The Myra Breckinridge Cook Book” was written by Howard Austen and Beverly Pepper. Filled with silent and not so silent movie star pictures, this tongue and cheek cook book is based on a fictional character by Gore Vidal. Recipes include The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin) Shoestring Spaghetti Dinner, Tom Jones (Hugh Griffith) English Dinner, and Our Betters (Laurel and Hardy) Our Better Baked Bean Dinner. There’s also a section called Rudolph Valentino Italian Food which includes recipes titled Vitello Tonnato, Risotto Casalingo and Zabaglione to name a few.
Book pages after the jump… just click to see them bigger…
I love that this bookshop is getting some MAJOR love from the NYTimes. Owner Stephen says in the article : “If a book exudes an aura of tragic nostalgia or irretrievable loss, I consider it macabre. I remember an Avon products catalog from the 1940s. It was printed in fading pastel colors, and still had the scent of powdery old-lady perfume. The book’s presence was just eerie — it conjured up a long-dead Avon lady in the doorway.”
I bought that very catalog from him… and it’s scent still lingers ever so slightly.
A tiny shop in Toronto, specializing in the arcane and the absurd, may just be publishing’s great new hope.
“This isn’t the store where you’ll find the book you were looking for,” Fowler says. “It’s the store where you’ll find the book you didn’t know you were looking for.” You may find something else surprising at the Monkey’s Paw, too: a glimpse of the future, a way forward for the old-fashioned bookstore in the age of the iPhone and the e-book.
“The experience of Web browsing makes it possible for a shop like this to exist,” Fowler says. “The randomness of the book displays, they’re like the Web — masses of unrelated information popping up next to each other, their context pretty much wiped out. Basically, the Monkey’s Paw is a celebration of old print culture, presented in way that resonates with digital-age people.”
READ THE FULL STORY HERE!
The story of how Danny and I were married last July in a Manhattan courtroom, with our son, Kevin, beside us, began 12 years earlier, in a dark, damp subway station.
Danny called me that day, frantic. “I found a baby!” he shouted. “I called 911, but I don’t think they believed me. No one’s coming. I don’t want to leave the baby alone. Get down here and flag down a police car or something.” By nature Danny is a remarkably calm person, so when I felt his heart pounding through the phone line, I knew I had to run.
When I got to the A/C/E subway exit on Eighth Avenue, Danny was still there, waiting for help to arrive. The baby, who had been left on the ground in a corner behind the turnstiles, was light-brown skinned and quiet, probably about a day old, wrapped in an oversize black sweatshirt.
In the following weeks, after family court had taken custody of “Baby ACE,” as he was nicknamed, Danny told the story over and over again, first to every local TV news station, then to family members, friends, co-workers and acquaintances. The story spread like an urban myth: You’re never going to believe what my friend’s cousin’s co-worker found in the subway. What neither of us knew, or could have predicted, was that Danny had not just saved an abandoned infant; he had found our son.
READ THE FULL STORY HERE!
HUFFPOST: After being invited to read a children’s book to a New Jersey after-school kids program — and then disinvited for being an “inappropriate” choice — Martha Graham Cracker was warmly received by Philadelphia’s Christ Church Neighborhood House on Sunday. The Philadelphia drag cabaret legend read Dr. Seuss’s classic “Green Eggs and Ham” in front of an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd of children.
Full Story HERE
Bill Cunningham, the 83-year-old originator of street-style photography, has probably never celebrated Valentine’s Day like the rest of us. In the 2010 documentary, Bill Cunningham New York, he comes across as the fashion world’s equivalent of a monk, religiously devoted to his craft. And when Richard Press, the director, asks if he’s ever had a romantic relationship, Bill demurs “Do you want to know if I’m gay?” he answers. “Isn’t that a riot … no, I haven’t … it never occurred to me.”
Regardless of his sexuality or relationship history, though, Bill definitely knows what love means. Especially between gay men. In fact, he’s been a quiet pioneer when it comes to making sure their lives and loves have been covered in the Times, even long before the paper would print the word “gay.”
The only book published by the San Francisco based drag troupe The Cockettes, their version of the familiar paper doll book is given an glamorous twist. Scrumbly, Wally, Pristine Condition, John Flowers, Link, Golden Glitters, John Rothermel and Sweet Pam strip almost bare to provide the foundations for each cut out and keep dolly, complete with their own interchangeable outfits. — at Donlon Books.
