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Category: Writers

Brooding pen and ink sketch of a man in late 19th century apparel, with topcoat and long cloak, walking past a streetlight on a foggy eetlight at dusk. A bat flies in the background

Crime Classics: Richard Harding Davis Gets Lost “In the Fog”

Posted by: Neely Tucker

“In the Fog" is the latest Library of Congress Crime Classic to be republished. This 1901 novella is by Richard Harding Davis, the influential war correspondent, author and playwright. He might be largely forgotten now, but Davis was a Renaissance man of his era, as renowned for his battlefield escapades, famous friends and good looks as he was for his literary and journalistic success. "In the Fog" takes place in Victorian London and was, like many of Davis' books, a bestseller.

John and Jacqueline Kennedy pose on a grassy lawn on their wedding day, her white gown flowing behind her

Black Dressmakers for First Ladies

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Two Black seamstresses have left their mark on White House fashion history, as Elizabeth Keckley and Ann Lowe designed dresses for two of the nation’s most famous first ladies, Mary Todd Lincoln and Jacqueline Kennedy, respectively. Both designers developed their craft despite the brutal influences of slavery and Jim Crow segregation. This piece tells their stories.

Gilded Age illustration of a moonlit, snowy night with a horse drawn coach outside a mansion. People cast long shadows on the snow.

Holiday Cheer? Try These Seasonal Favorites

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Here's a handy guide to holiday stories that readers frequently turn to at the Library. Favorites include the tale of who invented Christmas tree lights, how Truman Capote wrote "A Christmas Memory" (the Library has his handwritten first draft) and how a Central American flowering plant became the favorite Christmas flower around the world.

Carl Sagan: Childhood Dreams of Space Flight

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Carl Sagan's dreams of space flight took root as a child as some of his enthusiastic artwork shows, particularly a drawing he called “The Evolution of Interstellar Flight.” It's in the Library's Seth MacFarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive, composed of more than 595,000 items from throughout the astrophysicist's life.

Color photo of Hemingway on his boat, reading a magazine. He is wearing a baseball cap and is reclining on a seat back, the ocean and sunshine visible behind him

Eavesdropping on Ernest Hemingway at Finca Vigía

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Ernest Hemingway recorded more than four hours of personal stories, dictation and friends playing music at his home in Cuba during 1949-50 for his friend and future biographer A.E. Hotchner. Those recordings, part of the Library's Hotchner collection, show Hemingway at home with friends, but also how uncomfortable he was with the technology. The tapes have been used by multiple Hemingway biographers.

Book opened to two pages, showing woodcut of author on the left and title page on the right.

The First Children’s Picture Book Might Be This One

Posted by: Maria Peña

One of the first picture books for children was "Orbis Sensualium Pictus" ("Visible World in Pictures"), published by Johann Amos Comenius in 1658. Born in the present-day Czech republic, Comenius was a theologian and education reformer who believed in teaching children from a Christian perspective. His book, with 150 woodcut images, was popular across Europe for centuries. The Library has a 1664 edition published in London.