An Anatomical Venus - which gives this book its title - was an eighteenth-century anatomical wax sculpture of an idealised woman, a heady mix of eroticism, death and biological verisimilitude. Venus could be opened up and pulled apart by all the men who studied her. She would give up her secrets the first time of asking. Helen Ivory’s new collection The Anatomical Venus examines how women have been portrayed as ‘other’; as witches; as hysterics with wandering wombs and as beautiful corpses cast in wax, or on mortuary slabs in TV box sets. A hanged woman addresses the author of the Malleus Maleficarum, a woman diagnosed with ‘Housewife Psychosis’ recounts her dreams to Freud, and a sex robot has the ear of her keeper. The Anatomical Venus imagines the lives of women sketched in asylum notes and pictures others shut inside cabinets of curiosity.
Commerce and heroism clash when a titan of American businessmen orchestrates a U.S. invasion of Mexico. This long-lost 1927 Broadway melodrama combines the crackling dialogue and riveting storytelling of the Front Page with Wag the Dog cynicism.An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Edward Asner, Kate Asner, Raye Birk, Sharon Gless, Colette Kilroy, Rod McLachlan, Paul Murphy, Mark Adair Rios, Luis Saguar, Fred Savage and Jamey Sheridan.
Volume 3 in the Casey Crime Photographer series! This lighthearted crime drama spotlights witty dialogue, fanciful characters, and the congenial atmosphere that comes from setting much of the show’s action against the backdrop of a popular watering hole. The plots are basic - Casey snaps photos for the Morning Express and finds himself playing amateur sleuth by getting involved in the stories he covers - but what sets the series apart is its laid-back atmosphere, chiefly personified in its backdrop of The Blue Note Café. There, in-between assignments, the characters engage in badinage with their philosophically sardonic bartender pal Ethelbert, often to the melodious accompaniment of the Blue Note’s background piano. Strong characterizations and fine scripting continue to make “Casey” a delightful and enjoyable series.
During the late nineteenth century and until the middle of the twentieth, many elementary classrooms in America featured (along with a Gilbert Stuart portrait of Washington) a black-and-white print of a group of New England pilgrims on their way to church, the men carrying their muskets. Every school child at that time was intimately acquainted with the story of the Mayflower and the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts. Among the historical figures, one of the best known was Captain Miles Standish, the military commander of the little “army,” which consisted of a bare handful of men, who repeatedly defeated many times their number of hostile Indians. The children also knew the friendly Indian Squanto and the young pilgrim gentleman John Alden and the lovely maiden Priscilla Mullins.
In the middle grades practically all students used to read Longfellow’s long narrative poem The Courtship of Miles Standish, telling the story of these real people. The plot is initiated by Standish’s request that his friend, the better educated and more eloquent Alden, plead his case for him and persuade Priscilla to marry this rough middle-aged widower. What the captain did not know was that John Alden was also deeply in love with the same young girl. Presentday readers will be impressed that the delightful Miss Mullins seems to be a quite modern young lady, with a mind of her own. Many hundreds of Americans trace their ancestry to John and Priscilla, whose descendants also include Presidents John and John Quincy Adams and Longfellow himself. Those who are not familiar with their romance will find it a most pleasant tale. (Introduction by Leonard Wilson)
In the early programs, Matt Dillon has a grudging tolerance for his deputy, Chester Proudfoot. Chester’s primary purpose it seemed, both to Matt and the audience, was to essentially irritate Dillon. Whether it was his constant searching through desk drawers or putting sugar in his whiskey, Chester’s idiosyncrasies defined the character more than anything else. As the show continued, however, the two men developed an easy friendship, one which many male listeners could relate to. Chester even saves Dillon’s life at one point, then tells Matt he can’t tell anyone, as it would only embarrass them both. Marshall Matt Dillon definitely and intentionally did not fit into the stereotypical western hero mold. His tactics were often roughshod and harsh and his words and personality often proved as sharp as his shooting.
Gunsmoke writer John Meston used the program to break the white hat singing cowboy mold that so many other shows had latched onto. His goal, as he himself stated, was to obliterate that archetype and he used Matt Dillon to do it. Meston conceived and wrote Dillon as a man who at any moment could be as vicious as any of the outlaws he sought, and that made Dillon more realistic. Listen to the Sparkling Audio Quality in Radio Archives restoration of Gunsmoke, Volume 9.
“An enthralling and luminous play” about the nineteenth-century man whose physical deformity doomed him to the life of an outcast: “haunting [and] splendid” (The New York Times). The Elephant Man is based on the life of John Merrick, who lived in London during the latter part of the nineteenth century. A horribly deformed young man, a freak attraction in traveling side shows, is found abandoned and helpless and is admitted for observation to Whitechapel, a prestigious London hospital. Under the care of a famous young doctor who educates him and introduces him to London society, Merrick changes from a sensational object of pity to the urbane and witty favorite of the aristocracy and literati. But his belief that he can become a man like any other is a dream never to be realized. After premiering in London, The Elephant Man went on to Broadway where it won the Tony for Best Play in 1979. It was later revived in a Broadway production starring Bradley Cooper. “TheElephant Man is a moving drama. Lofted on poetic wings, it nests on the human heart.” —Time Magazine
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