wiscohisto:

Hardanger fiddle with lion’s head, carved by Martin Cliff, Blue Mounds, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1895.

The Hardanger fiddle is a traditional Norwegian musical instrument with eight strings.

via: Mount Horeb Area Historical Society by way of Wisconsin Decorative Arts Database

heaveninawildflower:

'The Excellency of the Pen and the Pencil, Exemplifying the Uses of them in the Most Exquisite and Mysterious Arts of Drawing, Etching, Engraving, Limning, Painting in Oyl, Washing of Maps and Pictures.'

Printed by Thomas Ratcliff and Thomas Daniel for Dorman Newman and Richard Jones (1668).

https://archive.org/stream/excellencyofpenp00ratc#page/n3/mode/2up

Limning was book illumination.

heaveninawildflower:
'Afternoon Amusements' (1863) by Johann Georg Meyer (1813–1886).
Wikimedia.

heaveninawildflower:

'Afternoon Amusements' (1863) by Johann Georg Meyer (1813–1886).

Wikimedia.

Edgar Maxence - Woman Reading Seen in Profile

Edgar Maxence - Woman Reading Seen in Profile

(Source: colourthysoul)

Minnie Mouse has fun at the beach in Walt Disney’s “Wild Waves” (1929)

Going swimming, in heels……

writersnoonereads:

I learned of the forgotten novelist Claire Spencer (1895–1987) through Houghton Library's post of this art deco cover. Spencer might fall into the category of “justly neglected?”—and it’s likely I’ll never get around to reading her three novels, Gallows’ Orchard (1930), The Quick and the Dead (1932), and The Island (1935). (You can read two of the books online by following those links.) At first I was just going to post the cover, but finding no wikipedia entry or online bio I decided to cobble one together myself.
Claire Spencer was born in Paisley, Scotland, and emigrated to the United States in 1918. At some point before the publication of her first novel, she married the editor and publisher Harrison “Hal” Smith, and they had two children together. They divorced in 1933 and the same year Claire married John Evans, the only son of bohemian arts patron Mable Dodge Luhan and the author of two novels. Much of this info was gleaned from the letters of Robinson Jeffers’ wife Una, who was friends with John and Claire during their time in Taos. Una called Claire “the strangest woman I’ve ever met & one of the most interesting.” Hal Smith did publish The Island two years after the divorce, but it would be Claire’s last book. The couple and their brood eventually settled in Brooksville, Maine, where Claire Spencer Evans died in 1987 (I cannot find an obituary). John served in a number of government positions until his death in 1978.

(John Evans and Claire Spencer, portraits by Edward Weston)
In Gallows’ Orchard, “marriage and child birth and death take on distorted forms for Effie Gallows. Her neighbors loathe and fear her, and eventually the village children stone her to death.” It was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. (Time says, “Book-of-the-Month selectors defend their choice by comparing Gallows’ Orchard to the work of the late great Robert Louis Stevenson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thomas Hardy.”)
Kirkus Reviews tells us that The Island “emerges with a certain stark beauty in spite of an incredible number of tragedies and violent deaths.” They end their short review, "Not a book to be sold indiscriminately."
The Quick and the Dead — set in New York City, unlike the Scottish village setting of the other novels — seems to have gotten the strongest reaction from 1930s reviewers. John Bronson, reviewer for The Bookman, drolly summarizes, “When his mother dies Peter is at last happy and commits suicide” and continues:

The retching jagged emotion, the dribbling loathsome sensation, the hysterical impression, the granulation and distortion and decomposition of life are Miss Spencer’s material. There is no question of the success of her style: it is sensitive, intense, and original. The only questions are whether the public is interested in being tortured and nauseated and, this premise granted, whether Miss Spencer’s rather abstract characters possess the reality to attain that end. [source]

That sounds like a review of an AMC or HBO TV show.
The notice in Literary Sign-Posts couldn’t have helped sell many copies: “The people are filled with a deep revulsion with themselves and with each other and with the lives they lead, occasionally touching a depth of disgust that is almost a spiritual nausea.”
I wonder if Graves and Faulkner read her books?

writersnoonereads:

I learned of the forgotten novelist Claire Spencer (1895–1987) through Houghton Library's post of this art deco cover. Spencer might fall into the category of “justly neglected?—and it’s likely I’ll never get around to reading her three novels, Gallows’ Orchard (1930), The Quick and the Dead (1932), and The Island (1935). (You can read two of the books online by following those links.) At first I was just going to post the cover, but finding no wikipedia entry or online bio I decided to cobble one together myself.

