Posts Tagged ‘evalynemerson’

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Sylvia: the story of an American countess

September 6, 2011

Sylvia is nineteen, the daughter of a woman from California and an Italian Count (both dead), and the most beautiful woman in Europe. But while her aunt wants her to marry a Duke — unless maybe a prince is available — Sylvia says that, if she ever marries at all, she’ll choose an American man. Philip Monroe would be happy to be that man. Eric Fielding has to deny to himself that he’d be happy to be that man, since he’s engaged to a girl in New York. Dick Ames knows there’s no likelihood of his being that man, so he becomes her good friend instead.

Really, though, Sylvia’s not interested in marrying anybody. But her aunt is really pushing the Duke, so Sylvia runs away to her other aunt in California and changes her name to Barbara Gordon. She — obviously — will henceforth be known as Batgirl, to avoid confusion. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Sylvia: a publicity stunt

September 6, 2011

Back in 1901, Small, Maynard & Co. published a truly terrible novel called Sylvia: the story of an American countess. It was witten by Evalyn Emerson. As far as I can tell, she never wrote anything else, and for we should all be grateful.

Anyway, Small, Maynard & Co., came up with a clever way to market the novel. They got a dozen well-known artists to draw portraits of Sylvia (apparently the most beautiful woman in the world) and asked readers to rank the protraits in order of beauty. The person whose guess came closest to the average would win. I’ve been unable to discover the results of the contest, but what I have found (it wasn’t difficult; they put it right in the front of the book) is the method used to tally the answers, and that means that I can recreate the contest. It won’t work if only a few people respond, and there’s a good chance that that’s what’s going to happen, but if this works, it will be really cool. And the more people that participate, the cooler it will be.

So: Please participate! Send your friends to participate! Link here from your blog, tumblr, twitter, etc.! The person whose ranking comes closest to the average will win a review by me of the book of their choice* Contest entries should contain all twelve artist names, ranked by beauty, and should be sent to redeeming.qualities@gmail.com. You don’t have to use the coupon below for your answers, but if you do, I will be super impressed. Contest ends…well, let’s say November 1st. Read the rest of this entry ?