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Welcome to Prospero's Blog! My wife Mollie and I work together in our Rough Magic studio on the coast of Maine. I've always loved old books, memorabilia, curiosities and Americana (especially 19th century dramatic literature) and am happy to share my discoveries in my Etsy Shops. Please come by and browse ~ there's just no telling what you'll find!

April 18, 2010

Malaysian Shadow Puppet - Pak Dogol the Clown

Here's Pak Dogol, fresh from his appearance on the Front Page at!

He's a crude and lusty fellow, this comic figure from the Malay shadow theatre.

April 17, 2010

Chitra - A Play by Famous Indian Writer Rabindranath Tagore

Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) has been called the "Bengali poet and mystic" for his wide ranging writings on his native land of India.

Here is a vintage copy of his play Chitra, a lyrical drama based on a story from the Mahabharata.

This 58-page book (published in London in 1966 by MacMillan and Company) is the 15th printing of the 1914 original Indian Edition.

Tagore dedicated this play to Mrs. William Vaughn Moody, wife of the early 20th century American dramatist and poet known for The Great Divide (1906) and other works.

This hardcover copy of Chitra is about 7-1/4" tall, 5" wide and 3/8" thick and is in good vintage condition, with a firm spine and tightly bound pages. A few pages show small check marks in the margins, and there is some yellowing on the front and back fly pages.

The original blue, white and red dust jacket, with its fine portrait of Tagore, is in good condition for its age, with some discoloration from handling and signs of wear at the edges, as shown.


To purchase Chitra now from my Etsy Shop, please click the button below:

Two more books by Rabindranath Tagore, Red Oleanders and Sacrifice and Other Plays, both also published by MacMillan, are available through my website:

If you'd prefer to purchase them through my Etsy Shop, please convo me and I'll reserved a listing for you.

April 8, 2010

Joe's Peep Show; or, A Guy Among the Gals

A guy among the gals.

That's what I am - as a member of Team Etsy Project Embrace.  

Yep, I'm one of the handful of men who have joined this vibrant and generous team of more than 200 Etsy sellers.

Now it's perfectly natural that EPE is made up mostly of gals, since it began last year as a support group for Laura Slocum of creativelytangled, when she was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer and began chemotherapy.
Ovarian cancer is a woman's disease, right?  
Well ... not exclusively.

Any form of cancer (or any disease for that matter) reaches far beyond the patient, male or female.  Family, friends, co-workers ... all are touched in one way or another by one person's diagnosis.  And those circles inevitably include the guys. Husbands, sons, fathers, brothers, buddies -- we too feel the anxiety and dread. And we too need to give and receive support.

I know. 

My sister Doris is a cancer survivor.  It was seven years ago that her surgeon gave her six months to live, but today she's cancer free.  There's reason to hope.

My wife Mollie's dear friend (and my former student) Louise lost her battle in 1994 - two days after her 42nd birthday.  The search for a cure must continue.

As I type this, our neighbor and dear friend Terri is struggling with lung cancer.  There's still a need for support.

So, although I'm in the minority gender-wise on the team, I'm proud to be a member and feel very much at home among the team peeps.  

It's always especially thrilling when one of my TeamEPE tagged items sells.  And my sense of accomplishment (and belonging here) isn't diminished one iota because Mollie bundles my American Cancer Society contributions with hers.

Okay. What I'm leading up to is this:  "Joe's Peep Show!"

I've been making treasuries on Etsy for quite awhile now and am finally getting the hang of it.  But as Mollie owns our current poster sketch, I'm putting up a "mini-treasury" of my own right here.  Right now.
It's made up entirely of TeamEPE tagged items, and I'm having loads of fun presenting just a few favorites from the 4,827 listings (at present count) -- showing them from a guy's perspective.

Coming down the left side:
Le Chat by KneeDeeoOriginals
honey glazed milk pitcher by 5gardenias
vintage bird prints by opendoorstudio
Steampunk Scottie the Pocket Watch Mascot by moonlightbeadworks
Antique McGuffey's Reader by goldnuggets

And above:
Hardware Bracelet and Earring Set by BeiMondi
Handy Gal Wrench Sterling Silver Necklace by GlitzGlitter 
Bookends - Aspens in the Fall by dbabcock
Wolf Bookmark by tmpenrose
Eclectic bowls by GlazedOver
Retro Ride by JaneElizabeths
pirate buoy photograph by thegardenshed

I hope you've enjoyed my peep at the peeps!  Please take a peek at all their shops - you'll be glad you did!  Happy peep peeking!

April 6, 2010

Thunderstorm by Taso Yu - Autographed Copy of Chinese Drama

ATTN: Theatre and literature buffs, autograph collectors, and everyone with an interest in China, Asia, the Orient and Eastern culture!

An Autographed Chinese Play, Thunderstorm by Tsao Yu, 1978. A Chinese Drama Translated into English, signed by the playwright/dramatist.  This copy is the 3rd edition, published in China and translated into English, of the 1933 drama by Tsao Yu (1910-1996), who has been called "the founding father of [China's] modern drama."

This is a hardcover book, signed and dated by the author when he presented it to a professor at Indiana University in 1980. It is illustrated with black and white photographs of scenes from the play.

The book is in excellent condition, without wear, writing or smudges. The pages are clean and tightly bound. The dust jacket is moderately worn on the edges and corners.


To purchase it now from my Etsy Shop, please click the button below:

April 2, 2010

Theatre in Southeast Asia by James R. Brandon

For historians, Asia scholars, teachers, and everyone interested in the orient or the theatre ...

This 370-page hardcover book, published in 1967 by Harvard University Press, thoroughly covers every aspect of the theatre in Southeast Asia.

Both scholarly and entertainingly written, the book is liberally illustrated with 73 enlightening black and white photographs as well as 26 maps, figures and tables.

The illustrations cover the following aspects of Southeast Asian performance: Folk Theatre, Popular Theatre, Court Theatre, Javanese Wayang Kulit (puppet theatre), Puppets, Music and Dance, Production, Transmission, Social Contract, Modernization, Communication.

The text itself comprises four parts:
Part I A Historical Background
Part II Theatre as Art
Part III Theatre as an Institution
Part IV Theatre as Communication

As well as a Preface and Introduction, both by author James R. Brandon, there as an Appendix (Major Theatre Genres as Performed in 1964), a Bibliography, Notes, Glossary and Index.

The book measures 9-1/2" x 6-1/2" x 1-3/8" and is in very good to excellent vintage condition. The spine is firm and, with the exception of some discoloration to the outside edges, the pages are clean and unmarked. The dust jacket is worn and torn in places.

This book will ship via priority mail from Maine to U.S. addresses. If shipped with another item, I'll refund any postage overpayment of more than $1.00. For shipping to other destinations, please contact me through my Etsy shop.

To view Theatre in Southeast Asia in my Etsy Shop, please click here.

To purchase it now, please click the button below:
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