Welcome to my my world of loving history through eloquent story telling and beautiful dolls. American Girl dolls are more than toys or even collectibles to me–they are a window into the past that turns mundane textbook information into insightful, colorful stories, full of personality and emotion. Historical accuracy is so important to me and I have great respect for American Girl and their talented authors for creating such engaging, accurate characters. The telling of history through the characters of vivid and engaging young ladies inspired the name HERstory. I of course love the beautiful dolls themselves, so allow me to introduce my little family of dolls. These ladies will be reappearing often as I use them to act out stories (their originals and and some of my own!), model fashion of their day, and provide historical insight on the world today.
Kirsten Larson was my very first doll; I breathlessly lifted her from her box on my seventh birthday after a year of longing. Her character is a Swedish immigrant pioneering on the Minnesota frontier in the year 1854. I am excited to share my renditions of her stories with you (written by Janet Shaw). My Kirsten doll is incredibly sentimental to me; if my house were burning down and I could save one possession, Kirsten would be it.
Molly McIntire was my second doll. She portrays a girl growing up on the home front during World War Two. Her stories are fun, spunky, and emotional; they are written by Valerie Tripp who has authored many American Girl books. I have always liked Molly very much, but just recently in my adulthood have I really found a passion for her and her time period. I am so excited to express history through Molly!
Abby is my American Girl of Today (the company now calls them “My American Girl”). I got her in 1999, so she represents the “modern” era from 1999 to the present. The company makes “My American Girl” purposely without any identity so that the owner can turn her into whomever she wants to be. I have always used Abby to represent my interests and hobbies, so Abby might be used as my avatar around the site.
Emily Bennett is my newest doll, and the inspiration for my post-childhood American Girl renaissance. As it would happen, an American Girl catalogue showed up at my parents’ house when I was visiting for Thanksgiving. This inspired my mom and I to not only tear through it excitedly, but to dig out old catalogues and reminisce. (I should mention that my mom has a collection of dolls much more extensive than mine). As I turned the pages of an old catalogue I lamented that if I were to ever have had one more doll, it would have been Emily, Molly’s English friend. Apart from sharing a first name, I just loved her character in the books and thought the doll was beautiful. I also have a particular affinity for the “Friend Doll” collection because, well, I like to give myself credit for inventing it. Not really, but when I was eight or so I wrote a letter to American Girl (then Pleasant Company) expressing my desire for there to be friend dolls available for the current characters. I was particularly interested in there being a Singing Bird for Kirsten. I got a very nice reply explaining that while a good idea, friend dolls were not a very lucrative possibility at present time. Several years later when I saw a catalogue with the debut of the very first friend doll (Nellie) I was thrilled and a little outraged (“they STOLE my idea!”). When Emily came out I was especially excited because she was the first friend doll that went with one of the dolls I actually had. At that point though, I was a teenager and despite still loving my dolls and keeping them displayed nicely in my room, asking for an ipod for Christmas seemed more important than a doll. I digress a bit, so that brings me back to leafing lovingly through old catalogues with my mom over Thanksgiving. When Christmas came (despite telling my mom repeatedly that we are much too old for Christmas presents) she handed me a rectangular package and I joked, “Hey, this looks like it could be an American Girl doll!” Much to my shock and amazement, it was in fact no other American Girl doll than Emily, who not only was “next on my list” but who had been archived the year prior. My amazing mom had found her brand new in the package on ebay so that the first American Girl doll I had opened in fifteen years was exactly the one I wanted. Emily was the catalyst to my reconstructed hobby, hence what you are reading right now. I am just getting started and am so excited for my future with HERstory AG!