Monday, June 25, 2018

Mary L. Haines' 1909 bookplate

Mary L. Haines kept this poetry book for many years.

In 1894, Rhymes of Childhood, by James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916), was published by The Bowen-Merrill Company.

In 1896, the book was given to Mary L. Haines as a Christmas gift from Mrs. Hogue. We know that from the cursive inscription on the first page.

Years later, Mary affixed a 2¾-inch bookplate with 1909 and her initials, MLH, to the inside front cover.

So, who was Mary L. Haines? That's a tough one, because her name is a little bit on the generic side. If we limit the search to Pennsylvania, there are a couple of possibilities:

I'll leave you with this short excerpt from one of Riley's poems, titled "A Home-Made Fairy-Tale":

For I was a-watchin' something queer
Goin' on there in the grass, my dear!
'Way down deep in it, there I see
A little dude-Fairy who winked at me,
And snapped his fingers, and laughed as low
And fine as the whine of a mus-kee-to!

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