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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!

September 26, 2010

New in the stacks ...

With autumn officially here, the stacks I'm thinking of aren't made of hay. These stacks are the kind you find in a library. And what better place to be on a chilly fall day than curled up in a "sequestered nook" indulging in your "love of learning"?

Now to mix metaphors, lately I've been preparing for the coming winter by squirreling away some tasty and nutricious treats of Americana by adding them to "The Shelf" on Etsy.

Here's a sampling.

During the period known for the "Rise of Realism" in America, roughly 1857-1900, the "Local Color" school of writing flourished with the works of such authors as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mary Wilkins Freeman, Hamlin Garland, Joel Chandler Harris and Bret Harte. This paperback anthology, edited by Claude M. Simpson and published in 1960, comprises 23 short stories by those and other writers. $12

No 20th century American poet is better known or more beloved than Robert Frost (1874- 1963). While the clarity and simple wisdom of his work has confounded followers of "New Criticism," to millions of readers the poet's emphasis on courage, love and individual integrity confirms his definition of poetry as "a momentary stay against confusion." This hardcover edition, published in 1942, includes Frost's essay on "The Figure a Poem Makes" and 221 poems. $12

When published in 1971, this hardcover book created explosive reaction. Battle by battle, massacre by massacre, broken treaty by broken treaty, Dee Brown documents his argument that during the 2nd half of the 19th century the United States government abused and exploited Native Americans. Along with testimonies and quoted statements from the Indians, the book includes 49 black and white photographs of great chieftains, their wives and warriors. Even today, almost 40 years after its publication, reading this history is a moving and enlightening experience. $10

Every day I'm adding more vintage books and other items to Prospero's Bookshelf, so be sure to check back often!

And for vintage theatre books and early American plays, visit my other shop:

September 15, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award - seven facts about me

Okay. Here are seven things about me that I'm guessing most people don't know ... or probably care about ...

1) When I was a young lad, my favorite pastime was cleaning the attic.

2) As a 10 year old, I was a member of the "Friendly Indians" in the State of Maine.

3) As a teenager, I played french horn in the band of the First Radio Parish Church of America.

4) Being a junior, I have always gone by my middle name, Joe. It wasn't until I joined the army that I realized I had a first name. Some of you may know what it is, but I'm not telling.

5) My favorite means of personal conveyance is still the canoe.

6) My favorite color is yellow.

7) Mollie is from Texas, I'm from Maine, and we met in Indiana. We have discovered that we are 15th cousins, several times removed.

I'm still working on choosing my seven awardees, whom I'll notify by commenting on their recent blog posts.

Meanwhile, be happy!

September 11, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

I've received the Beautiful Blogger Award from Maria-Thérèse Andersson, the talented Swedish photographer and artist known on Etsy as afiori.

Thank you, Maria-Thérèse! I'm proud to be so honored.

In accepting this award, I'm supposed to reveal 7 facts about myself, pass on the award and ask 7 other bloggers to do the same.

While it's going to be a tough decision choosing 7 out of the many wonderful bloggers I admire, I'll make an attempt. Soon.

The real difficulty comes in trying to think of 7 interesting things to say about myself, and I'm thinking they should be facts that most of my online friends don't know. Hmmmm ...

I'll have to sleep on this one. Thinking, thinking, thinking ...

Be back soon to fill in below:

September 8, 2010

An Armchair Traveler

Mount Vernon ~ 10 Vintage Postcards
Labor Day is past, and here in Down East Maine, Autumn is rapidly making its presence felt.

There's a nip in the air, a hint of woodsmoke on the breeze, a coppery glow (soon to turn to crimson) on the maple leaves.

Yes, it's time to unpack the suitcase, put away the summer duds, and - now that vacation's over - relax. At home.

So sit back in your comfy armchair, take a deep breath of crisp fall air, and travel with me as I take the Grand Tour ... around Etsyland. Via a treasury, of course!

An Armchair Traveler
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