söndag 31 januari 2010

Saturday with Gutenberg

.f you intend to start a department store, there is a book for you "How Department Stores Are Carried On" from 1901 by W. B. Phillips.
The book seems to cover everything you have to think of, from general principles, Serving Customers, Catalogues, Filing Correspondence to Paying Wages.
I have absolutely no talent for business, I'm not a bit interested in selling things — but I find this books amusing. Perhaps because it is so old and I know that I don't have to deal with it in real life.

"In the School-Room, Chapters in the Philosophy of Education" 1868 by John S. Hart.

'm sure that all of us who have been teaching, or still are, will find this book interesting.

In the first place, teaching is not simply telling. A class may be told a thing twenty times over, and yet not know it. Talking to a class is not necessarily teaching. I have known many teachers who were brimful of information, and were good talkers, and who discoursed to their classes with ready utterance a large part of the time allotted to instruction; yet an examination of their classes showed little advancement in knowledge.

What, then, is teaching?
Teaching is causing any one to know. Now no one can be made to know a thing but by the act of his own powers. His own senses, his own memory, his own powers of reason, perception, and judgment, must be exercised. The function of the teacher is to bring about this exercise of the pupil's faculties. The means to do this are infinite in variety. They should be varied according to the wants and the character of the individual to be taught. One needs to be told a thing; he learns most readily by the ear. Another needs to use his eyes; he must see a thing, either in the book, or in nature. But neither eye nor ear, nor any other sense or faculty, will avail to the acquisition of knowledge, unless the power of attention is cultivated. Attention, then, is the first act or power of the mind that must be roused. It is the very foundation of all progress in knowledge, and the means of awakening it constitute the first step in the educational art.

None of yesterday's books had interesting illustrations, so I use these lovely vignettes from "Cedar Creek, From the Shanty to the Settlement" a book by Elizabeth Hely Walshe, which I don't think I'll read.

nd finally a poem from "Riley Farm-Rhymes" by James Whitcomb Riley.


In Spring, when the green gits back in the trees,
.... And the sun comes out and STAYS,
And yer boots pulls on with a good tight squeeze,
.... And you think of yer bare-foot days;
When you ORT to work and you want to NOT,
.... And you and yer wife agrees
It's time to spade up the garden-lot,
.... When the green gits back in the trees
........ Well! work is the least o' MY idees
........ When the green, you know, gits back in the trees!

When the green gits back in the trees, and bees
.... Is a-buzzin' aroun' ag'in
In that kind of a lazy go-as-you-please
.... Old gait they bum roun' in;
When the groun's all bald whare the hay-rick stood,
.... And the crick's riz, and the breeze
Coaxes the bloom in the old dogwood,
.... And the green gits back in the trees,—
........ I like, as I say, in sich scenes as these,
....... The time when the green gits back in the trees!

When the whole tail-feathers o' Wintertime
.... Is all pulled out and gone!
And the sap it thaws and begins to climb,
.... And the swet it starts out on
A feller's forred, a-gittin' down
.... At the old spring on his knees—
I kindo' like jest a-loaferin' roun'
.... When the green gits back in the trees—
....... Jest a-potterin' roun' as I—durn—please-
....... When the green, you know, gits back in the trees!

Reading today

lördag 30 januari 2010

Reading today

Waiting for the Artist, 1859
Georg Winchester

fredag 29 januari 2010

Reading today

Pink Note: The Novelette, c.1883-c.1884
James Abbott McNeill Whistler

torsdag 28 januari 2010


The illustration by Marcus Waterman is from
Nathaniel Hawthorn's book
"The Snow-Image A Childish Miracle"

It snowed all day yesterday — so I had to cancel the appointment with the vet, for the third time! The "snowman" who clears our driveway, just left — unfortunately he was 24 hours late. We're the last house on his route, so this is not the first time I've had to change my plans as we've been snowbound.
I'm sure the darling didn't mind!
It's amazing how a small cat can move the furniture in a room when he gets bored.

