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Alice B. Toklas Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1949. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-42496).


Toklas, Alice B. (30 April 1877–07 March 1967), writer, author of cookbooks, and Gertrude Stein's companion, writer, author of cookbooks, and Gertrude Stein’s companion, was born Alice Babette Toklas in San Francisco, California, the daughter of Ferdinand Toklas, a store owner, and Emma Levinsky. She lived a middle-class Jewish life of intellectual and artistic pursuits in the homes of her maternal grandparents in San Francisco and her family homes both there and in Seattle, Washington. Her father’s clothing business was prosperous much of the time. She attended private school and spent many years at piano study. At eight she was taken to France and England as well as to Poland to visit her father’s relatives. In 1893 she entered the music conservatory of the University of Washington....