Author introduced Amish to audiences
TO THE EDITORS:
In a recent article about the Amish, the reporter made a misleading reference as to when the Lancaster County Amish were first being marveled at by society outside our own. It was stated that the 1950s was when anything about their lifestyles first interested those beyond our borders through the influence of the play, "Plain and Fancy."
Nothing could be further from the truth. Lancaster's leading literary lady, Helen Reimensnyder Martin, saw to that. Born and raised in Lancaster city before marrying and moving to Harrisburg, she wrote 35 Amish-based novels from 1900 to 1938, about one every year before she died. These novels were widely popular and two were made into Broadway plays in the early 1920s.
And, she, not Beverly Lewis, was Lancaster's first, finest novelist who wrote about the subject -- the subjugation of Pennsylvania Dutch women, but with a divine humorous twist. I have read every one of her novels and own most of them, many first editions.
Millersville University has the best collection in Special Collections, last I knew. Why is it she is always forgotten about in these conversations?
Christopher L. Haefner