Our Hearts Were Young and Gay

Our Hearts Were Young and Gay is a book by actress Cornelia Otis Skinner and journalist Emily Kimbrough, published in 1942. The book presents a description of their European tour in the 1920s, when they were fresh out of college from Bryn Mawr. Skinner wrote of Kimbrough, "To know Emily is to enhance one's days with gaiety, charm and occasional terror". The book was popular with readers, spending five weeks atop the New York Times Non-Fiction Best Seller list in the winter of 1943.[1]

Our Hearts Were Young and Gay
First edition
AuthorCornelia Otis Skinner
Emily Kimbrough
PublisherDodd, Mead & Co.
Publication date
Pages247 pp.

The book was made into a motion picture in 1944, and in 1946 it was dramatized as a 3-act comedy play by Jean Kerr.[2] In 1950 the book served as the basis for a CBS television comedy series. The series initially had the same name as the book, but after two weeks it was retitled The Girls.[3] In 1960 a 2-act musical comedy version of the book was created.[4]

During the Second World War, Hugh Trevor-Roper discovered that this book was used as a codebook by German intelligence.[5]


  1. John Bear, The #1 New York Times Best Seller: intriguing facts about the 484 books that have been #1 New York Times bestsellers since the first list, 50 years ago, Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 1992
  2. Our Hearts were Young and Gay. Woodstock, Illinois: The Dramatic Publishing Company. 1946. ISBN 0-87129-247-5. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  3. Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows - 1946-Present (9 ed.). p. 540. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4. Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  4. Our Hearts were Young and Gay – A Musical Comedy. Chicago, Illinois: The Dramatic Publishing Company. 1960. ISBN 1583424865. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  5. Glenn P. Hastedt, editor, Spies, Wiretaps and Secret Operations: A Encyclopedia of American Intelligence, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO 2011, p. 253
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