My latest piece for Ivy Style is up HERE and has the honour of being the 300th post on Christian Chensvold’s great site! It is about “The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt,” which is a story from the novel The Company She Keeps, written by Vassar aluma Mary McCarthy, VC ‘33. But of course, not only is the Vassar connection to the author, but also in the story (this is me, after all!): The Brooks Brothers man himself is married to a “Vassar Girl.”
Here is how McCarthy describes her…
“Leonie was his wife… Leonie loved her house and children. Of course she was interested in culture, too, particularly the theatre, and there were always a lot of young men fro the Cleveland Playhouse handing around her; but then she was a Vassar girl, and you had to expect a woman to have different interests from a man.”
Nothing particularly new here - she’s described as cultured, dedicated domestically and she is certainly a status symbol for her husband, which is all typical “Vassar Girl” stereotyping and in line with the general mystique she had accumulated. But how I love to see everything and anything Mary McCarthy has ever written or said about Vassar and the “Vassar Girl” - really, some might call it an obsession! She is a fascinating woman and gives me plenty of material to write about! If you haven’t already, be sure to watch the video I posted from the Vassar YouTube page a little while ago!
SCREENCAPS - From the 1990 film version of ‘The Man in the Brooks Brother’s Shirt’ with Elizabeth McGovern and Beau Bridges