Saturday, 30 May 2015

At a Month's End: part 1

As a follow-up to Bertha Thomas: bibliography, I decided to rescue one of her less findable stories from archive limbo: At a Month's End: leaves from the diary of a man of the time, told in three parts in London Society magazine in 1887.

Friday, 29 May 2015

A Wren-like Note: important update

I've released my book A Wren-like Note: the life and works of Maxwell Gray (Mary Gleed Tuttiett) on a Creative Commons license, as an electronic version that allows its sharing and copying, without modification and retaining attribution to me as author.

Brinjal dumbdown!

I don't normally peeve about such things, but I'm a trifle disappointed at the decision of Patak's to rebadge their veteran brand of Brinjal Pickle as Aubergine Pickle. I take it they've always assumed that aficionados of Indian cuisine know what a brinjal is, and find resonances in the traditional name. But ...

JSBlog on British Library's UK Web Archive

The British Library UK Web Archive, I'm pleased to report, has accepted JSBlog (Journal of a Southern Bookreader) for archiving in its Literature section. Actually, this happened a few months ago, but it slipped my mind. I thought I'd mention it now, as I'm engaged in a spot of 'posterity management' for the site and other work, such as the Maxwell Gray biography, that seems worth recording.

Devon Garden: RD&E Exeter

Clare and I had a potter around the "Devon Garden" - a sensory / memory garden for dementia sufferers - at the RD&E yesterday. Neither of us is a sufferer; this is more serendipity of the sort that got me to see Yeo Ward's lovely Tree of Life courtyard mosaic in June 2014.

It ain't that kind: three years on

Hwæt ... (well , Seamus Heaney thought it was a good equivalent to "So ...") ... it's been near enough three years. I was first investigated for metastatic cancer of unknown primary (CUP) in June 2012, and "three months ... to three years" was one of the few explicit figures anyone mentioned along the way. I had a scan yesterday and a solid case review today, and the news is far from good.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Mrs. Disney Leith: bibliography

Another annotated bibliography with an Isle of Wight connection: Mrs. Disney Leith is one of the several names in the literature for the Scottish author Mary Charlotte Julia Leith (née Gordon, 1840-1926) a.k.a. Mary Gordon a.k.a. "M. C. J. L." a.k.a. Mary Leith. Her chief route into history is as the first cousin of the poet Swinburne, who she corresponded with, and later recalled in memoirs.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Mrs Harcourt Roe

Ryde, Shaw's Tourist's Picturesque Guide to the Isle of Wight, 1873
"Mrs Harcourt Roe" is another forgotten novelist with an Isle of Wight connection. She's described in an 1893 Isle of Wight Observer review of her novel A Man of Mystery as "a lady, well-known in the Island”, and she lived at Ryde in the 1890s. I just researched a bit (well, more than a bit) on her life and works.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

More Holme Lee children's illustrations

Further to Harriet Parr: bibliography, "Tuflongbo", and a dog's life, here are some more of the off-the-wall illustrations from the handful of 1860s children's fairytale books by the prolific Shanklin, Isle of Wight, novelist Parr (who wrote as Holme Lee).

Saturday, 23 May 2015

"That Figure-Head."

"That Figure-Head." is a short story by Mrs Harcourt Roe that originally appeared in 1901 in the London-based literary magazine Temple Bar. I was interested to read it while researching Mrs Roe's works, but ran into problems: it's not hosted anywhere straightforward, and there's a glitch with Google Books that for some reason makes it impossible to retrieve in full, even via the usual workaround of a proxy server (Poe springs to mind: "er lasst sich nicht lesen"). I couldn't resist the puzzle of hacking it by 'jigsaw method' from the Google Books snippet view.