November 4, 2020


This edition of Tudor City in Literature examines Love Preferred, a 193os romance novel. Its author, Edna Robb Webster, was a specialist in tales of 'modern youth,' and the author of seventeen novels, among them Dad's Girl, Five O'Clock Girl, Lipstick Girl, and Occasional Wife.

Love Preferred, subtitled "The Romance of a Business Girl," first ran as a newspaper serial, then was published in book form by Grosset & Dunlap in 1932. The novel tells the story of a man loved by two sisters: the "beautiful, self-sacrificing" business girl, Mary Vaughn, and her "selfish but dazzling" sibling, Bonnie.

Tudor City appears midway in the book, in a conversation between Mary and her boss, Ronald Foster; he's sweet on her, but she feels "no trembling delight in his presence." Mary has been staying with friends, and has just announced her intention to get her own Manhattan apartment.

[The idea of moving to the enclave never materializes, and Mr. Foster's romantic impulses are similarly squashed.]

We're rather surprised to learn that Tudor City apartments were financially out of reach for most workers, "even those with a good salary." But then again, the colony did enjoy a swank reputation in its early years.

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