Emilie Loring

Emilie Loring, Blue Hill, Maine

Happy Landings: The Life Behind Emilie Loring’s Stories

Emilie Loring started in her mid-fifties and wrote thirty novels that sold more than thirty-five million copies.  At her peak, she had full-page ads in the New York Times and ranked above Agatha Christie on best-seller lists.

I was ten years old when I read my first Emilie Loring book. I read every one, and then I read them over again, at least once each year. I identified with Emilie’s sunshiny personality, and through more than fifty readings, her books became so familiar that my sister could read a line, and I would tell her the next from memory. But I couldn’t say much about their author.

When I learned that Emilie Loring belonged to the generation of my great-grandparents and did most of her writing in her sixties and seventies, I was surprised. I had always imagined her to be young, like her characters. Then I learned that some of her books were not her books at all, and that was troubling. I had looked through Emilie’s eyes for nearly forty years, but there was so much I didn’t know. Who was she? What did she do in the years before she wrote? How did the false books come to be? How much of what I believed about her was real?

I searched libraries, archives, and personal collections throughout New England. Emilie’s grandchildren gave their full, unrestricted support to the project, including access to the family’s documents, photographs, memorabilia, and remembered stories. I researched each stage of Emilie Loring’s life, as well as the lives of her ancestors, grandparents, parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, neighbors, and best friends.  My notes expanded from a manila folder to forty-five handwritten notebooks sharing space with Emilie’s originals and an ever-expanding collection of “background” readings. I spent time at each place she lived, met the descendants of her contemporaries, cooked her recipes, and read the books she read. Emilie Loring’s story is so much more than I ever imagined it would be, more than can fit into a single book.

As we await her biography, Happy Landings: The Life Behind Emilie Loring’s Stories, join me on my blog.  I can’t wait to share more about Emilie, and I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories.

Patti Bender

37 thoughts on “Emilie Loring

  1. Patti, part of your story mimics my own. I began reading Emily Loring when I was about 10 as well. I read and reread them over the years. I would save my lunch money enabling me to but one each Sunday at the news stand. Unfortunaley, last year when moving all of my boxed books were accidentally given to the local library. I am going to try and regain all of them -somehow. On the internet I see they have become expensive and can be quite worn. Wish me luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been able to purchase some first editions of EL
    through Abe Books in case anyone is interested.
    One i received in 10 days arrived from Galway, Ireland!
    Planning my Emily Garden in Ontario this spring!
    Dollars to Donuts that I will accomplish it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How fun! Emilie sold books in a dozen languages, so I imagine there are copies in many countries.
      I have a guest post to put up today, and then my next one will be an Emilie Loring garden post. I love your idea so much, and I can imagine a bunch of us sharing what we create. Yes, “dollars to donuts,” we will! 🙂

      Like

    2. I have 39 Emily Loring books owned originally by my mother. They come from the original publishers. I do not know if it is a complete set but I think if is not, it is pretty close including some or the ghost written books. Most have dust covers. What would I be expected to get from these and is anyone interested?
      Stan

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your best guide to price is to search used-book sites like Abe Books and eBay. I have generally paid $2-10 per book, depending on condition. Provide a list; maybe you’ll make a connection here.

        Like

  3. I read my first Emilie Loring books when I was 12, more than 50 years ago. My sisters and I read them all as soon as we could check them out from the library. We bought the paperbacks when we could find them. I eventually collected them all in hardcover, and I enjoy re-reading them many times over. My sisters feel the same about them, and we still enjoy discussing them after reading them again for the umpteenth time. I would love to see a resurgence in her popularity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rosie, let’s make that resurgence happen! Have your sisters join us here, too–and on Facebook–and spread the word. I feel sure her books will come out soon as e-books, and then a whole new generation can read her while we get on to umpteenth-times-two! So glad you found me here.

