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LadyMills-Orinoco-SWhen I first began researching Lady Dorothy Mills and collecting her books, I found very little about her online, or at libraries. Every few years I’d do new searches and find more material. Now in 2016, I’m finding a great deal more. I don’t know if this represents increase interest in Lady Dorothy Mills, or more library type content is being transferred to the web.

Below are the best content I can find on the net. The 2014 Jane Dismore piece if from a newspaper in England, and has the absolute best summary of Lady Dorothy Mills’ life I’ve read to date. It also has some wonderful pictures from her rich manor life before she married.

I hope as more stories are written about Lady Dorothy Mills we’ll eventually see her books either republished, or allowed to go into the public domain.

Lady Mills is listed in some minor Who’s Who type of books, and three of her travel books are mentioned in Book Review Digest from the 1920’s. She got mixed reviews. Some reviewers considered her travel books fun and informative, but one reviewer consistently said they were worthless.

I don’t have any solid evidence, but my hunch is Lady Dorothy Mills was a very minor writer who got published at the very edge of the literary world. Probably most would-be writers would sell their souls to sell fifteen books, I know I’d be tempted. Writers want their work to make them immortal, but sadly even moderate success is quickly forgotten.

Next, I hope to search out Lady Mills periodical publications, but I’m guessing if she published shorter works, they will be in minor magazines, which will be hard to track down. Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature had no mention of her.

Lady Dorothy gets a minor amount of attention in some obscure history books. See the References section for my current list.

The strange thing about this quest is Lady Mills published her last book in 1931, but didn’t die until 1959. After fifteen books in fifteen years, why did she stop writing? Maybe the great depression killed off publishing opportunities for lesser writers. After that came the war years. Maybe she was too old to return to writing, or she had found another creative outlet.

It would be amazing to someday read that Lady Dorothy kept a journal until she died, and will be published. I doubt that will happen. I keep hoping one of her heirs would want to write a biography of their strange old aunt. I hope the Jane Dismore piece will ignite interest, since it was published in the Eastern Daily Press near her old homes of Mannington and Wolterton Halls.

I assume if I really wanted to research the life of Lady Dorothy Mills I’d have to travel to England. Jane Dismore obviously had access to more documentation than I’ll ever discover on the Internet. The sad reality is few people would want to read a full biography of Lady Dorothy. I assume that much of what she had to say was in her books, and they haven’t been reprinted for 80-100 years.

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