Claire Spencer was born in Paisley, Scotland, and emigrated to the United States in 1918. At some point before the publication of her first novel, she married the editor and publisher Harrison “Hal” Smith, and they had two children together. They divorced in 1933 and the same year Claire married John Evans, the only son of bohemian arts patron Mable Dodge Luhan and the author of two novels. Much of this info was gleaned from the letters of Robinson Jeffers’ wife Una, who was friends with John and Claire during their time in Taos. Una called Claire “the strangest woman I’ve ever met & one of the most interesting.” Hal Smith did publish The Island two years after the divorce, but it would be Claire’s last book. The couple and their brood eventually settled in Brooksville, Maine, where Claire Spencer Evans died in 1987 (I cannot find an obituary). John served in a number of government positions until his death in 1978.

(John Evans and Claire Spencer, portraits by Edward Weston)


In Gallows’ Orchard, “marriage and child birth and death take on distorted forms for Effie Gallows. Her neighbors loathe and fear her, and eventually the village children stone her to death.” It was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. (Time says, “Book-of-the-Month selectors defend their choice by comparing Gallows’ Orchard to the work of the late great Robert Louis Stevenson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thomas Hardy.”)

Kirkus Reviews tells us that The Island “emerges with a certain stark beauty in spite of an incredible number of tragedies and violent deaths.” They end their short review"Not a book to be sold indiscriminately."

The Quick and the Dead — set in New York City, unlike the Scottish village setting of the other novels — seems to have gotten the strongest reaction from 1930s reviewers. John Bronson, reviewer for The Bookman, drolly summarizes, “When his mother dies Peter is at last happy and commits suicide” and continues:

The retching jagged emotion, the dribbling loathsome sensation, the hysterical impression, the granulation and distortion and decomposition of life are Miss Spencer’s material. There is no question of the success of her style: it is sensitive, intense, and original. The only questions are whether the public is interested in being tortured and nauseated and, this premise granted, whether Miss Spencer’s rather abstract characters possess the reality to attain that end. [source]

That sounds like a review of an AMC or HBO TV show.

The notice in Literary Sign-Posts couldn’t have helped sell many copies: “The people are filled with a deep revulsion with themselves and with each other and with the lives they lead, occasionally touching a depth of disgust that is almost a spiritual nausea.”

I wonder if Graves and Faulkner read her books?

For bringing hope and joy to the world, when it most needed it.

For bringing hope and joy to the world, when it most needed it.

Helen Stratton ~ The Lily of Life ~The Wise Woman ~ 1913

Helen Stratton ~ The Lily of Life ~The Wise Woman ~ 1913

balladofamerica:

Pete Seeger: The Power of Song

If anyone reading this is wondering what the fuss is over the passing of Pete Seeger or just wants to know more about him, watch the 2007 documentary Pete Seeger: The Power of Song. If you know what the fuss is but haven’t seen the movie, watch Pete Seeger: The Power of Song. If you don’t care what the fuss is, watch Pete Seeger: The Power of Song. If you love folk music, watch Pete Seeger: The Power of Song. If you hate folk music, watch Pete Seeger: The Power of Song. If you dismiss Pete Seeger as a commie, watch Pete Seeger: The Power of Song. If you’ve seen Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, watch it again.

