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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

AUCTIONS | Hilda van Stockum Art to Be Sold

Image © by the Estate of Hilda van Stockum, shown here by
special permission.
The art-pricing site askART has just announced that one or more items of Hilda van Stockum art will be auctioned in the near future.

For more details go to the askART siteFull information will require a subscription.

Meanwhile, 33 pieces of art by Hilda van Stockum have been collected together on the Arcadja art-pricing site. To see the prices, a "Pro" subscription is required, but several pieces of art are shown with prices attached.

Here are some recent HvS art works that have been auctioned:

Hans Brinker drawings for the World Publishing edition. Ironically, the artist in this case was a Dutch native, but the author of the famed book (which invented the legend of the boy with his finger in the dike) never even visited Holland. Auctioned by Susanin's, Chicago, March 19, 2016, Lot 7072.

Wildflower with Beech Leaves (1992). Leslie Hindmin, Chicago, March 19, 2014, Lot 2712.

Pears in a Window. DeVere's, Dublin. November 27, 2013, Lot 2. These pears look a lot like the ones in the HvS Europa stamp, although the background is different. Could pears last through two sets of "sittings"? DeVere's auctioned another HvS art work on May 14, 2013.

Another auction house that deals in HvS art: Adams (Dublin).

Another art pricing site: Artprice.

Related Post: Archives and Galleries of Hilda van Stockum


ST NICHOLAS | It's His Day – Buy "Kersti and St Nicholas"! (Updated Dec. 6, 2017)

"Kersti and St Nicholas" – slightly modified by the author's
children to make the book accessible to another generation
of families. The illustrations are classic.
December 5, 2017 – It is St Nicholas Eve, my mother's favorite day of the year when we were growing up. She would put up a Christmas tree and then get out her St Nicholas costume.

With great fanfare at dusk she would arrive as St Nicholas, meting out appreciation for all the good things the children did and remonstrating, in a stern but kindly way, about some example of deeds less admirable.

She did such a good job of it! I remember being so impressed with the deep knowledge St Nicholas had of our family. How could he know so much about so many families?

The next morning we would find our stockings hanging full of small gifts, and sometimes a piece of coal with an explanation, a reminder of some egregious malfeasance or nonfeasance. I was stunned. St Nicholas kept track! Who knew?

Hilda van Stockum herself is full of morality. She came down hard on her evil characters, like Leendert in The Winged Watchman. Some librarians found it disconcerting that Kersti managed to persuade St Nicholas to deviate from his normal mission of giving presents only to good children. In Kersti we find a St Nicholas who listens to pleas and can be merciful. The question of the librarians is where mercy ends and injustice begins.

The unexpected turn of the plot surely reflects the impact on van Stockum of Hitler's ruthless invasion of the Netherlands in May of the year of publication, 1940. 

That was van Stockum's country of birth and most of her relatives were deeply threatened. Many would die because they worked in the Resistance. Some died of hunger. One of her two brothers died during the war piloting an RAF plane to fight Hitler. The other brother died of an illness contracted in Holland during the war.

This is a "Speculaas Moulin" – a Dutch windmill 
cookie, with almond and ginger spices. In 
Belgium they are called "Speculoos" cookies. 
They are a specialty of St. Nicholas Day.
One can understand why at that time van Stockum was yearning for benevolence from those with the power to dispense mercy. 

The book Kersti and St Nicholas was originally a hard-cover book published by Viking. The reprint edition is a paperback. Her children edited the text slightly to ensure that the good children did not suffer from the mercy shown to naughty children. 

The illustrations in the book are universally admired, and every year the products offered by Boissevain Books get a little better as reprint technology improves and our ability to ensure quality increases.

Here is a review of the reprint edition:
A beautifully illustrated book for the Holidays about Kersti, a mischievous little girl who is always misbehaving, much to the dismay of her six older sisters and parents. As St. Nicholas Day approaches, Kersti worries that she won't receive any gifts and sets out on an adventure. First published in 1940, this new edition has been abridged and adapted by the author's family to make it more accessible to young readers today. – Fantastic Fiction.

