Tag Archives: Books

1924: The Diamond Palace

Diamantový zámek visí nad červeným mořem… (O zlatých zámcích.) Illustration by Artuš Scheiner for a collection of Fairy Tales by Božena Němcová (1924). The first line of the caption means “the diamond palace hung over the red sea,” and I … Continue reading

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1509: The Most Curious Book in the World

The following entry appears in Charles Carroll Bombaugh’s Gleanings from the Harvest Fields of Literature: A Melange of Excerpta, Curious, Humorous, and Instructive (1867): THE MOST CURIOUS BOOK IN THE WORLD The most singular bibliographic curiosity is that which belonged … Continue reading

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1919: Queen Alice

Illustrations from a 1919 photoplay edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass (source). The photos are stills from the 1915 silent film adaptation of the books, which starred Viola Savoy as Alice.

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1906: Martyr

F. Holland Day – Saint Sebastian (1906) Although the traditional iconography shows Saint Sebastian pierced by arrows, this is not actually how he dies and becomes a martyr. The 13th century Legenda aurea, a collection of hagiographies by Jacobus de … Continue reading

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1922: Seek the Kingdom of Heaven through Contempt of the World

Melchior Lechter’s frontispiece, title page, and first chapter title page for a 1922 edition of Thomas à Kempis’s Imitation of Christ. Written in the early 15th century, the work promotes piety, simplicity, and devotion as the key to a personal … Continue reading

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1655: Remedies

Selections from Thomas Lupton’s book A Thousand Notable Things on Various Subjects: Disclosed from the Secrets of Nature and Art, Practicable, Profitable, and of Great Advantage: Set Down from Long and Curious Study and Experience (1655): The Soles of the … Continue reading

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1750: Estimate

In 1750, astronomer Thomas Wright estimated the number of inhabited planets in the observable universe: Of…habitable Worlds, such as the Earth, all which we may suppose to be also of a terrestrial or terraqueous Nature, and filled with Beings of … Continue reading

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