This morning’s outside temperature of 8 degrees made me think of the cover of The Lady is Cold, E.B. White’s first book, published in 1929. I knew of the book — a collection of his poetry published in The New Yorker and FPA’s column, The Conning Tower — because I’ve had the cover image on my desktop for months thinking I’d someday include it in a piece called “Books I Wish I Had.”
Preparing this post I stumbled upon a nice surprise while conducting online research as well as looking through Scott Elledge’s wonderful biography of White.
White’s book’s title and cover art refers to the statue of Pomona, the goddess of abundance, that sits atop a tiered fountain on the Grand Army Plaza out front of Manhattan’s famed Plaza Hotel. The artist responsible for the book’s cover was a fellow named Ernest F. Hubbard. From the Scott Elledge biography I learned that Mr. Hubbard was a friend of White’s wife, legendary New Yorker editor Katharine White. The surprise mentioned earlier in this piece was discovering that Ernest Hubbard was also a New Yorker cartoonist. Until today, I’m afraid I’d never heard of him. He had two drawings published: October 30, 1926 and November 6, 1926. It’s likely that Mr. Hubbard was also a writer and contributor to the magazine’s Talk of the Town section (I’ll just leave that possibility hanging until verified). Should I be able to obtain permission, I’ll post at least one of the Hubbard drawings in the next few days.