FANNY & STELLA: Arrested for cross-dressing! Meet Fanny and Stella, the Victorian gentlemen who shocked Britain and were prosecuted for the ‘unnatural offence’ of being transvestites (VIA USA-UK ONLINE)
(Stella, left, and Fanny, right, the two Victorian men who were arrested and charged with having sex with each other and also of several acts of conspiracy.)
Frederick Park, 22, and Ernest Boulton, 21, arrested in 1870
Were leaving Strand Theatre in London on 28 April
Charged with homosexuality and ‘conspiracy’
They were acquitted after the prosecution built a very weak case.
PUBLISHED: 08:18 EST, 1 February 2013 | UPDATED: 08:33 EST, 1 February 2013
It’s a story that would scandalise Britain today: two young gentlemen prosecuted simply for being gay and enjoying dressing as women.
And the tale of Fanny and Stella, the middle-class transvestites arrested as they left London’s Strand Theatre on the night of 28 April 1870 dressed as elegant women, shocked Victorian England too.
The men – real names Frederick Park (Fanny), 22, and Ernest Boulton (Stella), 21 – were charged with both having sex with each other (homosexuality was a criminal offence until 1967) and also with several counts of conspiracy after it emerged police had had their ‘dressing-up flat’ under surveillance for a year – and that the home secretary himself was encouraging the attorney general to prosecute.
(Fanny resting on the shoulder of Lord Arthur Pelham-Clinton, son of the Duke of Newcastle, at one time the lover of Stella, sitting on floor.)
Frederick was the elder of the two, the youngest in a family of 12 children and the son of Judge Alexander Park. His brother Harry had already left England and escaped to Scotland after being arrested for homosexual offences.
Ernest, just 20, was the more naturally beautiful of the pair, and very attractive in his feminine guise. The son of a shipping broker, Ernest had a wonderful soprano voice and was determined to be a singer until his father pushed him into a career as a banker.
His most famous lover was Lord Arthur Pelham-Clinton, son of the Duke of Newcastle and godson of Prime Minister William Gladstone.
(Stella and Fanny, top right with croquet sticks, loved dressing up in resplendent women’s clothes and going out in London society in the 19th century.)
(Ernest Boulton, left, toured as a female impersonator with his brother Gerard before dying in England in 1903, while Frederick Park, right, went to America with his banished brother Harry and died in New Jersey in 1881.)
Fanny and Stella were hard to fathom. They had behaved with such lewdness in their box in the stalls as to leave not the faintest shred of doubt in even the most disinterested observer that they were a pair of hardened and shameless whores.
And yet, close up, Stella was revealed as a beautiful, almost aristocratic, young woman who showed flashes of an innate, and most decidedly un-whorelike, dignity and grace. One newspaper said later that she was ‘charming as a star’, another christened her ‘Stella, Star of the Strand’. And despite all the opprobrium that would later be heaped upon her, despite all the mud that would be slung at her and all the mud that would stick to her, she never lost the mysterious aura of a great and stellar beauty.
Mrs Fanny Graham, too, was clearly a woman of some education and breeding, and was certainly very far removed from your common-or-garden whore. Here in the saloon bar, it seemed harder to reconcile their obvious quality with the ogling, tongue-waggling, chirruping lasciviousness of the stalls. They spent half an hour or so in the refreshment bar.
Before they left, Mrs Fanny Graham, unaware that she was being watched, betook herself to the Ladies’ Retiring Room and asked the attendant there to pin the lace back to the hem of her crinoline where she had trodden on it. At a quarter past ten, Mr Hugh Mundell had been despatched in ringing tones by Mrs Graham to go and call for her carriage and soon afterwards the remainder of the party made a leisurely progress to the foyer and pushed their way through the noise and confusion of an emptying theatre to the waiting conveyance.
(Ernest Boulton and Frederick William Park, also known as Stella and Fanny, arrested at the Strand Theatre for incitement to commit an unnatural offence, by going around London at night in women’s clothes.)
Just as the carriage was about to depart, one of the men who had been shadowing them all that evening jumped up and swung himself in through the door.
‘I’m a police officer from Bow Street,’ he said, producing his warrant card, ‘and I have every reason to believe that you are men in female attire and you will have to come to Bow Street with me now.’
Extracted from Fanny & Stella by Neil McKenna (Faber & Faber, £16.99)
The day after their arrest, Fanny and Stella arrived sensationally at Bow Street magistrates court where nearly 1,000 people gathered to watch them be taken inside.
The two men spent four months in jail awaiting trial, and if convicted, their sentence would be between 10 years and life in prison.
