by Nelle Margaret Scanlan
Although Boudoir Mirrors of Washington was initially published anonymously, the author’s identity was revealed to be Ellen Margaret Scanlan. Better known as Nelle, Scanlan was a New Zealand novelist and journalist. She became a staff writer for newspaper, the Manawatū Daily Times, and then spent time in Washington DC during 1921 at the Arms Limitation Conference, which became the source of information for this book. Afterwards, from 1923-48 Scanlan resided in England, and continued to write fiction and news stories. Her most popular books were Pencarrow (1932), followed by Tides of Youth (1933), Winds of Heaven (1934) and Kelly Pencarrow (1939). After World War II broke out, Scanlan was unable to travel, and become a popular radio personality in New Zealand, with over 200 broadcasts of her series ‘Shoes and ships and sealing-wax’.
Boudoir Mirrors of Washington was sourced from 1921-22 which Scanlan was living in Washington DC. In addition to conference reporting, she also gave talks and wrote books on the numerous politically associated figures she met in the area. She was a popular figure among women’s social clubs, and was likened to an ambassador of New Zealand. Many of these writings were collected and included in Boudoir Mirrors.
This new edition is dedicated to Larissa Watkins, very remarkable bibliographer, unfailing friend to authors, extraordinarily talented researcher, and truly a valued Washingtonian.