|The Bishop Berkeley, a friend to all and an occasional associate of mine, sent me a notice that Edith Baird's "Seven Hundred Chess Problems" is online in full text at Google Books.
The Prelate noted that -
"She concludes her book with a picture of a box of Chessmen being closed and the words:
My task is done; and like the bard of old,
My toils are over; and my tale is told:
Yet still I pause beneath the enchanter's spell --
Still I hesitate to say the word "Farewell":
But howso we may linger o'er the past
The parting word must be pronounced at last.
So, critics all, I thank your kind attention
To these few pages of my poor invention;
Whether your verdict be for good or ill --
In praise or blame -- yea -- I would thank you still.
But should I one approving glance descry
My goal is numbered -- or, in fact, if I
One smile -- one joy -- one pleasing look have won,
Then farewell all, my destined task is done.
[adding] I find this closing rather moving -- we all would hope to have brought some share of smiles into the world!"
I agree wholeheartedly.
Edith Elina Helen Winter-Wood Baird
Edith Winter-Wood was the daughter of poet and chess problemist Thomas Winter-Wood but possibly learned chess from her mother who was said to have been a strong player. Edith had two older brothers, Edward (EJ) and Carlaske, both of whom were strong players and problemists. Edith was born in 1859 and in 1880 married a navy surgeon and Deputy Inspector-General of Hospitals & Fleets, William James Baird. The very next year Lilian, their only child, was born. Lilian was a child chess prodigy whose first problem was published before she was 10 years old. Lilian was also an accomplished poet and painter like her mother. Although she had over 70 problems published by the age of thirteen, Lilian gave up chess composing while still in her teens.
Edith Baird started composing around 1888 and in her life composed over 2000 high-quality problems. She published two chess books, the aforementioned Seven Hundred Chess Problems in 1902 and The Twentieth Century Retractor- Chess Fantasies in 1907. She also published an illuminated book of verse in which she provided all the artwork as well as the text and was a champion archer (although she was vehemently opposed to hunting).
Edith died in 1924 at age 64.