4to. SCRAPBOOK KEPT BY BETTE DAVIS. Spiral bound decorative cloth-covered commercial album: Our Baby's First Seven Years Scrapbook ... Illustrated by Joan Ransom (Chicago: ). Item #307159
A scrapbook kept by Hollywood star Bette Davis (1908-1989) following the birth of her only biological child, Barbara Davis Sherry (b.1947), documenting her first seven years of life and providing a portrait of Davis as affectionate mother. Sherry's father was William Grant Sherry, an artist whom Davis divorced in 1950. The album is captioned throughout in Davis' hand, and includes an Autograph Postcard Signed ("Mamma") of Davis; a printed "This Book Belongs to" leaf has been filled out in ink by Davis, who signs as "B.D. Sr." Includes press clippings relating to Davis' pregnancy and Sherry's birth; cards, letters and ephemera sent by friends and colleagues of Davis; photographs of mother and daughter; a typed list of "Barbara's routine" age 1 year 9 months; Barbara's first letters; a promotional still of Davis and B.D. on the set of "Story of a Divorce"; press clippings and production stills of young B.D.'s first forays into film; a pencil and crayon portrait of B.D.; a short story and illustration by B.D. with a note in Davis' hand; handwriting practice lists; grammar school assignments; letters from B.D. to Davis; etc.
Later in life Sherry wrote two memoirs––My Mother's Keeper (1985) and Narrow Is the Way (1987)–– which severly criticized Davis as a mother and which were the source of great contention within the Davis family and among her friends. Davis ultimately disinherted Sherry. The present scrapbook documents a rosier period in their relationship.
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