Without going into detail or even mentioning many of the significant events in his life, I’d like to just highlight some of the things that made the biggest impression on me:

  • He co-founded The Almanac Singers in 1941, a group who promoted unions, racial and religious inclusion, and other progressive causes.
  • He quit The Weavers, another music group he co-founded, when other members of the group agreed to sing a jingle for a cigarette commercial (“We don’t need the money that bad.”)
  • He wrote How to Play the Five-String Banjo in 1948, a book which helped revive the banjo from near obscurity.
  • He took his family on a trip around the world filming and recording indigenous music.
  • He built a log cabin on the Hudson River with his own hands (and a little help from his friends and family) and lived there with his family.
  • He recorded over 130 classic American songs (most of them traditional) between 1957 and 1962 and released them on five albums as the American Favorite Ballads series. The series was recently released as a 5-CD box set by Smithsonian Folkways.
  • He was a prominent song leader during the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War protests.

As I was watching Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, I expected the story to wind down after the Vietnam segment. That’s when his daughter came onscreen saying that her dad promised her as a young girl that she would one day be able to swim in the Hudson River, which was, at the time, heavily polluted. Spoiler alert: he kept his promise. Look up Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Amazing.

Another huge inspiration for me is Pete’s commitment to the power of group singing. A few quotes from the film:

I’ve never sung anywhere without giving the people listening to me a chance to join in - as a kid, as a lefty, as a man touring the U.S.A. and the world, as an oldster. I guess it’s kind of a religion with me. Participation. That’s what’s going to save the human race.

Once upon a time, wasn’t singing a part of everyday life as much as talking, physical exercise, and religion? Our distant ancestors, wherever they were in this world, sang while pounding grain, paddling canoes, or walking long journeys. Can we begin to make our lives once more all of a piece? Finding the right songs and singing them over and over is a way to start. And when one person taps out a beat, while another leads into the melody, or when three people discover a harmony they never knew existed, or a crowd joins in on a chorus as though to raise the ceiling a few feet higher, then they also know there is hope for the world.

Oh, I almost forgot - watch Pete Seeger: The Power of Song.

Illustration by Robert Anning Bell - From an edition of The Tempest published 1901

Illustration by Robert Anning Bell - From an edition of The Tempest published 1901

(Source: michaelmoonsbookshop)

ink-splotch:

There comes a point where Susan, who was the older girl, is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She’s become irreligious basically because she found sex. I have a big problem with that.” - JK Rowling

Can we talk about Susan’s fabulous adventures after Narnia? The ones where she wears nylons and elegant blouses when she wants to, and short skirts and bright lipstick when she wants to, and hiking boots and tough jeans and big men’s plaid shirts when she feels like backpacking out into the mountains and remembering what it was to be lost in a world full of terrific beauty— I know her siblings say she stops talking about it, that Susan walks away from the memories of Narnia, but I don’t think she ever really forgot.

I want to read about Susan finishing out boarding school as a grown queen reigning from a teenaged girl’s body. School bullies and peer pressure from children and teachers who treat you like you’re less than sentient wouldn’t have the same impact. C’mon, Susan of the Horn, Susan who bested the DLF at archery, and rode a lion, and won wars, sitting in a school uniform with her eyebrows rising higher and higher as some old goon at the front of the room slams his fist on the lectern. 

Susan living through WW2, huddling with her siblings, a young adult (again), a fighting queen and champion marksman kept from the action, until she finally storms out against screaming parents’ wishes and volunteers as a nurse on the front. She keeps a knife or two hidden under her clothes because when it comes down to it, they called her Gentle, but sometimes loving means fighting for what you care for. 

She’ll apply to a women’s college on the East Coast, because she fell in love with America when her parents took her there before the war. She goes in majoring in Literature (her ability to decipher High Diction in historical texts is uncanny), but checks out every book she can on history, philosophy, political science. She sneaks into the boys’ school across town and borrows their books too. She was once responsible for a kingdom, roads and taxes and widows and crops and war. She grew from child to woman with that mantle of duty wrapped around her shoulders. Now, tossed here on this mundane land, forever forbidden from her true kingdom, Susan finds that she can give up Narnia but she cannot give up that responsibility. She looks around and thinks I could do this better.

