“The taste for exploiting the private lives of those who have rendered themselves in any way famous is becoming more and more confirmed in America… the coarseness and injustice of the personal details appearing in our press have already disgraced us and the civilized world.”
— Ada Clare, “Thoughts and Things,” Saturday Press (New York, N.Y.), April 21, 1860, quoted in Bad Scarlett (2017) by Deborah C. Pollack, an excellent read
From The Lost Lions (2011) by Edward Gorey
“I always go into the Persian Room after 4 to see my friend Bill
He is a busboy in the night and goes to school in the day and
his eyes water
Here’s where he’s been
Here’s where I’ve been
— From Eloise (1955) by Kay Thompson with drawings by Hilary Knight
“It was little Michael Master who detected, first of all,
That his great enormous father was becoming very small;
Now I never knew the reason, but I fancy that he shrank
Because of all the Indian ink that Mr. Master drank.”
— From The Little Father by Gelett Burgess, first published in 1899; this image from the edition published in 1985 with illustrations by Richard Egielski.
Sumo wrestler checks his mail box, with sincere thanks to Candi Strecker.
“I had little doubt that the majority of German people would swallow these idiotic lies. After all my time in this Nazi cuckooland, I still found it profoundly depressing to see a people so easily deceived.”
— William L. Shirer, reflecting on Hitler’s New Year’s proclamations, January 1940, in 20th Century Journey: The Nightmare Years, 1930-1940.
Photo: Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda, at a League of Nations Assembly, Geneva, Switzerland, 1933, by Alfred Eisenstaedt
Snapshot by Jean Winship, circa 1970.
“Those slaves of mine were worth to me a year ago, seventeen thousand dollars and there was some young ones among them who increased in value every day. My yearly income from them was not less than $2000 to $2500. I could afford to send you and your sister to expensive schools. This income is stopped, and God knows when it will begin again. I am obliged to use strictest economy, turn a penny a dozen times before I spend it. This loss of our slaves forces me to take Mary from school… as I cannot make enough to pay her school bills.”
— Christian Boye, merchant of St. Augustine, Florida, who lost fifteen slaves to the Union contraband policy, writing to his son, September 23, 1862. Quoted in Thunder on the River: The Civil War in Northeast Florida (2010) by Daniel L. Schafer