Thursday, September 20, 2007


A brief aside...

...before we return to the main program. Steven mentioned artist and book designer Sarah Wyman Whitman in his comment yesterday, and I thought I'd post a photograph I took two years ago in Boston, when I was wandering around Beacon Hill on the morning of the marathon (I had hours to fill while Ryan was running):

The plaque is barely readable in this photo, but I post it here because it marks the former home of Sarah Wyman Whitman. She made stained glass windows, painted, and designed beautiful cloth book covers for decades, mostly for Houghton Mifflin. A good sample of her work appears here (scroll down to see the book covers). Her designs are so understated and elegant, and after seeing a group of her bindings you realize what a unique and delicate touch she had. Other bindings of the time (or really, of any time) look positively clumsy in comparison. I mean, just look at that copy of Walden, and its dust jacket! Very very verrrry nice. I wish I had a copy myself. I do have a few of her Sarah Orne Jewett bindings, though - I'll bring one from home to share sometime soon. Thanks for mentioning her, Steven. Although now I find myself wondering where Margaret Armstrong lived.

Thought you might like this old NY Times article about the area around 58 W. 10th Street, New York -Margaret's home when she was a young adult. Appears she moved there when she was 16. This article mentions David Maitland Armstrong at this address in 1890. Perhaps her father?

Yes! Good detective work. Here's the rest of the story:
I finally dragged myself out of the sun where I was reading Horatio Hornblower and the Atropos and into the shop to do some work. And what do I find? Beautiful book covers and several tempting links to wonderful websites. Thank goodness it is Friday!

I haved always lusted after an original An Island Garden by Celia Thaxter with the cover designed by Sarah Wyman Whitman. Better close the shop and go book hunting...
Oooh, yes, that one is so beautiful... I've never had one either, good thing, too. Keep or sell, keep or sell??

Glad to hear you're reading Hornblower - are you reading them in chronological order, or in the order they were published in? I started with the original trilogy, then branched off in either direction. Still love the trilogy best, though. Long live H.H.
While I have not read the series, I listened to this yesterday on NPR, which you may enjoy: a new biography entitled 'Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander' by David Cordingly

Thanks - I have a biography of Cochrane from the 1970s and was aware of Patrick O'Brian's debt to him re Aubrey. But I'm always on the lookout for more information! I really can't say enough about P O'B's books, particularly if you have any kind of affinity for that era...
I am reading the Hornblower series in chronolgical order. Late last night I finished the wonderful Beat to Quarters. I do not have a copy of Ship of the Line at home or in the store and the local library copy is out. How dare they lend it to someone else! I am going to run mad!
Vicky, I have a hardcover copy of "Ship of the Line" in stock for six bucks, if you're in town! Actually, you could just have it...
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