A Thirties Melodrama

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McClelland and Stewart, Toronto, 1977, appears 1st.  ISBN 0-7710-1215-2.  Hard cover, 232 pages including Notes, Bibliography and Index.  Red brick cloth with gold lettering on spine; binding sound with headbands and a slight lean; light edge wear.  Dust jacket with price intact shows edge and cover wear, rubs, short tears repaired on verso, tiny losses at corners and spine ends.  Illustrated end papers; interior clean and unmarked; illustrated with black & white cartoon drawings and black & white photo plate sections.  ‘This book is about a miracle that turned first into a melodrama and later into a tragedy.  It is a book about well-meaning people – politicians, medical experts, civil servants, and ordinary men and women – who did all the wrong things for all the right reasons.  It is also a book about media exploitation – the manufacture by press and radio of Villains and Heroes.  The birth of five identical baby girls to a young farm-wife in the backwoods of Northern Ontario in May, 1934, was a genuine miracle … the five Dionne girls – Yvonne, Annette, Cecile, Emilie, and Marie – grew to adulthood.  For the first nine years of their lives they lived a goldfish-bowl existence, separated from their parents and siblings and on exhibit daily to millions who came from the far corners of the earth to see them.  At their peak they represented a five-hundred-million-dollar asset to the Province of Ontario.’ (from front flap)

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