[This is the 2nd of 5 favorite posts from the past year, revisited and recast. This follows the previous post, “True Romance.”]


Romance in the Fine Print…


This is a direct quote from my personal copy (honestly obtained near the center of the Pacific Ocean) of Harper’s New Monthly (No. CCXVI – Sept. 1876 – Vol. LIII, p.637)


For MORE use the DOOR.





“We suppose there is no reason to question the entire accuracy of the following ‘interview,’ which occurred recently in a neighboring town: A gentleman, after having paid his addresses to a lady for some time, popped the question. The lady, in a frightened manner, said, ‘You scare me, sir.’ The gentleman did not wish to frighten the lady, and consequently remained silent for some time, when she exclaimed, ‘Scare me again.’ Is that what is sometimes called human nature?”



For art and decoration in magazines 136 years ago (at the time of America’s first centennial) almost everything was black and white. As is the large ink engraving of the first American centennial on the dining room wall of our crude lake cottage (built 6 years later) where my wife  and I spend the summer half of our lives.

Romance and “human nature”? Has the cage that houses it changed? Or just the language?  Or only secrets allowed to escape into print?

And the literary magazine Harper’s today? In keeping with its serial publishing tradition, the April 2013 issue (Vol. 326, No. 1955, p.45ff.) offers chap. 1 of John le Carré’s soon-to-be-released book, A Delicate Truth. Yet I see no delicate or deep romance foreshadowed there…

But if you’re so inclined, try mine, “wrapt romance” if you will.  Strip away the “w” (leaving “rapt”) , then strip away the “r” (leaving “apt”) and turn to my futuristic novel EARTH IS NOT ALONE where in two worlds four couples who are too young must face the demands of love, heart-felt religious responsibility, and life-and-death commitments in times of  horrific “medieval” warfare and  mysterious destruction of all electrical power on Earth by EMP explosions. Some illustrations.  In both paper and electronic formats.  (For more, see www.johnknapp2.com.)

[My runner-up choice for a two-word title for this post: “Miss Understood.”]