6.75 x 8.25” composition notebook with a blue cover and brown spine, and a space on the front for Gertrude to write her name and address, which was 330 John Street in Bridgeport, CT. There are a few empty pages, but for the most part the notebook is filled with Gertrude’s writing. She has copied down such texts as “Literary Fashions” by Bliss Penny from 1906, “Idealism in American Life” by Hamilton Malre, and “Beauty in Common Things” by Henry Turner Bailey, amongst others. Gertrude also included sketches, history notes, and information on weaving, paper cutting, mounting, and seems to have copied down a play or poem. Starting from the back of the notebook, written upside down, Gertrude copied down text on “Knowledge” and “Action.”
Excerpt of Literary Fashions by Bliss Penny, Feb. 10, 1906
Personal sympathies and antipathies. First looks [illegible] [illegible]. “The Count of Napoleon.” Charm not in text but in leaves and pictures. Marvellous things to wear. Court beauty. Country beauty. dressed too much [illegible] not enough according to Mass Moved. N. E. child to wonder. Memory comes back. Historian interpret historical significance. Greek and Roman plays very interesting [illegible]. literary whims as fascinating as fashions. An audience of book-lovers. Analogy from Horse-show. Great vanity of people. Few [illegible] [illegible]. Know by instinct which are best. Have whims in horses. Back of this is love of horse.
L. rests on lore of looks as may take in solitude or may give pleasure to the World of L. like world of H.S. Horses, judges, stableman in L. are publishers.
Most interesting thing in H.S. are people like great [illegible] public. Book is to be trusted by ones own [illegible]. Book not only [illegible] but reflects your time. Gives you a picture of the crowd. Study lit. fashions is not to study husks but human life. In En. novel heroine in 1785 weep, 1840 takes [illegible] in teeth and elopes, in 1905 joins a college settlement.
Underneath conventionalism, something to wonder at. Come close to [illegible] men and woman.
1 or 2 great phases of L. show [illegible] of L. F. Can’t be like German scholars work from hair-brush to soul. Theologically is the product of and [it is possible that a page has been ripped out here] a study possible to everybody because of labors of scientific criticism. [illegible] must be studied tenth whiskey. Unless you take him that way. You do not have right back-ground. Wendell tells like mole.
Literary forms. [illegible]. Full of far-fetched style of speech 15-80-1590. Suppose [illegible] in histor. Interest in [illegible] lack of words. Goes back farther to natural history. All goes back to Spanish bishop of 16 century. Both don’t appreciate [illegible]. This was a fool. All talked the language.
[illegible] of Puritanism [illegible] man of ideas. of historical form. Can’t understand tell you seen tin common people. A [illegible[. Strange fashion like Cromwells coat. Fash. of speech like fash. of [illegible]. Can underst. tell you have think of it [illegible]. Change from hist. to scientific. Evolut. of Literary Types. That there are [illegible] [illegible] tragedy [illegible], has [illegible] for so long, style makes up. 2 qualification on this, 1st there is no definite displace of a lower form by a higher horse developed from 3-toed horse. No such evolution in
2nd thing does not make allowance of caprice of great writer.
Take 1st, found in Nat. hist. Take first novel composed to [illegible] novel, as George Eliot Believed heart was [illegible] interesting than adventure. [illegible] stays in fiction. Stories improbable
“ with [illegible]
George E. [illegible] [illegible] [illegible].
Everyone began to read Stevenson’s Treasure Island. G. E. response to a higher type. Can’t say that this will survive longer. But must consider literary fashions. Everyone enthusiastic. Critics don’t see this.
[illegible] from historical novel. Began with Hugh Wynne. Reveal to novelist love of American history. Can’t trace [illegible] with sales. “Sale of a book is inverse rate to its worth.” Look like Dan H. All enjoyed but wouldn’t say it was a great book. [illegible] to parish although sold by ¼ millions. Shows how far principle of imitation goes. Follow the [illegible]. Hall Cairnes Prodigal Son. feel lonesome if you haven’t read.
Psychologist invents names for old [illegible]. Waits to find us [illegible]. [illegible] is [illegible] to gain than ever before. Byron had to wait we have telephone.
[illegible] fault of writers. We follow fashions. Can tell when each house is built. Why don’t write of roofs, black mahogany, still work.
Study books in 1810 [illegible] Baxter’s. We put Simple Life while we got to [illegible].
Take sphere of art. Gibson girl for last ten years one ever cover. Sisters arming up.
Doctors put hair over flaws. Shop girls in A. do. Wandering too Jan [illegible]. There is no displacement of a look by another. [illegible] from poetry to prose. Fashions will bring around what you want. Old fashion [illegible] in cycles of 40 years.
Sphere of great writer. Thomas Carlyle, Given Man. trace ancestry. All facts are in t. If you have conception first. Can’t pin down a great man to any certain thing. Open college majors of 8 or 10 years old and find Rich Hands, [illegible], [illegible], Pin-pong. Go farther back and find Carlyle in essays. Fathers [illegible] away by it. Unless you see how are attracted can’t realize it. ugly neck rash, balding, long coat, parelled [illegible], ridiculous in clothes, rich in looks. E. never ten people in the world who understand Plato. But Plato came down [illegible] them in. Penny [illegible] [illegible]. Books have queer adventures. 1881 Browning so writes passion, newspaper have fun. can most members 1889. now stopped joking took him seriously.