Monday, June 18, 2012


WHEN GETRUDE STEIN WROTE THE WORLD IS ROUND, her first choice for illustrator was one of her protégés, the painter Sir Francis Rose. Her editors, William Scott and John McCullough, however were opposed. They felt Rose's art would not appeal to children. As McCullough wrote in a letter to Stein, the "rather studied decadence and sophistication, though possessing qualities of its own strikes me as neither appealing to children nor particularly appropriate to the imaginative vitality of your writing." Stein in a letter to her good friend Carl Van Vechten said, "the editor William R. Scott 224 West Eleventh Street and the editor of [The World Is Round] John McCullough have found an illustrator, I had suggested Francis Rose but they seemed to want an American, they sent me some of the illustrations by Clement Hurd, they seem sweet but very undistinguished..." Hurd became the illustrator, and ended up doing three iterations in his lifetime, as I have written about in my original post (link above).

In 1965, Haskell House, "Publishers of Scholarly Books," at last released an edition with Sir Francis Rose's illustrations. The first is a halftone reproduction of what looks to be a watercolor sketch labeled "Rose" and dated 1939, the year the first edition of The World Is Round appeared.

 The rest are black and white line drawings interspersed throughout the text. I have not been able to ascertain if the line drawings were also executed in 1939, making the Haskell House edition a restoration of sorts, but I suspect they were not and were created specifically for this edition.

In 1958, Rose again lent his talents to a book closely connected with Stein, The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook, by Stein's life partner Alice B. Toklas. The cookbook went on to become a bestseller.

TO SEE ALL OF FRANCIS ROSE'S ILLUSTRATIONS for The World Is Round, visit my Flickr set here. In addition to the research I did for my original post, for this post I consulted The Letters of Gertrude Stein and Carl Van Vechten: 1913-1946, and Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened By The Moon by my distant cousin Leonard S. Marcus.

All images are copyrighted © and owned by their respective holders.

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