British novelist Elinor Glyn, coined the phrase The “It” Girl about Clara Bow and wrote the erotic potboiler “Three Weeks”
Written in six weeks, it eventually sold some 5,000,000 copies, and featured a wildly romantic Balkan queen who greeted her lover from a reclining position on a tiger skin with a red rose between her teeth. The book was boycotted in Boston, blasted from pulpits, and celebrated in an anonymous ditty:
Would you like to sin
with Elinor Glyn
on a tiger skin?
Or would you prefer
on some other fur?
image of Eartha Kitt found here
With her red hair, green eyes, and powder-white face, she drew men in Paris and London like so many iron filings. When she was 26, four house-partying young gallants threw each other into a lake at 3 a.m., competing for her favors. This intrigued a longtime socialite bachelor named Clayton Glyn, who decided Elinor was just the girl for him.
image of Elinor Glyn found here
For the honeymoon at Brighton in 1892, Clayton hired the public baths for two days so that his “Lorelei” could “swim up and down alone, naked, her long red hair, which when uncoiled reached her knees, trailing in the water behind her.” But in a short two years all the romance had gone from their marriage.
image found here
Hollywood “discovered” Elinor Glyn in 1920, when Famous Players-Lasky offered her $10,000 and traveling expenses to write an original scenario and to give the stars—Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentino and half a dozen others—her pointers on the art of love.
Coming from the tiger skin lady, these views were strangely staid (“Touching ought to be reserved entirely for the loved one”) and sometimes cynical (“It is wiser to marry the life you like, because, after a little, the man doesn’t matter”).
During the eight years previous to her death in 1943, checks were doled out to her by her bankers, and she was free to dabble in her pet enthusiasms, automatic writing and reincarnation. She was quite certain that she had roamed the palace of Versailles during a previous existence, but apparently no one thought to ask her about her plans for the next incarnation.
The image above came from here. It really doesn’t have anything to do with Elinor Glyn but it puts me in mind of palaces and reincarnation and I thought you might like it too
“Jessie Clarke, a Melbourne social worker, daughter of diplomat Herbert Brookes and his wife, Ivy, herself the daughter of former Prime Minister Alfred Deakin, dressed up for the Centenary of Victoria celebration ball in 1934, marking the colony’s foundation. Her head-dress represents Yallourn Power Station, her cloak shows Victoria’s irrigation scheme, and her crinoline is painted with scenes of Melbourne.”