Class Picnic

“They gathered upon the sandy banks of a creek, in the blue shade of big, patchy-barked sycamores, with a dancing sky on top of everything and gold dust atwinkle over the water. Hither the napkin-covered baskets were brought from the wagons and assembled in the shade, where they appeared as an attractive little meadow of white napery, and gave both surprise and pleasure to communities of ants and to other original settlers of the neighborhood.”

— From Booth Tarkington’s Ramsey Milholland (1919)

Sprig

Sprig

When my mother saw that I liked to read, one of the first books she passed on to me was Penrod by Booth Tarkington. And besides his flowing prose, which felt like someone I liked reading aloud to me, the illustrations by Gordon Grant perfectly captured the tone and the time. This one is from the frontispiece of Ramsey Milholland.

Incense Dance, 1913

1913

The daughter of an English mother and an Anglo-Indian father, Olive Craddock (1894-1926) learned to dance as a child in India. She came to Europe in about 1909 and adopted the stage name Roshanara. She danced in “Scheherazade” with the Ballets Russes at Covent Garden, then joined Anna Pavlova’s company in 1912, touring England and performing, among others, an “Incense Dance.” Photographed at the Bassano studio in London, 1913.

You in the Hammock

Hammock

“You in the hammock; and I, near by,

Was trying to read, and to swing you, too;

And the green of the sward was so kind to the eye,

And the shade of the maples so cool and blue

That I often looked from the book to you”

— From “In the Afternoon” by James Whitcomb Riley, illustration by Will Vawter