17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Wednesday, November 6, 1912: Am ever so busy these days getting my lessons out, and helping make out that program for our first Literary meeting.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
On November 1, Grandma wrote that they’d organized a Literary Society at school and that she was on a committee.
Hmm—I wonder what is involved in figuring out the program for the Literary Society. Did they read classics or popular books?
According to Wikipedia, the Publisher’s Weekly bestsellers for 1912 were:
1. The Harvester by Gene Stratton Porter
2. The Street Called Straight by Basil King
3. Their Yesterdays by Harold Bell Wright
4. The Melting of Molly by Maria Thompson Davies
5. A Hoosier Chronicle by Meredith Nicholson
6. The Winning of Barbara Worth by Harold Bell Wright
7. The Just and the Unjust by Vaughan Kester
8. The Net by Rex Beach
9. Tante by Anne Douglas Sedgwick
10. Fran by J. Breckenridge Ellis
Hmm—I’ve never heard of any of these books. Are any of you familiar with any of them?
In a previous post, I listed some of the books on the Goodreads list for 1912 of books that are still widely read —and that list is very different from this list of 1912 bestsellers. It’s amazing how bestseller status may not mean enduring popularity.