Friday, June 18, 2010

June 18, 1887

I hope this will make up somewhat for my long delay in posting anything - and for my even longer delay in posting a picture.

"'Boat ahoy!' I cried out, and then levelled my pistol and fired" appeared in Harper's Weekly for June 18, 1887. It illustrates Pyle's serialized pirate novel, The Rose of Paradise. The admirable but unsigned engraving measures 9.1 x 6.6 inches and is, I imagine, a much different animal than the as yet unlocated original which is either ink or watercolor wash on paper and measures about 10 x 15 inches.

I first saw this while rooting through the bins at Pageant Books and Prints, then near The Cooper Union in Manhattan. I think I actually staggered backward as though hit by a boom - and I still get a little seasick from its strength and simplicity. Although a finished picture, it calls to mind the Pylean epigram (via Charles DeFeo): "After the first half-hour of work, your lay-in should kill at a hundred yards."


Sara Light-Waller said...

Thanks for the nice post Ian. Do you know off-hand whether this novel is still in print? I love the illustration. Pirates... :-)

Ian Schoenherr said...

I think the novel is only available via costly print-on-demand outlets, but you can find a scan of the first edition on Google Books.