I first heard of Mary Frances books when my friend Crystal gave me one of their reproduction copies. I believe it was The Mary Frances Sewing Book
. She said she was finished with it and wanted to pass it on to someone else who would enjoy it. I was immediately charmed by the illustrations inside and set to work finding out more information.
I quickly found out there are many Mary Frances books, seven total, and the old editions sell for a lot of money. Jane Eayre Fryer a school teacher wrote and illustrated the books starting in 1912. The books are not only charming little stories, but contain lessons, how-to’s and recipes.
Of course being the book nerd I am, I passed along the reproduction to another friend and set to work finding some of the older editions for myself. I have had the best luck finding copies around $20 each by keeping an eye on Ebay, Amazon’s used books, and Alibris
. A lot of time the listings on Alibris will not have photos so you have to read the description carefully to make sure you are indeed getting an original and not reproduction copy.
So far I have been able to collect The Mary Frances Cookbook, The Mary Frances Garden Book, and The Mary Frances Sewing Book. Now I am just keeping my eyes peeled for a bargain on the others.
So back to my original friend who introduced me to the books, she recently had a birthday and while looking for something unrelated I stumbled across these Mary France embroidery patterns by Acme Notions
. I knew I had to get a set for Crystal to go with her gifts, and of course I needed a set of my own. I wish they had patterns for each of the books, the garden book has such cute illustrations inside.
if you’d like to learn even more about Jane Eayre Fryer, this website
has a blog and information about all of the books.
Please note that the Amazon link above is an Amazon affiliate link and if you purchase something using it I will receive a small Amazon credit.