Got your May Pole ready? Or will you be leaving little May baskets at your neighbor’s door secretly?
It’s time to think about birthdays again—first of the month. This month we have a fine list of authors and I think I will feature three of them before giving you the calendar honor roll.
J.M. Barrie –author of Peter Pan–can lead the honors. I have a very old (1911) copy of Peter Pan and Wendy—remember the rooster garage sale? That’s where I got it.
I like the illustrations by Maude Lucie Attwell better—here are two:
Secret: I have never read Peter Pan. I think I’ll put it on my summer reading list which I am building . . .
Next author of honor is Frank Baum—-author of The Wizard of Oz. I want to tell you about this astounding copy I have which won the 2009 British Book Design and Production Award and also the Best Trade Illustrated Book Award. The illustrator is Graham Rawle. I wish I knew if he was also born in May, but all I could find out was that he was born in 1955. He’s British, and I think his work is fascinating. This “Dorothy” has a doll’s head attached to an action figure body—-and somehow he has made it work for me. The illustrations are ingenious—all created in his studio from “stuff” he has hoarded over the years or bought at flea markets. (I recognize the symptoms.)
Please try to find a copy —–what a trip—and I don’t just mean Dorothy’s.
Did you click on photo to enlarge?
Lastly, a true honoré————-Honoré de Balzac. Here’s a man you might pass on the street without a howdy-doo. But it’s Balzac, all right:
I have read Pere Goriot (twice), Eugenie Grandet, and Cousin Bette. He wrote over 91 novels. When did he find the time you ask?
Well, we all have 24 hours a day, don’t we? But this was Balzac’s schedule:
Rise at midnight, work for eight hours, spend fifteen minutes eating a meal, work again until five in the afternoon, dine, then sleep for six hours.*
Ha! he was no slouch!
Here are the May Birthdays—happy birthday to all–
May 3 May Sarton (I suppose they named her May because . . .)
William Inge (Picnic)
May 6 Sigmund Freud
May 7 Robert Browning
May 9 J.M. Barrie
May 12 Edward Lear (Limericks); Dante Gabriel Rossetti
May 13 Daphne du Maurier
May 15 Frank Baum; Katherine Anne Porter
May 19 Lorraine Hansberry (A Raisin in the Sun)
May 20 Margery Allingham; Honoré de Balzac
May 21 Alexander Pope
May 22 Arthur Conan Doyle
May 25 Ralph Waldo Emerson; Raymond Carver
May 27 Arnold Bennett; Rachel Carson; Dashiell Hammett; John Cheever
May 28 Ian Fleming
May 29 G.K. Chesterton
May 31 Walt Whitman
What a party!
*Balzac schedule from “Paris Portraits Renoir to Chanel” by Mary Ellen Jordan Haight