Thursday, July 8, 2010
Pinups With Books #1
This Gil Elvgren pinup is called "Rare Edition" (1962). The librarian is dropping a copy of a novel written the year before by a friend of the artist. Spirit Lake by MacKinley Kantor. The novel was by no means as light-hearted as the picture. It is a historical story centred on the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre. (You can see photographs the first edition copy depicted in this painting here.)
An uprising by a group of Sioux resulted in the deaths of scores of settler and the abduction of thee women and a girl. Two survived including then 14-year-old Abbie Gardner who later wrote a memoir of her experiences called: History of the Spirit Lake Massacre and Captivity of Miss Abbie Gardner.
Kantor is said to have owed a deep debt of gratitude to Charlotte Crosley, a librarian at the Kendall Young Library who encouraged his interest in history leading to the writing of over 40 novels, mostly historical fiction, including Andersonville which won him a Pulizer Prize in 1956--although many consider Spirit Lake to be his greatest work.