"My energies for near a lifetime have been used almost entirely to win such prominence as I could in outdoor photography."—H. H. Bennett
Henry Hamilton Bennett (1843–1908) became a celebrated photographer in the half-century following the American Civil War. Bennett is admired for his superb depictions of dramatic landscapes of the Dells of the Wisconsin River and also for his many technical innovations in photography, including a stop-action shutter and a revolving solar printing house that is now housed at the Smithsonian Institution. With his instantaneous shutter, he gained recognition for his striking images of moving subjects, such as lumber raftsmen shooting the river rapids and his son Ashley leaping in midair from a bluff to the craggy pillar of Stand Rock. Less well-known are Bennett’s splendid urban photographs of nineteenth-century Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul.
This engaging biography of H. H. Bennett tells his life story, illustrated throughout with his remarkable photographs, some of them rarely viewed before. It draws on the photographer’s own letters and journals, along with other family documents, to portray the sweep of his career and personal life. An important figure in the history of photography, he also contributed to the growth of American tourism: his nationally distributed stereoscopic views of Dells rock formations and his portraits of local Ho-Chunk Indians played a significant role in creating the Wisconsin Dells as the popular tourist destination it is today. Despite personal challenges—a crippling Civil War injury, the death of his first wife, and continual financial worries—Bennett produced an extensive portfolio that captures the midwestern culture of his time. He accepted commissions in the 1890s to document Chicago’s modern skyscrapers, grand residences of Milwaukee’s entrepreneurs and sailing ships in its harbor, enormous scenic panoramas along the routes of Wisconsin railroads, and sparkling ice palaces lit by fireworks at the St. Paul Winter Carnival.
Finalist, Midwest Regional Interest, Midwest Book Awards
Night Sisters: A Novel
Sara Rath University of Wisconsin Press, 2008 Library of Congress PS3568.A718N54 2008 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Nell Grendon never thought about communing with the dead when she was growing up in Little Wolf, Wisconsin; she was more concerned with slumber parties, boys, and the Lord’s Prayer Ring she won (dishonestly) in a Methodist Bible Bee. But when a chance visit to the eccentric but charming Wocanaga Spiritualist Camp brings the adult Nell face-to-face with the elderly medium Grace Waverly, she cannot resist the temptation to learn more about spirit mediumship.
Nell intends to fake her intuitive talents, but soon she spontaneously channels Angella Wing, an actress from the 1920s once known as the “Woman of a Thousand Voices.” Nell attempts to conceal her occult interests from skeptical friends, including George, a handsome jazz musician who rents an apartment in her historic home, and Polly, a childhood friend with buried anguish of her own. But soon Angella’s mischievous presence begins to make Nell’s life more and more difficult, eventually attracting shadows of Nell’s past. As she tries to free herself from Angella’s influence, Nell is forced into an investigation of a mysterious death at the very heart of her childhood—and the revelation of surprisingly dark secrets.
In this first novel from award-winning writer Sara Rath, the forests and lakes of northern Wisconsin pose a daunting threat to outsider Hannah Swann, who is content with her quiet life in Madison, Wisconsin, where she teaches and writes screenplays about obscure nineteenth-century poets. Her relationship with her college-aged daughter is strained yet candid, and a long-standing affair with a married professor has its own peculiar ups and downs.
When Hannah unexpectedly inherits her uncle's rundown resort, she must head to the northwoods to close up and sell the business. But the only interested buyer is Ingold, an international mining company, and Hannah finds herself reluctantly operating the resort while trapped in the midst of a treacherous dispute between Ingold and Uncle Hal's activist friends.
From safeguarding the wilderness to pursuing elusive new love interests, Hannah has plenty to engage her imagination at Star Lake. A new aspect of her personality emerges, one that is surprisingly courageous and compassionate. Throughout this humorous, elegantly plotted adventure with its appealing characters and lyrical depictions of nature, Hannah encounters the inevitability of change—in herself and in the nostalgic landscape of the deep North.
Newly widowed Natalie Waters expects only nostalgia and solitude at her quiet, rustic cabin. But the wilderness conceals more than one perilous mystery. Where in Wisconsin’s Northwoods did the notorious gangster John Dillinger hide $210,000 following a violent FBI shootout? And why do the local timberwolves incite so much rage among Natalie’s neighbors?
As predators circle and howl in the dark, Ginger, the bartender at the nearby Star Lake Saloon, draws Natalie deep into the secrets not only of Dillinger but of the ecologies of family, forest, and heart. With the reluctant support of her granddaughter and advice from a handsome wolf biologist, Natalie is forced to choose between adversity and adventure.
Sara Rath continues her popular Northwoods saga in this affirming and often humorous tale of romance, betrayal, and danger.