      Like

  4. How magical!….I began reading Emilie Loring books from a bookmobile that came to our little one stop light-town once a month more than 50 years ago….I too loved her optimistic, gallant, courageous characters but even more than that her descriptive writing always transported me to the little Cape Cod town along the shore where I could even smell the gaily colored flowers or the crisp autumn air. I just retired last year and my sisters knew how much I loved her books and found ten or so of her paperbacks on e-bay and gave them to me as a gift. I still LOVE her stories and the way she told them. Who knows ~ maybe she’ll inspire me to write my own book! Thanks for sharing her unique story – can’t wait to hear all about her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Elana, I’m glad you found me! There are 97 posts (!) here already, so you’ve got a good day of reading ahead. Have you been to Cape Cod yet? Maybe a real-life visit with Emilie books in hand can be a retirement adventure. (Then to Boston and Maine!)

      Like

  5. I stumbled upon your blog after finishing Lighted Windows for the umpteenth time. What a joy and surprise to find I am not alone in my love of Emilie Loring and her philosophy of optimism! I began reading Emilie Loring around the age of 10, and spent the remaining of my school years scouring used book stores looking for “new” stories. I remember being in about 8th grade and while waiting for my mom to finish work, walking around antique stores looking for the jacketed hardcovers with Loring on the side. After marrying, my husband took it upon himself to finish the collection for me. As my own daughters are now the age of many of Emilie’s heroines, I find enjoying the stories as much as the first time I read them. My mother used to tell me I didn’t live in the real world, I lived in an “Emilie Loring” world-how delightful that would be! Thank you for your blog and I simply cannot wait to read your biography!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Vanessa, and welcome. Our stories are so similar, beginning to read Emilie Loring at age ten, reading them “umpteen” times–and no, we are not alone! If you click on the “New to Emilie Loring” button, you can go all the way to the beginning of the blog–now with 80+ posts! As a long-time reader, I hope you’ll comment freely and often!

      Like

    1. I’m glad you found me. There’s a post called “Where can you get Emilie Loring books,” but the short answer is that they have been out of print a long time. Until they are made available online, you have to find copies in used-book stores, at flea markets and garage sales, and through online sales venues such as eBay. I hope you’ll join us on Facebook, too. The link is along the right side of this page.

      Like

  6. Very excited to read all of this. My mom got me hooked on Emilie Lorings- giving me my first when I was 10. I think it was “Follow Your Heart”. I loved it and it became a major bond for my mom and I. She found her first ones in a thrift shop in Fort Worth, TX and would read them in the wee hours of the morning while she nursed us babies.

    Many a night as a teen I remember staying up til 3 or 4 in the morning because I’d gotten to that point in every EL story where everything is coming to a boiling point and you just can’t leave the characters in that position. You’ve gotta finish!

    Her philosophies and outlook definitely shaped me and my friends still marvel at my vocabulary – which I gleaned in large part from her books.

    My mom passed away 2 years ago this Christmas Eve. She always wished someone would do what you’re doing Patty! Thanks so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you’ve found me, Katie. I wish I had gotten to correspond with your mom, too. Emilie would have been thrilled to hear that you had to finish her books before turning out the light; that was her dearest goal in writing. Keep commenting as you read here, and think about writing a guest post, too. It’s so nice to have you here!

      Like

  7. I read Emilie Loring books( from our school library )as a young girl. A year ago I discovered a few in an antique shop
    on the north shore of lake Erie. Since that time I have acquired the remaining 30 books. I am not interested in the remaining 20 books but have enjoyed once again reading her original books. They have a special spot at our cottage
    There is nothing better than the wood stove blazing and a book that takes you away to a gentler time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re expecting our first snow here this weekend. A blazing fire and an Emilie Loring book sound terrific! You may enjoy reading the serial novels that formed the basis for the first few ghostwritten books. They are all Emilie and as you remember her. Thanks for joining us here!

