Thursday, January 14, 2016

Jaw-dropping dust jackets of George Manning-Sanders' novels, Part 2



Last July, I featured the covers of the novels written by George Manning-Sanders (1884-1952), the husband of Ruth Manning-Sanders. While his writings weren't as prolific or well-known as his wife's, he's part of her story and should certainly be remembered. I'd love to learn more of his biographical information.

That July post resulted in a recent email from reader Christopher Dunnbier, who shared with me the two George Manning-Sanders images atop this post:

  • A much better version of The Third Day dust jacket
  • A second version of Drum & Monkey dust jacket

Dunnbier is also a Ruth Manning-Sanders fan; it's wonderful how writing about her brings me in contact with more and more of her admirers. Before long, we'll have a full-fledged revival of her folk- and fairy-tale works on our hands!

Here are some excerpts from Dunnbier's emails:

  • "I should introduce myself ... and talk about my own enjoyment of Ruth Manning-Sanders. (Even before I understood the concepts as a young child, I loved that her folktales were effortlessly feminist — she showcased strong active heroines as well as sympathetic passive princesses — and multicultural — while the majority of the stories were from all across Europe, I recall there was almost always one from Asia, Africa, and Native America ... which were illustrated true to the source material)."
  • "I will actually have to think more about my 'origin story' with Ruth Manning-Sanders. I strongly suspect my initial exposure came from library copies via my mother (and, my childhood library is one of those very few things that is even better now than my memories of it then) and it was only much later I realized how awesome and unique RMS truly is."
  • "I know so much is a mystery about Manning-Sanders, but do you have any insight on her hyphenated last name? I assumed that was very unusual around the turn of the last century. The internet does sort of date the tradition further back to Lucy Stone keeping her name after marriage in the 1800s as an early feminist statement, but the internet also suggests hyphenation could do with the British class system if, for example, Ruth was marrying below her station."

1. While RMS did have her share of damsels in distress (partly a function of the tales she was retelling), Dunnbier is absolutely correct that she also had a significant percentage of smart, strong-willed, sassy heroines who were quite adept at handling themselves when battling witches, giants and other creatures. I think Ruth would have loved Rey from The Force Awakens.

2. I haven't come across any information or insight about the Manning-Sanders hyphenated surname. I am hopeful that I might one day get some insight from one of their descendants. My research and inquiries haven't stopped.

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