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Benares House Gallery
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Title: Book - Jalna
Identifier: 2003.2.263
Donor: Barbara Larson
Item Date: 1927
Image Creator: Museums of Mississuaga
Creation Date: 2005
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A 1st Edition copy of 'Jalna', by Mazo de la Roche, published by the MacMillan Company of Canada Ltd., St. Martha's House, Toronto. The book is a blue bound, hard-backed book with the title and author's name on the front and spine in orange block capital letters. The book contains 347 pages with no illustrations. An emblem, oval in shape and located on the front, depicts Poseidon rising from the waves. The words, 'Atlantic Monthly Press Publication' is a reference to the prize Mazo de la Roche won for writing this novel. Written inside reads, 'Naomi W. Harris, 'Benares', Clarkson, Ont.’ Inside the back cover reads, '2.00' (as if it were offered at a a garage sale at some point).

In 1927, Mazo de la Roche’s novel ‘Jalna’ won the $10,000 first prize in a competition sponsored by ‘Atlantic Monthly’, which provided her with international recognition and success in the future. Mazo lived in Trail Cottage, which was located on property that had originally belonged to the Benares Estate. Some people speculate the Benares House was Mazo’s inspiration for the ‘Whiteoaks' of Jalna. Mazo was friends with the Harris's and had visited Benares. Mazo was born in Newmarket on as Mazo Louise Roche. She was the only child of Alberta and William Roche. Mazo died on 12 July 1961. See: C.J. Taylor, 'de la Roche, Mazo' ‘Canadian Encyclopaedia, 2000 Edition’ (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1999), 639.

Items donated by Barbara Sayers Larson. Barbara Larson is the daughter of Annie Harris (1882-1986) and Beverly Sayers (1882-1976) and granddaughter of Arthur (1843-1932) and Mary (1859-1954) Harris. Barbara was born January 27, 1920 and was the youngest of three children. Barbara and her siblings, Geoffrey Sayers (1907-1997) and Dora Sayers Caro (1915-2004) donated Benares to the Ontario Heritage Foundation in 1969 after inheriting it from their aunt, Naomi Harris (1883-1968). Many of the items donated by Barbara originally belonged to her mother or Aunt Naomi and came from Benares. Barbara lived in the log cabin originally given to her parents by her grandparents at 1723 Birchwood Drive. Barbara still maintains a close tie with Benares and currently lives in Kelowna, British Columbia, with her daughter.
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Related Links:
   Museums of Mississauga Home Page
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