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Our Hearts Were Young and Gay by Cornelia…
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Our Hearts Were Young and Gay (original 1942; edition 1963)

by Cornelia Otis Skinner (Author), Emily Kimbrough (Author), Constantin Alajálov (Illustrator)

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3791328,461 (4.13)36
Member:MsCellophane
Title:Our Hearts Were Young and Gay
Authors:Cornelia Otis Skinner (Author)
Other authors:Emily Kimbrough (Author), Constantin Alajálov (Illustrator)
Info:Bantam Pathfinder (1963), Mass Market Paperback, 197 pages
Collections:Your library, Illinois library
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Tags:fiction

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Our Hearts were Young and Gay by Cornelia Otis Skinner (1942)

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» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Such a fun book! It's a light read--not much depth to it--it's just a travelogue, but I love it. Good luck finding it anywhere, though--I think it's pretty old. ( )
  jessibelle34 | Jul 12, 2013 |
The author is the daughter of Otis Skinner, and Maud Durbin Skinner, matinee idols of the early 20th century. Decades after the trip and having established herself as an actress, Cornelia collaborated with her travel partner, Emily Kimbrough with a memoirists' detailed memory, to tell the story of their trip abroad when they were in their late teens. Two cheery women, from Montreal to Paris, with shipwreck, an hysterical game of tennis, measles, inadvertent lodging in a house ill repute, with romantic yearnings and sightseeing.

With a gift for exaggeration bordering on hysteresis, the stories are detailed, nostaligic and innocente. The girls are as companiable and terrifying as girls can be.
  keylawk | Apr 29, 2013 |
Written in 1942, this is a charming recollection of two American college girls going to England and France in the early 1920s. Though insisting on their independence and feeling very adventurous, they are in fact rather innocent girls who frequently fall back on family assistence, the family having very wisely decided to tour Europe at the same time. Europe after the first World War was still an old world place that made me quite nostalgic.

It's a truly hilarious recollection of this memorable trip. Otis Skinner is poking fun at her youthful self who tried to be sophisticated and world-wise but doesn't even know about LIFE and has to be enlightend by medieval artefacts in the Musée Cluny (I would like to see these, actually). But no shipwreck, attack of measles or misunderstanding a brothel for a hostel can deter them from having great fun - and the whole book is breathing that sense of enjoying life we only have when very young adults. I sat several times laughing so hard that tears rolled down my face.

A highly entertaining read for a rainy afternoon, intended for everyone who needs an uplift. Highly recommended! ( )
1 vote 1502Isabella | Mar 8, 2012 |
This is gay in the old sense and genuinely funny. ( )
  antiquary | Jun 16, 2011 |
This book is the tale of two girls aged 19, who decide to travel from Montreal to London to Paris together during the 1920’s. They are both incredible naïve about traveling abroad and the world in general, but that is perhaps what makes this book so hilarious. Their entertaining adventures range from getting measles on board their ship and having to be smuggled into England, getting lost in a maze at Hampton Court, and spending the night at a brothel. This book was given to me by my grandmother a few years ago and ever since then I have been inspired to travel to all these places and experience these adventures for myself. This book transports you back into a time period that no longer exists and it’s always a delight to imagine life with these girls because they are incredibly carefree and amusing. ( )
  lovesbooks12 | Nov 11, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cornelia Otis Skinnerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kimbrough, Emilymain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Lest the reader should be in any doubt, we wish
to state that the incidents in this book are all
true and the characters completely non-fictitious
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To our mothers
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We had been planning the trip for over a year.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Actress Cornelia Otis Skinner and journalist Emily Kimbrough offer a lighthearted, hilarious memoir of their European tour in the 1920s, when they were fresh out of college from Bryn Mawr. Some of the more amusing anecdotes involve a pair of rabbit-skin capes that begin shedding at the most inopportune moments and an episode in which the girls are stranded atop Notre Dame cathedral at midnight. And, of course, there's romance, in the form of handsome young doctor Tom Newhall and college "Lothario" Avery Moore. Published in 1942, the book spent five weeks at the top of the New York Times best-seller list in the winter of 1943 and was made into a motion picture in 1944.… (more)

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