Tagged literary history

Herbert Crowley: A Visionary Artist Rediscovered

Who was Herbert Crowley? And why did he almost fade into obscurity after exhibiting critically acclaimed work at the start of the 20th century? Crowley was part of the very influential 1913 New York Armory Show and he went on…

An American Author in Paris

"For two centuries," writes The New Yorker essayist Adam Gopnik in the preface of his 2004 collection Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology , "Paris has been attached for Americans to an idea of happiness, of good…

Wishing a Doubleplusgood Birthday to George Orwell

George Orwell , who was born on this day 115 years ago, entered the world as Eric Arthur Blair. It is fitting that this legend of dystopian literature—which essentially puts a mask on ills within our current society—also…

Philadelphia's Centaur Book Shop and Press, 1921-1942

The Centaur Book Shop was opened on 1224 Chancellor Street in Philadelphia by Harold Mason. Initial funding was partially supplied by John Frederick Lewis, the Philadelphia bibliophile and philantrophist whose important contributions to…

The Fiery and Dramatic Heart of Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre was my first favorite book. And that makes Charlotte Brontë —whose 202nd birthday we celebrate tomorrow—my first favorite author. I met Charlotte and Jane when I was in fifth grade, home sick, and totally…

Happy Birthday, James Joyce … and Ulysses!

Nearly 100 years ago today, on February 2, 1922, bookstore-maven-cum-publisher Sylvia Beach stood anxiously waiting on the platform at the Gare de Lyon train station in Paris for the arrival of some very precious cargo on its way from…

Plugging Away For NaNoWriMo? Let The Free Library Help You Across the Finish Line!

November is the quintessential month of community, tying the nation and families together in a cranberry and pumpkin spice-scented weave of traffic jams and tryptophan that decoct into something rare and ephemeral: home. Writers, from…

Reading Moby-Dick for the First Time

I’ve never read  Moby-Dick . I know! I work at the Rosenbach, where one of the world’s best collections of Herman Melville’s work resides, and I haven’t read his most famous book. I’ve admired his…

Mary Shelley's Indestructible Heart

As the opening date for  Frankenstein & Dracula  approaches, we've been revisiting some of the strange ( and occasionally salacious ) stories from the lives of the Romantic authors whose dark and imaginative stories…