• Myth

    Lois Long’s father and the Nature Fakers

    Lois Long’s father, William Long, was prominent in the “Nature faker” controversy, one of the most fantastic controversies America’s literary world has gone through. Around the turn of the 20th century naturalist literature saw a boom in popularity, and among the beneficiaries were colorful writers without considerable scientific experience. Among these were writers like Jack London and Ruyard Kipling, who told fictional stories with anthropomorphic animals, but also among these were writers who claimed to tell non-fiction stories with… anthropomorphic animals. A positive review of William Long’s book in the Atlantic, spurred the controversy. Long originated some animal stories which are now popular features in cartoons – Porcupines rolling down…

  • History

    Lois Long, and New York in the 1920s

    “The originality of this nation is something miraculous. Likewise the imagination and the je ne sais quoi. Take, for example, a simple matter such as naming colors for stockings. Do they say taupe, greenish brown, or yellowish beige—descriptive names all? No, a thousand times no! You are wearing stockings of Elephant’s Ear, Baby’s Breath, Summer Dawn, or What Not? And the trouble is, just as you have decided Rhinoceros Shimmy is just the right color to match that new suit, and go back for more of the same color, they tell you that batch has sold out and it is impossible to duplicate the dye exactly. But Aztec or Mystery…