Oh, the many things that happen in a year!
One year ago, I started this website and blog with two goals:
(1) find Emilie Loring’s readers
(2) let them know that her biography is on its way.
This was my first website, my first blog, but with a large dose of Emilie Loring optimism, I began.
“Decide on your goals, then start for them, determinedly, sanely, and with a joyous certainty of success. Join the ranks of the sturdy, conquering Resolutes. Life offers such infinite opportunities for happiness, usefulness and achievement if you only don’t wobble.” The Mother in the Home
Eighty-nine blog posts later, The Emilie Loring Collection has worked its way to the first few results of a Google search for “Emilie Loring.” Readers are mainly in the United States, but we have regular readers in the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada, and Greece, and occasional readers from countries around the globe.
Especially heartwarming for me are the many readers who have written in, here and on the Emilie Loring Facebook page, to share their enthusiasm for Emilie–and their book collections, too.
“I’ve been a fan of Emilie Loring since I was a girl, and often reread her books, especially when I need to de-stress!” Heather
“She has been my favorite since I was an early teen and my mother allowed me to read them.” Stephanie
“As a relatively new (only 4 years) Emilie Loring fan, I am trying to make up for lost time!” Heide
So many of us have personal connections with Emilie Loring’s books.
“I give credit to Ms. Loring for turning me into an avid life-long reader.” Sue
“While my parents, a few teachers, some friends and my faith have greatly shaped my life, Emilie Loring was a valued contributor as well.” DeAnn
“Ms. Loring has been my close friend and companion for well over 50 years via her books and will continue to be so always.” June
Recently, the blog has begun to make a new kind of connection, as people have written in to ask a question or share historical information. In the last two weeks, there have been three like this, and I’m so happy to benefit from their interest, expertise, and generosity.
Angie wrote from the United Kingdom that she is a cousin of the Owen sisters (see post: Terrace Teas with the Owen Sisters). Moreover, she shared a real treasure: a letter that Bessie Owen wrote in 1923 telling about their lives in both Philadelphia and Blue Hill.
“Our brother David lives with Minnie and me here and also in the summer house on the coast of Maine where we go about the 10th of June and remain till October. We had a “Wayside studio and Tea Room” there also last summer and it did quite well so we shall no doubt have it again next summer if the little cottage does not rent. Carrie planned this little cottage entirely herself the year before she passed on and it is a very pretty attractive little house with our own cottage, which she planned as well.”
Anthony wrote to ask for the location of Benjamin Curtis’ estate, Starboard Acres (see post: Emilie Loring’s Gardens). It turns out that he is an archivist at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is working on a GIS-based map of Olmsted’s projects, and I was able to help him place a location marker at the Curtis property in East Blue Hill. You can see the Olmsted map project here, and just look at this wonderful, 1906 rendering of the Curtis property.
Then Mark introduced himself as a “theatre historian” working on a book about play publishing for amateurs. Naturally, this led him to Emilie Loring’s father, George M. Baker, and eventually, to the blog. You may recall that in “Telling the Truth, or ‘When’s your book gonna be done?’ – Part I,” I confided my love of research. Mark’s amateur theater bibliography is already at 6500 pages, and he’s still going. Ah, it’s good to meet a fellow traveler on the highway of inquiry! I told him a little about Albert Baker; he clarified some facts about Baker’s Plays (see post: The Boston Bakers: 100 Years of Forgotten Best Sellers).
I couldn’t be more thrilled about all of these developments. I work hard on these posts and want them to be a resource in all the ways they can connect with readers. Keep reading and writing, folks. You give this blog life.
I think we’ll all agree that the biography needs to get into print. If you have pull with literary agents, publishers, or fairy godmothers, exercise it now.
Emilie Loring’s novels sold more than thirty-seven million copies. There are more fans out there. Let’s find them.
Tell us your story. Write any length piece that you want, and I’ll post it with your photos or with mine. Really. Do this. Send it to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep reading, keep sharing, keep visiting here and on the Facebook page.
Things have a way of coming marvelously, unbelievably right.” The Trail of Conflict
I had no idea how important this space would begin to feel, but as you’ve shared your stories, and I’ve shared mine, I’ve felt even more strongly that Emilie Loring deserves to be rediscovered, that her story needs to be told, and that a new generation will find her not only relevant but maybe even a “close friend and companion.”
Happy Landings, everyone. Thanks for this first year.