The book has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 on Goodreads and 4 out of 5 on Amazon. So:


More about St Nicholas

St Nicholas is the patron saint of millers and sailors, Holland and New York City. St Nicholas appears the evening before his feastday, i.e., the evening of December 5.

Above is a photo of a cookie my wife Alice Tepper Marlin purchased in Belgium. It is a St Nicholas Day specialty. It has a windmill on it because it's a specialty of Holland and other low countries threatened by floods.
First published in 1962, The Winged Watchman
 has sold 55,000 copies in reprint since 1997.
 It has been optioned for a movie and a 
television mini-series.

Hurricane Sandy a year ago shut down much of New York City and reminded us of the Dutch skill at keeping out water. Much of Holland is at or below sea level and the windmills pump out the "polders", the areas surrounded by dikes (Dutch embankments).

The Port of Rotterdam is a great example of Dutch engineering to keep water at bay. It is also where my Hilda van Stockum was born. Her father was a naval captain and she grew up near ports and naval bases. Her book, The Winged Watchman (1962), was republished in 1997 after 20 years being out of print. It has sold 55,000 copies in the reprint version, has been optioned for a movie, and is currently under option for a television miniseries. The book by my mother has special relevance in light of Hurricane Sandy, which caused most of its damage because of flooding and caused most of the lost economic activity because of the electricity outages.
The story is about a family that lives in an old windmill during the Nazi Occupation. Two boys aged 10 and 14 join the Resistance. The book shows how the windmill did their work when the electric mills were starved for fuel during the Dutch famine.

New York City has lost the skills of its Dutch colonists and Hurricane Sandy did major damage to the areas of NYC near water. If the Dutch were still in charge this might not have happened. Bring 'em back!

Seal of the City of New York. Note windmill 
"wings" and two beavers.
The Dutch first came to New York when the Dutch East India Company in 1609 sent English navigator Henry Hudson to explore the river now named after him. He went far north into what is now Canada and wrote back to his sponsors that beavers lived on the river in abundance. A Dutch settlement, New Amsterdam, was founded in Manhattan largely to support trapping beavers and sending them to Europe for women to wear. The New York City coat of arms has two beavers on it as well as a four windmill wings in honor of the Dutch settlers.

The Dutch have been facing these flooding problems for many centuries. Their world preeminence in building windmills to pump out water also made them experts in making sails for the mill wings and this helped make them a global naval power for a time.

After the English took over the Dutch colony in 1664, they renamed it New York. The city grew most rapidly when the Hudson River became the gateway not only to upstate New York but also, after the Erie Canal was built, to the Great Lakes.

The Dutch have developed many kinds of technology to deal with today's challenges to their flood-threatened system of polders. New York needs to get their advice. The Winged Watchman provides both a history of the importance of windmills in Dutch history and an education in the ways to deal with flooding.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

HENRIETTE VAN MARLE | Ireland, 1953

L to R: Hilda van Stockum and
Henriette van Marle.
I ran across this photo of Hilda van Stockum, looks like Ireland, probably Blackrock or Dalkey.

Brigid just reported back to me who it is standing next to  HvS:
That's my cousin Henriette van Marle! It could be Dublin. She visited us there when we were teenagers. I was 15 and she was 19 or 20. I wrote about her in my book, A Meaning for DannyWe were great friends when we were in Holland after the war. I was 11 and she was 16. 
Yes, I remember that summer. We were at De Leemk├╝le in Hattem, near Tante Hessie [van Hall] and her Kolkhuis. It was a holiday camp in the woods, with common cooking facilities and little cabins.

Brigid reminded me that Henriette's mother and sister traded names within the family. Hilda Boissevain de Booy and Olga Boissevain van Stockum were the middle two of daughters of Charles and Emily Boissevain. Charles was the editor of the Algemeen Handelsblad, now the nrcHandelsblad
Henriette's older sister was called Hilda and her Mother was called Olga. This Olga /Hilda exchange was started by our granny Olga, and our great-aunt Hilda Boissevain [de Booy]. They agreed to name their daughters after each other. Their daughters did the same. The tradition stopped then because our Olga didn't have kids, I didn't have a girl, and Sheila gave her girls Irish first names to go with their O'Neill surname.
This an opportunity to provide an update on family news:
  • My sister Sheila Marlin O'Neill, sadly, died in September, a month before her 78th birthday. Her funeral in England was last month.
  • HvS's cousin Tom de Booy (son of Hilda and Han de Booy) recently died at 93. Our cousin Charles Boissevain is writing Tom's obituary for the nrcHandelsblad.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

WINDMILLS UPDATED | Let the Turbines Spin, by Alice Tepper Marlin

The daughter-in-law of Hilda van Stockum updates the story of The Winged Watchman by showing how windmills can create energy in new ways. 

