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Orchids On Your Budget: Or Live Smartly on What You Have Hardcover – 3 Sep 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (3 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844086186
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844086184
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.1 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

*This charming gem from a more genteel age is an elegant and witty guide to living chicly but cheaply

About the Author

Marjorie Hillis (1889-1971) worked for Vogue for over twenty years, where she became assistant editor. She was one of a growing number of independent, professional women who lived alone by choice. In 1936 she wrote LIVE ALONE AND LIKE IT (9781844081257), the superlative guide for 'bachelor ladies' (who became known as 'live-aloners'). It was an instant bestseller.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Penny Farthing on 18 Oct 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book, which covers subjects such as clothes, the home, entertaining - and includes a chapter entitled "husbands - can you afford one?". Throughout, the author emphasises the importance of taking a creative and cheerful approach towards economising, and encourages her readers to prioritise so that they can afford orchids - or whatever their preferred luxuries are. In the section on clothes, where she lays down firm rules about planning one's wardrobe for maximum versatility, she points out that though many women believe they would be well-dressed if they were rich, in her view those who know about clothes, and make them a priority, will be well-dressed essentially regardless of wealth or poverty.

Her ideas on entertaining are also stylish and creative, including suggestions for holding brunches or afternoon teas as a more economical and unusual alternative to fancy dinners.

Besides her tips on style on a budget, the author takes a very firm line with those who get into serious financial difficulty.

Although the book was written in 1937, it has generally stood the test of time very well, and as the advice was given shortly after a time of general depression in US, much of it resonates now.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Sea Breeze on 6 Jan 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful little book. It provides genuinely useful ideas on how to live well on less. Marjorie is a very entertaining writer and it is great fun to read. The quirkiness of the 1930's language just adds to the charm of the book. Congratulations to the publisher for finding it down the back of the sofa and reprinting it.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Cedric on 7 Jan 2010
Format: Hardcover
I borrowed this book from the library which is throughly in the spirit in which the book is written. Without sounding too smug I wanted to write a review as I enjoyed it so much. I would highly recommend this book and with the Amazon discount one would not have to feel too guilty about purchasing it. If I was given this book I would be thrilled as it is charmingly written but also very sensible, which is why it stands the test of time. It definitely merits a reread.

I love the idea of needing to watch the pennies (actually a loathsome task but don't we all have to do it to some extent or another) but still being able to get orchids (or some luxurious equivalent) if you plan carefully. A book with a 'can do' attitude and full of thoughtful advice.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By knfh on 18 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
An extremely witty and amusing book with some very useful points to make. Hard to believe this was not written recently. A treasure!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. H. C. Gall on 21 Jun 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is really relevant today and the fashion advice, although written over seventy years ago, was excellent!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By rinna on 26 Nov 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
People in 30's seemed to expect a lot more parties from their life than our time. I recommend this book to anyone who needs emotional or mental lift when considering their money situation.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By VICKYM on 11 Aug 2010
Format: Hardcover
Enjoyed every bit. This is a very complete collection of common sense advice to live well on a limited budget. You'll get a general picture on how to face economic restrictions. It's funny it refers constantly to previous crises, so theré's still hope in the present sitaution. It advocated the use of imagination , originality and acceptance. A pleasure from other times.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By April Blanchard on 17 Jan 2010
Format: Hardcover
Amazing that over 70 years on so much of what Majorie Hillis has to say still rings true. She expresses herself with such charm and grace that the ideas are delightful to read, as well as being very useful. A highly recommended read, especially for all those who love the finer things in life.
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