Inventing the It Girl

How Elinor Glyn Created the Modern Romance and Conquered Early Hollywood

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Pub Date 26 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 30 Jun 2022

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Description

The modern romance novel is elevated to a subject of serious study in this addictively readable biography of pioneering celebrity author Elinor Glyn.

Society darling Elinor Glyn shocked her English peers with the 1907 publication of Three Weeks, an intensely erotic novel that launched her to international fame and infamy. Historian Hilary A. Hallett traces Glyn’s meteoric rise for the first time, beginning where most romance novels end: with her marriage into the English gentry class in 1892.

When her husband, Clayton, gambled their fortune away, Glyn boldly became the first commercially successful writer to challenge the sexually straightjacketed literary code. As she churned out novels, she consorted with world leaders from St. Petersburg to Paris to Cairo before movie producers lured her to California in 1920. There, Glyn crafted the romantic aesthetic of Hollywood’s golden Silent Age, coining the term “It”—a quality of magnetism she projected onto actresses like Clara Bow. Weaving deep archival research, Hallett presents Glyn as an icon of sexual and professional independence who would encourage new generations to chase their own desires wherever they led.

About the Author: Hilary A. Hallett is the Mendelson Family Professor and director of American studies and associate professor of history at Columbia University. The author of Go West, Young Women! The Rise of Early Hollywood, she has written for the Los Angeles Times.

The modern romance novel is elevated to a subject of serious study in this addictively readable biography of pioneering celebrity author Elinor Glyn.

Society darling Elinor Glyn shocked her English...


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EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781631490699
PRICE $32.50 (USD)

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