'Put It Down on Paper': The Words and Life of Mary Folsom Blair, a Fifty-Year Search (Paperback)
Mary E. Folsom Blair was just a name on a listing sheet when young writer Phil Primack bought her Epping, New Hampshire, property in 1974. As he learned more about this lifelong teacher, Quaker, and early advocate for outdoor education, his reporter bones began to twitch. Over decades, Primack talked to her former students and relatives, tracking down Mary's most accurate life record: letters and journals dating 1897, when she was fifteen. Her sharp mind and creative soul grapple with the social restraints of her time and "the pain this world holds for a woman." Mary pens her hopes and bares her despair as young chums die, her classroom ways are challenged, relationships with men and women end until--resigned to her fate as "spinster that was, is and ever shall be"--she meets her Hero on ice. With her collected papers preserved at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, Mary Folsom Blair will teach in a digital forever.