Mrs. Cooper's eyes too were glittering. She was fascinated by Florida Lee.
Date: 1912
Medium: Charcoal on illustration board
Dimensions: composition: 17 1/2 × 18 in. (44.5 × 45.7 cm) sheet: 30 × 20 in. (76.2 × 50.8 cm)
Illustration Citation: "Florida Lee," by A. Brown, in Harper's Bazar, December 1912
Credit Line: Gayle and Alene Hoskins Endowment Fund, 1982
Object Number: 1982-7
About: In this story of nosy neighbors and unexpected romance, young Cynthia Waters is pestered by villagers worried (and curious) about her living alone. To ward them off, she tells everyone that soon her friend Florida Lee - a name she picked from a novel - will be arriving to stay with her. The inquisitive Mrs. Cooper and then the whole village are fascinated by the imminent arrival of Cynthia's mysterious guest. Soon a man named Jackson Wentworth comes calling, asking for the still-absent Florida Lee. He finally admits to Cynthia that he is author of the "Florida Lee" novel, puzzled by the stories of her actual existence. Cynthia confesses to her ruse, Jackson is smitten, and the villagers are satisfied. Founded by Harper and Brothers publishing house in 1867, Harper's Bazar - self-defined as a "repository of fashion, pleasure, and instruction - was modeled on a German magazine that added contemporary fashion to its other departments. Its initial editor was Mary Louise Booth (until 1889), an abolitionist and supporter of women's suffrage. Reports on style, society, and etiquette shared pages with literary works by George Eliot and Henry James, among other novelists and essayists. While the magazine extolled homemaking, it also noted that a woman concerned only with domestic affairs was in "absolute bondage." The spelling of bazar was changed to bazaar in 1929, possibly to conform to the more common British spelling. Katharine Richardson Wireman studied with Howard Pyle and had an active career as a cover and story illustrator for The Saturday Evening Post, Scribner's and Ladies' Home Journal, among many other magazines.
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