Jul 15, 2021 - Sale 2576

Sale 2576 - Lot 48

Price Realized: $ 500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 500 - $ 750
Hawes Terhune, Mary Virginia [aka Marion Harland] (1830-1922)
Diary, 1846-1853, Later Carbon of Typed Transcription.

Presumably unpublished diary comprising 349 numbered pages with text typed on one side only, written by Hawes between the ages of sixteen and twenty-three, recounting her experiences, including family and personal events and feelings, in addition to mentions of her writing, with references to "my embryo work," [page 320] and time spent writing; 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheets held in a binder, with an additional twelve-page typed transcription of a letter to her mother originally written in 1863; two small snapshots of an elderly woman; [and] nine photographs of an unidentified historic home, as found.

Hawes Terhune was a very successful novelist and writer of cook books who began writing and publishing at the age of fourteen. She wrote twenty-five novels, and the same number of non-fiction works on household management and cooking. Notable contributions include her novels Alone, and The Hidden Path, and the wildly successful Common Sense in the Household.

The present diary was written before her marriage. She describes her process in vivid detail. "I write much now-- to give my mind food, every kind of labor is distasteful-- it would rather brood in silence over its own fancies and griefs, but I force it into other channels." "I must work, while the day lasts. I do not retire at night, until I am so weary that I sleep as soon as I touch the pillow, and I lay down my pen only to seek my couch." Even as an accomplished published novelist, Hawes's work makes her different and opens her to social criticism. "As a compliment [a friend] repeated an observation made in relation to me by an admirer and friend. 'She is intellectual, writes finely, but her intellect will neither get her a husband, provide comforts for him, or make him happy.' 'I wish I could tell you his name, 'said she; 'you are very intimate with him.' [...] Bitter thoughts swelled in my soul this afternoon as I trod the street alone." (See pages 261 ff.) A great writer is always great to read, and Hawes is no exception in this candidly and sharply written journal. The typist has not taken credit for their work, but Hawes's biography does contain the tantalizing note that she taught herself how to type after breaking her wrist at the age of seventy.