The Other Bride of Chucky

Lonely Doll coverThe Lonely Doll
Wright
1957, 1985

Submitter: I guess this could be a really cute concept; photos of a doll and all of her little toy friends. BUT NO! It is really quite creepy. One page (scanned) shows big bear paddling dolly whilst baby bear sits idly by. “I may be a silly, but I know when a naughty little girl needs a spanking.” This was donated to our library and whilst I did copy pages to post in our staff room, there is no way I would add this to our children’s collection!

Holly: I remember this book! I used to look for this book every time I went to the library when I was a kid (late 1970s, early 1980s). It is definitely creepier now that I see it as an adult.  I used to think the doll seemed so life-like and I had a sort of morbid fascination with the spanking part.  I was a weird kid.

Collection-wise, if you have a copy in good shape, it probably hasn’t circulated much – so weed it.  If you have unlimited space, by all means keep it for another 55 years.  That teddy bear can terrorize poor Edith the Lonely Doll for three more generations of readers.

Teddy bear spanks Edith

Edith crying

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25 comments

  1. Definitely worth keeping. Check out the biography of Dare Wright that appeared 6 or 7 years ago and you’ll never look at this book the same way again.

  2. We have this picture book at my library. It goes out all the time! So many women remember it fondly from their childhood, but it creeps me out.

  3. This is creepy! Well done for putting it on the walls in your staff areas! I guess this is where 50 shades started!

  4. That picture looks blatantly sexual to me; I wouldn’t let my children within a mile of it. That said, if it’s a classic, there’s probably an argument for keeping it in the collection.

  5. I remember reading that as a child, and liking it then, too. I think it appealed to the idea that dolls have lives of their own, and I remember really liking how expressive the doll’s face is. But having said that, looking at it now it just seems weird. I looked up Dare Wright’s bio, and isn’t it creepy how she kind of looks like the doll?

  6. Let’s remember when this was published, and it should lose any “sexual” connotations. It was common for naughty children to lay across daddy’s knee and get a paddling. I was born in 1957, and while I was never spanked (not so much “good” as more progressive parents for the times!), knew many kids who were.

    This book was republished in 1998. It is known for its “innovated photography.”

  7. I remember this book, too. & I remember enjoying it. Whenever I had to while away time (sibling recitals, science fairs, etc.) imagining the goings on back in the toybox. I can see it is weird, looking at it now, but I think a child’s experience of this book is different.

  8. This was the book I looked for on the shelves every time I visited my public library. We’ll let Dr. Freud figure that one out. Anyway, last year I was fascinated to read the biography of Dare Wright, The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll. Now THAT was disturbing!

  9. Gads, I remember this book, I thought it was awful, because my parents were big on spanking, etc etc what’s so great about a book that showed that!!!

  10. This was one of my favorite books as a kid. I second the recommend of the Dare Wright biography.

  11. Our library has a copy of this book, and my girls LOVED it when they were little. Checked it out over and over-lol

  12. I loved the Lonely Doll series–there are several other books, and as far as I can recall, this is the only one with a spanking scene. I would consider this book a keeper. Somewhere on the internet I read a short biography of Dare Wright. She had a sad life.

  13. This was the first book I ever checked out of my elementary school library, and I didn’t really remember the story line until I saw this post. I had a vague recollection of the photographs. The librarian made me pick a book from the Easy Reader section because I was in first grade, even though I had been reading since I was four. Thankfully, she let me move on to the books with more words than pictures, where I began to devour the entire series of poorly written Bobbs-Merrill “Childhoods of Famous Americans” series.

  14. I had this book as a child and loved it, though I always felt sorry for poor Edith. I tried reading it to me son when he was young and as I recall he was horrified. Definitely not for all tastes.

  15. I have really distinct memories of this book as a kid. I loved it too and totally didn’t realize it was creepy. Kids like creepy.

  16. These photos brought back distinct memories of reading this book in the library when I was a kid. I didn’t think it was creepy at the time. This is what little kids do when playing dolls–make up stories. I loved old-fashioned dolls and the fact that she was sad or lonely instead of perky & happy like modern dolls (Barbie, Polly Pocket, etc.) was interesting to me. Today, I’m disturbed by the spanking and how prefeminist it is, but as a child, I was not traumatized by reading this. Kids are stronger than we think!

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