On This Day
1877 – Anna Sewell’s animal welfare novel Black Beauty is published.
Black Beauty: His Grooms and Companions, the Autobiography of a Horse is an 1877 novel by English author Anna Sewell. It was composed in the last years of her life, during which she remained in her house as an invalid. The novel became an immediate best-seller, with Sewell dying just five months after its publication, but having lived long enough to see her only novel become a success. With fifty million copies sold, Black Beauty is one of the best-selling books of all time.
While forthrightly teaching animal welfare, it also teaches how to treat people with kindness, sympathy, and respect. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 58 on the BBC’s survey The Big Read. It is seen as a forerunner of the pony book.
Born On This Day
1859 – Cass Gilbert, American architect, designed the United States Supreme Court Building and Woolworth Building (d. 1934)
Cass Gilbert (November 24, 1859 – May 17, 1934) was a prominent American architect. An early proponent of skyscrapers, his works include the Woolworth Building, the United States Supreme Court building, the state capitols of Minnesota, Arkansas and West Virginia; and the Saint Louis Art Museum and Public Library. His public buildings in the Beaux Arts style reflect the optimistic American sense that the nation was heir to Greek democracy, Roman law and Renaissance humanism. Gilbert’s achievements were recognized in his lifetime; he served as president of the American Institute of Architects in 1908–09.
Gilbert was a conservative who believed architecture should reflect historic traditions and the established social order. His design of the new Supreme Court building (1935), with its classical lines and small size, contrasted sharply with the large federal buildings going up along the National Mall in Washington, D.C., which he disliked.
Heilbrun says “Gilbert’s pioneering buildings injected vitality into skyscraper design, and his ‘Gothic skyscraper,’ epitomized by the Woolworth Building, profoundly influenced architects during the first decades of the twentieth century.” Christen and Flanders note that his reputation among architectural critics went into eclipse during the age of modernism, but has since rebounded because of “respect for the integrity and classic beauty of his masterworks”.
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Welcome to the Stump the Bookseller blog!
Stump the Bookseller is a service offered by Loganberry Books to reconnect people to the books they love but can’t quite remember. In brief (for more detailed information see our About page), people can post their memories here, and the hivemind goes to work. After all, the collective mind of bibliophiles, readers, parents and librarians around the world is much better than just a few of us thinking. Together with these wonderful Stumper Magicians, we have a nearly 50% success rate in finding these long lost but treasured books. The more concrete the book description, the better the success rate, of course. It is a labor of love to keep it going, and there is a modest fee. Please see the How To page to find price information and details on how to submit your Book Stumper and payment.
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