Family Bible

This Bible was acquired by Charles Doolittle during his first marriage to Martha C. Farrand, who died in May 1876. The ephemera removed from the Bible’s pages include the documents displayed here: the family genealogy pages (including records of Charles’s marriage to Helen Wolle and the births of their five children, four of whom survived infancy), a postcard from Italy, and an unidentified poem fragment. The handwritten poem is about the Lanark Valley. Beyond its practical uses as a repository of family records and documents, this family Bible serves as a symbol of the central role that religion played in Hilda Doolittle’s childhood—and, beyond that, in her imaginative life as an adult. Though the Bible originally belonged to her scientist father, H.D.’s religious inheritance came from her Moravian mother, who could trace her ancestry back to the original founders of Bethlehem.