Friday, March 23, 2012

Renwood Tonight

Other Women is ultra-rare with its
 in my 5+ years of collecting,
this is the 
only one I have found.
In 1933 Farrar & Rinehart brought out Other Women, a collection of some of Kay's previously published short works. Half of the stories are set in Renwood, Ohio, already known to Kay’s readers as the home of Lillian Andrews. One story, in fact, centers around Louise Bartlett, the Renwood socialite who so ruthlessly and methodically cuts Lillian down to size during the course of a cocktail party in Lillian's own home. Published in 1930, the story very interestingly provides the first glimpse of Lillian, unnamed, mentioned only in passing. Here is Lillian in embryonic form, one which would later grow and develop fully into that notorious Red-Headed Woman

The fictional Renwood was based on the factual East Liverpool, Ohio, where Kay 
and her husband (and shortly thereafter their son Tommy) lived  from 1920 to 1926. Although Kay later maintained that she liked life in East Liverpool just fine, the pettiness, pretentions, and hypocrisies of Renwood’s ladies who lunch are archly chronicled by Kay, with little effort at concealing the contempt in which she must have held such narrow-minded provincialism. 

East Liverpool's country club is still there today; one of
Lillian Andrews's driving ambitions was to be afforded
entrée to the upper echelons of Renwood society, 

whose center was the country club.

Kay's handwriting was quite obviously 
the basis for the book jacket type.

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