Here are a few of the gems contained therein. (As always, click to enlarge):
On the magazine’s cover is Flower Garden by Childe Hassam. A feature article within covers an exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art (in Raleigh) entitled Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals. I could not help feeling that it was providential that I should happen upon this issue of this magazine. Childe Hassam was a friend and associate of Celia Thaxter’s; Thaxter and her family ran a resort hotel on Appledore, the archipelago’s largest island. In addition, she was an artist and a poet.
A smaller island in The Isles of Shoals group was called Smuttynose. It is an appropriately sinister name. In 1873 a horrific double murder occurred there. Celia Thaxter describes what happened in “A Memorable Murder,” a lengthy essay published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1875. It is a heartbreaking account, a true Murder of the Innocents, a transgression for which there could never be any atonement.
I first encountered this story two years ago in Harold Schechter’s True Crime anthology. It has haunted me ever since.