“I asked Mr. Pyle for a list of books he would recommend to me to read this winter and he gave me the following saying that when I had read these to come for more.”
So wrote Allen Tupper True to his mother on October 13, 1902. Pyle’s reading list included these titles, which are all still readily available:
By Nathaniel Hawthorne...Not really hifalutin stuff, but True later explained, “Mr. Pyle’s list of books is rather queer but he seemed to think I would like and need light literature in connection with the grind I shall have at the studio.”
By William Dean Howells...
- The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., (1819)
- A History of New-York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, by Diedrich Knickerbocker (1809)
Of course, Pyle knew Howells personally and they collaborated on Stops of Various Quills, published in 1895.
Pyle also knew Hawthorne’s son, Julian, who interviewed him for an article in 1907. And his first (or second) known book illustration - in McGuffey's Fifth Eclectic Reader (1879) - was for an excerpt from “A Rill from the Town Pump” from Twice-Told Tales. The Brandywine River Museum now owns the original art (but I could have, if I hadn’t chickened out when it was offered to me. I still kick myself.). Also, in 1900, Pyle supervised the illustration of Twice-Told Tales by his students for Complete Writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne published by Houghton, Mifflin & Co..
And the illustration shown above is one of three Pyle made for the Grolier Club’s 1886 edition of The History of New York.