Recent Acquisitions at John Michael Lang Fine Books
Item 14 is Dr. Mallory, a tale, as its author's inscription tells us, "about a country doctor, and by a country doctor." The country doctor/author of this 1935 book, Alan L. Hart, lived a difficult but remarkable life. Hart was born Alberta Lucille Hart. However, Hart apparently never felt comfortable in that gender role, and grew up favoring activities more associated with boys. Hart wrote stories in school under the gender-neutral name "A. Hart" or even "Robert Hart." Still legally a woman, Hart went to medical school (physician was overwhelmingly a male occupation in those days) and obtained a degree, but unfortunately, it was under the Alberta Lucille name, which would cause many heartaches in the years ahead. Finally, after graduation, miserable in the female role, Hart became one of the first women in America to undergo female to male surgery. The following year (1918), Hart legally changed his name and married a woman. He became employed as a physician, but when outted by a former classmate, was forced to move on. This would be an unhappy experience for Hart several times, forced to move on when his past was revealed. His life further deteriorated when his marriage broke down in 1923. Fortunately, things gradually improved for Hart. He remarried in 1925, and that marriage lasted the rest of his life. His past gradually faded to the background, though it was always to some degree an issue. He became important in the field of curing tuberculosis, and in the 1930s, began writing novels, such as this. Hart died in 1962 at the age of 71. $950.
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