Organized Literary Society

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, October 20, 1912:  

November brings us many things

And among them is Thanksgiving

The first of the snow

The winds that blow

And all that makes life worthwhile.

We organized a Literary Society at school this afternoon. I am one of the committee. Just what I wanted to be.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Assuming that Grandma wrote the poem—and didn’t copy it from somewhere—it’s amazing how enthusiastic she was about November. It seemed like she was feeling down in several October diary entries. I hope that November proves to be a better month.

Was the Literary Society like a modern book club? Was it a school club . .  . or did a group of friends organize it? Did both males and females belong. . . or was it a girl’s only club?

I’m glad Grandma got the position she hoped to get. Committee member sounds like a worker bee position. Did the committee members help select books to read? . . bring desserts? . . . clean up after the meetings?

19 Responses

  1. I am curious as to what the fifth book in your set is. I have books by Appleton and Zane Grey on my shelves and I think I have a copy of The Rosary. To many books to look through :-).

    • It’s Making Home Happy by Mrs. L.D. Avery-Stuttle. I haven’t read it yet–so I don’t know if it’s any good. Too many books to read. :)

      • That is one that I have not heard of :-). There are definitely too many books to read :-) I have a lot of unread books at home and still seem to buy more ;-).

  2. I love old books. I used the spine of a book that looks similar to that Daddy Long Legs one in a recent painting.

  3. It’s great that you get to know so much about your Grandma’s younger years, what she did, and especially how she felt about things. I really like the poem, and it was lovely to see the sudden change in her tone as the month changed. :)

  4. I look forward to her monthly poems. Do you own these books? Old books are like old friends! I wonder what types of books she read too.

    • Yes–I just pulled a couple old books off the shelf to illustrate the post. Some I’ve read–others I haven’t. Some of them are books from my husband’s side of the family.

  5. It sounds like a book club :)

  6. I love your old books there too, The Sears Catalogue used to have a bunch you could order back then, I got a kick out of some of the titles that could be ordered…like Thorns and Orange Blossoms by Berta M Clay. I’m sure now a publisher would recommend a Pen Name. ha.

    • A lot of them had really strange titles. And it’s always fun to see what the stories are about in old books (Some are surprisingly good and some are really bad.)

  7. [...] November 1, Grandma wrote that they’d organized a Literary Society at school and that she was on a [...]

  8. I was expecting the last line of the poem to read “And all that makes life worth living.” To rhyme with Thanksgiving.

  9. You’re right, that would have rhymed. Maybe she got tired of writing before she got the last word down on paper.

  10. [...] recent diary entries have discussed the new Literary Society that was started at Grandma’s school in late October. She was very excited to be a committee [...]

  11. [...] really enjoyed being a member of the Literary Society at her school. Across the last few months I’ve struggled to figure out exactly what the Literary [...]

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