Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Princess Mary's Gift Book - 1914

I came across this amazing book several weeks ago on one of my thrift shop adventures, and absolutely feel in love with it.  Not only the book itself, but the sentiment behind it, which was to raise funds for the then Queen Mary's "Work for Women" Fund,  set up to help the enormous amount of needy women during WW1 (not only British women, but the floods of refugees that came into the country as well).

The thinking behind the fund was that it was better for women to work than to accept charity, so the fund provided money to help women secure paid employment - feminism at it's best - empowerment rather than penury.

Princess Mary was the daughter of King GeorgeV and Queen Mary and was born in 1897. Here she is at the time of the publication of this book. (photo taken from the book). She would have been about 17 years old.

The book itself includes short stories and poems from all sorts of well known authors of the time, such as J.M.Barrie and Rudyard Kipling.    The coloured plates are simply stunning and I have captured (somewhat badly) a selection of them to share with you!!

 This is "Fleur-de-Lis" painted by Carlton A. Smith, R.I.

"Instructing her dolly in the art of going off nicely to by-byes" - Painted by M.E. Gray

"A Spell for a Fairy" by Claude A. Shepperson, A.R.W.S.

Of course given the times, their were stories and poems of heroism, and patriotism as the poem below illustrates.

Princess Mary continued her charity work, her other most important contribution of this period being the "Princess Mary's Christmas Gift Fund" through which 100,000 British pounds were raised to send gifts to all British soldiers and sailors for Christmas 1914.

Princess Mary died in 1965, leaving a wonderful legacy - that of women helping each other to succeed in life.

Source: Wikipedia.

1 comment:

  1. WOW! What a special find- and a wonderfully educational post too. Thank you so much for sharing that. The images are just gorgeous. YAY for WOMEN Power!