Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book cover: "Three Boys and a Lighthouse"

  • Title: Three Boys and a Lighthouse
  • Co-authors: Nan Hayden Agle and Ellen Wilson
  • Illustrator: Marian Honigman
  • Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons
  • Year: 1951
  • Excerpt:
    "Silently Abercrombie, Benjamin and Christopher ran up the steps, up and around, up and around, as they had a hundred times before. But this time it was different. This time they were all alone. This time Father would not be there to tell them what do do.

    "Whaa— Whaa— Whaa!

    "The horn sounded twice as loud now that Father was gone."
  • Notes: The cover illustration of this 63-year-old hardcover children's book was too wonderful not to share. Unfortunately, there's not much online about artist Honigman, who was also credited with the covers of these Agle/Wilson books from the Three Boys series — Three Boys and Space, Three Boys and H2O, Three Boys and a Helicopter, Three Boys and a Mine, Three Boys and the Remarkable Cow, Three Boys and a Tugboat, and Three Boys and a Train. Honigman also illustrated 1972's Nicky's Football Team. ... This book was in fair to good condition except for the sad fact that someone wrote DISCARD in big black marker across the illustration on the front endpapers. ... It was once part of the Northern York County Joint School System in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania. ... As far as the authors go, Nan Hayden Agle was 100 years old when she died in 2006 in Maryland. According to her obituary in The Baltimore Sun, she once had a dog named Toulouse Lautrec, who slept "on a pink blanket in the living room with a pillow for his head." ... Here's an interesting tidbit about Agle and Wilson from a September 15, 1964, article in The Gettysburg Times:
    "Mrs. Agle writes from a forest retreat along Lake Roland near Baltimore. She co-authors a series dealing with three boys in collaboration with Ellen Wilson, who is the wife of William Wilson, a professor in Bloomington, Ind., who was formerly a Baltimore newspaperman. ...

    "She and Ellen Wilson literally write their books by mail. Mrs. Agle cannot define which chapters of [sic] lines she wrote but they work from an outline they conceive together and the finished product is as smooth as if it had one author and no intermediary postoffice."
    From this excerpt, I found Ellen Wilson's husband, William E. Wilson. His Wikipedia biography states that she was born Ellen Janet Cameron and died in 1976. Some of the books she wrote on her own included biographies of Annie Oakley and journalist/women's rights activist Margaret Fuller.

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