Sunday, January 31, 2016

Joan Clarkson

Joan Clarkson, 1920 (National Portrait Gallery, London)

Actress Joan Clarkson (IMDb), who we last encountered in this post. She played in several revues, a.o. 'Cochran's 1930 Revue' by the London theatrical producer Charles Cochran, who called her "his beautiful English rose".

The White Dress - a Portrait of Joan Clarkson, 1935,
by the Hungarian painter Philip de László (1869-1937) (Bridgeman Art Library)

next episode: a captain

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Die Karlskirche im Winter

Die Karlskirche im Winter. Vienna, 1912. Watercolor aquarel by Adolf Hitler.

Karlskirche, Vienna. 2010, Photo by RfA.

next episode: Ophelia

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

New York Times Square Building

Times Square with the New York Times BuildingNew York ca 1908.

 Excerpt from a photo found on

next episode: a.h.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

President Roosevelt negotiates a peaceful settlement

President Roosevelt (center, with Russian and Japanese diplomats) negotiates a peaceful settlement of the Russo-Japanese War, 1905 (Theodore Roosevelt Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University)

On December 10, 1906, Theodore Roosevelt became the first American to win a Nobel Prize, awarded for his work surrounding the Treaty of Portsmouth, which ended the Russo-Japanese War.

next episode: times square

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Her Mother’s Voice

Her Mother’s Voice by William Quiller Orchardson, 1888 (Tate Gallery, London)

The widower in the foreground looks up as he thinks for a moment that he hears his late wife's voice as his daughter, whom he cannot see, begins to sing.

The picture was exhibited with lines from Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem Break, break, break:

But O for the touch of a vanished hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

The poetic quote underscores the deeply sentimental nature of this painting (source: Tate).

next episode: Teddy

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year !

Loretta Young and Paul Vincenti

A happy new 1928 2016 to all my readers!

next episode: ??????

Monday, December 28, 2015


The Napoleon Museum at Île-d'Aix

Île d'Aix is a small island in the Atlantic between the Ile d'Oléron and the coast of mainland France (population in 2012: 241).

Map of Île-d'Aix

In July 1815 Napoleon spent his last days in France at Ile d'Aix, after the defeat at Waterloo. His plan was to slip past the Royal Navy blockade and escape to the United States.

Napoleon's room (photo by Gérard Blot) 

After realizing how impossible this plan was he wrote a letter to the British ruler, the Prince Regent, begging for mercy, and then surrendered to captain Frederick Maitland, commander of HMS Bellerophon, who took him to Plymouth before transferring him to Saint Helena. Nowadays the house where he spent these few days is a museum.

Napoleon on Board the Bellerophon (by William Quiller Orchardson, 1880).

next episode: new y...

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Xmas!

publicity photo from Remember the Night, 1940

On behalf of Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck we wish you a happy Christmas!

next episode: il

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Julia Gardiner Tyler

Julia Tyler, The first First Lady to be photographed (1845)

Julia Gardiner Tyler (1820 – 1889) was the second wife of president John Tyler, and served as First Lady of the United States from June 26, 1844, to March 4, 1845. She was born on Gardiner's Island off the eastern tip of Long Island, one of the largest privately owned islands in the US.

In early 1842, at a White House reception, Julia was introduced to President Tyler, who was thirty years her senior. Julia enjoyed the President's gallant and flattering public attentions but laughingly replied "no, no, no" to his first marriage proposal. On February 1844, Julia, her sister Margaret, and her father David joined a presidential excursion on the new steam frigate Princeton. David Gardiner, along with a number of others, lost his life in the explosion of a huge naval gun. Tyler comforted Julia in her grief and they were married 4 months later.

In 1839, Julia secretly posed for an engraving which was used as an advertisement. "I'll purchase at Bogert and Mecamly's, No. 86 Ninth Avenue. Their Goods are Beautiful and Astonishingly Cheap." This caused a scandal since this was an age in which no well-bred lady allowed her name to be printed in a newspaper.

After leaving the White House they retired to Sherwood Forest Plantation in Charles City County, Virginia. The couple had seven children in total. After her husband's death in 1862, Julia moved to Staten Island, where she resided at the Gardiner-Tyler House from 1868 to 1874.

In 2012, two of president Taylor & Julia's grandsons were still alive.

next episode: xmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Île d'Oléron

The Island of Oléron is the second largest French island (after Corsica) in Europe. It is situated off the Atlantic coast of Poitou-Charentes.

Since 1966 the island has been connected to the mainland by a 2,8 km road bridge (toll-free since 1991).

Le Château d’Oléron, located at the south, is the historical capital of the island. There is a 17th-century citadel, and you can eat some delicious oysters if you're into that (I'm not).

next episode: Julia

Saturday, December 12, 2015

17th Century UK Road Maps

The Road From London to the Lands End commencing at the Standard in Cornhill and Extending to Senan in Cornwall. It was made in 1675 by John Ogilby and covers almost 500 km.

Already in the 17th century strip road maps were being fabricated, for instance by John Ogilby (1600-1676), which proved popular in planning journeys throughout the United Kingdom. 

The first strip on the left-hand side from this map takes in much of contemporary London, showing (bottom to top, i.e. east to west) part of the City of London, Southwark, Westminster, Hide Park, Kensington, Hammersmith, Turnham Green and Smallheer Green. The next strips are labelled A through E (at the bottom) and B through F (at the top), showing the orientation and order in which they should be viewed.

 The continuation of the road from London to Holyhead, by John Ogilby.

The rivers and hills encountered are noted, as are the forks in the road, and the directions in which these lead. Andover, the last town on this map, is in Hampshire, and is still a long way away from Land’s End, the end point of this road map; indicating that this page is still a few scrolls short of being a complete map.

 The road from London to Harwich, by John Ogilby.

next episode: ile


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