of your parties”, looks forward to seeing her in Paris next year.
• TLS to Mr. Harris, 30 November 1959, providing her autograph, “As to the greatest satisfaction of my career… I believe it is is my daily surprise that I have had one (meaning a career).”
1 B&w photo:
• Caricature of Loos, signed “Regards to Jerry Rowland from Anita Loos”.
• Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, movie herald of the 1928 American silent comedy film, directed by Mal St. Clair, adapted and co-written by Anita Loos and John Loos, A Hector Turbull Production presented by Adolph Zukor and Jesse L. Lasky. No copies of the film are known to exist.
• Loos’s signature on a card.
Collection on consignment with LDRB.