Wednesday, August 29, 2012

57. Curious errors (3)

Stephan Tschudi Madsen's phrase about 'Charles Ricketts and his pupil Robert Shannon' (see my comments in no. 55) was repeated literally in a Belgian publication about literary magazines around the turn of the twentieth century: Raymond Vervliet's De literaire manifesten van het fin de siècle in de Zuidnederlandse periodieken 1878-1914, published in Gent in 1982:

'Charles Ricketts en zijn leerling Robert Shannon' (p. 114).

At the time, Madsen's study about art nouveau was no longer the only book on the subject of art nouveau, and both Stephen Calloway and Joseph Darracott had published a book about Ricketts that could have been consulted by Vervliet, who, also, neglected to read John Russell Taylor's 1966 more general study on The art nouveau book in Britain, which by 1982 had reached an almost iconic status as a work of pioneering research and had recently been reprinted.

Dust wrapper for John Russell Taylor, The art nouveau book in Britain (reprint, 1980)
I suppose that Vervliet's work, which was an important contribution to our knowledge of fin-de-siècle periodicals in Belgium, will have been the source for another round of quotes containing Madsen's error.

And what about Madsen himself? Was he the source of 'pupil' and 'Robert Shannon', or was he also quoting a not completely trustworthy publication?