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I Only Mark The Hours That Shine | Little Edie's Diary

I Only Mark the Hours that Shine: Little Edie's 1929 DiaryGrey Gardens is proud to feature I Only Mark the Hours that Shine: Little Edie’s Diary ~ 1929, edited by Eva Marie Beale, with an introduction by Bouvier Beale, Jr.

The book is a faithfully transcribed rendition of Edith Bouvier Beale’s handwritten diary which she kept at the age of eleven, featuring a detailed entry every day, during the year of 1929.

“Imagine an eleven year old girl from a prosperous, established American family, trained in writing and literary expression by the best private schools and home tutors that money could buy at the time. Now imagine that young girl pouring her heart out dutifully, every day, for one full year, upon the pages of a private diary she never imagined would ever be read by anyone (except possibly her own mother). Now have the setting be the rarefied salons, exclusive clubs, and theatres of New York City and beaches of the Hamptons, during the pivotal, historical year of 1929, and you’ve got the ingredients for a compelling story, most would agree. Now, finally, imagine that this eleven year old girl is none other than Little Edie Beale, of Grey Gardens fame. This is what you are now holding in your hands.”

— An except from the introduction to I Only Mark the Hours that Shine: Little Edie’s Diary - 1929 by Bouvier Beale Jr.

Reviews for the print edition of I Only Mark the Hours that Shine:

“If you were expecting the diary of a typical 11-year-old, then you don't know Little Edie. This keepsake is perfectly framed by Bouvier Beale's (Edie's eldest nephew) intro, suggesting that it would already be interesting to get a glimpse into the privileged life of this NYC/East Hampton family from a child this age in1929. And from indeed, coming from Little Edie, it really is something special.

I loved hearing about the back and forth shifting between the city and "the country." Every day seemed to be filled with movies, shopping, sodas and tons of love between mother and daughter. What fun to hear a young Little Edie go on vacation and complain that way too many of the other guests were "common." We also get some perspectives on romance as we see one of her first loves through her eyes, and can those eyes ROLL when she gets unwanted attention from other young suitors.

The book jacket is beautiful. The only photos in this book are on the front and back cover, but you must get the oversized Edith Bouvier Beale of Grey Gardens: A Life in Pictures which was previously published by the family. It's a must-have as well.

Many thanks to Bouvier and Eva for publishing this. I only hope there are other diaries to be transcribed in the near future.”

— Amy Fuller, Chicago Reader on

“I received the beautiful copy of I Only Mark The Hours That Shine. This book is an easy read and delightful. In addition, I also bought the first edition of Edith Bouvier Beale of Grey Gardens A Life in Pictures by Eva Marie Beale which will be on display at our first Edie Beale Jr. Party next month. These books will give a fascinating insight into the life of Edie Beale Jr!”

— Sandy Kleiman on

 What a delightful and wonderful surprise! Little Edie’s diary is very captivating and precise. I Only Mark The Hours That Shine is such a very appropriate title for Little Edie’s diary because even as an 11 year old girl, she seemed to have possessed an infinite optimistic tendency as she displayed in the Grey Gardens documentary. The tone in her diary really suggests maturity and sophistication for such a young preteen; it is not the incessant prattling tone of pre-adolescence. Her innate wisdom and genuine unselfishness are two themes that truly “shine” throughout the pages of her diary.

For example, on Wednesday, January 9, 1929, she writes, “So you see-- tho I am having a very quiet time--I fill it up by devoting it to the things I am struggling to accomplish. Writing—dancing--and my health!” This statement shows such an indomitable spirit in someone so young who seemed to have maintained this “can do” attitude throughout her entire life. In addition, I really appreciate the editor’s thoughtfulness for providing the helpful list of the people in Little Edie’s life so that the reader is able to keep track of the identities of the names mentioned throughout the diary. Furthermore, I love how this diary inadvertently provides a pictorial of bits and pieces of late 1920’s era.”
— Betty Davis on

“I LOVED LITTLE EDIES DIARY!!!! I feel like I know her even better now and as a very precocious beautiful young full of life and hopes and dreams! A part of Edie I'd never thought I'd ever get to know! A jewel of a book..filled with treasures!”
— Loretta Massa on