Sunday, March 1, 2015

Oscar Wilde Fan?

 Possibly the coolest postcard I have found to date. Possibly.It's definitely old, late 1800's to early 1900's would be my guess. But that isn't what makes it cool. First of all, what is written is hilarious. Let's start there. The postcard reads, "My dear Miss Prism, Visiting my old stomping grounds at Oxford and wanted to send you a quick note. The weather remains charming. I got a chance to read you 3 volume novel - I found it grotesque and irreligious. I did, however, enjoy the illustrations of the Fall of the Rupee - too sensational!! I'll visit soon, we'll have tea and cucumber sandwiches. By the by, thought you should know that the stain on the lining*? was not from a temperance beverage, but from baby Jack's incontinence! warmest regards, Algy."

Alright, first of all, telling her friend her books were "grotesque and irreligious" was pretty bold. But mentioning that any stain on the card was definitely the product of baby Jack's incontinence was too good. You'd hate to have someone think you had consumed a "temperance beverage." Total scandal.

So I read this postcard a few times, and something started to seem familiar about the names. Oh, my goodness. I started putting the names into Google and low and behold guess what came up? Algy, Laetitia, and baby Jack all match characters from Oscar Wilde's last and most popular play, The Important of Being Earnest. The play debuted in London on February 14th in 1895.  Was this why the postcard was never sent? How badly do I want to meet whomever it was that wrote this! Too funny.

Cloetta Chocolate

Cloetta was established in 1862 in Copenhagen by the three Swiss brothers Bernhard, Christopher and Nutin Cloetta. The movement expanded and in 1873 a factory was built in Malmö. This factory was moved in 1901 to Ljungsbro. The Cloetta family sold the business in 1917 to the Swedish Chocolate Factory AB with Svenfelt family as majority owner. There's the nutshell history. So, the question is this, how old is this paper, ad, bookmark thing I found in one of my books? 
I am going to guess the 1920's to 40's. Mostly based on my absolute love for that time period, and this girls hair and clothing. The card says Gourmet Bitter chocolate for connoisseurs, new healthy and tasty, among other things. I believe this particular box of chocolates might be dark chocolate covered gooseberries. Sounds good, cannot say I have ever had a gooseberry. Bucket list add right there. 

This card is in Swedish, which is really cool because my grandfather was 100% Swedish. 100% anything is kind of rare anymore. Perhaps I should have a chocolate covered gooseberry actually IN Sweden?! Madness or brilliance, I can't decide. But either way, Sweden is definitely on the bucket list. The bucket list currently has things scratched out and completed, and there are always new things going onto it. Just as bucket lists should be. And no, I am not old nor do I have a fatal disease, but waiting to start knocking out a bucket list makes no sense to me at all. Insert sappy, cliche sayings about living life to the fullest, don't wait til tomorrow, etc. here. They do have a point though.

Selma Lagerlof Obituary 1940

 Selma Lagerlof was born November 20, 1858 and died on March 16, 1940. She was a Swedish Author, was the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was well known for her children's book The Wonderful Adventures of Nils. She first worked as a school teacher and then eventually quite teaching to write full time. She traveled through Italy, Palestine, and Jerusalem which served as inspiration for some of her work. Selma was also a speaker for the Country Association for Women's Suffrage and spoke at the International Suffrage Congress in Stockholm in June of 1911 where she gave the opening address. She also spoke at the victory party of the Swedish suffrage movement after women suffrage had been granted in May of 1919.

One really cool thing Selma did just prior to her death in 1940 was to intervene with the Swedish royal family to secure the release of Nelly Sachs from Germany. Nelly Sachs was a German-Jewish writer and personal friend of Selma's. Sach and Sach's mother were able to catch the very last flight from Germany to Sweden for asylum from the Nazi's.

 This is an announcement of her death in a Danish newspaper published in 1940. She passed away at Marbacka, which is a mansion in Sunne Municipality in Varmland, Sweden where she was born and raised. Marbacka is now kept as a memorial estate for Selma and is preserved and shown as it was at the time of her death. You can get a guided tour of the main building and visitors can also visit the gardens, a cafe, and a bookstore. There is a memorial exhibition of Lagerlof's life and writings in the barn on the property.

Solid history lesson here, what else can you say about a writer, an activist, and the type of person who who came through for a friend during WWII. Awesome.