Sadly, there are no leaks. Which means it's time for another American Girl History Lesson! Today's topic is the short-lived doll line produced by American Girl, Girls Of Many Lands.
Girls of Many Lands dolls are nine inches tall and each represent a 12 year old girl from another time in history. They had books, too. Sounds familiar, right? Here's the twist- they come from different countries. They were sculpted by Helen Kish and meant to be displayed and their prices ranged from $48 to $54. The doll line debuted during the holiday season in 2002 and retired in Fall 2005, so they lasted only 3 years before they went bye-bye!
The first five dolls were released at the line's launch in 2002:
The first doll was Isabel Campion, a doll who was living in England during Tudor times in 1592. Her book was called Isabel: Taking Wing and was written by Annie Dalton. Her story involved twelve-year-old Isabel dreaming of adventure and finding it, not only on her journey from her London home to her aunt's manor house in Northamptonshire, but also through the healing arts her aunt teaches her. Isabel cost $54.
The next doll was Cecile Revel, a doll who was living in France during the rule of King Louis XIV in 1711. Her book was called Cecile: Gates Of Gold and was written by Mary Casanova, who would go on to write 4 series for the Girl of the Year books. Her story involved twelve-year-old Cecile Revel getting a change to leave her peasant life and serve at King Louis XIV's court. She finds life within the palace gates is not as full of ease and elegance as she had imagined. Faced with a test of conscience, Cecile shows that behaving in a noble matter has little to do with one's place at birth. Cecile cost $52.
The next doll was Spring Pearl, a doll who was living in China during the Second Opium War in 1857. Her book was called Spring Pearl: The Last Flower and was written by Laurence Yep, who would go on to write 2 series for the Girl of the Year books. Her story involved 12-year-old Chou Spring Pearl getting taken into the home of her father's wealthy benefactor after the deaths of her parents. Unlike most Cantonese girls, Spring Pearl has learned to read and write, but she must now learn a new skill-how to survive in Master Sung's hostile household. While the Second Opium War rages in the streets and harbor of Canton, Spring Pearl faces battles of her own. Spring Pearl cost $50.
The next doll was Minuk, a doll who was living in the Alaskan territory during the arrival of American missionaries in 1890. Her book was called Minuk: Ashes In The Pathway and was written by Kirkpatrick Hill. Her story involved Minuk getting intrigued by the Hoffs, the American missionary family that has moved into the village. Although she has seen white men before, she has never seen a white woman- or a white child. It soon becomes clear that although the Hoffs speak the Yup'ik language, they don't understand Yup'ik ways. When Mr. Hoff starts interfering with village ceremonies, even Minuk wonders why the missionary is so sure his ways are better than Yup'ik ways. Minuk cost $50.
The last doll in the original release was Neela Sen, a doll who was living in India during the struggle for freedom from the British in 1939. Her book was called Neela: Victory Song and was written by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Her story involved 12-year-old Neela Sen knowing her parents will soon arrange a betrothal for her as her old sister is about to marry. But when her father goes to Calcutta to secretly investigate India's growing independence movement and doesn't return, Neela realizes she must do the unexpected--take matters into her own hands. Neela cost $50.
The next and final release of Girls of Many Lands dolls were released during the Holiday Season in 2003.
The first doll in the final release was Leyla, a doll who was living in Turkey during the Tulip Period in 1720. Her book was called Leyla: The Black Tulip and was written by Alev Lytle Croutier. Her story involved 12-year-old Leyla having to help her family earn enough money to survive after her artist father goes off to war. She makes a deal with marriage brokers-- but discovers too late that she's sold herself into slavery instead. Her journey as a slave takes her to faraway Istanbul, into the harem of the sultan. There she finds her Kismet, or destiny. Leyla cost $54.
The next doll was Saba, a doll who was living in Ethopia during the Age Of Judges in 1846. Her book was called Saba: Under The Hyena's Foot and was written by Jane Kurtz, who went on to write the Lanie series. Her story involved twelve-year-old Saba and her older brother getting kidnapped and taken from their rural home to the royal palace at Gondar. Saba finally learns about her long-lost parents -- and her own royal past. With Ethiopia's rulers in the midst of a fierce struggle for control of the throne, what can the King of Kings -- Emperor Yohannes III -- possibly want with her? Saba cost $48.
The last doll in the final release was Kathleen Murphy, a doll who was living in Ireland during the Great Depression in 1937. Her book was called Kathleen: The Celtic Knot and was written by Siobhán Parkinson. Her story involved life being noisy and hard but full of love for 12-year-old Kathleen Murphy and her family. Kathleen dreams of living with her favorite aunt, Polly, far from her crowded home and the strict nuns at the convent school. She's surprised to find that she has a talent for dancing--and a chance to win the dance competition! But Kathleen's family has no money for the costume she needs--until Aunt Polly comes to the rescue. Kathleen cost $50.
Comment Discussion Question: Do you have any dolls from non-18 inch doll lines from American Girl?
My Answer: I have a Bitty Baby that I never use, but I have some BIG NEWS... I'm getting Isabel and Cecile (the Girls Of Many Lands dolls) from my cousins for FREE!