Mary MacLane

Photograph, Stone and Kimball Collection #1210, Newberry Library.

Nineteen-year-old Mary MacLane from Butte, Montana, may have been the original flapper. She wrote “I Await the Devil's Coming” and sent it to Chicago's Stone and Kimball Company. When it appeared in print in 1902, re-titled The Story of Mary MacLane, the book sparked controversy with its references to the author's sexual longings. Literary critics proclaimed it a work of refreshing openness, while more traditional readers thought it improper for a young woman. For a time, her name became synonymous with female sexuality. MacLane went on to write several other books and to act in early films, one based on her book Men Who Have Made Love To Me. Never married, MacLane lived in Chicago until her death in 1929.

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Stone and Kimball Collection 1210
MacLane, Mary
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