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Picturing a World

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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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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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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Seed packets

Blog tip: A garden with a Japanese theme plays a part in my work-in-progress. So does feminism. It tickled me, therefore, to find this seed packet and read today’s post at It’s About Time on pioneering seedswoman Carrie H. Lippincott.
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Crime and dance

Sometimes interests converge. A recent post on The Gangs of Paris at the Victorian Paris blog sent me investigating the story-telling, tough-guy, tough-gal Danse Apache or Apache Dance (pronounced ah-PAHSH in both French and English), which originated in France and quickly moved to the American stage in 1908.  Read More 
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On horseback, in pants

For my work-in-progress, I’ve been reading the autobiography of journalist Ida M. Tarbell, All in the Day’s Work. In 1892 for a McClure’s Magazine article, Tarbell interviewed the French archeologist and writer Jane Henriette Magre Dieulafoy, who with her husband Marcel worked on excavations in Persia.  Read More 
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Women Painters of the World (1905)

Web link: Check out the website of The Public Domain Review. I immediately found this this book on women painters from 1905, which Mattie my current heroine might give to Jeanette. No telling what what you'll find! Read More 
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Time for a photograph at the blog, I thought: I’ll do a post on Eugène Atget. As it happens, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a show up through May 9th, Paris as Muse: Photography, 1840s–1950s, where Atget's Quai d'Anjou can be seen.

I looked at a lot of Atget's photographs  Read More 
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Robert Henri, Salome (1909)
As a follow-up to my last post, here’s a quick look ahead at naughty behavior in New York City in 1908, the setting for my current work-in-progress. I came across Robert Henri’s portrait of the dancer Mademoiselle Voclezca in a 1995 exhibition catalogue, Metropolitan Lives: The Ashcan Artists and Their New York. More astonishing to me than the painting were several paragraphs about a craze for “Salome dancers.”  Read More 
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Asleep on a train

For my new novel, I’m investigating early 20th C photography and print processes. This picture of a girl asleep on a train appears Read More 
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