When I was a little girl (yes, I was, once upon a time) the first series of books I fell in love with were The Lonely Doll stories. The books were about a doll named Edith and the stuffed bears she lived with in Manhattan. They were written and photographed by a woman named Dare Wright. Dare was a fashion model, artist, writer and photographer. In third grade I wrote a fan letter to her and she responded with a handwritten note and a photo of Edith and Little Bear from her book in the works. I treasure them to this day.
She never married or had children. Her children were her dolls and books and a friend's daughter, who was her guardian and inheritor. Dare lived on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in what had been the Bloomingdale Mansion before it was divided into apartments, one of which she lived and worked in until she became confined to a hospital for the last 7 years of her life. Among her friends were Greta Garbo and Tallulah Bankhead. There is a website about her and the many books she created:
Today while browsing through children's books I came across a few of Dare's titles, which set me on this stroll down memory lane. All but the original Lonely Doll are out of print now. Hard to believe, really. Those books were a refuge to me. I hope they are reprinted for all the little girls who know the loneliness of childhood.