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All We Know : Three Lives (Ester Murphy, Mercedes de Acosta, Madge Garland)

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Product Description

Lisa Cohen has written a group biography about three women who were born late in the 19th-century but influenced the arts in the first half of the 20th century. Two were Americans and the other was born in Australia but lived in England from the age of two. All were lesbians,and while not partners, they moved in the same "circles" in New York, London, and Paris.

Esther Murphy was a brilliant New York intellectual who dazzled with her conversation. But she never finished the books she was contracted to write. Mercedes de Acosta was also from a wealthy, stylish family in New York and had intimate friendships with the legendary actresses and dancers of the 20th century. She collected thousands of objects to preserve the memory of those performers. Fashion editor of British Vogue, Madge Garland was  a leading light in the world of fashion in London and Paris from the 1920's through to the 1960's, and  held bracing views on dress that drew on her feminism, her ideas about modernity, and her love of women.

All three women were lesbians at a time when being gay was both a curse socially and a hindrance in the job market. All three married for the social cover a married name provided. But all lived their lives fairly openly within their own social group, while being much more circumspect in larger society.  Lisa Cohen resurrects these all but forgotten women, and describes their glamorous choices, complicated failures, and controversial personal lives. 

Paperback, 448 Pages, Orig. Publ. 2012, This Ed. Publ. 2013

Author: Lisa Cohen 

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