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Old Aug 27 2007, 11:27 AM   #1
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Post Anne's Dedications -- Elsie Lee

On my Many Works of AMC webiste I have a page of all the dedications in Anne's books (perhaps missing the most recent few...), along with explanations of who the people named in the dedication are, when known.

Occasionally someone will email me with info to update them, which is quite nice! I just updated the Ring of Fear dedication with more detailed information sent by someone researching Elsie Lee, to whom that book is dedicated.

Here's my updated entry for Ring of Fear:
To Elsie Lee and her Good friend, Golliwog


Elsie Lee Sheridan was a notable author of suspenseful romances (as Ring of Fear is). She wrote under a number of pseudonyms including Elsie Lee and Lee Sheridan.

I've heard from a fan of Elsie Lee and learned more about her; here's some of what she wrote to me:

"Elsie Lee loved cats -- I wonder whether Golliwog was one of them? Her heroines were always smart, well-educated and creative women in a time when all too many romances featured the too-stupid-to-live heroine who inevitably does something really, really dumb for no good reason. Most were contemporaries, but she did write some historicals... Ring of Fear and The Mark of Merlin have similar sensibilities... I suspect their connection was while Anne was living in New Jersey or Delaware, though it may have been through a publisher. Elsie was published by Dell in the late sixties and seventies."
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Old Aug 27 2007, 12:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Anne's Dedications -- Elsie Lee

That is really nice to know....it adds some real interest to those books. I would agree..with a name like Polliwog...it would have to be something along the lines of a cat or a dog... one that perhaps liked to swim.
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Old Aug 27 2007, 02:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Anne's Dedications -- Elsie Lee

Good research!
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Old Aug 27 2007, 04:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Anne's Dedications -- Elsie Lee

Golliwog or Polliwog? You mention both
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Old Aug 27 2007, 05:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Anne's Dedications -- Elsie Lee

Oop, it should be Golliwog, that's what it is in the book.
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Old Aug 27 2007, 09:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Anne's Dedications -- Elsie Lee

As a teenager I was heavily "into" those mystery romances and I know I had some Elsie Lees but I'm ashamed to say all I remember is the author's name. I seem to remember liking her books but I remember Mary Stewart's works better. I also remember the names Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt, but again, I can't remember specific books. It was a very long time ago and I usually got through five or six (or more) of those books a week in summer and three or four during school terms.
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Old Aug 29 2007, 06:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: Anne's Dedications -- Elsie Lee

Fascinating information, Cheryl. Thanks for the link. I love the dedication in "Freedom's Ransom". I wonder if there's a copy out there signed by everyone? I vaguely remember such a book being passed round at a UK Gather once - perhaps that was it?

Finally, I never thought with your amazing knowledge of Pern and research that I could ever add to anything on your site. Maybe this one thing: The dedication in the "Skies of Pern" isn't because of the sky map (although that helped). It's because of the globe of Pern I sent Anne - the same globe in my Avatar. Thanks for the ego boost.
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Old Aug 29 2007, 06:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Anne's Dedications -- Elsie Lee

I should get that one updated then Steven.

(and ditto on the thanks for an ago boost )
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Old Aug 29 2007, 06:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Anne's Dedications -- Elsie Lee

OoooOO Stevens that's fantastic that you designed that picture of pern, I have always wondered where you got it. Is there anyway to see it bigger???
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Old Aug 30 2007, 01:31 AM   #10
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Default Re: Anne's Dedications -- Elsie Lee

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Fascinating information, Cheryl. Thanks for the link. I love the dedication in "Freedom's Ransom". I wonder if there's a copy out there signed by everyone? I vaguely remember such a book being passed round at a UK Gather once - perhaps that was it?
I'd like to know if that book got stalled somewhere. Cuz I never signed a copy, so there can't be any out with complete signatures. Anyone else NOT sign a copy of FREEDOM'S RANSOM? I sure hope no one has bought any copy claiming to be signed by all those it was dedicated to.
Maybe there was a copy to be signed only by attendees at the UK Gather tho.
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Old Aug 30 2007, 04:37 AM   #11
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Default Re: Anne's Dedications -- Elsie Lee

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OoooOO Stevens that's fantastic that you designed that picture of pern, I have always wondered where you got it. Is there anyway to see it bigger???
Thanks Lin. It isn't a picture of Pern, it's a hand-made globe. I made it from a Plumber's ball-cock, which I sanded down to make it more spherical and then painted the continents and seas on the surface. I used some luminous paint to make the seas glow slightly in the dark, and put blobs of the luminous paint at the location of all the holds and weyrs so they would light up at night. I realised that Anne had never seen any tangible model of her world and wanted to surprise her. That's the "world in her hands" she mentions.

My Avatar is made from a photograph I took of the globe before I sent it to Anne, superimposed on a region of sky around Rukbat. I can show you the photograph at EuroCon. I guess that's a little "bigger".

