“Just Mary”

Overview

Just Mary and Maggie Muggins are names that will arouse memories in those who grew up with CBC radio and television in the 1940s and 1950s. The creator of these and other children’s shows, former Fredericton schoolteacher Mary Grannan, became a radio star when she hit the national airwaves in 1939, her popularity peaking when Maggie Muggins moved to television in 1955. Long before The Friendly Giant and Mr. Dressup appeared, her work helped to shape the legacy of gentle children’s programming on CBC. Building on her broadcasting success, Grannan published over thirty books, most runaway best-sellers. Attired in stylish dress, extravagant hats, and enormous earrings, she made frequent guest appearances at public events across the country. She received the Beaver Award for her broadcasting and was honoured by the International Mark Twain Society and the Institute for Education by Radio at Ohio State University.

"Just Mary": The Life of Mary Evelyn Grannan is the first biography of this creative and once well-known Canadian woman. Immersing the reader in rich detail while showcasing excerpts of her writings through the years, the book presents an intimate examination of her life journey through previously unreleased personal letters, archives, an abundance of photographs, and interviews with family, friends, colleagues, and former students. This is the private Mary Grannan as the public has never before known her.

Reviews

"Just Mary tells the story of Mary Evelyn Grannan, the former New Brunswick school teacher who created Maggie Muggins. Having died in 1975 at the age of 75, Grannan is largely forgotten, but her story is told in a colourful and lively fashion by first-time author Margaret Anne Hume, another former New Brunswicker who now lives in Vancouver.

Grannan's career on the airwaves began with a program called Just Mary, which began while she was still in New Brunswick and continued throughout the war years.

Maggie Muggins began on radio in 1946 and moved to the new medium of TV in 1955. Several young girls played Maggie through the years, and Mary was close to all of them.

Hume paints a picture of peaceful harmony throughout those years. When the TV show ended in 1962, Grannan left the CBC but continued writing, with several bestsellers to her credit."

Winnipeg Free Press, April 2, 2006

"Hume takes an intimate look at the life of her fellow New Brunswicker."

Vancouver Province (May, 2006)

About the Author

Margaret Anne Hume

Posted by Kendra on October 30, 2014

Margaret Anne Hume

Margaret Hume, a former librarian at Concordia University in Montreal, received her education from the universities of New Brunswick and McGill. Born in Halifax, she grew up in New Brunswick in the 1950s as an adoring young fan of Maggie Muggins. Margaret lives with her husband in Vancouver. "Just Mary": The Life of Mary Evelyn Grannan is her first book.