Galaxy Magazine

Galaxy was the leading science fiction magazine of the 1950s and 1960s. Its first editor, H.L. Gold, is credited with being instrumental in raising the bar for literary standards in science writing by bringing to the genre a “sophisticated intellectual subtlety.” The stories he published were more sociological, psychological, or satirical than purely technological in nature. He also detested the muscularity of other leading science fiction publications and helped to attract more women to write science fiction.

Classic science fiction stories, such as The Fireman by Ray Bradbury (which later went on to become Fahrenheit 451) and part one of Time Quarry by Clifford D. Simak made their first appearance within the pages of Galaxy. The magazine is also widely regarded as a catalyst for the New Wave movement in science fiction of the 1960s and 1970s, which was characterized by experimentation and higher artistic sensibilities.

The magazine’s cover was equally influential. Gold veered away from traditional science fiction artwork, depicting muscular men and scantily clad women fighting monsters. Also, its inverted white “L” shape framing the cover went on to be imitated by several other magazines, including its main rival Astounding.

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A The Day in the Life of President Kennedy by Jim Bishop

Recorded less than a month before the most famous assassination in history, A Day in the Life of President Kennedy offers a a more personal glimpse into the life of one of The White House’s most intriguing occupiers. Although, we are not privy to the innermost thoughts and feelings of Jack and Jackie Kennedy, the minutiae of detail offers a fascinating portrait of how The White House operated during the 1960s and how a glamorous young family tried to maintain a semblance of normality. Particularly poignant are the descriptions of the how Jack played with his young children and the sense that plans were being made for the future.

The Day in the Life format was devised by Jim Bishop whose other bestsellers include: The Day Lincoln Was Shot and The Day Kennedy Was Shot.

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The Happy Hypocrite by Max Beerbohm

Max Beerbohm’s (1872-1956) adult fairy tale, The Happy Hypocrite, is sometimes described as a more lighthearted version of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. It is the story of a thoroughly immoral man who deceives a young woman into marriage by wearing a mask. Through his love for his wife he is then transformed into a good and humble human being.

The short story first appeared in the literary periodical The Yellow Book in 1896 and was later published 1897. In 1900 it was adapted into a stage show starring the formidable Mrs Patrick Campbell and was revived again in 1936 with Vivien Leigh. The edition in the photographs with colour illustrations by George Sheringham was published by John Lane in November, 1918.

George Bernard Shaw gave Beerbohm the lasting epithet “the Incomparable Max” and his other works include Zuleika Dobson which was ranked 59th on the Modern Library list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. He was also a popular caricaturist whose work appeared in all the fashionable periodicals of his time. Major collections of Beerbohm’s caricatures can be found in the Ashmolean Museum, the Tate collection and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The illustrator George Sheringham is best known for his theatrical designs for D’Oyly Carte Opera Company for which he created sets for productions including H.M.S. Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance.

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Of Women and their Elegance by Norman Mailer – Photographs by Milton Greene

Norman Mailer never met or had a conversation with Marilyn Monroe, but was inspired to write Of Women and their Elegancehis imaginary memoir chronicling around four years in her life whilst she was living in New York, simply by looking at the portraits taken by the fashion photographer Milton Greene. Mailer believed that Greene’s photographs, which presented Monroe in more modest poses and would go on to become some of her most iconic, revealed a side of her nature that was not to be found anywhere else. Basing much of what he wrote on the reminiscences of Milton and his wife Amy, Mailer argued, that although not everything in the book actually occurred, it was truthful in nature to whom she was as we recollect the past by mood as much as by fact. Whilst he never quite succeeds in portraying Monroe in a significantly different light from the usual masculine male perspective (and certain sections of the book do not seem plausible), in addition to her sensuality and sadness, he does endow her with a mischievous sense of fun.

As retold in this book, Milton Greene setup a production company with Monroe that made the films Bus Stop and The Prince and the Showgirl. Monroe’s relationship with Greene was also featured in the 2011 film My Week with Marilyn.

The book in the photographs is a first UK edition, published by Hodder and Stoughton in 1981. In addition to pictures of Monroe, it also contains other outstanding examples of Greene’s photography.

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