Illustrations from Sara Crewe (1888) by Frances Hodgson Burnett

At one of the library sales I frequent in my quest for classics by women authors, I came upon Sara Crewe: or, What Happened at Miss Minchin’s by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This confused me; wasn’t this the story always known as A Little Princess? It turns out that Sara Crewe is an earlier version of what became the classic. It was serialized in St. Nicholas magazine in 1887, then collected into a novella, published in 1888 by Charles Scribner’s Sons.

In 1905, the expanded story was published for all time as we best know it, titled A Little Princess. And since then, the story has been performed on stage, filmed in several versions, and is consistently named one of the top novels for children of all time. Here are a few illustrations from the 1888 edition; artist unknown. Read More→

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Illustrations for Little Women by Jessie Wilcox Smith

Jessie Willcox Smith (September 6, 1863 – May 3, 1935) was a prolific American illustrator who thrived during what was called the Golden Age of illustration. She was among a handful of respected women illustrators called The Red Rose Girls, who lived and worked together. Her art embellished more than sixty books and scores of magazine stories and articles from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Among the books she so beautifully illustrated was the 1915 edition of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Here are a few of them.

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Classic Women Authors as Children

Our favorite classic women authors, who have been immortalized by avid readers, started out life just like the rest of us mere mortals — as children. Here’s a gallery of photos and paintings of our talented women as girls. First up, Edith Wharton (1867 – 1937) in a painting (at right) done when she was around 8 years old, by Edward Harrison May. Despite the world of wealth and privilege in which she grew up, she didn’t come into her own until she started to have her writings published. Read More→

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Virginia Woolf’s 1941 Suicide Note

Here is the note written by Virginia Woolf on March 28, 1941 to her husband Leonard Woolf, just prior to her death by suicide.

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I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. Read More→

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