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Picturing a World

John Sloan as Trilby

What can I say? You can’t help loving it when two enthusiasms overlap so wackily. The novel Trilby by George Du Maurier was a bestseller in the 1890’s. Known to all art students in Paris—and evidently, Philadelphia!—it is a wonderful source for  Read More 
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Marie Bracquemond at her easel

I only recently found Dammouse’s pastel of Marie Braqemond at the Galerie Ary Jan in Paris (where it sold). The picture feels like reentering Jeanette’s world, and so it’s a good place to begin running through Where the Light Falls again, more or less chronologically.

My first ever post showed three women artists in a studio. Because I love novels in which I share friendships vicariously, Jeanette’s time with Amy, Emily, and Sonja was always a major theme for me. Another was the seriousness with which women artists worked in the 19th C—a dedication that seems evident in this image.  Read More 
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Not Mattie's world

Blog tip: My new heroine, Mattie, would never be presented at the Court of Saint James, not in 1907 or any other year. Still I loved coming across an itemized account of how much the clothes, the massage and the manicure cost for a debutante to be presented. Read More 
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Mattie illicit lover

In the first chapter of my work-in-progress, Mattie dresses for her job as a stenographer but daydreams about the coming evening with her lover as she puts on a sexy corset which she has bought from a fancy corsetiere.  Read More 
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55 books

Web post boast: Joy! Where the Light Falls is one of 55 books selected by Prevention to make you happier! To see them all, click here.
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Mattie Stenographer

As I tried to say last Thursday, I'll be writing more about my new work as well as Where the Light Falls. For instance, the stenographer shown here taking shorthand on her pad is younger than my new heroine, but I found the picture helpful in visualizing how Mattie might be dressed (shirt sleeves, no hat, pleated skirt)  Read More 
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Mattie suffragist

As my new novel opens, Mattie Palmer is at breakfast, skimming the morning newspapers. Her eye is caught by the story of a cross-country automobile trip  Read More 
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Oops! Please try again

I have just opened last Thursday's post and found that a coding typo made most of it disappear. Sorry. I've made the necessary correction. Please do go back and read it since it lays out how I'm going to be proceding with the blog!!!!
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Nancy Drew and a Clue to the Blog

Is there an American woman novelist writing today who did not read at least one Nancy Drew mystery as a girl? For many women over a certain age, the Nancy Drew books were favorite reading, as compulsive as Harry Potter.

In my family, they were taken for granted as pleasurable junk, tolerated because my  Read More 
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Bastille Day

As the entry on this painting at the Musée d’Orsay says, Monet painted it at an event connected with the 1878 World’s Fair—in fact, the occasion of the first public singing of La Marseillaise since the fall of the Second Empire and rise of the Third Republic. Nevertheless, it is often associated with Bastille Day (July 14th), so why not show it today? Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!

In Where the Light Falls, Jeanette, Effie, and Edward see the painting at the 4th Impressionist Show. It also interests me because it has so clearly influenced Childe Hassam’s views of flag-draped streets in New York, e.g., The Fourth of July, 1916, or indeed, Paris in his July Fourteenth, Rue Daunou of 1910.

Just for the fun of it, click here for the stirring rendition of La Marseillaise in the greatest B-movie of them all, Casablanca (the song begins at minute 1.08). Read More 
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