      Like

  8. I am so glad to hear that Ms. Loring’s biography will be published soon. I can’t wait to read it! It’s been more than 50 years since I read my first Emily Loring novel and still fondly remember her books. To me, Ms. Loring’s works were much more than just “romance” novels. Her thrilling stories were always filled with exciting mysteries and adventures that so easily transported my young imagination to a pre-WWII world where innocence, fortitude and courage were always part of the heroine’s character. Quite thrilling stuff for an impressionable 12 year-old reader. I give credit to Ms. Loring for turning me into an avid life-long reader. Hopefully, one day Ms. Loring’s novels will be available as e-books so that future generations can enjoy her wonderful stories as I did so many years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love stories like yours, Sue. Emilie knew she had a lot of readers, but I wonder if she would have been surprised by how many second- and third-generation readers she gained? It was a real pleasure to visit with you today, and I look forward to hearing more about you and Emilie Loring. Please join us on the Facebook page, too!

      Like

  9. I discovered Emilie Loring quite by accident. While visiting my grandmother, and being an avid reader, I was nosing around in her basement, filled to the brim as basements tend to be, when I found a shelf of books. Began reading Emilie Loring and have loved her ever since! My mom later determined the books originally belong to a great aunt, already deceased when I stumbled upon them. I attribute Emilie Loring to many of the ideals and attitudes I hold dear. While my parents, a few teachers, some friends and my faith have greatly shaped my life, Emilie Loring was a valued contributor as well. Looking forward to reading your biography and I would love to take a guided tour with you of Emilie’s haunts. 🙂

    Like

    1. I give Emilie credit for partially “raising” me, too. Her characters became my ideals of femininity, gumption, and charm. And thanks for your comment about travel. The idea of an “Emilie Loring Tour of New England” is gaining traction! It’s late to plan for this year, but maybe 2017?

      Like

  10. I am so happy to have happened upon your blog, thanks to Blogging University. Emilie Loring is a fascinating woman. I base this solely on the contents of this blog and comments thereto; I had never heard of her before, I am very sorry to say (I will very quickly remedy that). I will follow her story through this blog just as I would read a murder mystery — I am looking forward to the ongoing insights into this very interesting-sounding woman.
    Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michael. I cannot imagine better feedback to receive. It will be that much more fun–and meaningful–to write my posts, knowing that someone new to Emilie Loring is reading them. You won’t be disappointed; she really is just that special. Welcome, welcome!
      Patti

      Like

  11. I love reading her books . Very difficult to find but always searching . Over the years I have read quite a few of her books. Got introduced to her books by chance. An aunt of my husband had given me a few books which she was getting rid of . In the pile was a book by Emilie Loring . From then on I was hooked. That was over 40 years ago . I still keep searching for her books.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Linda has convinced me to stop reading science for a while and focus on EL. I replied that I would need to start at the beginning in order to understand her. So I just finished reading “Here Comes the Sun” (which is slightly longer that the Beatles album). I enjoyed it very much, even with all of its improbabilities and instantaneous escapes from an otherwise threatening event. Now I am going to read a mid-way book, and hope that the pages stay together long enough to finish. I will try to rebind the book after I read it, then give a reaction to her growing maturity. REL

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have Emilie’s paperbacks which were released in the ’60’s and early 70’s by Bantam. Based on copyright dates, the earliest of her books is “The Trail of Conflict” copyrighted in 1922. My mother read them when she was in high school in the late 1940’s and collected the paper backs when I was in middle school and high school. A few years ago, I was reading one and the description of a scene involving a car didn’t make sense to my modern mind. So I looked at the copyright date and realized the book was describing a car of the early 1930’s. I went through the books and wrote the date on the spine and keep them in order by date. I enjoy them much more now that I have put them in ‘historic’ time sense.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I did the same thing and then read them all in order. I remember a reference to putting curtains on a roadster; I wonder if that’s the same passage that triggered your investigation. Take a look at the “Bookshelf” tab, and you’ll see all of the books listed in chronological order. Those with hot links lead to posts about those books. I love the stories about mothers passing Emilie’s books along to their daughters! 😍

        Like

Please write your comment here.

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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s