Whenever we publish an old story from the public domain, we like to include a note or two about the author and a link to more info — usually to Wikipedia. Unfortunately for us the ‘pedia has no entry for the author of today’s story — Amy Wentworth Stone — and we linked instead to an archive of her correspondence with the Maine State Library, which collected works by local writers (“Maine Writers”). More on that in a moment.
A deeper search brought us to a couple of old Kirkus Reviews of two of her works (Treasure for Debby; Let Polly Do It), a genealogy page which had somehow gotten a hold of a family album (1934-1936 Photograph Album of the Family of Seymour Howard Stone & Amy (Wentworth) Stone of West Roxbury, Massachusetts & New Harbor, Maine), a mention in a journal called The Writer:
Amy Wentworth Stone, who wrote the story “Catching It” in the March Century, is a new writer among the contributors of short fiction. So far she has tried her hands only at stories of child life one of which “Capital Punishments” appeared in the November Atlantic. Mrs. Stone is a graduate of Vassar College and was for a while in social work. For a number of years however she has been living quietly near Boston busying herself with the hum drum but very absorbing occupations of a home maker in a city suburb. She is at work on other stories which she hopes to publish in the course of time. When asked why all her story children are so naughty, Mrs Stone invaribly [sic] replies that she wrote a story once about a child of virtue who had golden curls blue eyes and all the parts and that nobody would have him. So she has come to the reluctant conclusion that stories of naughty children are the kind that editors like best.
…and a brief mention in The Smart Set regarding one of her books, which described it as “a piffle.”
The correspondence with the Maine State Library, mentioned at the outset, is a warm, friendly exchange between archivist and writer, asking for copies of the writer’s notable works. Once they’ve arrived the archivist sends a note of thanks, and in reply receives a handwritten note, nearly illegible, to which is dispatched a last response:
August 17, 1938
Mr. Seymour H. Stone
12 Emmonsdale Road
West Roxbury, Massachusetts
Dear Mr. Stone:
It was with deep regret that we learned of the death of Mrs. Stone, and we send you, tardily, but sincerely, our sympathy. Her stories will be missed, and children will be the poorer for lack of those that might have been written.
We are very grateful to have as her gifts HERE’S JUGGINS, TREASURE FOR DEBBY and LET POLLY DO IT, all of which are charming tales. Thank you for telling us about the forthcoming volume. We will watch for it with pleasure.
Very truly yours,
MAINE STATE LIBRARY