Monday, April 30, 2012

Time Capsule: April 30, 1932

April 30, 1932: Records of eclipses have been kept since ancient times: there’s a Syrian clay tablet noting the eclipse of March 5, 1223 B.C. and a non-Blarney stone in Ireland that records an eclipse on November 30, 3340 B.C. A partial lunar eclipse occurred on May 22, 1453 that was seen during the Fall of Constantinople (no word on whether Childermass and company were aware of this on their visit) and Christopher Columbus, in his attempt to sway Jamaican natives, “predicted” a lunar eclipse for February 29, 1504 – albeit using pre-obtained knowledge (Connecticut resident Hank Morgan probably is aware of this trick, too).

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Who's Who: Louis XI of France

Of the many books in Prospero's library one is full of "the wizard's florid script; on some pages were pentacles, pentagrams, and doodles, these latter being usually pictures of bearded patriarchs, pharaohs, and King Louis XI of France, who, as far as Prospero was concerned look like this: [see top right] [The Face in the Frost; 5].

Monday, April 9, 2012

Desire To Raze The Sanctuary That Was Tamarack Hall

There isn’t a lot to say about John Bellairs’ teaching days in Gary, Indiana, which occurred now over half a century ago. What little we’ve heard paints a pretty comical portrait of a brand-spanking new teacher taking his first steps in the world of academia.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Dickens, Schuler & Bellairs II

We’re celebrating the 200th anniversary of celebrated author Charles Dickens’ birth this year. Born February 7, 1812 in Landport, Portsmouth, England, Dickens created a plethora of memorable characters with whimsical names across a dozen major novels and numerous short stories.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bibliofile: Lewis Barnavelt Series

Per our usual means (stumbling upon), we recently came across a rather unique set of covers for the 12-book Lewis Barnavelt series. We’re not really sure the publisher or the format (for all we know these could be another slew of e-books...hooray) except they’re void of a lot of clutter. It’s a weird color scheme: titles labeled in light black on a dark black background with some sort of light black colored pictorial representation of something from the book. It’s sort of nice to see these – more so, to know they exist. After years of pen-and-ink hash marks and ornate color paintings, these simplistic two-tone covers are a refreshing back-to-basics approach that is both cute and clever.

Ouch. We said cute. Sorry 'bout that. Anyway...

#JohnBellairs