The largest U.S. array of new windmills in the ocean is being planned for the end of Long Island.

Let the Turbines Spin by Alice Tepper Marlin | The East Hampton Star

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

DEATH | November 1 – HvS

Spike, 1909-1994 (L) and Hilda van Stockum
Marlin, 1908-2006. Photo taken in NJ in 1971.
November 1, 2017–Hilda van Stockum died this day, All Saints Day, in 2006. This is the 11th anniversary of her death.

Sadly this year, the main news is that Sheila died of cancer on September 25, a month before her 78th birthday. Now the living siblings are five. Olga, Brigid, Randal, John, Lis.

Sheila's life was celebrated last month in Watford at her funeral and family lunch.

The tenth anniversary of HvS's death last year was celebrated with the re-issue of a new (2016) edition of her 1975 book The Borrowed House, originally published by Farrar Straus. The family HvS Remembrances post has recently been updated.

Here are some of HvS's many obituaries and appreciations:

Reissued in 2016.
USA
New York Times, Nov. 4, 2006, New York Sun, Nov. 3, 2006, Children's Literature NetworkBethlehem BooksPublishers WeeklyHorn BookAna Braga-Henebry's JournalLove2Learn MomTop Ten Sources - Children's MediaHiram LibraryKaren Edmisten BlogMailgate.
CANADA Toronto Globe and Mail, Nov. 2, 2006, National Post, Nov. 9, 2006.

IRELAND Irish Times, Nov. 18, 2006.
UK Books for Keeps, Jan. 2007, Berkhamsted Gazette, Nov. 8, 2006, World People's BlogAchockoblog (Achuka).  
NETHERLANDS (in Dutch) Het Parool (Amsterdam, WWII Underground Resistance Newspaper), Nov. 9, 2006, Leesplein
GERMANY (in German) German-Language Wikipedia.  
KENYA Daily Nation, Nairobi, Nov. 14, 2006, p. 38. 
NEW ZEALAND Dorothy Neal White Newsletter

Related Posts: HvS English-Language Wikipedia Entry . HvS Dutch-Language Wikipedia Entry . Her brother Willem . European Pilgrimage 1954-55 . New Purple House Press Edition of The Borrowed House . Remembrances by Her Family (Updated to 2016)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

SHEILA O'NEILL | Family Lunch – Oct. 14, 2017

L to R: David Hall, Brian Pigott, Jack Ray on the terrace of High Elms Manor before
the family lunch in memory of Sheila Marlin O'Neill. All photos by JT Marlin.

L to R: Sue Hall, Jill Ray, Sita Pigott.
Table 7. Lis and Cliff Paice and Sheila Petrie Leech.

L to R: Sheila Petrie Leech, Jack Ray, Randal Marlin
 (in back) at the lunch at High Elms Manor.
October 14, 2017 – The family lunch on Saturday was in the same room at High Elms Manor as the funeral reception the day before.


It is also the room where the funeral reception was held for Hilda van Stockum Marlin in November 2006. Quite a few of the people who attended today were at the previous memorial meal eleven years ago.
A special guest today was Sheila Petrie Leech, one of Sheila's life-long friends from the days in 1951-54 when we lived in Blackrock and Dalkey in the Dublin area.


                   Table 5. Montessori School table.

Lis was the last member of the family to talk with Sheila before she died, and Lis was asked to make special mention of Sheila Leech at the memorial service as someone as someone she remembered with special fondness, along with Hazel Irwin and Eithne O'Neill, who were not able to attend the memorial events.

Table 5. Montessori teachers.

Whereas the High Elms Montessori School was most visibly represented by many pupils at the Funeral Mass, today the school was represented by a table full of teachers and others involved in running the school.

