Monday, April 30, 2012
In Honor of Mary Hillier
The birthday of my friend and noted doll author and historian Mary Palmer Hillier was April 30th. Mary died in 1999, on Valentine's Day at the age of 82. She was a very young 82 and she loved Elvis and soccer, as well as dolls and toys. Her board games and Noahs' ark collections were legendary. She was a noted authority on all types of dolls and doll related objects and she explored the history of dolls in every aspect of society. She helped me tremendously with my book and dissertation on English writer Barbara Pym, and with articles on Metal Dolls/Automatons and the ensuing book. We wrote about twice a month to each other for 14 years until her death. Mary worked for Pollock's Toy Museum and was Editor of their Dictionary of Toys. She also wrote a book on Chloe Preston, published right before she died, Wax Dolls, Automata, Dolls and Dollmkaers, and many, many articles on dolls and toys. She was quite an authority, and her husband Jack was an expert on oriental and Japanese prints. I used to do research for her on The Internet, and looked up Louise Norton Brown for Jack. I miss her everyday, and always think of her saying, "Almost a May Queen!"