|In the 1920s, Dorothy Parker was establishing a reputation as a witty woman with a sharp tongue (the actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell called her, "My pretty, pretty cobra"). At the same time, Clare Booth Luce was becoming a respected journalist and well-known playwright. While both women were highly talented, their numerous political, philosophical, and personal differences resulted in a strained relationship.|
One day, Parker was about to step through a doorway when she came face-to-face with Luce.
As the story goes, Mrs. Luce stepped aside, extended the palm of her hand, and said coyly, "Age before beauty."
Parker glided through the door, saying ever-so-sweetly, "Pearls before swine."