18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Sunday, September 28, 1913: Went to Sunday School this morning. Most of the people went away this morning leaving Ma and me at home. I got pretty lonesome for awhile, but afterwards got company.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
I suppose Grandma and her mother had to stay home to feed the livestock and milk the cows. Where did everyone else go?
Before the company came, what did Grandma do? Maybe she read a book. When I’m lonely I often read books.
A few weeks ago, I gave you a list of 1913 books that are still popular according to Goodreads.
I’ve found another list of books—the Publishers Weekly list of 1913 bestselling novels.
The lists are very different—many of the 1913 bestsellers were written by authors I’ve never heard of –and many of the books that stood the test of time were sleepers a hundred years ago.
Bestselling Novels in 1913
1. The Inside of the Cup by Winston Churchill
2. V.V.’s Eyes by Henry Sydnor Harrison
3. Laddie by Gene Stratton Porter
4. The Judgment House by Gilbert Parker
5. Heart of the Hills by John Fox, Jr.
6. The Amateur Gentleman by Jeffrey Farnol
7. The Woman Thou Gavest Me by Hall Caine
8. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
9. The Valiants of Virginia by Hallie Erminie Rives
10. T. Tembarom by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Hmm. . . I read Pollyanna when I was a child. I think that it’s the only book of this list that I’ve ever heard of. I wonder if people still read it.
I googled The Inside of the Cup by Winston Churchill, and discovered that there were two Winston Churchill’s—the British statesmen and the American novelist who wrote this book.