Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Lovejoyana

Last week we received two more pieces of Esther Pohl Lovejoy-ana from Maxine Fraade, donor of a major portion of the Lovejoy materials currently held by our repository.

One, an issue of American Women's Club Magazine, London (v. 4, no. 3, March 1928), contains a short article on "American Women's Hospitals in Greece." Written by Julie Helen Heyneman, it focuses on the efforts of the AWH in Greece in the period 1922-1928. Cutting short the complete narrative of events, Heyneman writes:
However, Dr. Esther Lovejoy has told that whole astounding story--an epic if there ever was one--in her book Certain Samaritans, which is probably on the shelves of the library. If it is not, I urgently suggest that it should be, so that whenever we feel depressed about manifestations at home with which we are out of sympathy, we may have our righteous pride reinforced by the account of the activities of the women who enlisted under the banner of the American Women's Hospitals in the Balkans." (p. 142)
And who can't use a little reinforcement of righteous pride on occasion?

The other donated item, an issue of the American Women's Club of Paris Bulletin (v. I, no. 21, Sept. 1924), includes a piece on the ceremony at which Lovejoy received the Legion of Honor from France, "The Fete at the Residence Sociale in honour of Docteur Esther Lovejoy." The commendation itself had been awarded on Oct. 26, 1923; the citation read, in part (pardon the lack of proper punctuation):
"On peut sans crainte insister sur l'influence enorme exercee par le Docteur Esther Lovejoy, soit par la parole, soit par son livre: "The House of the Good Neighbor," edite chez Macmillan et preface par Herbert Hoover, lequel constitue une excellente propagande francophile..."
I wouldn't have thought of the book as French propaganda, but maybe we should add some subject headings for that... The article goes on to state:
On a radiant Sunday afternoon of this July, the "Residence" held fete at Levallois for Doctor Lovejoy, in affectionate gratitude for the gift to humanity of her beneficient life since 1917. What this gift of herself has been to France and to the near East is known to all the world! In the little portrait of Doctor Lovejoy accompanying this story we see looking from starlit eyes the deep enthusiasms, the fine intellectuality of a fervid spirit, in its first vivid living. On that Sunday afternoon a little while ago, the blue eyes flashed the same rare glance of eternal youth but the hair told of her self-gift to a world that suffers, and gleamed silvery white, exquisite, about the lovely face, at once portraying and framing her thorough-bred personality, strenuous and dainty in one. (p. 691)
All the photos in our collections confirm this description: Lovejoy does appear dainty and strenuous in each. These two newly donated pieces will be wonderful additions to our Lovejoy collections, and provide that much more support for the monumental legacy of her work as "Oregon's doctor to the world."

1 comment:

dth20k said...

Thanks for making this information and the lecture on Lovejoy available here.