Thursday, September 8, 2011

Flora McFlimsey

On a trip last year to our favorite antique shop (Deb's Flowerbed Farm), I came upon 2 little round pictures that reminded me of one of my favorite childhood books. We hung them in the hall and really didn't give them much thought. This summer, however, I took a closer look and, although they are not signed and only prints, they reminded me of Flora McFlimsey. I thought that they might even be some of Flora's friends from other books. Their names were written in the same script used by Mariana throughout her books.
(I had trouble getting good pictures because of the glass.)

Mariana (Marian Foster Curtiss) created Flora McFlimsey.  Life Magazine wrote an article about her and you can read it here. The doll was named after Flora McFlimsey of Madison Square who had nothing to wear! The poem can be read here. This poem was written by William Allen Butler and made fun of society ladies and their need to always have a new outfit.
Flora a had a trunk full of clothes and she lived in an attic with some old broken toys. It had not always been like that. Once upon a time she had been the favorite doll of the "girl with the red top shoes". Now it was Christmas Eve and something wonderful was going to happen. Flora wanted to see the Christmas tree. 

Her arms and legs came to life and she made her way downstairs to the most beautiful tree she had ever seen. Noise in the chimney announced Santa's arrival and Flora hid behind a chair. Santa was missing a doll for one of the girls so you can guess what happened next. The other dolls made fun of Flora and her old clothes but then the "wonderful" happened. Her trunk appeared. Her original blue velvet dress, hat, ermine muff and little gold locket soon replaced the dusty clothes from the attic. The angel from the top of the tree helped her dress and did her hair. A little lace handkerchief and a small bottle of cologne were tucked in the muff and there was pair of white kidskin gloves on her little hands.

Then all the clothes in the trunk were hung on the tree one by one. And then it was Christmas morn and Flora was in the arms of a little girl who loved her - no longer forgotten in the attic.

I found a copy of this book through one of Amazon's sellers. The little girl in me still thinks about a doll with a trunk full of doll clothes in perfect condition. Do you remember Flora?

I am joining Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for another Pink Saturday! Please be sure to stop in and see all the other wonderful pinks.


EliFla said...

what a gorgeous book..... love, Flavia

Anonymous said...

Beautiful book!
Have a nice weekend, kisses:)

Vee said...

No, I've never heard of Flora and it's just the story I would have adored as a child. I have heard of Hitty: Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field (considered a Maine author, but not because she was born her, rather because she wrote a lot about Maine), which is a bit more involved than Flora's story, but which is also about a doll. Thanks for telling me about Flora. I will look for her now when I am visiting the flea markets about.

Archie the wonder dog said...

Looks like a gorgeous book!

Sheila said...

I really don't remember Flora but love the illustrations and the last illustration seems very familiar. Perhaps I did read the book as a child. It's wonderful to go down memory lane sometimes isn't it?

Cass @ That Old House said...

Oh Carol! How did I miss this book when I was a child? I LOVE books about dolls -- I must have read Hitty at least a half dozen times. This one is beautiful -- I love the illustrations! And I agree - the prints you have are by the same artist. Wonderful!

I still love books about dolls, AND dolls, too. I recently -- and very reluctantly -- got rid of my old Tiny Tears doll, that I got when I was 3. Her rubber body had completely disintegrated into dusty shreds. My mother had crocheted a tight bodysuit for her that kept her together for some years, but finally ... Tiny's body and her celluloid head just were beyond saving. Broke my heart!

I am such a sucker for dolls that even reading this post about Flora being "found" again on Christmas morning made me get tears in my eyes.

If I ever have a grand daughter, she better love dolls!


Jil~Say It With Roses said...

This is so cute! With all the books I had as a child and purchased for mine, I never ran across this....the poem is darling! Thank you so much for sharing!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a precious book! I don't remember this one...but I love the sweet illustrations and story! ♥

Sarah said...

I'd never heard of Flora but what a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing her with us today!

HaPpY pInK sAtUrDaY!

KnitOne, PearlOnion said...

Sweet little books....thanks for sharing your finds. -- Joann

LV said...

Seems you found a lot of real keepers. here.

Pat said...

I am unfamiliar with the story of Flora. Your post today is charming!

pinkkandy said...

It's another Pink Saturday...and I pray each one of you will have a great week-end..and even some pink sugary fun! God Bless you

Rettabug said...

I had never heard of this storybook nor the poem, Carol. I'm SO glad you posted about it, though. It reminds me that WE (Donna, you & I) have some doll clothes to get busy on. I'd forgotten all about them!

Hope you're having a quiet, reflective & restorative weekend.


cathleen said...

What a sweet book! My grandgirls would love it. Also, I think you are going to LOVE Jane Brocket's books!

Tiffany said...

I enjoyed reading your post--I have been on a Flora McFlimsey quest all day after having just rediscovered them, haha! It must have been about 20 years ago I used to read them. I had in the back of my mind a remembrance of a book I used to love, with someone named Flora Mc-something and an easter bonnet with bunny ear-holes in it :) A friend came up with the title and here I am!


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