DIARY OF AN UNMARRIED, MIDDLE AGED WOMAN LIVING IN PETERSBURG, VA DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION.

By: Mary McIlwaine

Price: $845.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer is a fine diary written by a woman in the southern U.S. at the height of the Great Depression. Kept by Mary McIlwaine, it depicts life in a southern U.S. city during the Depression through the eyes of a middle-aged, middle class woman coping with economic challenges and an ailing mother. The author of the diary is Mary Plummer McIlwaine. McIlwaine was born in 1889, the daughter of a prominent medical doctor in Petersburg, VA. She apparently never married. She passed away in 1973 at the age of 84. She keeps this diary for the year 1932 when she was 42/43. Mary lived with her widowed mother and her sister ‘Becca’ in Petersburg, VA. She does not work at a job but context shows that she owned (either herself or with family members) several houses that were rented out. Her diary recounts the day-to-day activities in her life as well as those around her. Church played a major role in her life and church activities occupy a significant amount of her time; “Had Matt to return key to 244 and 246 Gill and told through Garland Brockwell, Florence Edwards to pay next week or get out. She owes me about $100.00. Had Edward painting 111 Jones St. inside went then to Louise Miles collected not a cent. Darned socks for Wotly for fixing electric iron. Stayed with Aunt Bessie until Robert and [ ] returned from Newport News.” [Jan 23] “Kept Nellie, Bob and Lucy Ann while Wotly and Lucy went to mid-winter executive meeting of East Hanover Presbyterial at Ginter Parck Church. Nellie Mae and Bob broadcasted “Carmen Romero” Lohengrin’s Bridal Chorus. Bob describing Nellie Mae playing. Lucy waiting for Ellen. Made over blue and polka dot dress with Mother’s help.” [Jan 29] “Let down 5 hems in Nellie Mae’s dresses. Taught the children. Bob walked up the street with Johhny Donahue who hadn’t had whooping cough. Wotly came up after driving Mrs. Anderson to see Becca. Mother had dinner with Lizzie so I stayed for 2 hours in the afternoon. Florence Edwards and man came to see me. A bad electric storm and good rain…” [May 5] “Mr. Radcliff put wardrobe together with help.Charged $3.00 for all the work he did on wardrobe and putting glass and boards on upper back porch. I went downtown twice to see about insurance had to take money out of Morris [ ] Bank and then get hanger for Miss Lewis wardrobe. Asked to conduct devotional at Business Girls Supper. I did.” [Sept 15] Our informal research has not turned up any additional information on McIlwaine’s background. A genealogist would find this an excellent research resource as her diary is full of names of family, friends and acquaintances. This would also be a valuable addition to research in Women’s Studies as it gives an insight into the life of a middle aged woman and the burdens she carries. This hard-covered diary measures 8.0 inches by 5.25 inches and contains 122 pages. It is about 90% complete. The mauve-coloured cover in in generally good condition. The colour has faded and there are some small wear marks on the corners. The spine and binding are intact although there has been a strip of tape applied to the inside front cover at the spine. The pages are in good condition and the handwriting is legible.

Title: DIARY OF AN UNMARRIED, MIDDLE AGED WOMAN LIVING IN PETERSBURG, VA DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION.

Author Name: Mary McIlwaine

Categories: 20th Century Diary, 20th Century Manuscript, M. Benjamin Katz, Books & Manuscripts,

Publisher: Petersburg, Virginia, United States, 1932

Binding: Good

Book Condition: Good

Jacket Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 8x5.25"

Seller ID: 0011009

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