More Sketches by W.M. Thackeray

Big hair, drawing by W.M. Thackeray from Thackerayana (1875) - page 325

Thackerayana has too many enchanting sketches to be limited to a single post of Thackeray sketches, so I’m highlighting ten more sketches (this time as a “slider,” instead of a tiled gallery).  In the gallery you’ll find struggles with umbrellas, fencing vegetables, dancers, and more. I want to highlight one of the sketches, which I call “big […]

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Vintage Book Covers from the British Library

"Seth Slocum, Railroad Surveyor, or The Secret of Sitting Bull", book cover from the British Library

On my journeys through the amazing Flickr Commons, one of the more exciting finds is a collection of late 19th century book covers from the British Library. The nearly 900 covers are primarily what we today call “pulp novels” written for the mass market, but there are also travel books, text books, and other miscellany.  In the image […]

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Sketches by W.M. Thackeray, a Master of the Quick Sketch

A reader, drawing by W.M. Thackeray from Thackerayana (1875) - page 264

While searching for something or other in Flickr Commons, the wave of images included some attractive sketches of people struggling with umbrellas in a storm, elegantly attired dancers, and various other everyday happenings.  I soon discovered that they were from Thackerayana: Notes and Anecdotes, a book published in 1875. The book is tribute to William Makepeace […]

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Visiting a Pear Orchard Triggers Interest in Fruit Crate Labels, Part 1

(Disclosures: the farm tour was a pre-conference excursion arranged by the International Food Bloggers Conference. Although I paid to go on the excursion, it is possible that California Endive or the California Pear Board provided some subsidies to reduce participants’ costs. In addition, I received a discount on the registration fee in exchange for writing […]

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Mr. Monk and the San Francisco Goofs

It’s time again for some digressions about obscure television topics. The long-running series “Monk” from USA Network was set in San Francisco but it was rare that an episode had a strong connection to the city. That was probably in part by design since it was primarily filmed across the Los Angeles area (an urban […]

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Examining the hangover cure in the Western “El Dorado”: Was Asafoetida Known in the Old West?

For some forgotten reason, I recently watched the 1966 Western El Dorado. It’s one of the better Westerns I have seen, with more humor and a lot less racism than the typical Western (though there’s a short cringe-worthy stereotyping of Chinese near the end). The film has a top-notch cast and crew: the great Howard […]

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