Thursday, November 18, 2010

James Branch Cabell and Ellen Glasgow, 1928.

Though they had shared the same city their entire lives, it was not until the 1920s, when they had become two of Richmond's most successful and respected writers, that James Branch Cabell (1879-1958) and Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945) became true friends.

The only known photograph of Ellen Glasgow and James Branch Cabell together was taken at the Cabell home (3201 Monument) on June 1, 1928 by Richmond's Dementi Studio for the Richmond News Leader.  From left to right are Burton Rascoe, a literary critic from Chicago, Ellen Glasgow, James Branch Cabell, Priscilla Bradley Shepherd Cabell (Cabell's first wife), and Elliott White Springs, a short story writer.

If you click twice on the image it will get much larger and you can see that Glasgow is hiding most of her body with a very large feather.


Bryan said...

This photograph is fascinating! The room is relatively simple and unassuming, and not what you'd expect from the exterior of the house. Are those big halves of cantalope on the plates? Kind of awkward for a formal lunch or whatever meal they're having - you'd have to steady the fruit with one hand and scoop out the insides with the other. Also, so where are the other guests? It looks like there are four other places set; did the photographer request that all the "unimportant" people get out of the shot?

Ray Bonis -- Catherine L. Easterling -- T. Tyler Potterfield -- Edward DuBois Ragan -- Selden Richardson. said...

I was wondering the same thing when I clicked on the image.

Cabell had one son who might be missing from the table and a few of his step daughters may have also been asked to leave for a second. Or the other guests (Richmonders?) were grown ups but not worthy of a photo for the Times Dispatch??

You can see the photographer in the mirror.

- Ray

Anonymous said...

The link to the bio of Elliot White Springs was certainly interesting. Pretty remarkable and talented character who I would have never heard of if I hadn't been a devoted reader of The Examiner.

Ray Bonis -- Catherine L. Easterling -- T. Tyler Potterfield -- Edward DuBois Ragan -- Selden Richardson. said...

That's great!

Leslie P said...

The link to VCU's information is broken.

Also, for the home location, do you know how the location was identified as Monument!? In a Facebook group someone placed Cabell's home around Staples Mill, Dumbarton Road area in the 1920s: "When the overpass was constructed, it covered over the old property where James Branch Cabell once lived with his wife and family in the 1920's. The house had burned down and was gone. One of Cabell's early books was written with Staples Mill Pond as the setting. They used to host big parties at their house and invited such authors as Ellen Glasgow and Majorie Rawlings."