Suggested Reading List
Victorian America: Transformations in Everyday Life
Author: Schlerth, Thomas
Description: A valuable and compelling portrait of the daily life of Americans during the Victorian era--the fourth volume in the Everyday Life in America series
The First Resort
Author: Ben Miller
Description: Coffee table book with great, rare archival photos and articles about Cape May's past. Cape May, at the tip of the Jersey Shore, goes from boom to bust and back again in this compelling almanac of lavishly illustrated and meticulous researched regional history. Beginning with an advertisement in a Philadelphia newspaper in 1801, city dwellers soon descended upon Cape May, introducing the concept of the American seaside vacation. Throughout the Civil War, both World Wars, and up to the modern day, the visiting population of America's evergreen travel resort has always been mixed across all social spectrums, from presidents and everyday people to renowned plantation owners and famous industrialists, all of whom are commemorated in this complete retrospective.
American Home Life: 1880-1930
Author: Foy, Jessica and Schlerth, Thomas
Description: In the pivotal decades around the turn of the century, American domestic life underwent dramatic alteration. From backstairs to front stairs, spaces and the activities within them were radically affected by shifts in the larger social and material environments.
Author: Charles Dickens
Description: The orphan Pip’s terrifying encounter with an escaped convict on the Kent marshes, and his mysterious summons to the house of Miss Havisham and her cold, beautiful ward Estella, form the prelude to his “great expectations.” How Pip comes into a fortune, what he does with it, and what he discovers through his secret benefactor are the ingredients of his struggle for moral redemption.
A Christmas Carol
Author: Charles Dickens
Description: The tale begins on Christmas Eve seven years after the death of Ebenezer Scrooge's business partner Jacob Marley. Scrooge is established within the first stave (chapter) as a greedy and stingy businessman who has no place in his life for kindness, compassion, charity, or benevolence. After being warned by Marley's ghost to change his ways, Scrooge is visited by three additional ghosts "each in its turn" who accompany him to various scenes with the hope of achieving his transformation. The first of the spirits, the Ghost of Christmas Past, takes Scrooge to the scenes of his boyhood and youth which stir the old miser's gentle and tender side by reminding him of a time when he was more innocent. The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to several radically differing scenes (a joy-filled market of people buying the makings of Christmas dinner, the family feast of Scrooge's near-impoverished clerk Bob Cratchit, a miner's cottage, and a lighthouse among other sites) in order to evince from the miser a sense of responsibility for his fellow man. The third spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, harrows Scrooge with dire visions of the future if he does not learn and act upon what he has witnessed. Scrooge's own neglected and untended grave is revealed, prompting the miser to aver that he will change his ways in hopes of changing these "shadows of what may be." In the fifth and final stave, Scrooge awakens Christmas morning with joy and love in his heart, then spends the day with his nephew's family after anonymously sending a prize turkey to the Crachit home for Christmas dinner. Scrooge has become a different man overnight, and now treats his fellow men with kindness, generosity, and compassion, gaining a reputation as a man who embodies the spirit of Christmas. The story closes with the narrator confirming the validity, completeness, and permanence of Scrooge's transformation.
Cape May: Queen of the Seaside Resorts
Author: George Thomas and Carl Doebley
Description: This is a wonderful reference and souvenir of your stay in Cape May with an introductory historical essay and an extensive section of photographs of the most historic buildings of Cape May. This fine book is available at the Museum Shop of the Emlen Physick Estate and can be ordered online from the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts or call 609-884-5404 ext. 117 for mail order.
Summer City by the Sea
Author: Emil Salvini
Description: This is the story of the rise and the fall and rise again of the country's first seaside resort - a fantasy city created by whalers, river pilots and speculators and molded by fires and storms. Its two-hundred year roller coaster ride resulted in Cape May regaining the title of Queen of the Seaside Resorts. Available through the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts' Museum Shop, 609-884-5404, extension 142