Reading today

The Book Lover I, 1897
Frantisek Kupka

onsdag 27 januari 2010

Reading today

A Portrait of a Woman with a Book of Prayer
Carl Kronberger, 1841-1921

tisdag 26 januari 2010

Reading today

Man reading to Girl, 2003 (detail)

måndag 25 januari 2010

Reading today

The Yellow Books, 1887
Vincent van Gogh

söndag 24 januari 2010

Reading today

Portrait of Ambrosie Volmar Keller, 1538
Hans Baldung, 1484-1545

lördag 23 januari 2010

Reading today

Reading in the Park
Micholine Anemine Christine Poulsen

fredag 22 januari 2010

Reading today

The Reading Lesson
Seymour Joseph Guy

torsdag 21 januari 2010

Reading today

An Elegant Lady Reading Under a Tree
Karl Raupp, 1837-1918

onsdag 20 januari 2010

Reading today

Portrait of Man Holding a Book, c. 1437
Rogier van der Weyden, 1400-1464

tisdag 19 januari 2010

An etching of me

Ernst Wetzenstein, 1890-1982
I ended up scanning the picture, the colors are not perfect, but better than the photos I took.
I was probably five years old when I sat for a couple of etchings. The artist used an electric tool direct on the plate during the sittings — I was so fascinated and impressed that he didn't sketch first.
We were told that one of these etchings were sold to an art museum in Munich — not quite as well-known as Mona Lisa!

Reading today

Woman Reading, bas-relief
This piece in concrete is based on the painting "Woman Reading" I showed you last Tuesday. I like them both a lot — but this, I think, gives more space for your own imagination.

måndag 18 januari 2010

Reading today

Althea, 1895
John White Alexander

söndag 17 januari 2010

Reading today

The Piazzetta and the Library. 1720
Luca Carlevaris, 1663-1730

lördag 16 januari 2010

Reading today

A Lazy Afternoon

fredag 15 januari 2010

Reading today

family Portrait of a Boy and his Two Sisters, 1900
Francois Flameng, 1856-1923

torsdag 14 januari 2010

Reading today

Marguerite Stuber Pearson

onsdag 13 januari 2010

A good book?

"Say, now, you needn't be afraid! Nobody'll getcha here! I know how to bluff 'em. Even if a policeman should come after yeh, I'd get around him somehow, and I don't care what you've done or ain't done, I'll stand by yeh. I'm not one to turn against anybody in distress. My mother always taught me that. After you've et a bite and had a cup of my nice tea with cream and sugar in it you'll feel better, and we'll have a real chin-fest and hear all about it. Now, you just shut your eyes and wait till I make that tea."

Jane Carson thumped up the pillow scientifically to make as many of the feathers as possible and shifted the little flower-head upon it. Then she hurried to her small washstand and took a little iron contrivance from the drawer, fastening it on the sickly gas-jet. She filled a tiny kettle with water from a faucet in the hall and set it to boil. From behind a curtain in a little box nailed to the wall she drew a loaf of bread, a paper of tea and a sugar-bowl. A cup and saucer and other dishes appeared from a pasteboard box under the washstand. A small shelf outside the tiny window yielded a plate of butter, a pint bottle of milk, and two eggs. She drew a chair up to the bed, put a clean handkerchief on it, and spread forth her table. In a few minutes the fragrance of tea and toast pervaded the room, and water was bubbling happily for the eggs. As cosily as if she had a chum to dine with her she sat down on the edge of the bed and invited her guest to supper. As she poured the tea she wondered what her co-laborers at the factory would think if they knew she had a real society lady visiting her. It wasn't every working girl that had a white satin bride thrust upon her suddenly this way. It was like a fairy story, having a strange bride lying on her bed, and everything a perfect mystery about her. She eyed the white silk ankles and dainty slippers with satisfaction. Think of wearing underclothes made of silk and real lace!
From "Exit Betty" by Grace Livingstone Hill
It must be more than ten years ago I found a book that once belonged to my grandmother, in one of our bookcases: "The Golden Shoe" by Grace Livingstone Hill. I was captivated by her way of telling the story — just as I am today when I read one of her books I found at Gutenberg, "Exit Betty". I find it fascinating that Grace Livingstone Hill could write so many books, with a very similar plot, and still make it interesting. You know from the first paragraph what will happen — but never the less you read on because you want to know why things happen and how it will be straighten out. Because you know from the beginning that there will be a happy end.
It's a black and white world — the good guys are very good and the bad guys very bad. Rich people and poor people — very often the rich, often spoiled, girl finds her way to God thanks to a poor woman.
Personally I find the author's description of poor people more believable than that of the upper-class. I find her at her best when writing about everyday domestic situations.
I wouldn't call those books good literature — but what do you call a book that captivates you from the first paragraph? A good book?

