Monday: Covers from the Hall Collection

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Lafcadio Hearn spent formative years in Cincinnati. It’s said he secretly slept over in the Public Library of Cincinnati—certainly, he slept on the street. He was fired from the Cincinnati Enquirer when his involvement with an African American woman came to light. Asked by the Enquirer to return, he refused, even for a raise. Copies of the Cincinnati Commercial containing Hearn’s work were recently donated to the library by Mr. S. Hiyama, president of MC International, Inc. In 1874 Hearn had reported the murder and cremation of Herman Schilling in a Cincinnati tannery. Frank Duveneck provided the crime scene sketches. Children of the Levee in the Mercantile’s collection is an excellent example of Hearn’s colorful writing from this period, depicting the lives of river roustabouts. The nickname “Old Semi-Colon” was apt. Hearn was a stickler for precision in his work and others; a childhood accident had left him blind in one eye. Despite his journalistic beginnings, Hearn was an artist with a pen, illustrating with images as well as words. More Hearn covers may be viewed on the Public Library of Cincinnati website. Further readings are available at Project Gutenberg.

-Ed Scripsi

You can find more Covers from the Hall Collection here.

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Published in: on November 6, 2006 at 5:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

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