Website alert: The American Antiquarian Society has posted a digitized version of a recent donation—a copy of the first illustrated, book-length edition of Clement Moore’s poem, A Visit from Saint Nicholas, published in 1848. The interior of the house is depicted as furnished more sparely than we have grown accustomed to seeing it, and the Santa Claus clearly predates the Norman Rockwell—Coca-Cola version! I wonder whether looking at this version might prompt a 21st C writer to a new response to the old favorite? Read More
Picturing a World
Blog tips: Vintage Halloween postcards at the Toronto Public Library is an archived post with lots of images of Halloween cards from ca. 1910 and links to the library’s collections. Usually I’d choose a witch to offer as a treat for Hallowe’en, but there’s something weirdly imaginative about these menacing Jack-o-lanterns and their panicked cats that tickles my fancy this (and there is a witch in the upper right-hand corner). A different card at the American Antiquarian Society, moreover, makes clear that the gauzy bows could be perceived as witches’ bodies. For it and another set of vintage Hallowe’en cards, click here.
And whether you trick or treat or celebrate Samhain as the pagan new year, have a happy, safe Hallowe’en—with just a touch of the spooky or wild! Read More
Blog post tip: I’m speechless. Who knew? William Faulkner drew? Read more at Maria Popova’s Brainpickings post, William Faulkner’s Little-Known Jazz Age Drawings, with a Side of Literary Derision.
This 1919 poster, which shows typists as New Women who are voicing demands by striking is, in fact, an advertising poster for Labor brand typewriters (see Ruth E. Iskin, “Popularising New Women in Belle Epoque Advertising Posters,” in A Belle Epoque?: Women and Feminism in French Society and Culture, 1890–1914 (2006). But, heck!, it’s a great image. And if we have to resist the Lords of Creation, we might as well do it handsomely. Sisters, solidarity—and happy Labor Day! Read More
Lovely serendipity: Face-out at a local independent bookstore this week, I found A Note of Explanation by Vita Sackville-West. As if a previously unpublished jeu d’esprit by Sackville-West were not enough, there were the ravishingly elegant, Art Deco illustrations by Kate Baylay who is, for me, a real discovery. I do love illustrated books, especially those that are handsomely made, as this one is. And it’s about Queen Mary’s dollhouse! Not only that, it was originally written to be one of the tiny volumes in the dollhouse library. Read More
For more about Weber, click here and here. Read More
It’s always a thrill to encounter a picture that opens into a world you are reading about or imagining. This morning, when I checked Charley Parker’s blog, Lines and Colors, I was rewarded with glimpses of French landscapes and architectural details by artist Jérémy Soheylian which helped me visualize the setting for a current story of mine. Read More