Regardless, the pair did not flee when they were released from prison before trial, and the case arrived at Westminster Hall court in May 1871 for a huge state trial with the lord chief justice as judge and the prosecution led the attorney-general with the assistance of the solicitor-general.
(A drawing of the two female impersonators’ dressing room.)
But because of a very weak prosecution case – and the fact that the two men were charged with conspiracy with six others who had, between them, fled, died or didn’t even know each other – the trial failed and the men were acquired.
Boulton’s mother Mary Ann had, crucially, testified to say that it was no secret his son’s nickname was Stella and that he enjoyed dressing as a woman – which made the case look more silly than sordid and sinister.
Neil McKenna, who has written a book about the notorious Victorian transvestites entitled Fanny & Stella, told the Daily Express: ‘The irony is that if they had just been charged with sodomy the medical evidence would have meant they would probably have been convicted, sent to prison and died there.’
)McKenna explains that the furore surrounding the trial of Fanny and Stella can be put down to Victorian society ‘having one of its periodic anxiety attacks’ about homosexuality.)
McKenna explains that the furor surrounding the trial of Fanny and Stella can be put down to Victorian society ‘having one of its periodic anxiety attacks’ about homosexuality – which had recently become a term to describe an identity rather than just a fleeting behaviour – sexually transmitted disease, death and the effeminisation of a previously masculine Britain.
After the trial – which was considered Britain’s first great legal squabble with homosexuality, but forgotten as quickly as it became a sensation – Frederick Park went to America with his banished brother Harry and died in New Jersey in 1881. Ernest Boulton changed his name to Ernest Byne and toured as a female impersonator with his brother Gerard. He died in England in 1903.
Fanny & Stella by Neil McKenna (Faber & Faber, £16.99) is out on 7 February.
(Frederick Park – pictured as Fanny – went to America with his banished brother Harry and died in New Jersey in 1881)
Chick the cherub in L. Frank Baum’s “John Dough & The Cherub” (1906) & Tip in L. Frank Baum’s “The Marvelous Land Of Oz” (1904)
MARI NESS @ tor.com: The first printing, in 1906, of John Dough and the Cherub opened with an unusual touch: a contest where readers under the age of 16 were asked to guess the gender of one of the book’s two protagonists—for the then considerable sum of $100. This also alerted readers to Baum’s latest literary experiment. Having written about a young character who switched genders, he would now try writing about a young character with no discernable gender at all, a remarkable experiment in children’s literature.
Raised solely by the incubator, Chick the Cherub is a bright, cheerful and entirely healthy child, if perhaps a bit overcautious about eating only a very healthy diet. And, as a result of the Incubator parenting, almost completely genderless, to the point where Baum refers to Chick as “it” and “the Baby,” avoiding any use of “he” or “she.” READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Exerpts from MARI NESS’s thoughts on Tip: The Marvelous Land of Oz takes off more or less from where The Wonderful Wizard ended. Dorothy, though, is absent, and her place is taken by Tip, a young boy living not all that happily with Mombi, a witch. After he creates a pumpkin-headed man to terrify her, he finds out that she plans to turn him into a stone statue. This revelation makes him decide to run away with his creation, a now-alive Jack Pumpkinhead, straight to the Emerald City—and into a revolution.
Except that at the end of the book, in order to seize power and restore order and goodness to Oz, the book’s boy hero has to become—a girl. And needs the help of women (Mombi the witch, Glinda the sorceress, and Glinda’s all female army) to do so. His friends assure him that girls are equally nice, or even nicer, and make excellent students. (The prospect of studying does not appear to reassure Tip.)
Text of Tip’s transformation into Princess Ozma after the jump.
MEN IN EDEN: Book explores male-to-male sexuality in the 19th century fur trade (via Billings Gazette)
(Portrait of William Drummond Stewart , 1844. By Henry Inman. Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 inches, 76.2 x 63.5 cm)
William Drummond Stewart, a member of the lower Scottish nobility and the subject of this biography, came primarily to hunt and to experience the wide-open freedom of the northern Great Plains and Rockies (think modern-day African safaris). Stewart’s story, however, and as the subtitle of this book implies, has a twist: He was an openly gay man at a time when being gay was to risk ignominious public punishment (including hanging in some areas of the British isles) and the certain ruination of reputation and fortune. Thus Benemann’s biography is also an examination into what it meant to be a homosexual journeying from the hostile, intolerant and repressive early Victorian society to the rollicking, fluidly permissible world of the embryonic 19th-century American frontier.
(ABOVE: Miller painting of Stewart’s close friend and traveling companion Antoine Clement.)
