Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Author All Girls Love

Even back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries an author had to be at the top of her game. Up-to-date authorly photos and marketing materials were a must. Amy Ella Blanchard was often photographed with a serious expression and book in hand, even as a child. As an adult she was most likely wearing a dress that she sewed, or at the very least, a hat that she had trimmed herself.

I have not unearthed any author interviews with her, and frankly I’m not sure if that was even a “thing” back then, but each of the author biographies that she penned reveals a new fact about her that I had not yet uncovered. Reading this “Biographical Sketch” helped me connect the dots between Amy and a tiny obituary of her paternal grandmother that I found tucked between the pages of yet another scrapbook.

Every author needs a good blurb or two, I like the one at the bottom of this pamphlet advertising her series of historical novels for girls. “The best historical stories for girls ever written.” It’s not attributed to anyone, but who cares? It’s said with such authority that it must be true.

I’ll be speaking to a class at (my alma mater) Hampshire College next week about Amy and Ida, so I’ve been lying awake at night trying to gather my thoughts. Every time I peek into the archive something new leaps out at me, I could easily speak for hours.  

As I sifted through the papers yesterday I came across this newspaper from North Andover, MA circa 1894. This little news column reminds me of the Portsmouth (NH) Police Log of today.

1 comment:

craftivore said...

Love all the little historical tidbits that you are uncovering. So mundane yet still absolutely relevant to our life today.