Jonathan Willoughby and Phoenix Hawkins-O'Neill.

Jonathan Willoughby and Phoenix Hawkins-O'Neill performed a reprise of the song that she sang and he accompanied on the guitar at the Crematorium service.

The song was "Singing Angel" by Sarah McLachlan.

The acoustics were superior today at High Elms Manor and I was able to make out more of the words of the lovely song than yesterday.

The last two lines are:
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here.
Ailise, 
, Catrine O'Neill.




Table 4







Two Friends of Ailise, Ailise O'Neill.


Table 7. Brian Pigott, Brigid Marlin, Lis Paice. Note that the catering staff member was
moving around so fast she appears as a blur.
L to R: Sita Pigott, Brigid Marlin, David Hall on the terrace of High Elms Manor.



Table 7. Jack and Jill Ray, Sita Pigott.

Jonathan Willoughby and sister
Janet Willoughby.

Old Movies, Inside.


Angela and Vojislav Mihailovic.

Pianist.

Table 4



, Anna.
Anthony Newell, Gini Zdesar.




Other Posts:
Sheila O'Neill, R.I.P. . Sheila's Funeral

Name Index, Family Lunch
Blanchard-O’Neill, Oscar
Hall, David
Hall, Sue
Hawkins-O’Neill, Phoenix
High Elms Manor
High Elms Montessori School
Hilton-O'Neill, Cian 
Hilton-O’Neill, Fin 
Marlin, Brigid
Marlin, Elaine O’Brien
Marlin, Hilda van Stockum
Marlin, John Tepper
Marlin, Olga
Marlin, Randal
Marlin, Sheila
Mihailovic, Alex
Mihailovic, Angela
Mihailovic, Vojislav
Newell, Anthony
Northcott, Max
O'Neill, Ailise
O'Neill, Catrine
O'Neill, Liadain
O'Neill, Roisin
O’Neill, Sheila Marlin
Oakley, Desmond
Paice, Cliff
Paice, Lis
Petrie, Sheila
Pigott, Brian
Pigott, Sita
Ray, Jack
Ray, Jill
van Stockum, Hilda
Willoughby-O’Neill, Zodiac 
Willoughby, Janet
Willoughby, Jonathan
Zdesar, Gini

I am told that to comment on this post now seems to require a Google account and password etc. I'm really sorry about that. No one should have to go through such a rigamarole and I will look for solutions. Meanwhile, if you wish to send a correction, request or comment, please write to the blogger at teppermarlin[at]aol.com. I have substituted [at] for @ to try to thwart bots that look for email addresses embedded in posts.

Friday, October 13, 2017

SHEILA O'NEILL | Funeral – Oct. 13, 2017

Sheila Marlin O'Neill
1939-2017
Watford, UK, Oct. 13, 2017 – My sister Sheila's Funeral Mass was held today at St Saviour's Roman Catholic Church in Abbots Langley, Watford, Herts., UK – 17 miles northwest of London.


Father Richard officiated at the Mass and the Committal at the Crematorium.

Fr Richard Says Mass at St Saviour's.
Sheila attended the church while she was alive. 

She lived nearby at High Elms Manor.

She founded and was Principal of the High Elms Manor Montessori School. 

When she was considering buying the run-down manor, anyone with any familiarity with property management had the same negative reaction (the roof had long been leaking in many places, for example).

Sheila persisted, rounded up support from several reluctant sources including family, and bought it. Over the next two decades she has transformed it and left an astonishing legacy for the community.



Fr Richard prays for the soul of Sheila O'Neill.  Photos by JT Marlin.
Fr Richard closes inside and outer curtains at
the Crematorium. Goodbye Sheila, and to 72
 years of there being six living Marlin children.
Sheila's four daughters largely took over the school before she died, and also put the Manor to work as a location for conferences, weddings, film sets and other events. 

The transition was prompted by, and the subject of, episodes of a television series, "Country House Rescue," produced by Ruth Watson.

Despite the fact that Sheila had spent more on repairing and renovating High Elms Manor than she spent on purchasing it, Watson's advice was to spend even more, and she and her daughters did just that. The result is a gem of a school and community center.


