Books Magazine

Alice B. Toklas Moves In

By Thecleverpup @TheCleverPup
Alice B. Toklas Moves In
I never liked Gertrude Stein. I think her poems are wretched and that she was a domineering, manipulating person. I don’t know what Alice B. Toklas saw in her (maybe it was her Tender Buttons) but over a 100 years ago, in September of 1910, Alice B. Toklas became the lifetime house mate of Stein.
Gertrude who had been sharing a house with her brother Leo for many years, met Toklas in 1907. Leo and Gertrude were the children of a railroad executive who made prudent investments in San Francisco’s cable car lines, therefore making his offspring wealthy and able to travel and live without really working.
Alice would later write that when she met Gertrude Stein: "She was a golden brown presence, burned by the Tuscan sun and with a golden glint in her warm brown hair." I’d like to know who her optometrist was.
Alice was a chain smoker with a slight moustache. She had a penchant for great hats and cool earrings. Every morning for an hour she manicured, buffed and painted her finger nails. In 1908 Alice used those tidy fingers to type manuscripts for Gertrude Stein.
1909 found Alice staying with Gertrude and Leo in Paris. On September 9, 1910, she moved in to 27, rue de Fleurus permanently. Toklas took the reigns of Stein's household. Leo packed his trunk in 1914.
The two women turned their Parisian home into an important artistic and literary salon, where they entertained Picasso, Matisse, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and many others. Alice was an excellent cook and fond of art, decorating, tapestry and flowers. She was left to entertain the wives of many of the painters Gertrude held court with.
In 1933 The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas was written by Gertrude Stein and is basically Stein’s memoirs. I enjoyed reading it, as I love reading about that time period in Paris but Ernest Hemingway called it a 'damned pitiful book'; Henri Matisse was offended by the descriptions of his wife; Georges Braque thought Stein had misconstrued Cubism; and Leo Stein deemed it to be a “farrago of lies”.
I have the The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook in my collection. Used, it smells strongly of smoke and I can pretend it was actually Alice’s.
For those who are curious, the "B" in Alice B. Toklas’s name stands for Babette.
image: Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas and their poodle Basket. France, 1944.Photograph by Carl Mydans.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Friday Q&A: Yoga for Spondylolisthesis

    Friday Q&A: Yoga Spondylolisthesis

    Example of Spondylolisthesis: Backward Slip of Lumbar Vertebra 3 on Vertebra 4Q: Five weeks ago, my husband was diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis. Read more

    The 23 March 2018 by   Ninazolotow
  • At 18, Europa Bhoumik is a Badass Bodybuilder!

    Europa Bhoumik Badass Bodybuilder!

    দেশের কনিষ্ঠতম মহিলা বডি বিল্ডার এই বঙ্গতনয়াDon't you think I have a pretty odd name for an Indian girl?" asks Europa Bhowmik, pulling smoothly on the rowing... Read more

    The 23 March 2018 by   Abhirup Lahiri
  • Douglas A-4C Skyhawk

    Douglas A-4C Skyhawk

    @ Marana Regional Airport, AZ March 2018 Toured several locations around Marana Regional Airport on an ISAP tour, culminating with a photo shoot of this... Read more

    The 23 March 2018 by   Htam
  • Video: A Love Letter to Winter

    Video: Love Letter Winter

    Winter may now be officially over here in the Northern Hemisphere, but for those of us who don't mind playing in the snow and cold, it will be missed. Read more

    The 23 March 2018 by   Kungfujedi
  • 7 Lessons On How To Maintain That One-Percent Edge

    Lessons Maintain That One-Percent Edge

    No company or entrepreneur gets it right every time. As an angel investor, I have found that people claiming a perfect record are either lying to themselves,... Read more

    The 23 March 2018 by   Martin Zwilling
  • Look at Things Different- Travel and Be Open to Alternative

    Look Things Different- Travel Open Alternative

    My first memory of the United States of America comes from a movie that I saw when I was in second grade. It had all the wow factors starting from the Empire... Read more

    The 23 March 2018 by   Sahi
  • 20 Big Travel Adventures for 2018

    Travel Adventures 2018

    Yesterday we had a list of 25 great trips to take in 2018 courtesy of Outside magazine. Today, we have another similar list that comes our way from the U.K. Read more

    The 23 March 2018 by   Kungfujedi