If you've never heard of the Hitty book entitled "Her First Hundred Years" it's a children's book written by Rachael Field and Published in 1929. It won the Newbery Medal for excellence in American children's literature in 1930. It's a book about a lttle dolls adventures.
According to the Hitty Wikipedia page: The book details Hitty's adventures as she becomes separated from Phoebe and travels from owner to owner over the course of a century. She ends up living in locations as far-flung as Boston, New Orleans, India, and the South Pacific. At various times, she is lost deep under the sea and also under sofa cushions, abandoned in a hayloft, serves as part of a snake-charmer's act, and meets the famous writer Charles Dickens, before finally ending up in an antique shop in New York City among other, fancier dolls of porcelain and wax. There Hitty is purchased and taken to her new owner's summer home in Maine, which turns out to be the original Preble residence where she first lived.
If you would like to read her book there is a .pdf of the words and chapters here.
If you would like to see all of the illustrations by Dorothy Lathrop for Rachael Fields book they are here.
The Hitty Doll c. 1930, shown in the picture above, is from The Strong National Museum of Play website.
Credits: doll ca. 1930, Material wood | paint, Origin USA, Object ID 110.10782, Credit Line Gift of the family of Patricia M. Morse.
According to her description: The Hitty doll is the central character in Rachel Field's 1929 "Hitty: Her First Hundred Years," a children's book that received the Newbery Award. Field garnered inspiration for her story from a wooden doll she saw seated in the window of a New York City antique shop. In the story, the doll receives the name of Mehitabel by her first owner, Phoebe Preble. The story presents the doll's point of view and recounts how Phoebe shortened her name to Hitty. Hitty describes 100 years of adventures that began in Maine and included travels to New Orleans and Bombay, India. She recounts meeting Charles Dickens and John Greenleaf Whittier and she records that she had been lost, stolen, borrowed, exhibited, sold at auction, and abused by fire, water, and neglect. Through her many trials, she remains calm and stoic, and ever ready for her next adventure. The book inspired many whittlers to fashion Hitty dolls of mountain ashwood as gifts for little girls who enjoyed the doll's story.
Sounds like an amazing doll and story - doesn't it?
The original Hitty doll resides in the Stockbridge Library, Stockbridge, MA. They produced a wonderful .pdf brochure The Stockbridge Library presents: “All Aboard” with Hitty! A doll, a book, a conference June 10-12, 2011 here. I hope you get a chance to read it. That would have been a fun conference - don't you think?
If you'd like more information on Hitty, the Hitty doll, and the modern day Hitty's please click here for the Practical Hitty website.
The Paris Review ran a delightful article in the Our Daily Correspondent section entitled "Hitty, Her Second Hundred Years" by Sadie Stein about the Northeast Harbor Library and the book Hitty, Her First Hundred Years. If you'd like to read her article please click here.
There's a wonderful post entitled "Incredible Vintage Wooden 1950's Hitty Doll
with Accessories and Tasha Tudor Letters" on Maida Today by Dixie Redmond about the 1950 wooden Hitty doll at Lucy's Doll House here. It's a wonderful post and I hope you get a chance to read it.
The Great Cranberry Island Historical Society has a Hitty's Home website to educate the public, especially children, on the rich history of Cranberry Island and their with author Rachel Field here.
Hitty dolls have become very popular amongst doll artists and your girls alike. Gail Wilson is an amazing doll maker who specializes in reproduction antique dolls on her Gail Wilson Designs website. The Hitty Series includes information on her Finished Hitty dolls, doll kits so you can make one of your own, Hitty doll clothes, clothes kits, patterns, accessories, Hitty house, information about Hitty, Hitty books & book clubs, Hitty Photo Gallery, and Hitty supplies. If you love Hitty and would like to make a Hitty doll of your own you should visit Gail Wilson's website.
The Julie Old Crow website has a tutorial showing how to make a Hitty doll cradle quilt here. She also has a Hitty dress pattern for sale on her Julie Old Crow Etsy shop here.
Tons of information on Hitty can be found on the Hittygirls website here. Free patterns for Hitty Clothes is here. Hitty's timeline is here.
I just love the Hitty dolls and I'm looking forward to making one some day. They're small, they're adorable, and they have exciting adventures. What's not to love!