Category Archives: Books

Art, Books and The Seashore

IMG_0054-cropA framed watercolor print by Edward Van Goethem now hangs on a wall in my office. It reminds me that Spring is scheduled to begin soon, March 20th, and I can hardly wait for the crowds to flock to the seashores and for longer days with warmer temperatures.  Whenever I find a drawing or a painting that I like I usually try to find out something about that person. But, my brief search only revealed this artist was possibly from Belgium and lived from 1857 to 1924.  One source for this watercolor stated that it may have been painted in Frinton-On-Sea, a small seaside town in the Trending District of Essex, England.  My thoughts are that it could have been painted On-The-Seashore located about anywhere and the children are perhaps an older brother and younger sister.  What a great place to stand and watch the waves at any age.  Anyone ready to go barefoot and walk on the sand by the sea?

One of my favorite stories when I was eight years old was “The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore”. Did you know that Laura Lee Hope is the pseudonym for numerous writers under the Stratemeyer Syndicate including Edward Stratemeyer (1862-1930) himself, his daughter Harriet Stratemeyer Adams (1892-1982), Howard Roger Garis (1873–1962), and his wife Lilian McNamara Garis (d.1954) who wrote the Bobbsey Twins juvenile series. Laura Lee Hope was first used as a pseudonym in 1904 for the debut of the Bobbsey Twins and the author/s for the Bunny Brown series (20 vols. 1916-1931).

Written by Mary Gilmartin, February 28, 2015


Filed under Art, Books

Books, The Raven & Other Poems and Tales by Edgar Allan Poe

The Raven & Other Poems and Tales bookThe poem “The Raven” published by Edgar Allan Poe in 1845 is one of my favorites. The author orphaned at the age of two in Boston lived a short life dying at the age of forty in 1849. Even though his poetry and short stories never received the popularity they did until after he was gone, I believe have now found their place in literature.

I have a hardback book that was published in 2001 by Bullfinch Press/Little, Brown and Company with  full version of “The Raven” along with many other stories written by Poe, i.e. “The Black Cat” – “The Pit and the Pendulum” – “Annabel Lee” and “The Fall of the House of Ushe” compiled inside. All the illustrations are by Daniel Alan Green.

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe: “ Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…

You did know “Tis the wind and nothing more”  – didn’t you?


 Written by Mary Gilmartin, June 9, 2014


Filed under Authors, Books

Books, The Root Cellar

Root Cellar by Janet Lunn Front Cover1

While sorting through some of my paperback books trying to decide what to keep and what to discard I came across one of my daughter’s favorite books to read when she was 12-years old.  In fact, it also became of my favorite books for that age group.

This book, The Root Cellar by Janet Lunn, will definitely go back on my shelf to keep.

Written by Mary Gilmartin, February 28, 2014


February 28, 2014 · 10:31 am

Books by Robert Louis Stevenson

It’s possible that one of Robert Louis Stevenson’s most popular books was the one that published in 1883, called “Treasure Island” because it captivates the imagination of the reader.

And, what better cover for a book could you find than the one I found below illustrated by Frances Brundage?

001 Treasure Island book

Another Robert Louis Stevenson book that I have always liked is the following; perhaps, simply because I like the first lines to Chapter 1:


I will begin the story of my adventures with a certain morning early

in  the month of June, the year of grace 1751,

when I took the key for the last time out of the door of my father’s house.

This historical fiction adventure novel by the Scottish author, Robert Louis Stevenson written as a boys’ novel and first published in the magazine Young Folks from May to July 1886. A sequel, Catriona, published in 1893 is also an adventure story about David Balour, an orphan, who is cheated out of his inheritance by his uncle and schemes to have him kidnapped and sold into slavery. The story is full of adventure with a shipwreck and a dangerous journey across Scotland with justice finally being achieved.

Kidnapped by RLS 001 copy

My copy of this book comes from a publisher series from The Home Library that is not dated. And, according to some information I found, it seems my book is probably from 1898, since most volumes are not dated.” (In 1890 a traveling salesman started the publishing series of ‘the world’s best books’ which became known as A.L. Burt Company, Inc. 1902-1937.)

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, November 20, 2013


Filed under Authors, Books

Books, A Photographic History of Iowa 1860-1920

1- An Iowa Album by Mary BennettI don’t remember where I got one of the books in your bookcase, but I’m glad that I have it especially after I flipped through its pages and found inside a wonderful sampling of over 375 historical black & white images that are reminders of days forever gone.

The name of this book is ”An Iowa Album, A Photographic History 1860-1920 by Mary Bennett” and all the images are reflections of a cultural past that preserves the lives of past generations.

The photographs in this book come from the photograph collection of the State Historical Society of Iowa in Iowa City. The history for this period begins with the American Indians and the land in chapter one. It continues with a photographic history of Iowa’s settlement and countryside showing cows near a lake with planting of the corn along with the gathering of shocks of grain from the farms. The towns and the neighborhoods with community life in the early 1900’s remind us that children back then brought their lunch to school in pails.

I’ve never been to Iowa, but after reading this book and looking at these historical images, maybe I will visit that state some day.  What town or city should I visit first?

2-1 An Iowa Album by Mary Bennett

The cover of the book is a photograph described as “a nutting party in Hebard’s grove, Red Oak, ca. 1895-1905” by  Leonard Schwinn, photographer; 5×7 glass plate negative, Leonard Schwinn Collection. (I wonder if those nuts are Northern Pecans)…On page 318, in the Notes on the Photograph Collections’ section, it describes Leonard A. Schwinn (1861-1936) “as a photographer dedicated to recording not only his family’s recreational activities, but also life of his community in Red Oak.”

Written by Mary Gilmartin, September 9, 2013


September 9, 2013 · 12:03 am