The month of February 2022 in retrospect and a little outlook

Review of what has been written and outlook for further research and topics

I look back at the last month and the activities here on the website, introduce what's coming next, and there's a bit of monthly statistics for the month of February 2022 as well.

A few words about last month:

I was particularly pleased in February that the Twitter account of the digital department of the Bibliothèque nationale de France @GallicaBnF shared my article on the French illustrator Marie-Madeleine Franc-Nohain, or in other spellings Madeleine-Amélie Franc-Nohain. The Twitter account has over 91,000 followers. Wow. Probably my biggest (small) success.

I was very happy about that. I actually wrote the article about the French illustrator of the 1930s - or as always - rather in the heat of the moment. I liked the illustrator's work so much that I tried to find original editions of her works. I managed to buy two copies of her children's books on eBay at a reasonable price. Quite logically, I then described and analysed the book Alphabet en Images by the special French illustratice. By chance, I found another edition with a different title motif in a second-hand bookshop in southern Germany; kindly, Franziska Bierl's second-hand bookshop provided me with a digital image of the book's title. This first or second edition - the publication dates are unfortunately not known more precisely - confirms the particular success of the illustrator and children's book author.

Unfortunately - somewhat, no completely self-deprecatingly - I can no longer resist the continuation of the series about rather unknown artists and illustrators. I'm taking on a lot of new work, but I'll be honest, it gives me a devilish pleasure to research and discover the most unknown facets of a work.

So more analyses and essays on this topic are in the pipeline. In doing so, I hope to present a balanced mix of both female and male representatives of book illustration (the term very broadly defined). 

In planning

I have now tackled three illustrators. I will write about a German illustrator of the 1930s next, unfortunately there is no literature on him at all, but I have managed to find what may be his last relative in the Rhineland. I would like to write something about the English illustrator and artist Cicely Mary Barker, but it will be less about stylistic things and more about her choice of plants. 

I will take another thread from some youth and children's books that meant something to me between the ages of 8 and 14. Some of them develop an almost red-hot topicality, for example when it comes to artificial intelligence, human rights and humanism.

Coming soon - a design maxim

If you've been following my Twitter account @cronhill closely - if you don't know it, you're welcome to - I'm currently writing an essay on a popular design maxim, or in other words a popular design maxim that has had a significant impact not only on post-war architecture but also on post-war design. It will be the most extensive single article I have ever published here, and as I work on it I notice that I am overcome with doubts as to whether such a long text is really readable online.

Actually, I pursued the simple-looking plan of digitising an old, but still interesting study paper. Not only was it not as easy to digitise the text as I thought it would be (Mac font Chicago with a serif Antiqua as the body text), but it also quickly became clear that it could not be published on the website with the existing templates / design templates.  A new, even more flexible template for MODX with the MIGX extension had to be developed. And that took three full days, if I add up the entire development time MIGX - HTML5 + CSS. I was able to learn a lot of new things, but it also took a lot of time.

In addition, a new problem arose when I read the paper I had written 27 years ago. Should I publish the article on architecture and design as I wrote it then? Ignore 27 years of design and architectural development, but even worse, all modern possibilities of internet research as well? - In retrospect, I made a decision that has cost me a lot of time and will continue to do so.

I decided to make subtle additions, to read some texts again in the original, because this was not possible with the technical possibilities of 1995 and the research in the collection and in the interlibrary loan of the University of Wuppertal. I am now translating some of these originals into German. There is nothing like original sources and there is nothing without context. Personally, as readers of the blog know, I don't think much of the maxim "brevity is the spice of life" - I prefer to serve opulent French food sequences.

Long-term projects

Of course, I continue to research my long-term project Jenny Lind. In February, I translated all newspaper articles about Jenny Lind in American newspapers for 3 September 1850, with the exception of the Boston newspapers, of which unfortunately only the Daily Evening Transcript is available as a free licence for the period mentioned. Translation also involves researching the address of advertisements for Jenny Lind products, for example, and, if possible, further information about the advertiser. I have already made some interesting discoveries. I also make a list of all the people mentioned in the articles and try to research them superficially at first. This has been completed at some point for the Jenny Lind entourage around Jules Benedict and Giovanni Battista Belletti, but not for all the people she visited or simply shook hands with once.

To Do

A realisation from the statistics. With the "About Me" page, it doesn't go on like that. It says a lot about me that I treat this page so step-motherly. That has to change in the next few months.

Thank You! 

Thank you, dear readers, for taking the time to read my stories again this month.

And here are the TOP 25 with the numbers/views and the link to the content, unfortunately bots and search engines are not filtered out. I'm still working on that.

For my english language readers, most / nearly all of the pages listed below are also available in English.

  1. 405 - German - Madeleine-Amélie Franc-Nohain
  2. 368 - German - Die Blog-Übersichtsseite
  3. 322 - French page: Madeleine-Amélie Franc-Nohain 
  4. 241 - German - James Bond Teil I - Das Jack-London-Zitat im neuen Bond
  5. 197 - English page: Barnums Freaks
  6. 187 - German - Das Buch Alphabet en Images 
  7. 186 - Christos Arc de Triomphe Freiheit, Gleichheit, Brüderlichkeit
  8. 181 - German - Aquarell aufziehen - ein Dauerbrenner
  9. 173 - English page: The blog Overview
  10. 163 - English page: Star Trek Picard: Cristobal Rios bookshelf
  11. 158 - German - Page d'accueil
  12. 154 - German - Statistik Januar
  13. 150 - German- Barnums Missgeburten
  14. 149 - German - Slow Down, Pleasure up - mein großformatiges Aquarell zum Kuhler Viadukt in Barmen
  15. 136 - English page: Site web de Blogue
  16. 130 - German Über mich
  17. 128 - English page: The rose Rambling Rector
  18. 128 - German - Malerei Übersichtsseite
  19. 124 - German - James Bond Teil 2: Teil II - Alfred Lord Tennysons Zitat in Skyfall
  20. 123 - German - Spätsommerfreuden mit dem Rad - Unsere Radtour von Paderborn nach Detmold 
  21. 123 - German - Fotografie
  22. 118 - German - Großformatiges Aquarell der ehemaligen Fabrikhalle des Wuppertaler Unternehmens Alfred Kaut GmbH + Co.
  23. 117 - English page: Madeleine-Amélie Franc Nohain
  24. 115 - English page: Frontpage
  25. 112 - German Webalizer auf dem Server anpassen

That this month articles/essays of mine were read in both English and French. Wow. When I started 2019 with three languages, I would never have believed that.


tl, dr;

Comments (0)

Write a comment

By sending this comment, I agree that the name and e-mail address will be stored by in connection with the comment I have written. The e-mail address will not be published or passed on to third parties.