Wednesday, May 3, 2017

HvS | Two New Fans of "Patsy and the Pup"

Charlotte and Henry Read "Patsy and the Pup"
Patsy and the Pup just got a couple of new fans.

They are Charlotte and Henry.

Who can resist the story of a lost puppy and the adventures that a little girl, Patsy has trying to bring it home to its owner?
Book rating provided by Goodreads:
 4.67 avg rating
Henry and Charlottee studys one of the
pictures. Every right-hand page has one.
Synopsis of Patsy and the Pup (from the preface by Elisabeth Marlin, who was the same age as Patsy when the book was first written): 
A sweet puppy follows Patsy home one day, but Mother says she has to take it back to its owner. 
The mischievous pup is in no hurry to go home and drags Patsy into one hair-raising adventure after another on the way. The story is told with pace and humor and the pictures add amusing details for children to discover for themselves. This is a story that parents and children from 2 to 6 years old will enjoy reading together, over and over again.
About the Author: Hilda van Stockum (1908-2006) was an internationally noted author and illustrator of such children's classics as The Mitchells, Patsy and the Pup, Kersti and Saint Nicholas, and A Day on Skates, for which she took Newbery honors. Winner of the Brotherhood Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, van Stockum was known for her warm and vivid, but realistic depictions of family life, often in the face of difficulty or danger. Her most famous book, The Winged Watchman (1962, named a "Notable Book" by the American Library Association), tells the story of two young boys living in a windmill who help the Dutch resistance during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. Her books were originally published primarily by Viking Press, during what has been called a "golden age" of children's literature shepherded by the inspiring and author-friendly editor, May Massee. Her books were widely and favorably reviewed, and were also favorites among librarians because they celebrated family life and dealt with issues of good and evil — and especially because librarians noticed that the books held the attention of children. "Librarians were my biggest fans," she said.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

CONVERSION | Why Did Hone and HvS Become Catholics? (Updated Apr 7, 2017)

"Evie Hone" by Hilda van Stockum. National
Gallery of Art. Used here by permission of the
Estate of Hilda van Stockum.
From James Robinson (Comment, Feb. 2017): "I have just read [your] rather interesting note about St John’s, Sandymount. Fr S.R.S.Colquhoun did not become a bishop, in fact he was prosecuted by the Church for High Church Practices. The Church of Ireland definitely did not want re-union with Rome. Many English Anglo-Catholics wanted this. St John's was a miniscule minority of High Church in a generally very low church protestant Church."

Mar 31, 2017: Thank you, James Robinson. I have made the corrections. (Fr Colquhoun must have been in Monsignor garb.) They help the story! I have added my email address at the end of this post.

I have previously noted on this blog site that my mother, Hilda van Stockum, in 1938 followed Evie Hone into the Roman Catholic Church, just as Evie Hone earlier followed Hilda van Stockum into the art world. (Evie asked Hilda, who was already an established artist, what she thought of her art and Hilda was enthusiastic about Evie's first stained-glass attempts and encouraged her to make this her career).

Evie and Hilda were introduced, says my eldest sister Olga, by Fr Colquhoun, as I noted in 2014. 

Now I have a better idea of what might have precipitated the formal conversion of both Evie Hone and Hilda van Stockum to the Roman Catholic Church. 

They must have been outraged at the witch-hunt of Fr Colquhoun for being too High Church for Church of Ireland members of his own St. John's congregation in Sandymount, Dublin.

My interpretation of what happened is that the two of them turned their back on the Church of Ireland and embraced what the witch-hunters most feared, namely an exit to the Church of Rome. HvS took her mother and her children, who would number six (all living as of today😊), with her...

References: Rev. S. R. S. Colquhoun, of St John's church, Sandymount, Dublin, was suspended. The Sandymount church had long been noted for Its High Church tendencies. Winnipeg Tribune — 
The formal name of the Sandymount church was Saint John the Evangelist, Sandymount, Dublin 4. StJohn's is a Church of Ireland church. (My mother always told me I was named after St. John the Evangelist, not St. John the Baptist. She may have been naming me after this church!)

The case against the Revd S.R.S. Colquhoun, incumbent since 1930 of St John'sSandymount, Dublin, began with a petition started in 1934, the year Hilda van Stockum first became famous as a writer, winning one of the two Newbery Honor Roll awards that were given out in 1935 along with the Newbery Medal. It was also the year her first child, Olga E. Marlin, was born in New York City. The E initial in Olga's name is for Emily MacDonnell, HvS's Anglo-Irish grandmother. The Irish Protestant Churches in the Twentieth Century. A. Megahey.

The vicar of St John's church in Sandymount, Dublin, the Rev SRS Colquhoun, was suspended for six months in 1937 for High Church Practices. (In 1937, that might have been the equivalent of being burned at the stake.)

If you have another piece of this puzzle to add, I can be reached directly at jtmarlin[at]🙏

Related Posts: "The Vocation of Women"

Sunday, February 5, 2017

FEATURED BOOK | "Little Old Bear"

In honor of Hilda van Stockum's birthday (she would be 109 on February 8 this year – she died 11 years ago) Boissevain Books is featuring LITTLE OLD BEAR.

Here is a review of the book by Alex Baugh on the Randomly Reading site.

Here's another review posted by Judy Polhemus:

Sometimes toys have wishes. The Velveteen Rabbit wanted to be real, and soon enough, he was. Little Old Bear just wants to be wanted. And so it comes to pass.