Alan Jones and his wife (L) and Brigid (R).
The Funeral Mass began with readings by Sheila's grandchildren Zodiac Willoughby-O'Neill and Marnie Hilton-O'Neill. (A family tree that shows all seven grandchildren is here.) 
Randal (back to camera), Cliff and Lis.

The first reading was the second letter of St Paul to Timothy 4:6-8, followed by the favorite hymn, "The Lord's My Shepherd" and a reading from John's Gospel, 14:1-6.
L to R: Marnie (Roisin's eldest child)
and Phoenix (Catrine's older child).
Catrine is in back between them.

The Offertory hymn was "Jerusalem" and the recessional hymn was "This Little Light of Mine."

At the church Sheila's daughters – Roisin, Catrine, Liadain and Ailise – each read out a eulogy and at the Crematorium they read poems.


L to R: Zodiac Willoughby-O’Neill,Cian Hilton-O'Neill, Fin Hilton-O’Neill, Oscar Blanchard-O’Neill, Max Northcott. Back to camera: Brigid Marlin. Photo by JT Marlin.
At the Crematorium, Sheila's granddaughter Phoenix sang a song by Sarah McLachlan, accompanied by Jonathan Willoughby on the guitar.
Vojislav Mihailovic (friend of Sheila's
late husband Shane) and Chris Oakley.
Elaine (Randal's wife) and John.

Four of Sheila's five siblings were able to attend the funeral – Brigid, Randal (from Ottawa), John (from New York) and Lis. Olga, the eldest, was not able to travel from Kenya.

Sheila had many talents, more than she could fully utilize.


Three of the many pupils at the funeral
from the High Elms Montessori School.
Her thoughtful and well-constructed poem, "Look to the Stars," read by Liadain, describes her feelings near the end of her life when she was letting go of her attachments to the world she was leaving:

Look to the Stars

In letting go,
I have set myself free.
I ask, want for, nothing
You no longer hold me.

It's over, I'm content
Knowing you still breathe the air,
Enriching the universe
By just being there.

Stay soft and with compassion, remember me
Vulnerable, I carry the scars
Of earth, as pain and longing linger.
So – I will look to the stars!

And live on in the heavens
Where joy triumphs and reigns
With a love as pure as the angels.
There I will find you again.

Sheila's third book,
about Jacob the Goose.
At the reception at High Elms Manor, a copy of Sheila's third book, Jacob: The Famous Goose of the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards, was waiting as a gift for everyone who came to the funeral.

Many of those who attended remembered me from the previous funeral at High Elms Manor, for my mother Hilda van Stockum.
Alex Mihailovic and Judy Vickery, at
the reception at High Elms Manor.

Among those was Judy Vickrey, who was a regular participant in the Friday noontime Writers Group that gathered in the HvS home.

L to R: Janet and brother Jonathan
Willoughby.
The group now convenes high up on the same street in Berkhamsted, at Brigid's house.

News Stories: Sheila's Retirement . Sheila's Death.

Other Posts: Sheila Marlin O'Neill, R.I.P.

Index by Name:

Abbots Langley
Blanchard-O’Neill, Oscar
Coldstream Guards
High Elms Manor
High Elms Montessori School
Hilton-O'Neill, Cian 
Hilton-O’Neill, Fin 
Jacob the Famous Goose
Marlin, Brigid
Marlin, Elaine O’Brien
Marlin, John Tepper
Marlin, Olga
Marlin, Randal
Marlin, Sheila
Mihailovic, Alex
Mihailovic, Angela
Mihailovic, Vojislav
Northcott, Max
O'Neill, Ailise
O'Neill, Catrine
O'Neill, Liadain
O'Neill, Roisin
O’Neill, Sheila Marlin
Paice, Cliff
Paice, Lis
St Saviour’s Church
van Stockum, Hilda
Vickery, Judy
Willoughby-O’Neill, Zodiac 
Willoughby, Janet
Willoughby, Jonathan

I am told that to comment on this post now seems to require a Google account and password etc. I'm really sorry about that. If you wish to send a correction or comment, please write to the blogger at teppermarlin[at]aol.com. I have substituted [at] for @ to thwart bots that look for email addresses embedded in messages.