Martha Finley links

Buried Antiques
Titles, publishers, and dates of first editions 1856-1905 -- under "Farquharson". (Site is "a book database for verification of first printings of literary first editions.")

Mid-Continent Public Library
Title list, arranged by series, for Elsie Dinsmore, Mildred Keith, and the new Life of Faith reissues (Elsie, Millie, Violet)

Biography (usually incorporating some commentary on the Elsie books)
A Life of Faith: Millie and A Life of Faith: Elsie
Two mid-length biographies of Finley at Mission City Press; opening paragraphs are identical in both, but final three paragraphs diverge slightly.

Finley Findings (vol. 11, no. 2)
Genealogy of Finley's family traced back through her father to 1680; also contains transcription of Finley's Dictionary of American Biography entry. (All under "Query No. 3".)

Virtual American Biographies
Brief biography (under "Samuel Finley") from Appleton's Cyclopedia (1887-89); includes paragraphs about several of Finley's ancestors

Martha Finley (by Rita Smith)
Brief biography and commentary on attitudes in Elsie. From "'Recess!'... a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM".

Encyclopedia Britanica
Two paragraphs

Martha Finley (Sovereign City Press)
Another brief biography, followed by a list of the Elsie titles (links on titles all lead to the same synopsis of volume one)

Casella, or, The Children of the Valleys (1869) at Wright American Fiction

Lilian, or, Did She Do Right? (1869) at Wright American Fiction

Wanted: a Pedigree (1871) at Wright American Fiction

Note: Elsie Dinsmore etexts (at Project Gutenberg) linked from Finley series bibliography page

[Paper on revising Elsie Dinsmore - J. Rosiek?]
As document file; lacks title or authorship attribution. Discussion of issues in revising and reissuing the Elsie books, mostly in relation to treatment of African-American characters
As html

Elsie Dinsmore -- An Enigma
Critique on values in the first few books in the series: does Elsie encourage children to "conceal matters . . . hold their own beliefs independent of [their parents'] and seek to live a self-indulgent life"?

Maryland Women's Heritage Trail
PDF file (large) of historic locations in Maryland. One paragraph on Finley's home in Elkton -- now replaced with a funeral parlor.

Mission City Press - Life of Faith
Publisher's website with assorted material on Elsie Dinsmore, Mildred (Millie) Keith, and Violet Travilla books and related merchandise. The Elsie and Millie titles are revised editions, not Finley's originals; Violet is an entirely new series featuring Elsie's daughter. Under Elsie, the "For Parents and Grandparents" link eventually leads to an explanation of the rationale behind the revised editions. The "Elsie's Books" page provides a synopsis of the stories and background information about the time period (plus a link to a Dinsmore family tree). Other pages offer merchandise (including Elsie's Daily Diary, a lavishly dressed doll, and, of course, the revised books), religious information, and an Elsie Club (where "girls ask Elsie questions and she responds"). The Millie section has similar -- but less extensive -- links.

Elsie Dinsmore Product Page
Utmost Enterprises: Most items now unavailable, but of interest in showing how the series has been merchandised within the past decade

Alice Hazeltine, ed. Library Work with Children, ch. 7 at World Wide School
Only a brief reference, but revealing of librarians' attitudes towards series books and children's reading in the late 19th century. Caroline Hewins brands Finley as one of the "immortal four" (with Optic, Alger, and Castlemon) and outlines plans to improve the library and acquire "a better class of books". Chapter 6 (also by Hewins) contains another reference to Finley and more on librarians' strategies for weaning children from such fare.
Hazeltine: Plain text copy at Project Gutenberg

Return to main page

Copyright 2004 - Deidre Johnson