At table with the Rosenbach brothers

Dealers and collectors in rare and lovely things, the founding brothers of the Rosenbach had a profound connection to their Jewish heritage—reflected particularly in the collecting and scholarly pursuits of the younger brother, Dr. Abraham Rosenbach. Dr. Rosenbach was president of the New York Jewish Historical Society from 1921 to 1948, and wrote a bibliography …

Degrees of Separation: Lord Byron and Lewis Carroll

Everyone in this world is connected, but some are more closely related than others. Scholars of Kevin Bacon analysis will understand this concept of degrees of separation, but may be surprised to learn that it can also be applied to other significant figures; for example, Alice in Wonderland author Charles Dodgson (more commonly known as …

Mary Shelley’s Indestructible Heart

As the opening date for Frankenstein & Dracula approaches, we’ve been revisiting some of the strange (and occasionally salacious) stories from the lives of the Romantic authors whose dark and imaginative stories inspired two of history’s greatest monsters. A favorite among our staff is the grim tale of Percy Shelley’s heart. When he was just …

The Mystery of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”

French literary critic Roland Barthes famously published an essay titled “The Death of the Author,” which argues against interpreting literature primarily in light of the author’s politics, religion, or historical context. For Barthes, to prioritize an author’s meaning is to impose a limited interpretation onto a work of literature, rather than considering the many meanings and interpretations …

Bibliomanes and Biblioklepts

“I have known men to hazard their fortunes, go long journeys halfway about the world, forget friendships, even lie, cheat, and steal, all for the gain of a book.”–A.S.W. Rosenbach, Books and Bidders: The Adventures of a Bibliophile (1927) In January of this year, the book world was shocked by a daring theft from a rare …

“A Certain Woman,” or A Renaissance Poetry Standoff

Your husband flees to another country after Mary Tudor becomes Queen of England. When he goes, he tells another man to “look after” you. Thirty years later, you have a Renaissance poetry stand-off with the man in Queen Elizabeth I’s court and you win. The nature of the 16th century court can get very confusing …

When Mary Met Percy: A Love Story

What’s a good love story without a little bit of drama? Sure, there’s something to be said of happy couples riding off into the sunset, hand in hand, but what people really want are stories full of pain, struggle, heartbreak, infidelity, poverty, loss, and just enough love left over to keep things interesting. While most …

Hedgerow Theatre Brings Interactive Theatre to the Rosenbach

Hedgerow Theatre’s Radio Mysteries will invite audiences of the Rosenbach to experience storytelling in a variety of ways. In addition to live performances of classic radio mystery episodes, this performance will also feature an original piece called “Life in Sonderville”, written by former Hedgerow Fellow Mark Swift. “Life in Sonderville” is a project that hopes to achieve …

2 Questions with 3 Local Mystery Authors

On July 19, we’ll host three mystery writers who live in the Philadelphia area for a panel discussion of their craft.  Merry Jones is the author of the popular Philadelphia-based Zoe Hayes mysteries, including The Nanny Murders, The River Killings, The Deadly Neighbors, and The Borrowed and Blue Murders. Her most recent book is Child’s Play. Jon McGoran is the author of eight …