Tuesday, April 23, 2013

In celebration ot the Bard of Avon

It is the baptism day of English playwright William Shakespeare (1564). Scholars aren't sure exactly when he was born, so this day will have to do for celebrating the greatest writer in the English language. In total respect, we offer this hilarious theatrical piece, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare  (Abridged), an irreverent and totally enjoyable account of the Bard's remarkable output. It's worth the time to watch it all the way through.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Michel Leiris was a French Surrealist

It is the birthday of French writer Michel Leiris (1901), who wrote his Surrealist novel, Aurora, in Paris in 1926-27 but didn't publish it until 1946.  He was heavily influenced by Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró and other Cubist painters as well as by experimental writers like André Breton, who is credited with founding the Surrealist movement in 1924. In Aurora and other works, Leiris was fascinated with the associative power of language, with wordplay and puns. In Aurora, he describes living in an attic and descending the stairs into historical events in the time of Alexander the Great. The poetic prose takes the reader on a bizarre journey that with ephemeral images of stark deserts, massive gray castles, and women caressed by warm rain. Leiris was also an accomplished ethnographer who wrote Phantom Africa (1934), The Sacred in Everyday Life (1938), and Race and Civilization (1951).

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sarah K. Knight kept colonial-era journal

Map show Sarah Kemble Knight's route in 1704.
It is the birthday of New Englander Sarah Kemble Knight (1666), a plucky woman who became a real estate dealer, businesswoman, and innkeeper in Colonial America at a time when such occupations were rare for a woman. In the literary world, she is best remembered for the journal she kept about her arduous journey on horseback from Boston to New Haven, Connecticut, and then to New York in 1704. The Journal of Madam Knight (1825) gave a detailed account of colonial customs and conditions. It covered morals, social manners, and class distinctions with subtle wit and broad humor. She compared the backwoods crustiness of New England with the sophistication of New York.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Happy birthday, Richard Harding Davis

Davis (standing second from left) with fellow war correspondents in Tampa during the Spanish-American War.
It is the birthday of war corespondent Richard Harding Davis (1864), the most famous celebrity reporter of his era, who built his reputation on his coverage of the Spanish-American War, The Second Boer War, and World War I. At various times, he worked for the New York Evening Sun, the New York Herald, and The New York Times. Later, he was managing editor of Harper's Weekly and wrote for Scribner's Magazine. He became a good friend of Teddy Roosevelt when he was embedded with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Roosevelt loved his short story, Gallagher, about a streetwise copyboy who hunts down the murderer in a sensational case. A ruggedly handsome fellow, Davis was the prototype for Charles Dana Gibson's Gibson Man, the epitome of masculinity in 19th century America. Davis wrote more than 35 novels, short story collections and travel books.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Happy birthday, Isak Dinesen

It is the birthday of Danish writer Isak Dinesen (1885), who is best remembered for her novel Out of Africa (1937), based on her experience of starting a coffee plantation with her husband in Kenya in 1914. In 1925, she divorced her husband after he was unfaithful. She developed a relationship with an English big game hunter who lived with her when he wasn't on safari. The hunter died in 1931 when his biplane crashed. The plantation failed and Dinesen (whose real name was Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke), moved back to Denmark. Out of Africa was adapted for film in 1985. Meryl Streep played her and Robert Redford played her lover. Dinesen also wrote Seven Gothic Tales (1934). Her short stories Babette's Feast and The Immortal Story were adapted for film as well.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Happy birthday, Anatole France

It is the birthday of French novelist Anatole France (1844), whose fascination with literature developed when he was a child surrounded by books in his father's bookstore. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in his late 70s. France's first successful novel was The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard (1881), about an old man who is obsessed with acquiring a manuscript by an author who is his personal hero. In his quest he encounters a host of strange characters, including a rich couple who collect matchboxes. One of France's most well-known works is Monsieur Bergeret in Paris (1901), a story set against the backdrop of the notorious Dreyfus Affair in which a Jewish army captain was wrongly accused of espionage. France poked fun at the Catholic Church in his satire Penguin Island (1908), in which a nearsighted abbot accidentally baptizes penguins, transforming them into humans. Church officials took  a dim view of this and other works by France.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy birthday, Henry James

