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Ladies Must Live


Alice Miller Libri


Ladies Must Live (1917) is a novel by Alice Duer Miller. Inspired by her work as an activist for women’s rights, Miller presents a romantic comedy exploring the effects of class and gender on love, friendship, and work. Adapted for theater and film, Ladies Must Live is a charming novel from a writer whose reputation as a popular poet should extend to her fiction as well. “Certain human beings are admitted to have a genius for discrimination in such matters as objects of art, pigs or stocks. Mrs. Ussher had this same instinct in regard to fashion, especially where fashions in people were concerned. She turned toward hidden social availability very much as the douser's hazel wand turns toward the hidden spring. When she crossed the room to speak to some woman after dinner, whatever that woman's social position might formerly have been, you could be sure that at present she was on the upward wing.” At a gathering of prominent socialites, a story of ambition and romance emerges. While Christine longs to marry the soon-to-be-divorced Ralph, she finds herself in competition with Nancy, a woman she detests. As the night goes on, discussions over wealth, women’s rights, and politics turn heated, engagements are made and broken, and a tragic event changes hearts and minds forever. Ladies Must Live is both a romantic comedy and a biting critique on social convention from Alice Duer Miller, whose political work as a women’s rights activist informs her characters and their frequently contentious interactions. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Alice Duer Miller’s Ladies Must Live is a classic of American literature reimagined for modern readers.
 
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