A Lonely Doll: Filmmakers Susan Marks & John Dehn Are Creating A Documentary About Dare Wright

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.

(Image: Tumblr)

(Image: Tumblr)

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.

Dare's Binder #1 Pg #031-002

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.

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  • Bethany Ramos

    I have never heard of these books before, but the pictures are so interesting – can’t look away. I will watch!

  • Elisa Probert

    As a doll collector, I’d heard of them, but I’ve never read the books. I just know I’ve wanted a replica of Edith for some time. LOL

  • LadyClodia

    I’ve never heard of her or her books, and I’m torn. Dare Wright seemed like a really fascinating woman, and I’d like to find out more about her, but I get pangs of terror when I see that doll.

  • Allyson_et_al

    Her story is very strange, very sad, and a bit creepy. The mood of her books is no coincidence.

  • Geogirl

    I remember these books clearly, my mother read them to me when I was a little girl. I loved them, even when the emotions they evoked were uncomfortable or troubling. One of the things I liked was that Edith had the same negative emotions that I had, loneliness, petulance, rebellion, anger,jealousy and fear(esp. of abandonment). They were also reassuring in that, however badly Edith misbehaved, her family (Mr. Bear and Little Bear) still loved her. When I had my own kids I read them the books as well. I liked to talk to them about what was going on in the stories, what the characters might be feeling and what my kids might feel or do in the same situation. I agree that the spanking is troubling, but I don’t think that it makes the books any less worthwhile.

  • Guest

    You pour a glass of milk. You pore over books.