Reading today

St. Mary Magdalene, 1500-10
Piero di Cosimo, 1462-1521

tisdag 12 januari 2010

Reading today

Woman Reading

måndag 11 januari 2010

Reading today

Portrait of Charles Baudelaire
Gustav Courbet

söndag 10 januari 2010

More entertainment

In the Conservatory
James Jacques Joseph Tissot
Here is another way to entertain your literary guests. It's from the same book I wrote about yesterday:- "Breakfasts and Teas, Novel Suggestions for Social Occasions" by Paul Pierce.

A Book Title Tea. 2.
This is an original entertainment for a few friends. Have amusing pen and ink sketches handed around together with a small note book and pencil for each guest. Explain that each sketch is supposed to represent some well-known book and each guest is given an opportunity to put on his or her thinking cap and name the volume in his note book and pass the sketch on. This novel game affords no end of mirth and enjoyment and at a given time the hostess looks over the books and corrects them.

The House of Seven Gables is very simple and easy to guess, it being simply a rough sketch of a house with seven gables.

An Old-Fashioned Girl is represented by a girl of ye olden time in simple and quaint costume with a school bag on her arm.

A small snow covered house is enough to suggest "Snow Bound" to many of the guests.

The Lady and the Tiger ought not to puzzle anyone, it is a simple sketch of a lady's head in one corner and a tiger in the other.

On one card appears 15th of March, which seems more baffling than all the others. It proves to be "Middlemarch."

A large letter A in vivid red of course represents "A Scarlet Letter."

"Helen's Babies" is a sketch of two chubby boys in night robes.

"Heavenly Twins" is represented by twin stars in the heavens.

"Darkest Africa" needs nothing but the face of a darkey boy with mouth stretched from ear to ear.

One of the sketches is a moonlight scene with ships going in opposite directions and is easily guessed to represent "Ships that Pass in the Night."

Anyone with originality can devise many other amusing and more difficult sketches. Prizes might be given to the one who guesses the largest number correctly.

Reading today

What Shall I Read?
Florence Marlowe

lördag 9 januari 2010

Saturday with Gutenberg

Breakfast Time - Morning Games
Charles West Cope, 1811-1890
I'm still meeting Herr Gutenberg every Saturday morning — besides not really being up to writing, I have two reasons for not reporting from those meeting. It has either been too many books to check and write about — or too few.
Today was one of those days with many interesting books.
"A Little Housekeeping Book for a Little Girl, Margaret's Saturday Mornings", 1906, by Caroline French Benton is one of many books that intend to mold young girls into good housewives.

"The name of my book is Saturday Mornings, because other days I have to go to school, but Saturdays I can sweep and dust and wash dishes. What fun it will be! I don't know which chapter sounds best." She hugged the little dust-pan and shook out the dish-towels. "Oh, I just can't wait to begin," she said.
_ _ _
Although Margaret had become pretty well acquainted with the kitchen during the year she was learning to cook she had never quite understood how to manage the kitchen range or the fire, because Bridget always attended to that part for her. But at the very first lesson in the Saturday Morning Class her mother, who was to be the teacher that day, said the subject would be "Ranges and Fires," because it was the beginning of all housekeeping.

Margaret put on her biggest, longest-sleeved gingham apron, got a hearth brush, a dust-pan, the little dish which held the stove blacking, brush and polisher, rolled up her sleeves and prepared to listen.

