Friday, August 8, 2014

The lazy days of summer: then and now

"Now if I could just ditch the corset."
From The Adventures of Thomasina Sawyer: "Depend upon it Gwendolyn, hoeing the garden will be quite an invigorating experience."
Perfect for perusing on a hammock on a summer's day is Walter Crane's A Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden (1899), sample pages of which appear below.
When I and my baby boomer compatriots were kids, our summertime days were blissfully unstructured. We could walk to the pool or ride our bikes into the wild blue yonder, wherever our fancy took us. We could build forts in which to pore over comic books, play kick the can or softball, be cowboys and Indians, roll candy cigarettes in our t-shirt sleeves and pretend we were hoods, and go to the local store and load up on as much candy as our meager allowances could afford. At nightfall, magic descended as the fireflies emerged and we played hide and seek. What are some of your best summer memories as a kid?
If you're looking to stock up on summer reading, you can get a discount of 10% off of any order just by taking the survey that currently appears at the top of the Daedalus Books home page. You'll get a code to use when you check out.
At present we have a great selection of books on sports as well as piles of mysteries for hammock or pool lounging. Not to mention loads of literary titles if there's an author or book you've always wanted to get around to reading.


  1. Love the old prints, I almost imagine the pages being torn from the book they were in and plastered all over the walls of some turn of the century literary salon.

  2. Your reminiscences would strike fear into today's informed parents.
    "There is a pleasure in the pathless woods"--Where are the chaperones? Camp guides? GPS?
    "There is a rapture on the lonely shore"--No lifeguards? Swim buddies?
    "There is society where none intrudes"--what is that, a cult? An unregistered sex offender?
    "By the deep Sea, and music in its roar;"--Riptides! Sunburn! Bug bites! Too much sugar in those salt water taffies!
    HOW ever did we grow up?
    And how would we hear today the sound of our different drummer?

  3. Those pictures bring back blissful memories too, of when I was in grad school with nought to do but study the Pre-Raphaelites. Ahhh.

    I want to thank your for (a) using "pore" correctly--I was beginning to think no one knew that word any more, including CNN and Slate, where I have most recently encountered the too-common "pour" in its place; and (b) also using "kick the can" correctly. In this case, using it literally, which is the only way it should be used at all. Ever.