Wednesday, May 31, 2017

STRENGTH | Male and Female

Princess Josephine Confronts the Dragon.
The following review of Princess Josephine and the Rainbow Dragon, by Kate Paice (ill. by Brigid Marlin), was recently posted on Goodreads. I am reposting here because it addresses an issue that has been raised before on this blog — how did Eugen Boissevain capture the heart of both Inez Milholland and Edna St Vincent Millay? I believe it is because he showed a form of strength that was manly but not macho. What follows is by my niece Marguerite Marlin:

Princess Josephine and the Rainbow Dragon speaks to an interesting childhood point of contemplation of mine about the value of boldness and how it can be channelled in ways that are fair and socially valuable. I became aware of it through my aunt Brigid, who makes her living as a fantastic artist (her imaginative illustrations add quite a bit of wonder and charm to the captivating story).

In the book, a young child princess encounters her first major challenge when a dragon is depriving her kingdom of colour through its colour-based appetite. The princess faces the dragon head-on, but what occurs is less of an epic St. George-style showdown than a wise display of conflict resolution, diplomacy, and a version of innovative public policymaking in a fantasy world where a dragon might be among the potential stakeholders in a consultation process.

Her approach reminded me of what counselor Marshall B. Rosenberg PhD recommended in his classic 1998 book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: that we dispose of enemy images in order to encourage empathy – which in turn leads to conflict resolution. As with many children’s stories, the power structure of the setting is monarchical – meaning that Josephine’s will can be done in a much more centralized fashion than a president of a republic or a royal head of a modern constitutional monarchy.

[Side note: I have often wondered about the balance of reasons why old-style monarchies persist as models of power relations in children’s stories, as I suspect it is some combination of 1. Simplicity of structure and 2. A deep-seated nostalgia for a pre-industrial era where the relative lack of opportunity for social mobility also brought with it some relief from troubling modern anxieties about maintaining or increasing one’s unstable place in society].

In any case, the feudal monarchies of yore persist as the preferred context for children’s books, and this appeal is increasingly relevant – as it appears more and more that it may not be limited to the storybook world. Global politics is increasingly rife with actors fed up with the stickiness of political systems where change is restrained by the need to harmonize positions with political tradition, with special interest relations, with the political order, and in general with the various categories of other people who share the reins of power.

But is this “boldness” constructive? Besides the issue of whether one person or family truly be trusted to know and act upon the interests of the people, populist leaders often build their political base by purporting to act against certain people in order to work for others. The result is alternately failure of the approach (since it is difficult to entirely override the interests of a group large enough to figure into popular political discourse) or in worse cases, gradual dehumanization and grave mistreatment of the demonized group/s.

Princess Josephine, while she has all the power to act against the fearsome yet likely socially marginalized dragon, opts instead to show the qualities of an enlightened monarch for whom peaceful coexistence of peoples and species is paramount. She weighs the options of action that can be most mutually beneficial to her kingdom, and critically assigns important value to the wants and needs of the dragon.

Returning to my own contemplation of this dynamic as a child: I recall one time having stayed up past my bedtime and ventured out to the kitchen or some other place in the house; my father heard me from his study and declared disapprovingly that I was a “bold girl.” I took that as a great compliment at the time, even if I had some idea that it was not meant as one – at that moment I had styled myself in the image of the warrior Queen Maeve or Joan of Arc. There would be much to support that interpretation today, as the boldness of little girls has been leveraged to further goals of women’s advances into male-dominated industries or encourage girls and women to receive education at a global level.

However, reminders that more than boldness is required for socially valuable leadership are more important than ever for all children and adults. The inimitable Mr. Rogers unsurprisingly had a profound way of expressing this point: He said that “Most of us, I believe, admire strength. It's something we tend to respect in others, desire for ourselves, and wish for our children. Sometimes, though, I wonder if we confuse strength and other words--like aggression and even violence. Real strength is neither male nor female; but is, quite simply, one of the finest characteristics that any human being can possess” (The World According to Mr. Rogers, 2003: 161).

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

INEZ | Centennial Suffrage Events, June-July 2017

Inez Milholland Boissevain (1886-1916)
June 1-Oct. 9, 2017. An exhibit at the Adirondack History Museum on Adirondack Suffragists including Inez is open all summer until October 9. It is the 100th anniversary year of women winning the right to vote in New York State.

June 11, 2017 — The Turning Point Suffrage Memorial Committee will sponsor a dinner + reading of Take Up the Song, a play by her great-nephew John Tepper Marlin, at Westwood Country Club in Vienna, Va., near the Washington, D.C. suburb of Tyson's Corner, which is a shopping center on the Metro's Silver Line. It is the 100th Anniversary year of  the beginning of picketing against President Wilson for opposing the Anthony Amendment. (The following year, 1918, he spoke in favor of the Amendment. In 1919 it was passed by the House and Senate. In 1920 it was ratified by the last state to give reach the required two-thirds.)

