CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is
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A Fine Line Between...
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Disguised as a Christmas Tree
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Go Out in a Blaze of Glory
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
Restoring the Lost Sense

January 21, 2015 (permalink)

Comedian Stewart Lee would have us believe that Scotland hasn't changed much from this depiction in A Book of Scotish Pasquils, edited by James Maidment, 1868.

January 20, 2015 (permalink)

"Gradually, however, they assumed a darker and more mysterious character."  From The Bride of Lammermoor by Walter Scott and illustrated by Fred Pegram, 1898.

"The chair was an ugly old gentleman; and what was more, he was winking at Tom Smart."  From The Works of Charles Dickens, Household Edition.

January 19, 2015 (permalink)

Here's more proof that everyone's an art critic: "This is a terrible piece of work," from The Lost Gold of the Montezumas by William Osborne Stoddard, 1897.

"Arise!  Arise!"  From The Decameron of a Hypnotist by Ernest Richard Suffling, 1898.

"I will bury myself in my books, and the devil may pipe to his own."  From Maud by Alfred Tennyson, 1878.

January 18, 2015 (permalink)

From Thackerayana, 1875.

From Life in Brazil by Thomas Ewbank, 1856.

If this is a depiction of the Mississippi River, then our best guess is Memphis.  From How the World Was Peopled by Edward Fontaine, 1872.

Once a proofreader, always a proofreader (apparently).  From Mark Twain's Roughing It.  The caption reads, "Needed marking."

January 17, 2015 (permalink)

Everyone called a different question to the parrot, from The Bookshelf for Boys and Girls: Little Journeys into Bookland, 1912.  [For Gary Barwin.]

"The phantom fight," from France by Leitch Ritchie, 1872.

From Les Merveilles du Mont. St. Michel by Paul Henri Coretin FeĢval, 1880.

"Going out with the key," from Dicks' English Library of Standard Works, 1884.

January 16, 2015 (permalink)

This is the best "mustard walking in the snow" picture we've seen all year.  From American Cookery, 1914.

"He stood quite still and looked at me," from Ghostly Tales by Wilhelmina Fitzclarence, Countess of Munster, 1896.

From The Hepsworth Millions by Christian Lys, 1898.

"To his extreme horror finds every watch, every clock, and every chronometer pointing out a different hour; so that all the information he can get is, that the time is something between 12 o'clock to-day and 12 o-clock to-morrow."  From The Man in the Moon, Volume V.

The Lord of the World from Thirty-eight Years in India: From Juganath to the Himalaya Mountains by William Tayler, 1881.

January 15, 2015 (permalink)

"Vision" (1879) by Odilon Redon.

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