Monday, January 11, 2021

Something About the Monday Club

So good to me?

I happened across some notes in the archives late last month and wanted to save them for a Monday. Here we are. The information had to do with how the character Anthony Monday got his name.

The most likely inspiration was Bellairs turning to his collection of obscure literary references and recalling the name of the Elizabethan author, poet and dramatist Anthony Munday (1553-1633). The least likely theory was from the old Marshall-based Monday Club, which began as the Ladies’ Literary Club back in 1885. The club was “philanthropic” in nature and sought to improve the “general culture” of the community. They met in various homes and buildings around town including the Public Library building from around 1950 to 1961 (this from Richard Carver's A History of Marshall, 1993).

There is seemingly no connection between the character and club but, as someone said, it was yet another Monday in the library. But it got me curious about the Monday Club itself. Sadly, one of the first thing I found online was its Certificate of Dissolution filed by members to end the club. The flipside is the club lasted in some form until as late as 2013. If you cite 1885 as its origin date then that's over 125 years of service to Marshall. I'm just not sure if the Monday Club began in 1885 or if it was an offshoot of the aforementioned literary club, or ... really, what the Monday Club did. I'm sure someone online will see this and share some memories.

One other interesting item I found was the obituary of Mrs. Ann E. Mumaw (1889-1969), a one-time member of, among other things, Saint Mary's church, the Catholic Daughters, and the Monday Club.

John Bellairs and his family attended Saint Mary's Catholic Church (and John even attended its school), elderly Mrs. McGinnis is a member of the Catholic Daughters (as noted in The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull), and if the name Mumaw sounds familiar it should. An unnamed Mrs. Mumaw ran afoul of Father Baart, so tells Professor Childermass, and so "she got run down by a horse pulling a wagonload of barrels" (as noted in The Curse of the Blue Figurine). All that to say we know Bellairs pulled names from his hometown.

And I'm still interested in hearing about the Monday Club.

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