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Picturing a World

Käsebier’s Sketch

Although “Anonymity” is stalled at the moment (I’m writing an unrelated novella), images that belong to my heroine Mattie’s world draw me back into it. Both the beauty of this photograph and the earnestness of the artist would, I think, appeal to a wistfully idealistic side of Mattie. Although she works in the pulp end of publishing, she also fosters young talent and encourages writers and artists to strive for their best. Read More 

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Sarah Stilwell Weber

Sarah Stilwell Weber is known primarily for her illustration of children, which fits nicely with my heroine Mattie who works in children’s publishing; but I have selected this Collier cover because it is so richly striking. Weber studied with Howard Pyle and was associated with his famous female students, the Red Rose Girls. This picture suggests to me that she also kept up with larger art world and knew the work of Gustav Klimt. It’s always a mistake to think that creative people are limited to whatever work makes them famous or pays the bills!

For more about Weber, click here and hereRead More 
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Female comic book illustrators

Website alert: Golly, a whole new dimension for Mattie Palmer’s world of publishing (and suffagism): Women Who Conquered the Comics World. Via Two Nerdy History Girls.
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London working-class suffragists

Blog alert:The Spitalsfield Life post for February 7, 2017, Celebrating East End Suffragettes focuses on working class women in London during the fight for the vote. Great maps! Read More 
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Department of Titular Confusion

This was the image I used for my first blog post back in 2012 because it leads readers directly into the studios of Where the Light Falls. Women’s friendship in the 19th C art world; a model; work clothes and fashion; touches of Japonisme; gold-framed pictures; canvas on an easel—it’s all there. I’m posting it again today to reiterate that this is my Where the Light Falls. I must ruefully report that another one is out there.

In July, Allison and Owen Pataki published a novel set in Paris with the same title. When I learned about it, I thought, “Oh gosh, that’s going to cause confusion.” And I think it has.  Read More 
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Lucy Stone’s milk wagon

I have set ANON in 1908 partly to avoid the need to account for all the glorious woman’s suffrage activity of 1912 and partly because the anxieties, tensions, and precursors to major historical events provide uncertainties that give room for fictional exploration. I try to avoid anachronisms and stay within historical constraints. All the same,  Read More 
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The more things change—

The more things change, the more they stay the same! Long before presidential tweets, there was pulp fiction. This morning, while looking into a question about the early 20th C publishing industry for ANONYMITY, I came across this title and couldn’t resist posting it.

It was published in Cleveland by The Arthur Westbrook Co. I suppose I could have had my Ohio heroine, Mattie, work closer to her native Circleville; but it would have been harder for her to keep her secrets there. She headed for the big time.

Incidentally, New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections Guide to the Levy Dime Novel Collection is rich source of titles to borrow, alter, or parody. Read More 
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Inez Milholland

Photographs of Inez Milholland in a white costume on a white horse leading the March 1913 woman’s suffrage parade in Washington appeared this past weekend in several stories about the 2017 Women’s March in Washington. She was brilliant; she was dashing; and she died  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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Clipping services

A minor plot turn early in ANONYMITY could be most easily handled if clipping services existed in 1908. They did! A Londoner named Henry Romeike seems to have begun the first one ca. 1880, and the idea rapidly spread. At first, they tended to be cottage industries; but soon companies were hiring readers, mostly women,  Read More 
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