The lovely pen and ink drawings of Little Old Bear render him worn out yet reminiscent of better days. (Hilda van Stockun both wrote and illustrated the story.) He knew the same cycle of love that the Velveteen Rabbit knew. He was loved until the child was grown, then set aside. At least, Little Old Bear finds himself in the attic, where....the lady of the house comes to clean and throws out the bear! Birds reject him, a kitty rejects him, and little boys find him and toss him around like a ball, then throw him in someone's backyard. A little girl claims hims, then rejects him, and throws him back onto the sidewalk, where a kind old lady discovers him and takes him home.

The old lady gives him back his eyes and sits him in the front window where he watches the world pass by. He sees little boys and girls play with their nice new stuffed bears and feels lucky just an old lady found him. [And then a wonderful thing happens to him...]

Sunday, January 29, 2017

BOISSEVAIN | John Charles van Hall

Only photo online
for John van Hall.
Jan van Hall (L) and Hester
Boissevain van Hall (R–"Tante
Hessie" to the family).
The only way I know how to track a large family–after decades of trying–is to find out as much as possible about individuals who are of interest and then place them one by one in their family context.

A person of interest to me is John Charles van Hall. He was the son of Jan van Hall and Hester Boissevain, whom I knew in my childhood as "Tante Hessie" although she was not my aunt but my great-aunt (my grandmother's sister).

We visited the "Kolkhuis" in Hattem many times, starting in 1948 or 1949. My last visit there was in 1959.

There is very little about John Charles that I can find online, which piques my curiosity and prompts me to want to fill the gap.

Of all my mother's childhood friends, the ones she spoke about the most were her "twin" cousin Nella de Beaufort and her two van Hall playmates Eugen and AndrĂ© van Hall. My mother stayed with the van Halls for a while and she spoke of "Eugen-and-AndrĂ©" as if they were a single person, although only one of them proposed marriage to her (at, what, six years old?).
John Charles van Hall was a sibling of Eugen and AndrĂ© with an American connection–he was born in 1899 in Maryland (Baltimore, I believe) when Jan and Hester van Hall were visiting. 

Of his three other siblings, one was Frederik Maurits, known as Freddy, who died while a midshipman riding on the back of fellow Middy's motorcycle. It was a major family tragedy; Freddy was well loved. 

After Freddy's death, the Academy forbade taking riders on a motorcycle. John married Maria Fransina Gannett Böeseken, four years younger than him and born in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

HILDA VAN STOCKUM | Her Books (Updated Feb. 2, 2017)

Hilda van Stockum (1908-2006).
Dec. 25, 2016–Today is the 100th Anniversary of the memorial service for Inez Milholland Boissevain, who died on November 25, 1916 in Los Angeles. Inez's death played a significant considerable part in the passage in 1920 of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, recognizing the right of women to vote. Inez married my mother's uncle, Eugen Boissevain in 1913. 

An article I wrote about the centennial of the memorial ceremony for Inez and a dozen other blogposts in the last two months have generated a surge of interest in the books of my mother, Hilda van Stockum. See chart below and her photo (as an art student) at left.

Her 25 books for children and young adults were originally published by Harper & Brothers, Viking and Farrar Straus during the period 1934-1975, a span of 41 years. Her last book, which she thought was her best one, was The Borrowed House.

Of these books, 15 are currently available in English from three publishers in the United States. Her books are available in other languages from several foreign publishers (the Japanese edition of A Day on Skates and the Dutch edition of The Borrowed House are two examples).

Monthly page views,, end of Dec., 2016.
Graph of Blogger page views

Three U.S. publishers currently sell 15 HvS books in the English langage:

The Purple House Press reissued The Borrowed House in 2016. This extraordinary book takes us back to Hitler's occupation of Holland and presents the situation in Amsterdam from the perspective of a 12-year-old German girl in Hitler Youth who took as gospel Hitler's theories of racial superiority. These theories did not fit the reality she came to see in occupied Amsterdam.

Bethlehem Books sells eight HvS books. It took a lead in 1995 in reissuing some of her books that were out of print, notably The Winged Watchman (originally published by Farrar Straus). Other books currently sold by Bethlehem Books are A Day on Skates, the Irish Trilogy (The Cottage at Bantry BayFrancie on the Run and Pegeen), and the Mitchells Trilogy (The Mitchells or V for VictoryCanadian Summer and Friendly Gables).

Boissevain Books LLC sells six HvS books. It has in recent years reissued five HvS books that were out of print, including Little Old Bear, Patsy and the Pup, Kersti and St. Nicholas, Penengro, and King Oberon's Forest. It also sells Pamela Walks the Dog, originally published by Bethlehem Books. (Boissevain Books also issued a new edition of Olga Marlin's To Africa with a Dream, and Brigid Marlin's A Meaning for Danny and The Box House, and most recently published Kate Bodsworth's Princess Josephine and the Rainbow Dragon. Bois Books also sells a large-sized durable poster of Inez Milholland Boissevain, HvS's aunt.) In the pipeline for reissue are several more HvS books, including The Angel's Alphabet, Andries and Gerrit and the Organ. 
If you are interested in Holland, World War 2, Hitler's Occupation, the Resistance, or any of the other themes that Hilda van Stockum took up, her books continue to enlighten and enthrall. 

Click on the publisher's name above to have any of these books delivered to your door.

BLOG VIEWS | 40K – Top Posts

Hilda van Stockum (1908-2006)
This blog is about  the life, family, art and writing of Hilda van Stockum. 

It has just passed 40,000 page views.

Thank you for reading. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2017.

Below are the ten most-viewed posts during the last month.

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HvS | Eleven Poems
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