I want Susan sneaking out to drink at pubs with the girls, her friends giggling at the boys checking them out from across the way, until Susan walks over (with her nylons, with her lipstick, with her sovereignty written out in whatever language she damn well pleases) and beats them all at pool. Susan studying for tests and bemoaning Aristotle and trading a boy with freckles all over his nose shooting lessons so that he will teach her calculus. Susan kissing boys and writing home to Lucy and kissing girls and helping smuggle birth control to the ladies in her dorm because Susan Pevensie is a queen and she understands the right of a woman to rule over her own body. 

Susan losing them all to a train crash, Edmund and Peter and Lucy, Jill and Eustace, and Lucy and Lucy and Lucy, who Susan’s always felt the most responsible for. Because this is a girl who breathes responsibility, the little mother to her three siblings until a wardrobe whisked them away and she became High Queen to a whole land, ruled it for more than a decade, then came back centuries later as a legend. What it must do to you, to be a legend in the body of a young girl, to have that weight on your shoulders and have a lion tell you that you have to let it go. What is must do to you, to be left alone to decide whether to bury your family in separate ceremonies, or all at once, the same way they died, all at once and without you. What it must do to you, to stand there in black, with your nylons, and your lipstick, and feel responsible for these people who you will never be able to explain yourself to and who you can never save. 

Maybe she dreams sometimes they made it back to Narnia after all. Peter is a king again. Lucy walks with Aslan and all the dryads dance. Maybe Susan dreams that she went with them— the train jerks, a bright light, a roar calling you home. 

Maybe she doesn’t. 

Susan grows older and grows up. Sometimes she hears Lucy’s horrified voice in her head, “Nylons? Lipstick, Susan? Who wants to grow up?”  and Susan thinks, “Well you never did, Luce.” Susan finishes her degree, stays in America (England looks too much like Narnia, too much like her siblings, and too little, all at once). She starts writing for the local paper under the pseudonym Frank Tumnus, because she wants to write about politics and social policy and be listened to, because the name would have made Edmund laugh. 

She writes as Susan Pevensie, too, about nylons and lipstick, how to give a winning smiles and throw parties, because she knows there is a kind of power there and she respects it. She won wars with war sometimes, in Narnia, but sometimes she stopped them before they began.

Peter had always looked disapprovingly on the care with which Susan applied her makeup back home in England, called it vanity. And even then, Susan would smile at him, say “I use what weapons I have at hand,” and not explain any more than that. The boy ruled at her side for more than a decade. He should know better. 

Vain is not the proper word. This is about power. But maybe Peter wouldn’t have liked the word “ambition” any more than “vanity.”

Susan is a young woman in the 50s and 60s. Frank Tumnus has quite the following now. He’s written a few books, controversial, incendiary. Susan gets wrapped up in the civil rights movement, because of course she would. It’s not her first war. All the same, she almost misses the White Witch. Greed is a cleaner villain than senseless hate. She gets on the Freedom Rider bus, mails Mr. Tumnus articles back home whenever there’s a chance, those rare occasions they’re not locked up or immediately threatened. She is older now than she ever was in Narnia. Susan dreams about Telemarines killing fauns. 

Time rolls on. Maybe she falls in love with a young activist or an old cynic. Maybe she doesn’t. Maybe Frank Tumnus, controversial in the moment, brilliant in retrospect, gets offered an honorary title from a prestigious university. She declines and publishes an editorial revealing her identity. Her paper fires her. Three others mail her job offers. 

When Vietnam rolls around, she protests in the streets. Susan understands the costs of war. She has lived through not just the brutal wars of one life, but two. 

Maybe she has children now. Maybe she tells them stories about a magical place and a magical lion, the stories Lucy and Edmund brought home about how if you sail long enough you reach the place where the seas fall off the edge of the world. But maybe she tells them about Cinderella instead, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, except Rapunzel cuts off her own hair and uses it to climb down the tower and escape. The damsel uses what tools she has at hand. 

A lion told her to walk away, and she did. He forbade her magic, he forbade her her own kingdom, so she made her own. 

Susan Pevensie did not lose faith. She found it. 

(Source: ifallelseperished)

Christian Schloe, The Messenger

Christian Schloe, The Messenger

(Source: hermosanikita)

Poe’s Poems

Poe’s Poems