June 22, 2017 — Margaret Bartley and Gerry Zahavi will speak about "Votes for Women" at the Adirondack History Museum, 7590 Court Street, Elizabethtown, NY 12932. Inez  was born in Lewis, N.Y., near Elizabethtown. It is the 100th Anniversary year of the meeting of President Wilson with women bearing memorials of the death of Inez Milholland.


June 29, 2017 — Showing of One Woman, One Vote at the Adirondack History Museum.


Related Posts on Inez Milholland. Her Engagement to Guglielmo Marconi . Short Biopic on Inez .  June 11 Play Featuring Inez Milholland . Edna St Vincent Millay  Centennial of Christmas Day Memorial to Inez . Seneca Falls Convention .  The 1913 and 2013 Marches on Washington .  Inez Led the 1913 Parade . Eugen Boissevain, Tough and Tender


Friday, May 19, 2017

INEZ | Centennial Suffrage Events, May-June 2017

Inez Milholland Boissevain
May 21, 2017 — University of Arizona journalism professor Linda Lumsden will speak about her book, Inez, a biography of suffragist Inez Milholland on Sunday at 1 p.m. EST on C-SPAN2.

June 11, 2017 — The Turning Point Suffrage Memorial Committee will sponsor a dinner + reading of Take Up the Song, a play by her great-nephew John Tepper Marlin, at Westwood Country Club in Vienna, Va., near Washington, D.C. It is close to the shopping center and metro stop Tyson's Corner. Black tie/suffrage costume optional.

June 22, 2017 — Margaret Bartley and Gerry Zahavi will speak about "Votes for Women" at the Adirondack History Museum, 7590 Court Street, Elizabethtown, NY 12932. Inez  was born in Lewis, N.Y., near Elizabethtown. An exhibit at the Museum on Adirondack Suffragists including Inez is open all summer from May 27 to October 9.

June 29, 2017 — Showing of One Woman, One Vote at Adirondack History Museum

Related Posts on Inez Milholland. Her Engagement to Guglielmo Marconi . Short Biopic on Inez .  June 11 Play Featuring Inez Milholland . Edna St Vincent Millay  Centennial of Christmas Day Memorial to Inez . Seneca Falls Convention .  The 1913 and 2013 Marches on Washington .  Inez Led the 1913 Parade . Eugen Boissevain, Tough and Tender

Monday, May 8, 2017

WW2 | V-E Day, May 8, 1945

 Celebrations in UK of V-E Day. Painting by
Unknown British Artist.

D-Day was the code name for the Normandy Landing, in June 1944. It was the beginning of the liberation of France and the rest of Europe.

V-E Day, Victory in Europe, did not take place until nearly eleven months later,  on May 8, when the Nazis capitulated.

Many memorials were observed in 2014 to celebrate  the 70th Anniversary of D-Day and honor those who lost their lives in that year. Alice and I were in Normandy that year.

The winter of 1944-45 was a famine for the occupied Dutch as the Nazis diverted what food there was to their own troops.

In 2015, the 70th anniversary of V-E Day was celebrated on May 8-9 (the Germans surrendered to the Soviets a day later). Here are some my posts from the celebrations of the anniversaries in 2014 and 2015.

Monuments Unveiled to 14 Airmen (Laval, June 6, 2014)
Willem van Stockum’s Last Letter Home
Omaha Beach
Total Allied Deaths in France, World War II
Vaufleury Cemetery - Forgotten Graves in another part of the cemetery
Vaufleury Cemetery - Ceremonies, 2014
My Third Visit to My Uncle’s Grave
Memorial Visit to Normandy, Laval
70th Anniversary of “A Soldier’s Creed” 
10 It’s 70 Years After D-Day in Normandy June 6, 1944
11 RAF No. 10 Squadron to Celebrate Its 100th Anniversary in 2015
12 V-E Day May 7-8, 1945 - UN Remembrance Days

Sunday, May 7, 2017

INEZ | Get This Durable Enlarged Poster

The "Forward into Light" Poster.
The original Inez Milholland Boissevain poster was made for the 1923 pageant in Lewis, N.Y., where Inez was born. 

It celebrated the 10th anniversary of the 1913 march on Washington.

This march will again be celebrated on June 11, 2017 with a play, "Take Up the Song," at the Westwood Country Club in Vienna, Va.


To recognize the event, Boissevain Books has prepared a more durable version of the original poster, in a larger size.


This poster travels well and looks terrific. It is shipped rolled up in a strong cardboard tube.

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The Brennan Center at NYU ordered two of them and said: "Thank you for the terrific posters. They are really well done, and we look forward to hanging one of them in a place of honor at the Brennan Center."
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Order here via credit card. Just $30 per poster plus the USPS cost of shipping.
boissevainbooks.com/collections/poster.

Related Posts on Inez MilhollandHer Engagement to Guglielmo Marconi . Short Biopic on Inez .  June 11 Play Featuring Inez Milholland . Edna St Vincent Millay  Centennial of Christmas Day Memorial to Inez . Seneca Falls Convention .  The 1913 and 2013 Marches on Washington .  Inez Led the 1913 Parade . Eugen Boissevain, Tough and Tender