My grandma gave me the craziest most wonderful birthday gift ever. She gave me the originals of letters written by Nellie McClung and Lucy Maud Montgomery to my great great grandmother, written around 1910.
My great great grandma Florence Carmichael was an aspiring author and she wrote these ladies asking for advice on how to get published in a time when it was still difficult for women to write in the industry. Nellie McClung in particular wrote a rather firey letter back. She said:
“…I will always make time to help people who are trying to win the ear of the stony hearted publisher, for I have been all through it and it is purely a thorny path. Publishers, as a class, are absolutely lacking in literary taste. They have only one point of view and that is the financial.”
I don’t believe my great great grandma ever did get her book published (she did publish some poetry) but my grandma says she still has the original manuscript… all hand-written one-hundred years ago in pencil. It makes my eyes hurt just thinking about it, but I have to say, I can hardly wait to read it!