My entertainment this morning is Octave Thanet's An Adventure in Photography, published in 1893. This book is for purchase, and I can snag a signed first edition for around $125 (granted, the description indicates it needs to be rebound) or an unsigned for $40.
The book opens with a lovely indication of Octave and Jane's relationship, and the narrative parts of the book are a sweet glimpse into their home life and common interests, complete with dialogue.
THPlenty of pictures here of Thanford and surrounding areas in Clover Bend, including this one, which strikes me on a personal level. My paternal grandfather was a tenant farmer in Arkansas.
I have many reasons for my starts and stops on this project; understandably when it was necessary for me to work for other people during Dani's medical school and residency, I simply didn't have the time or emotional energy to work on it consistently.
However, I'm also very aware that one factor contributing to the seventeen year gap between declaring I would pursue the project and yesterday when I finally sat down and started is that Octave Thanet is a contradictory character and there's a ton of things about her that are going to be uncomfortable. The very fact that she owned a plantation in Arkansas is prickly for me, as is her fairly well-documented anti-suffrage position.
But, that's the goal of this journey--to figure her out. Her one published biography is older than I am, after all, and perhaps a fellow lesbian and Arkansan by choice can add to our understanding of her life and how she lived it.
About this project:
I've been saying since 2004 that I was going to write a critical biography of Octave Thanet (Alice French). This blog is the start of that work and will include notes, links to research, and other OT related tidbits.