The Philistine, A Periodical of Protest

POSTED BY on Oct 5, 2009

I happened upon this handsome little 2-color hand-bound book over a decade ago. I didn’t know anything about it, but I thought it was lovely so I bought it. Recently I did some quick research about it, and this beauty became even more precious.

The author, Elbert Hubbard, was an popular and influential writer, publisher, lecturer, artist, and transcendentalist philosopher at the turn of the 20th century. He helped establish Roycroft, an Arts and Crafts movement community in New York state in 1895. Roycroft had their own press, and since no major publications would print Mr. Hubbard’s stories, he decided to “protest” and print them himself.

For over 20 years, the satirical magazine called The Philistine was printed “Every Little While”. It was bound in brown butcher paper because, Mr. Hubbard said, “There is meat inside.” The stories are delightful, and the typography is beautiful. There are also several pages of advertisements that are entertaining, though most of them are included in a single signature that were folded but not trimmed. Maybe it was bound that way purposefully but I can’t see most of the ads unless I dismantle the book, and I won't dare do that.

Mr. Hubbard’s life sure was interesting, but so was his death. At one of his lectures, he was speaking about the Titanic, and spefically commended Mrs. Isador Straus who refused to board a lifeboat because it would mean leaving her husband behind. Mr. Hubbard stated, “... to pass out as did Mr. and Mrs. Isador Straus is glorious. Few have such a privilege. Happy lovers, both. In life they were never separated and in death they are not divided."

As fate would have it, Mr. Hubbard and his wife Alice were aboard the Lusitania when it was torpedoed by the German submarine Unterseeboot 20. They, too, refused to abandon each other. Instead they went to the top deck with the other passengers, linked arms, calmly walked into a room and closed the door. A witness wrote, “It was apparent that his idea was that they should die together, and not risk being parted on going into the water.”

Very romantic; the stuff that legends are made of. I think I need to start collecting these Periodicals of Protest!

Above is the cover, and below are some other scans of my copy of The Philistine. If you’re in the office, come by my desk and take a look. It’s a pleasure to hold and read.

Lauren graduated with a BFA in Communication Graphics from Texas Christian University. She has worked in Dallas for various design firms, and moved to Seattle in 1999. Today, Lauren loves her work as a Senior Designer and a mom, she's a passionate environmentalist, she dances like nobody's watching, and occasionally writes about herself in the third person.

Add a comment



Apr 1, 2015 at 9:17pm