In 1957, Dare Wright wrote and published her first children’s book, entitled The Lonely Doll. It was the first in a series of 10 books that featured Edith, the lead character, and the bears who accompanied her on many adventures. Many women of a certain age grew up with Edith and her friends, and those of you who are familiar with the series will remember the black and white photographs that accompanied the books, showing the doll Edith in various poses with the stuffed bears.
Especially the first book which showed Edith receiving a spanking by Mr. Bear, who punished Edith for misbehaving after he discovers her playing dress up with makeup, heels and jewelry, along with a message about Mr. Bear being silly scrawled in lipstick on a mirror.
I grew up with these books, and I can remember pouring over the photographs and desperately wanting to live in the world of Edith and the bears. As an adult, I am such a fan of Dare and her work that I choose her name for my own daughter’s middle name. They are very haunting and eerie books, and a sort of cult following has developed amongst fans and people obsessed with the beautiful and enigmatic author and photographer of the book, Dare Wright who died in 2001.
One such person is the amazing filmmaker and author Susan Marks, who along with her filmmaking partner John Dehn have embarked on creating a documentary about the mysterious Dare Wright and her fascinating world of Edith and the bears. Susan and John worked previously together on the feature documentary Of Dolls And Murder.