Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

email signup Blog Video Facebook Twitter Instagram
Spring 2013 Newsletter

Scholarly Publications

Book Cover

Tricia Welsch
Gloria Swanson: Ready for Her Close-Up

(University Press of Mississippi, August 2013)

Gloria Swanson: Ready for Her Close-Up shows how a talented, self-confident actress negotiated a creative path through seven decades of celebrity. Drawing from an astonishing array of materials, Welsch shows that there was much more to Swanson (1899–1983) than the silent era's most glamorous (and fashionable) female star or the Norma Desmond of Sunset Boulevard. This book brings Swanson back into the spotlight, revealing her as a complex, creative, entrepreneurial, and thoroughly modern woman.

In preparing this book, Welsch consulted the Gloria Swanson papers. Welsch's research was supported by two fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship Endowment in 2002–2003 and 2004–2005.

Book Cover

Zoe Jaques and Eugene Giddens
Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass: A Publishing History

(Ashgate, November 2013)

Emerging in several different versions during the author's lifetime, Lewis Carroll's Alice novels have a publishing history almost as magical and mysterious as the stories themselves. Zoe Jaques and Eugene Giddens offer a detailed and nuanced account of the initial publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and investigate how their subsequent transformations through print, illustration, film, song, and other mediums affected the reception of these childhood favorites.

In preparing this book, the authors consulted the Ransom Center's book collection and various editions of Alice in Wonderland. Jaques was a recipient of the 2011–2012 Limited Editions Club Endowment Fellowship.

Book Cover

Hermione Lee
Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life

(Chatto & Windus, December 2013)

Penelope Fitzgerald (1916–2000) was a great English writer, who would never have described herself in such grand terms. Her novels were short, spare masterpieces, self-concealing, oblique, and subtle. Fitzgerald's life is as various, as cryptic, and as intriguing as her fiction. This biography by Hermoine Lee—a biographer whom Fitzgerald herself admired—pursues her life, her writing, and her secret self.

In preparing this book, Lee consulted the Fitzgerald and Francis King papers. Lee is President of Wolfson College, Oxford. She is also a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Literature.

Book Cover

Carla Kaplan
Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance

(Harper, September 2013)

The 1920s in New York City was a time of freedom, experimentation, and passion—with Harlem at the epicenter. White men could go uptown to see jazz and modern dance, but women who embraced black culture too enthusiastically could be ostracized. Miss Anne in Harlem focuses on six of the unconventional, free-thinking women, some from Manhattan high society, many Jewish, who crossed race lines and defied social conventions to become part of the culture of Harlem. Ethnic and gender studies professor Carla Kaplan brings the interracial history of the Harlem Renaissance to life with vivid prose, extensive research, and period photographs.

In preparing this book, Kaplan consulted the Nancy Cunard, Fannie Hurst, and Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. collections. Kaplan was a 2006–2007 Alfred A. and Blanche Knopf Fellowship and a 2013–2014 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship from the Ransom Center.

Book Cover

Ted Spagna; edited by Delia Bonfilio and Ron Eldridge with Martynka Wawrzyniak

(Universe, September 2013)

In 1975, Ted Spagna began his voyeuristic venture into "inner space," exposing the secrets of human sleep behavior by photographing intimate narratives of sleeping figures with a time-lapse camera. Presented in brilliantly colored exposures, these sensual, cinematic images of dressed or undressed sleeping subjects depict the inherent beauty, rhythm, and organization of natural behavior. Echoing the work of Eadweard Muybridge, this unprecedented book is sure to delight art and photography lovers.

In preparing this book, the editors consulted the Spagna papers and photographic collection at the Ransom Center.

Book Cover

Bruce MacNab
The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini

(Goose Lane Editions, October 2012)

In May of 1896, a young New York City magician named Harry Houdini joined the cast of the Marco Magic Company and embarked on a summer-long tour of eastern Canada, including New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It was during this excursion that Houdini first showcased the talent that transformed him from a small-time conjurer, who performed for pennies in dime museums, into the world's most celebrated escape artist. In this book, enriched by rare, period photographs, Bruce MacNab recounts an untold chapter in the career of the man whose name is still synonymous with magic.

In preparing this book, MacNab consulted the Ransom Center's Harry Houdini papers.

Table of Contents