On that frontier, Stewart (and others in the fur-trading companies) encountered “berdaches” in many Native American cultures — gender-variant people (transsexuals, both men and women) who were often revered, rather than marginalized as was the case in Euro-American culture, as having special and important spiritual power. And recent scholarship has revealed that the decided lack of women in the predominately male fur trade led to a number of male-male physical encounters and romantic relationships in a space (both physical and psychological) that was unfettered by convention and tradition. As Benemann writes, many young men who journeyed into this early West discovered “an Eden filled only with Adams.”
READ THE REST HERE!
(In this painting, artist Alfred Jacob Miller, recreates a scene depicting Stewart standing his ground against Crow Indians)
I’ve featured the BRILLIANT Born This Way blog before… and now there’s a book. I swear this should be a mandatory read for all!
A photo/essay project for gay adults (of all genders) to submit childhood pictures and stories (roughly ages 2 to 12), reflecting the memories and early beginnings of their innate LGBTQ selves. See how nurture allows what nature endows. And it’s their nature, their truth! BORN THIS WAY BLOG also check out MY FIRST GAY CRUSH
Based on the hugely popular blog of the same name, Born This Way shares 100 different memories of growing up LGBTQ. Childhood photographs are accompanied by sweet, funny, and at times heartbreaking personal stories. Collected from around the world and dating from the 1940s to today, these memories speak to the hardships of an unaccepting world and the triumph of pride, self-love, and self-acceptance.
This intimate little book is a wonderful gift for all members of the LGBTQ community as well as their friends and families. Like Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project, Born This Way gives young people everywhere the courage to say, “Yes, I’m gay. And I was born this way. I’ve known it since I was very young, and this is my story.”
The “Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay” book is out now on Quirk Books. Available in stores and Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1594745994. Many thanks to Titus Jones for the awesome mashup soundtrack – http://titusjones.com
Published in Danish in 1981 as Mette bor hos Morten og Erik, this book was one of the first picture books published about gay families and is still considered one of the best.
Susan Bösche, Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin (Gay Men’s Press).
This is a Danish book, but most people know it for the role it inadvertently came to play in British history during the 1980s. It was one of the publications dragged through the mud by the Thatcher administration in its passing of Section 28 of the Local Government Act of 1987-1988, which outlawed “the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.”
It is hard to fathom the ignorance of anyone who could possibly find this book threatening. The book tells the story of a weekend in the life of Jenny, a little girl who lives with her father, Martin, and his partner, Eric. The weekend begins with a surprise party for Eric’s birthday, which they celebrate over cake and tea with Jenny’s mother, Karen.
It’s a charming book full of great photographs (the extended family should really consider starting a band), and I imagine it’s quite a useful book for parents of all stripes, and for teachers as well. There is a dark moment in the story when the family runs into a grumpy neighbor, who mutters some homophobic oaths Jenny struggles to make sense of. Eric breaks things down in a simple cartoon doodle that speaks volumes.
For more on this book and Section 28 see this speech by actor Ian McKellan.
Front Free Endpaper “An eclectic mix of book collecting and dealing, gay life, gay sex, science fiction and victorian photographs”
“I am a bookcollector, bookdealer, publisher and writer living in Portsmouth on the South Coast of the UK. This blog is my personal space for the recording of my numerous interests including science-fiction, victorian and vintage photography, gay literature, book design, typography, homoerotic artwork, the Amazon river, the books of Frederick Rolfe (Baron Corvo), Forrest Reid, sundry gay Victorian and Edwardian characters, Slash Fiction, Samuel R Delany, Vintage swimwear, Willard Price, Venice, and so on… Alongside all of that you also get a personal journal of life and memoir and the self-therapy you have come to know and love from bloggers.” – Callum
The Big Man of Muldare
I am the last of a giant race –
The Big Men of Muldare –
I need a navy to wash my face,
An army to comb my hair.
Twenty men and a heavy gun
Can stand on my little toe,
And when I’m thirsty it’s only fun
To drink up a sea or so.
If you were as wise as I am strong
You would know the world by heart;
And if you could bring a friend along
You could take the sky apart.
If you had the sight of my smallest eye
You could see the mice on the moon;
If you were as stout in the legs as I
You could walk there pretty soon.
For I am the last of a giant race –
The Big Men of Muldare –
It takes a navy to wash my face,
And an army to comb my hair.
“Rimskittle’s Book” by Leroy F. Jackson and pictures by Ruth Caroline Eger. Rand McNally & Co., 1926.