Eloise at the Plaza

PARIS: I knew that suggestion box was a bad idea. Watch Choate get Joan Didion while we’re being read “Eloise at the Plaza”.

Paris refers to Eloise: A Book for Precocious Grown-Ups, a 1955 book by Kay Thompson, illustrated by Hilary Knight. Originally marketed to adults, in 1969 it was released as a children’s book as Eloise, with no changes to the text or illustrations.

Eloise is a mischievous six-year-old girl who lives in the penthouse of the Plaza Hotel in New York City with her nanny, pet pug dog and pet turtle. Thompson based Eloise on an imaginary friend she had in childhood, although it has been speculated that her goddaughter Liza Minelli may have been a possible model. There are several books in the Eloise series, but Eloise never ages. In April 2003, a Disney television film was broadcast called Eloise at the Plaza, with Sofia Vassilieva in the title role.

A fan theory, which you may take with as many grains of salt as you wish, is that Louise was named after the character Eloise. I cannot think of any way that could be confirmed or denied, but it doesn’t seem that implausible. Louise and Eloise both have blonde hair, are rich and spoiled, rather bratty, and have unavailable, neglectful parents.

Kay Thompson died in 1998, so could not have been the commencement speaker, and famously hated her fans, so would be unlikely to agree to it anyway. Hilary Knight is still alive, but it doesn’t seem likely that he would have done it either.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.