It is the birthday of writer Henry James (1843), who is best remembered as an author of the realism movement in literature. He wrote novels, short stories, and literary criticism. His best known novels are Daisy Miller (1878), Washington Square (1880), The Portrait of a Lady (1881), The Bostonians (1886), The Aspern Papers (1888), What Maisie Knew (1897), The Turn of the Screw (1898), The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903), and The Golden Bowl (1904). Many of his works first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and other magazines. Though he was an American citizen, he lived in Europe most of his life. He became a British subject in 1915, about a year before he died. James was honored with honorary degrees from Harvard and Oxford universities.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Happy birthday, Beverly Cleary

It is the birthday of children's writer Beverly Cleary (1916), whose first book, Henry Huggins (1950), has been called the modern Tom Sawyer. The story concerns a boy and the dog he finds on a trip to the drug store on Klickitat Street in Portland Oregon. Cleary is also known for her character Ramona Quimby, a mischievous little girl who invites her whole preschool class over to her house without telling her family. The first Ramona book was Beezus and Ramona (1955). Cleary has written more than 30 books for children and young adults. Her many awards include the Newbery Medal and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. Sculptures of her characters, including Henry Huggins, are displayed in Portland's Grant Park.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Glenway Wescott was 1920s Paris expatriate

Portrait of Glenway Wescott by George Platt Lynes
It is the birthday of writer Glenway Wescott (1901), whose best novel, the Pilgrim Hawk: A Love Story (1940), tells the story of a failed American writer and a wealthy English-Irish couple at an afternoon luncheon at an estate outside Paris in the 1920s. Wescott was part of the contingent of artistic American ex-pats in Paris in those days. He was the inspiration for Ernest Hemingway's character Robert Prentiss in The Sun Also Rises (1926). Wescott's brother, Lloyd, married heiress and avant-garde publisher Barbara Harrison (Harrison of Paris), and Wescott established a lifelong relationship with Harrison's publishing partner, book designer Monroe Wheeler. Later, they all lived together (along with photographer George Platt Lynes) on a farm in New Jersey.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Happy birthday, Clare Boothe Luce

It is the birthday of writer Clare Boothe Luce (1903), who served as editor of Vanity Fair magazine, wrote the hit Broadway play The Women (1936), served as a Republican congresswoman from Connecticut, and later, as U.S. Ambassador to Italy. Her husband was Henry Luce, publisher of Time, Life, and Sports Illustrated magazines. She wrote for Life and occasionally for Time, though her husband discouraged that because he didn't want to be accused of nepotism. She always claimed to have given her husband the idea for Life magazine. Her achievements were her own, though, born of driving ambition and quick wit. Among her most famous lines: "A hospital is no place to be sick." "Widowhood is a fringe benefit of marriage." "No good deed goes unpunished."

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Poet Baudelaire was banned in France

It is the birthday of French poet Charles-Pierre Baudelaire (1821), one of the first poets to write about urban grittiness of 19th century Paris at a time when most poets were steeped in nature and pastoral settings. His Flowers of Evil (1857) dealt with eroticism and decadence, and was banned in France until 1949. Given their mutual interest in depravity, madness and crime, it's no wonder that Baudelaire became fascinated with the dark works Edgar Allan Poe, and translated them. The translations are regarded as classics in French literature.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Happy birthday, lyricist Yip Harburg

It is the birthday of lyricist Yip Harburg (1896), who wrote the words to Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?, April in Paris, It's Only a Paper Moon, and all the songs in The Wizard of Oz. He became a songwriter at the urging of his boyhood friend Ira Gershwin after the market crash of 1929 ruined an electrical appliance company Harburg co-owned. Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? became an anthem for the down and out during the Depression.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Happy birthday, Merle Haggard

It is the birthday of country music song writer Merle Haggard (1937), an icon in country music for decades — and still performing in his mid 70s. His daddy died when he was eight years old, and his mama raised him and supported the family working as a bookkeeper. Merle was rebellious and in and out of institutions and jail as a youth and young man. He was sent to San Quentin Prison at age 20, where he was inspired by a concert by Johnny Cash to turn his life around. He wrote and recorded Mama Tried, one of his signature songs, in 1968.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Happy birthday, Booker T. Washington

It is the birthday of African-American educator Booker T. Washington (1856), who grew the Tuskegee Institute to be one of the most significant institutions of higher education for black students in the nation. Washington established relationships in both black and white communities throughout the country aimed toward improving and developing black education. He secured donations to help start thousands of small rural schools throughout the South. He grew in stature and became an adviser to presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Washington wrote 14 books, some with the help of ghost writers Robert E. Park and Max Bennett. Among them are The Story of My Life and Work (1900), Up From Slavery (1901), The Story of the Negro: The Rise of the Race from Slavery (two volumes) (1909), My Larger Education (1911), and The Man Farthest Down (1912).  He was honored with a U.S. postage stamp in the 1940s, on a Liberty Ship in 1942, and on a half dollar coin in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Happy birthday, Robert Sherwood

