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Benares House Gallery
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Title: Mazo de la Roche Diary (1959)

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Description: A red leather bound diary, with gold trim. On the front cover, in gold, the title reads: Any Year Diary. The diary has a brass clasp that hooks into a metal bracket to keep closed. There is a key hole, but no key. The title page reads: 'THE Leathersmith ANY YEAR DIARY (UNDATED). Leathersmith of London. T. J. & J. Smith Ltd. LONDON - ENGLAND. Printed in Great Britain.' The pages of the diary are edged in gilt. The diary has a gold coloured ribbon attached to mark the writer's place. The diary is different in content, and not every page has an entry. It only covers one year, and was written two years prior to Mazo de la Roche's death in 1961.

Mazo de la Roche lived in Clarkson on property she purchased from Annie Harris Sayers, the daughter of Arthur and Mary Harris of Benares Historic House. Mazo lived in 'Trail Cottage' during the time she wrote her award winning novel, Jalna, published in 1927. It is speculated that Benares Historic House and the Harris' were the inspiration for Jalna and the Whiteoaks family. The Harris' continued to be on friendly terms with Mazo and her companion, Caroline Clements, after they moved to England and later, Toronto.

Mrs. Bianca de la Roche recently donated another diary thought to be the only one in existence (2005.5.1). On a recent visit, she gave this second diary. This diary covers Mazo's life in 1959, only two years before her death. This diary is quite different than her earlier one, and is filled with many of the health problems she was suffering at that time, although she still managed to entertain and work on a play.