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Picturing a World

Duveneck pastel portrait

I honestly can't remember now and am too lazy to check on whether Frank Duveneck is mentioned in Where the Light Falls. He certainly figured into my research since he was born in Covington, Kentucky, across the river from Ohio and was influential in Cincinnati. Anyway, thank you, James Gurney for posting this pastel portrait, which as far as I'm concerned could be "one of my girls."

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Steep hill in Cincinnati

I’ve been to Poughkeepsie, I’ve been to New York, I’ve been Paris—but never to Cincinnati. Old maps, photos, and drawings in 19th C guide books helped me visualize Edward’s city up to a point. What made me feel the place in my muscles were some drawings of hillsides and public stairs in a 1968 book called Cincinnati Scenes by Caroline Williams. This was crucial for imagining Edward’s climb to Theodore’s house on Mount Auburn after the mugger’s attack. A photograph of the steps from Dorchester Street to Sycamore Hill gives you an idea of how steep those hills really are. (And don't you love how the man at the bottom of the stairs echoes the man on the bridge on the cover?) Read More 
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