The Weekly Outlook: French, Terpsichore, and Night Blooms

THE WEEKLY OUTLOOK  –  DEVOTED TO HOME & OUTING LIFE, LITERATURE, ART, MUSIC & THE DRAMAc (Volume 1  Number 6  – August 15, 1896)

NOTABLES:

The cover of today’s edition is graced with an image of local novelist Alice French.  Her addition to the gallery of notable men and women of Davenport is accompanied by her reasons for choosing “Octave Thanet” as her nom de guerre. “Octavia” had been the name of a school roommate. Miss French shortened it to Octave so that publishers couldn’t discern whether the author was male or female. She claims “Thanet” was written on the side of a railroad box car. By August 1896 “Octave Thanet” had two short story collections and a well received novel to her credit.

Alice French continued her successful writing career and contributed a great deal to Davenport’s culture and society. One example was a reading benefitting the expansion of St. Luke’s Hospital that netted $107.32. Other substantial sums were raised by the Charity Ball of February 1895 and the St. Luke’s trolley party last fall. These monies afforded the “fitting up of an operating room and the establishment of a Nurses’ Training School.” The operating room now has electric lights and a fan! “Any one entertaining the old fashioned idea that a hospital was a gloomy, death like sort of place and that nurses were formidable creatures” needs to visit this updated institution which is “admirably conducted.”

MUSIC AND THE DRAMA:

Perhaps Editor Banks was accused of nepotism for running the following piece that originated in San Francisco Music and Drama about his wife:

Carrie Wyatt, for several seasons a favorite at the old California Theatre under the late John McCullough’s management, has retired from the stage and is now associate editor of the Weekly Outlook, a bright society journal published at Davenport, Iowa, of which her husband, Charles E. Banks, is the editor and manager.

This section has expanded in this issue to include “Footlight Flashes”: tidbits of gossip, new plays opening and so on.

SOCIAL LIFE – SOCIALETTES:

For the young society set, the Ashland Club parties have taken the place of those given until this year by the Terpsichore Club. Terpsichore is defined as Dance; but “Dance Club” is not a very interesting name for the young society set.

A very pretty wedding between enterprising businessman Mr. William Richter and Blondina Martens, eldest daughter of Davenport Police Captain Martens, was held this week. Mayor Vollmer conducted the services.

And at 330 East Sixth Street, Mrs. E. E. Miller assembled her friends to experience the delicious perfume of her night blooming cereus.

Evidently this cactus flower only opens one night each year…certainly reason for celebration! Good going Mrs. Miller!! That sounds like a pretty unusual event, and I hope Miss Glaspell enjoyed the diversion!

Party on!

(Posted by Karen O.)

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