Tag Archives: 19th century

Imaging Paris: Charles Marville’s Photography Documented Baron Haussmann’s Transformation of the City of Light

By the end of the 1850s, Charles Marville had established a reputation as an accomplished and versatile photographer. From 1862, as official photographer for the city of Paris, he documented aspects of the radical modernization program that had been launched by Emperor Napoleon III and his chief urban planner, Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann. In this capacity, Marville photographed the city’s oldest quarters, and especially the narrow, winding streets slated for demolition. Even as he recorded the disappearance of Old Paris, Marville turned his camera on the new city that had begun to emerge. Continue reading






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Links for Herman Melville’s “The Confidence-Man”

Manuscript fragment from Chapter 14 of The Confidence-Man. [Source: Wikimedia Commons] The Confidence-Man – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia “The Confidence-Man uses the Mississippi River as a metaphor for those broader aspects of American and human identity that unify the otherwise … Continue reading






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The Scarlet Letter

Hester Prynne holds her infant daughter Perl in an engraved illustration from an 1878 edition of The Scarlet Letter. [Source: Wikimedia Commons]






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She Walks In Beauty, Like the Night

Along comes Edna O’Brien, who’s written a new biography called Byron in Love. I could listen to Edna O’Brien read the phone book. She read snatches of her biography and this legendary poem in an On Point interview with Tom Ashbrook. She convinced me to give Byron another chance.






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Audubon’s “American Flamingo” & “Snowy Heron”

The modest little heath hen drawn for a bank note made me think of John James Audubon’s grander bird portraits of the American Flamingo and Snowy Heron (Snowy egret). Both images come from individual plates from Birds of America in the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The NGA identifies the artists as “Robert Havell after John James Audubon” and the media as “hand-colored etching and aquatint on Whatman paper plate.” The engravings were made in 1838 and 1835, respectively.






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