Greetings, folks! We’ve got a new episode up over on the Bookworm History YouTube channel all about the history behind Alexandre Dumas’ classic “The Three Musketeers”! Click the title card to check it out!
And, as always, thanks for stopping by!
Thanks to a new Google Doodle the internet is all abuzz with talk of Elizabeth Cochrane. Born 151 years ago today, Cochrane, better known as Nellie Bly, was many things. Investigative journalist. Author. World traveler. Record breaker. She was also something that is largely forgotten: a board game.
The game was released in 1890 to capitalize on Bly’s recent “Round-the-world” trip, which she accomplished in a record-breaking 72 days. The board design was first printed in black and white on the front page of the New York World, the newspaper that Bly wrote for and the one who sponsored her trip. The full game was produced by McLoughlin Bros., a Brooklyn-based game manufacturer famous for their fun and colorful sets.
For more about Nellie Bly and her record-breaking race around the world (yes, she was racing another woman although she didn’t find out about it until she was halfway home) check out “Eighty Days” by Matthew Goodman.
A little background. I first stumbled across the “Hypnerotomachia Poliphili” when I was in high school. It was used as a plot device in “The Rule of Four” by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason (think what “The Last Supper” was in “The DaVinci Code” only better) and although I knew that much of what they wrote about the book was fictional I was overjoyed to discover that such a weird and mysterious book did actually exist. Even better Jocelyn Godwin had recently finished the first English translation, which had been published to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the book’s original printing in 1499. I was thrilled! I lived in a smaller town without many bookstores but there was this new website called “Amazon” that I had heard radio ads for (yes, none of those things were all that long ago). The “Hypnerotomachia” would be the first book I’d order online and I eagerly awaited its arrival. When it was finally delivered I unpacked that box like I was Indiana Jones revealing the Ark of the Covenant. I removed the dust jacket, opened the front cover, started to read, and…
Holy crap, this is the most boring book ever written.
Continue reading “The Incongruity of Hastening Slowly”