Anne has the actual globe. It's usually displayed somewhere at Dragonhold.
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Old Aug 30 2007, 07:34 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by StevenB View Post
I love the dedication in "Freedom's Ransom". I wonder if there's a copy out there signed by everyone? I vaguely remember such a book being passed round at a UK Gather once - perhaps that was it?
Forgot to address this part earlier. I don't think there's any such book; there's certainly no copy I've signed. But the AMCF fan site has been working on something they call "Inverse Book Signing" for a couple years now, which is circulating a book among fans to sign, to eventually be given to Anne. It would make sense for them to make sure that book got to one of the UK gathers to collect more signatures without accruing shipping costs between the signers.
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Old Aug 30 2007, 10:09 AM   #13
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I agree with the previous speakers on the Freedom's Ransom book. There was a book traveling around the world, being signed by fans to be presented to nne but it was stolen by a fan that used the nickname "Rukbat3" (note: who had NOTHING to do with the site of our good member Jayru!).

As for the Pern globe... Steven's entry in the 40 Years of Pern book is the only ne with two pictures because I thought it absolutely necessary to also place a picture of the globe in the book

Steven, if you read this... you used to have small versions of the star maps you presented Anne... could you bring a set of that to the con maybe?
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Old Aug 31 2007, 02:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: Anne's Dedications -- Elsie Lee

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I agree with the previous speakers on the Freedom's Ransom book. There was a book traveling around the world, being signed by fans to be presented to nne but it was stolen by a fan that used the nickname "Rukbat3" (note: who had NOTHING to do with the site of our good member Jayru!).
What a rotten thing to do. I guess having a book signed at gathers and conventions is less risky than posting it. Speaking of which, I'm looking forward to seeing Anne receive her "40 Years of Pern" book at EuroCON.

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As for the Pern globe... Steven's entry in the 40 Years of Pern book is the only ne with two pictures because I thought it absolutely necessary to also place a picture of the globe in the book
Thanks Hans. The book cover looks great too - an even more realistic Pern globe.

Quote:
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Steven, if you read this... you used to have small versions of the star maps you presented Anne... could you bring a set of that to the con maybe?
Actually, I was already planning to do that.
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Old Aug 31 2007, 04:59 PM   #15
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There WAS a Freedom's Ransom book being signed, I remember signing it But I don't remember who was responsible for passing it on
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Old Aug 31 2007, 06:44 PM   #16
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I remember hearing about it but not what ever became of it. To be honest, my feelings were a little hurt about being left out so I didn't pay much attention. Obviously, I've got over it now. I figure there were so many names to keep track of, one or two were bound to slip through cracks. I think it's a very sad thing that someone would actually steal the book, though. Sad, sad, sad.
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Old Jun 17 2008, 03:54 PM   #17
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Default Re: Anne's Dedications -- Elsie Lee

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Old Jun 17 2008, 05:23 PM   #18
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Default Re: Anne's Dedications -- Elsie Lee

I always thought that 'Golliwog' was the name of a horse owned by Elsie Lee.
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Old Jun 17 2008, 06:47 PM   #19
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Speak abut s in pictures. I know Anne is shown holding her Maine Coon in her arm in abut the writer bio.

Also Andre Norton the writer of Beasmaster Books talk about her diffent cats.

I was said to read of her death in of the SFBC (r) Magazine in 1996
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Old Jun 18 2008, 02:48 AM   #20
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Who'se death??

André Norton died in 2005...
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Old Jun 19 2008, 04:29 PM   #21
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Who'se death??

André Norton died in 2005...
Sorry Han I read that in the re-read my back issues is that one was from 2006, I sometime get dates mix up. Thank you for the right date. I found her work late, in one of the SFBC (r) issues, just read the preview of her last I thing co-written effect.
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Old Jun 19 2008, 04:34 PM   #22
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I saw a few clips online of your work and how you create it, I love it. Hans site I think.
Also did you do the picture of Pern as an icon?
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Old Jun 20 2008, 03:38 AM   #23
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Ah... OK

If you mean the favicon on the address line in the borwser if you visit The Pern Museum & Archives, yes, I did that but the original is larger and not done by me.
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Old Jun 21 2008, 10:17 AM   #24
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Default Re: Anne's Dedications -- Elsie Lee

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheryl View Post
On my Many Works of AMC webiste I have a page of all the dedications in Anne's books (perhaps missing the most recent few...), along with explanations of who the people named in the dedication are, when known.

Occasionally someone will email me with info to update them, which is quite nice! I just updated the Ring of Fear dedication with more detailed information sent by someone researching Elsie Lee, to whom that book is dedicated.

Here's my updated entry for Ring of Fear:
To Elsie Lee and her Good friend, Golliwog


Elsie Lee Sheridan was a notable author of suspenseful romances (as Ring of Fear is). She wrote under a number of pseudonyms including Elsie Lee and Lee Sheridan.

I've heard from a fan of Elsie Lee and learned more about her; here's some of what she wrote to me:

"Elsie Lee loved cats -- I wonder whether Golliwog was one of them? Her heroines were always smart, well-educated and creative women in a time when all too many romances featured the too-stupid-to-live heroine who inevitably does something really, really dumb for no good reason. Most were contemporaries, but she did write some historicals... Ring of Fear and The Mark of Merlin have similar sensibilities... I suspect their connection was while Anne was living in New Jersey or Delaware, though it may have been through a publisher. Elsie was published by Dell in the late sixties and seventies."
Hello everyone. I'm Cindy. Dust off your seat and sit yourself down for a tale. A short one. A CAT's tale, actually, including the week I spent sharing a bed with Anne McCaffrey... No, NOT at the same time. We alternated during the week.

I was a budding young writer and wrote science fiction quite well. A pen pal friend was so impressed with my work she invited me to come to NYC and spend a week at her NY apartment and meet with her agent. I arrived to find my friend Elsie Lee Sheridan who wrote under numerous pen names, and another woman who looked strangely familiar to me. I about dropped to the floor when she introduced me.

"Oh, this is Anne McCaffrey. You might have heard of her? Annie, this is Cindy who collected all those books for us!" (We had done a book collection for a place called Samarkand Manor)

Annie was doing a book tour for Dragonsong and staying with Elsie when she was in the city. Elsie was an incredible cook, wrote several cookbooks, and anyone getting the chance to eat her meals took the opportunity!

That first night Annie got the spare bed, I got the sofa. Then she left, and I got the bed. Later that week I went to Delaware to meet another friend for two days, during which Anne reclaimed the bed, then I got back on Friday, got the sofa again, and both Annie and I departed on Saturday.

Back in the days of ink pens that dipped into pots, if you caught the nib just right, it would splatter and leave an inkblot which was fondly called a Golliwog. The day I arrived at Elsie's, the second thing I noticed after meeting Anne, was a rather large black floor mat in the walkway. Just the kind that always slide. Then it sat up and I saw the largest cat I have ever seen to this day.

Golliwog. A black Maine Coon Cat of enormous size and incredible personality. He looked more like a small panther than a large house cat! The first night I got the spare bed, which is what Elsie called it instead of guest bed, I woke unable to breathe. I thought I was having a really bad asthma attack, and was trying to get up to get my spinhaler when I heard Elsie say, "Damn cat, get off her!" Apparently the spare bed was normally Golly's bed and once the sun came up anyone occupying it was fair game. He was sitting square on my chest. When I opened my eyes, I stared straight into his greeny-gold orbs and I SWEAR he said "Meove!"

In Ring of Fear, the dedication is to Elsie Lee and that same crazy cat Golliwog.

The Saturday we both left, I lay on the sofa giggling to myself as Anne grumbled at Golliwog to leave her alone. That cat weighed nearly 30 pounds. I do NOT exaggerate!

The agent I met with did not accept me as a client. I imagine he was sorry later, as time passed, but at the time he was positive Anne McCaffrey was a fluke. There was absolutely no room for another woman science fiction writer. Would I write mysteries? Romances? That's what women read. No, oh, too bad. I look at my collection of books now and remember his statement as I look at all the female authors in my collection. Ohhh Billl...you blew it!

I write articles on adoption and foster care now. And children's stories, a few published. I came home, and my husband and I added to our three kids by adopting another, then three more, then another, eventually ending with eight kids. They all had challenges, and two of our daughters ended up being mentally ill. We are now raising their four kids and working to adopt them as well. In the passing years we have had several black cat's we named Golliwog.

In amongst all the kids and the severe health issues of our youngest son, Elsie and I lost touch. My last letter from her was that she was not feeling well at all. A couple of years ago I contacted Annie again and asked about Elsie, since I was pretty sure she had died, and sadly, she confirmed that for me.

I treasure my signed copies of both Elsie and Annie's books. I have them all, even the really rare ones, and the ones Elsie wrote under Jane Gordon, Lee Sheridan, etc. So, thank you for reopening this thread so I could share this story.
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Old Jun 21 2008, 10:32 AM   #25
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Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story of your Anne encounter(s) as well as the other details about Elsie Lee and your own life. This must be a pretty special memory for you

And darn what is it with writers and their cats having claim on a spare bedroom... Do you realize that snippet of your story is quite common in the writers' world?
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Old Jun 21 2008, 10:36 AM   #26
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Default Re: Anne's Dedications -- Elsie Lee

Since I still fight off cats, or one cat at this time, I sure do realize that. Our latest cat is Nimitz. My daughter named him after Honor Harrington's treecat.
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Old Dec 14 2008, 01:30 AM   #27
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Cindy, I enjoyed your story about Elsie and her cat. I corresponded with her briefly back in the 80's about the D.C. area, which I was living in at the time. I am a cat lover and was also intrigued by her story cats (remember Ping and Poona and Ah poo?) Anyhow, I asked Elsie about them and she told me that she had never had a cat, she just made it up as she went along. I'm going to see if I can find those letters, I know I have them around somewhere (but more than 20 years later, who knows where!) Wonder why she didn't want to acknowledge Golli? Maybe for the same reason she left one of her books off her booklist. When I asked her for a list of all her books, she sent me one, but I immediately noticed that "Roomates" wasn't on it. When I asked her about it, she said that she "didn't like the book" and so left it off the list. Hmmmm...

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