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Picturing a World

Valentine’s Day, 2019

The real Jeanette published a short story in the December 1915 Young's Magazine. In trying to run it down, I came across this image. 1908? Pulp fiction? Perfect for my fictional Mattie and for Valentine's Day!

 

Aubrey Lanston, a graduate of Georgetown University and member of the bar in the state of Washington, wrote historical fiction. He called The Harvesters "My first accepted, but by no means my first seriously intended novel." (See The Book News Monthly, Volume 22 (1904), p. 319) We'll assume he was more than happy to have A Roman Holiday appear in this breezier format. And don't most of us writers know about those unpublished novels in the drawer!

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New look

My website is hosted by the Author's Guild, which this month revamped its design templates, the better to fit cellphones and other screens. To celebrate the new, I'm posting a glimpse of the past. For a writer of historical fiction, a magazine cover from the year about which she is writing, which itself illustrates an earlier period, seems about right. Besides, I love textiles.

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Christmas commerce and celebration

I was looking for a seasonal image and found this “Christmas gifts” issue of Vogue for 1918. A hundred years later, it reminds us of the joyous and tattered end of World War I. And it’s by an American woman artist! Helen Dryden. Born in Baltimore in 1882, she moved to New York in 1909 to sell artwork to magazines—just about the time that ANONYMITY’s Mattie would have known her. Perfect. Read More 

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Nappy New Year

I was planning to skip a post today. Then I saw this The Saturday Evening Post cover at Lines and Colors. And THEN I mistyped Nappy for Happy and decided, yup, it has to stay. Here's to chuckles as well as tears in 2018! Read More 
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Woman-Suffrage Map

Since 1908 is my magic year for ANONYMITY, imagine my pleasure in finding this Woman-Suffrage Map while exploring Cornell’s Mode Collection of Persuasive Cartography. The map appears in an article in Harper’s Weekly which reports on the status of the international woman’s suffragist movement with none of the hostility or arch humor that mar too much male journalism of the period. Read More 
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Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner

How marvelous to see Asians, African-Americans, a native of the First Nation, and women among those invited to Uncle Sam’s 1869 Thanksgiving Dinner—with universal suffrage as centerpiece! Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. Read More 
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Stenographer or reporter?

Mattie Palmer, the heroine of ANONYMITY, my work-in-progress, is a “stenographer” or secretary in a publishing firm. Before going to New York around 1900, she had been a reporter in Cincinnati.

So far, I haven’t been able to find the short story, “A Girl Who Became a Reporter,” for which this is an illustration;  Read More 
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Gestural line in a magazine illustration

Website tip: A post, Eye Candy for Today: James Montgomery Flagg ink illustration, is worth looking at for the picture and comments by artist and blogger Charley Parker. The period is right for my current heroine Mattie, and I’m sure Jeanette would agree with Parker’s comments on the effectiveness of Flagg’s gestural lines in the men’s faces. Read More 
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Clara Miller Burd

Always on the lookout for women artists who were working during the time period of my new novel, ANONMITY, I was pleased this morning to stumble across Clara Miller Burd (1873–1933). She was born in New York City, studied art there and in Paris, and  Read More 
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What an issue!

Blog tip: A post at The Golden Age mounts highlights from The Century Magazine, October 1904. They include illustrations from an installment of Jack London’s novel, The Sea-Wolf, Maxfield Parrish’s illustrations of Edith Wharton’s Italian Villas and Their Gardens, and advertisements for Rookwood Pottery, a Locomobile, and Chickering pianos. Mattie Palmer would have read it. It'a available at Google Books—if only I could make the link work! Read More 
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