Scenes of the Loire c1906 ~ and a little detective work by yours truly


Project Gutenberg is the source of the book “Castles and Chateaux of Old Touraine” written by Francis Miltoun and illustrated by Blanche McManus, published  in 1906 – it is  downloadable here.

Now, just as I was writing the above, I remembered my recent post, Further early C20th images of women of the Touraine with its portrayal of a young, local Touraine woman in traditional bonnet. This picture I’d identified as being “by B. McManus(?)”.

Now a little research on t’interweb produced the following information:

Blanche McManus (born 1870) was an American writer and artist. She and her husband, Milburg Francisco Mansfield, wrote a series of illustrated travel books, many of which contained automobiles which were new at the time. She was born in East Feliciana Parish in the old French state of Louisiana in 1870, she lived in France for quite a few years and died in Woodville, Louisiana on 13 June 1935.

Enjoy her work below and you can find other examples of her artistry on one of my previous blogs.

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About Jim McNeill

I am a blogger on 'The Social History of the Touraine region of France (37)' and also 'The Colonial History of Pennsylvania and the life & Family of William Penn'. I am a Director of Sweet Training Learning Consultancy Ltd. I'm about to open L'Union Bar in Paulmy, Loire Valley, France (37) in 2012 with my wife, Sandra.
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4 Responses to Scenes of the Loire c1906 ~ and a little detective work by yours truly

  1. drofmit4108 says:

    Interesting cover; I wonder if ’tis a first edition? My reason for saying that is…. the Art Noveau cover shows a line of symmetry down the middle… the line of symmetry wasn’t supposed to have come in until around 1910 and led towards the geometry of Art Deco… this is ’06 and, while it is not perfect, there is too much of a mirror image. I wonder if book publishers preferred the regularity to set out the cover text.
    The actual illustrations are marvellous…

    • Jim McNeill says:

      Thanks for dropping by, you are right, the book cover is splendid – the publishers were L.C. Page Company, Boston, Mass. They seem to not exist now – though there is ref to them on the web for 1941. They were the first publishing house to produce Lucy Maud Montgomery’s, Anne of Green Gables. They were certainly in the field of producing beautiful, top-notch, and now collectable, books for the USA market. Sandra got me to join a local book club in France and at the first meeting I had a rant about the lack of proof reading and the churning out of any old rubbish by Penguin books – Allen Lane (its founder) would turn in his urn! Eventually I calmed down – amazing what good wine and food will do.
      Re the illustrations … and the rivers in the Touraine are inspiring ,,, I love the way McManus uses the sky in each piece to give the effect of perspective, clever stuff. I’ll keep my eyes open to view an original one day.
      Cheers,
      Jim

      • drofmit4108 says:

        You’ll have drop round when you are back over… I have a book you might want to blog about…. it contains some magnificent illustrations. The book is French and the illustrations are animals… but not as we know them Jim!
        Keep on trucking… and I’ll get the next installment of of my woodland adventures written up. Thanks for following..
        Beers are in the fridge,
        Tim

        • Jim McNeill says:

          Hi – we came over Friday evening, for a week, and we’ve been busy ever since. Lots of burst pipies, no water,etc. — all about fixed now. Also, we’re decorating and titivating our house to open it as a gite this Spring, so it’s a bit too full on for visiting and relaxing (more’s the pity) we are back again in a few weeks time…hope to catch you then.

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