"The reason why so many women find cooking hard work," her mother began, "is because they do not understand their range or stove. They cannot make a fire grow hot quickly, or make it cooler if it is too hot; they do not know how to get what the cook-books call a 'moderate oven.' 'We never could understand about drafts and things,' they say, but the real truth of the matter is that they are too lazy to try and learn, I'm afraid, because it is so very simple that even a little girl can learn about it in ten minutes. The only way to be a good housekeeper is to understand all about a fire and how to keep a kitchen range in a good temper."

I'm really looking forward to read about Margaret's Saturday mornings.

"Breakfasts and Teas, Novel Suggestions for Social Occasions" by Paul Pierce from 1907 has some recipes but seem to focus more on menus, themes, decoration and entertainment.

A "Book-Title" Tea. 1.
The latest novelty in afternoon entertainments in England is what is called a "book-title" tea. Of course, this would be just as amusing in the evening, and any refreshments may be served that the hostess prefers.

The guests are all expected to devise and wear some particular badge or ornament which indicates, more or less clearly, the title of some book, preferably works which are well known.

The "badges" worn may be very clever and most tastefully executed. "Dodo" may be impersonated by showing a bar of music containing the two representative notes of the tonic sol-fa method. "Little Men" is represented by a badge bearing the names of little great men, such as Napoleon, Lord Roberts, etc.

A lady may wear around her neck fragments of china tied by a ribbon. This represents "The Break-Up of China," Lord Charles Beresford's book. Another lady, whose name is Alice, may wear a necklace of little mirrors, and this represents "Alice Through A Looking Glass." An ingenious design consists of a nickel coin, a photo of a donkey, another nickel coin, and a little bee, meaning "Nickolas Nickleby." A daisy stuck into a tiny miller's hat stands for "Daisy Miller," and the letters of the word olive twisted on a wire for "Oliver Twist."

Two little gates, made of paste board and a jar, represents "Gates Ajar," and a string of little dolls dressed[Pg 81] as men, "All Sorts and Conditions of Men." There are many other interesting and ingenious designs.

Reading today

Mayor Hermann Langenbeck, c 1515
Wilm Dedecke

fredag 8 januari 2010

Reading today

The Book, 1913
Juan Gris, 1887-1927

torsdag 7 januari 2010

Reading today

Poet's Window
Petr Petrovic Konchalovsky

onsdag 6 januari 2010

Reading today

Time Tries All Things, 1881
Edward George Handel Lucas

tisdag 5 januari 2010

It's still beastly cold

I'm just back to the fire after a brisk — as brisk as I could mange — walk to the studio. It's not very economically to have a house that you don't use a lot, but still have to heat. When I saw that the temperatures were plummeting again, I felt that I had to check on the house. I rather pay for the oil than for repairing frozen pipes! Paying for a new battery for the car is enough! The old froze the other day — and it has been rather complicated to manage without a car. It happened on December 30, and with all our holidays between Christmas and New Year I couldn't get it fixed until yesterday. And since tomorrow is another holiday I used the taxi-service I'm entitled to yesterday, and went to the pharmacy and grocery stores. Now we have food for over a week and I won't leave the fire until it gets milder!

Reading today

Woman Reading
I found Ruth Addinall's web site the other day — and have to share it with you. I've spent a lot of time looking at the paintings and trying to verbalize the feelings they evoke. I'm sure it has to do with the tranquility, I find all her paintings harmonious — they make me happy.
And yes, Ruth has been kind enough to allow me to show her paintings here.

måndag 4 januari 2010

Reading today

The Woman from Arles
Vincent van Gogh

söndag 3 januari 2010

Reading today

Lev Tolstoy
Ilya Efimovich Repin

lördag 2 januari 2010

How grateful I am for my bedroom

When I looked out of the window this morning I saw the deer family's bedroom. It's a doe with two fawns. They had already left, but we see them quite often.
I love to sleep outside — but not when it is deep snow and -20°C!

Reading today

Young Man with Book, 1525-1526
Lorenzo Lotto, c1480-1556

fredag 1 januari 2010

Reading today

A Good Book, 1882
Ludovico Marchetti