Upcoming focus on the PPIE

8 February 2015

One hundred years ago on February 20th, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition opened its doors to the public.  Although it was marketed as a celebration of the newly-opened Panama Canal, its larger purpose was to the show the world that San Francisco had fully recovered from the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire. The fair was huge, […]

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The Life of a Successful Banker

27 January 2015

The Life of a Successful Banker (1905) is humorous short story, purporting to describe a young man’s journey from humble beginnings in North Carolina to become a “great financier” at the First Rational Bank in San Francisco. The author fancifully claims to have gone from the dry-goods business to the “wet-goods” business (alcohol) to the back door of […]

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Abelard and Heloise

11 January 2015

The story of Abelard and Heloise is too well known to need repetition here, for these two rank with the few great historic lovers of the world, as well they may. The love of Heloise was sublime in its intensity, romantic in its constancy, appealing in its pathos, and tragic in its suffering. When I […]

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Merry Christmas from paulelder.org

23 December 2014

From all of us at paulelder.org, have a happy, healthy and safe holiday, whichever version you celebrate.

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Bamboo

7 December 2014

In February 1912, the Manchu Dynasty, rulers of imperial China since 1644, collapsed and was replaced by the fledgling Republic of China. Watching with great interest from Chicago was Lyon Sharman, an American woman who grew up in Hangzhou, 100 miles southwest of Shanghai. In her dedication to Bamboo, Tales of the Orient-Born, which Paul Elder […]

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Recipe For a Happy Life

8 November 2014

Written by Margaret of Navarre in the year 1500: Three ounces are necessary, first of Patience, then of Repose & Peace; of Conscience a pound entire is needful; of Pastimes of all sorts, too, should be gathered as much as the hand can hold; Of Pleasant Memory & of Hope three good drachms there must be at least. […]

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The Critic in the Occident

31 October 2014

What you bring away with you from a tour of Europe depends largely upon your reading. If through great writers you know intimately the history, art and architecture of a country, you will find that your travels serve mainly to stamp indelibly upon the memory many of the impressions formed from the books you have […]

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The Critic in the Orient

24 October 2014

This book of impressions of the Far East is called The Critic in the Orient, because the writer for over thirty years has been a professional critic of new books–one trained to get at the best in all literary works and reveal it to the reader. This critical work would have been deadly, save for […]

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Slumber Sea Chanteys

26 September 2014

Slumber Sea Chanteys (1910) was the only sheet music Paul Elder ever published (there are a few pages of music in Knight of the Burning Pestle). It is a selection of children’s lullabies on nautical themes. It is also the first Paul Elder I ever bought, though I only realized it five years later when […]

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The True Historie of the Knyght of the Burning Pestle

8 September 2014

In March 1903, the English Club of Stanford University performed a production of “The Knight of the Burning Pestle,” an early 17th-century pastiche play by the English poet and dramatist Francis Beaumont. The English Club performed the work at both Stanford and UC Berkeley, and went so far as to write a short book about it. That […]

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