It is the birthday of playwright Robert Sherwood (1896), who won four Pulitzer Prizes, three for his plays and one for a biography. Sherwood served as film critic for Vanity Fair magazine in the 1920s. He was among the founders of the Algonquin Round Table, the storied gathering of New York writers and wits, along with fellow magazine staffers Robert Benchley and Dorothy Parker. Sherwood's play Idiot's Delight (1936) won his first Pulitzer. It is the story of a dance troupe stranded in an Alpine hotel as war breaks out. Sherwood also won for Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1938) and There Shall Be No Night (1940), which is set in Finland just before the Russian invasion. Sherwood also served as speech writer for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and is credited with inspiring the phrase "arsenal of democracy" that Roosevelt used in speeches to generate support for the Allied war effort. Sherwood's book Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate Portrait (1948) won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy birthday, Washington Irving

It is the birthday of writer Washington Irving (1783), whose short stories Rip Van Winkle (1819) and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820) are his most remembered contributions to American literature, though he also wrote biographies and histories as well. Irving was one of the first American authors to earn a living from his writing. The short stories appeared in a volume The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (1819). Irving was the first to refer to New York City as Gotham and coined the expression "the almighty dollar." He created the character Diedrich Knickerbocker, an old Dutch historian, as a hoax to promote a book he had written. He ran an ad several times in a local newspaper seeking the "missing" old man. When the man didn't show up, he then ran an ad supposedly from the proprietor of a small hotel vowing to publish a manuscript Knickerbocker had left behind to help  pay his hotel bill. The scheme was wildly successful and the public eagerly snapped up his book when it was published. Today the name Diedrich Knickerbocker refers generally to New Yorkers and lives on in the pro basketball team the New York Knicks.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Happy birthday, Hans Christian Andersen

It is the birthday of Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805), whose fairy tales have delighted children and adults for generations. He wrote more than 150 stories, many of which have become part of the collective consciousness of western culture. Among his best-known stories are The Princess and the Pea (1835), Thumbelina (1835), The Little Mermaid (1836), The Emperor's New Clothes (1837), The Ugly Duckling (1844), The Little Match Girl (1848), and The Ice-Maiden(1861). He was an only child, and he never married, though he fell madly in love on numerous occasions. They were always unattainable matches. Once he proposed to Jenny Lind, the Swedish opera star. She thought of him as a brother and told him so in a heartbreaking letter. He wrote his story The Nightingale (1843) for her, and it inspired her nickname the Swedish Nightingale.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Anne McCaffrey wrote Dragonriders series

It is the birthday of science fiction writer Anne McCaffrey (1926), who is best remembered for her Dragonriders of Pern series (first published in 1967). She was the first woman writer to receive the Nebula Award of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. She also won a Hugo Award for science fiction achievement. Dragonriders is set on the planet Pern, which colonists from Earth populate. Although they have lost their advanced technology, they genetically engineer dragons and ride them in defense of the planet against invaders from space. Her book Decision at Doona (1969) deals with an overcrowded planet where speaking too loudly is socially unacceptable. It was inspired by an incident when her son was in his fourth-grade play and was told to lower his voice.

Our specialties

Our specialties include Floridiana (Florida History, Florida Authors, Florida Related Ephemera), American History, Literature of the South, Military History (including, but not limited to, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korean War), Children’s Literature, Maps, Leather Bindings and Rare & Unusual items.

We also have a wide variety of general stock, including a large Landscape/Gardening section, a great selection of Christian/Church History/Bible Study titles, Beat Literature, and much more. Please browse our extensive category list.

Appraisal service

Michael F. Slicker, is one of about 450 qualified members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, Inc., and its affiliate the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

Condition of the book, demand for it and history of comparable sales are among the factors considered in evaluating the value of a book. Other factors may apply as well.

Please contact us for more information regarding our certified appraisal services. We encourage you to visit our website, Lighthouse Books, ABAA

Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

Michael Slicker was the founding president of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association and has served as chairman of its annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair since its inception.

The 36th annual book fair is set for April 21-23, 2017 at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg.

The fair is the oldest and largest antiquarian book fair in the Southeast. Learn more about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair and the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association.

  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP