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Manny’s birthday book – 23 January

January 23, 2011

Kate Greenaway's Birthday Book for ChildrenMy grandmother, who I called Manny, had a birthday book.  I’m posting the entries throughout the year, as they appear.

Betty Bowles born 23 January

From Manny’s Birthday Book:  January 23rd – Betty Bowles

At what a quick pace he is running along!

Just look at his nose and his chin!

His hat, and his pig-tail, his curious legs,

And his arms, too, so awkward and thin.

Kate Greenaway likes her exclamation marks!  And either she is using the 1920’s global ‘he’ or she discerns gender representation differently to me.  ‘He’ appears to be a witch to me.  But she drew ‘him’ so she’d know.

Betty Bowles wrote her own name into Manny’s book.  There is an Elizabeth A Bowles born in E. Coolgardie registration district, WA in 1920 (1920/26 WA) – but she seems a little young – unless she was a baby-sitting charge or younger sister of a school friend.  Manny was born in 1912.  There isn’t even anyone with an E initial middle name who fits the (assumed) timeframe.  However, there is an Elizabeth J Bowles who died in E. Coolgardie district in 1937, and there are no marriages of an Elizabeth to a Mr Bowles that fits, so she could have died unmarried (and young).  Of course this is very much conjecture.  Manny was always known as Betty, although Elizabeth was her middle name, and Betty could be a nickname.

If you think you know who Betty Bowles is, please comment and let me know.

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