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Skinny Boy Lounges at the Isles of Shoals Presents 
Historic Portsmouth #357

We know nothing about this outstretched urchin on a dock at the Isles of Shoals. The bathing costumes appear to be around 1900, back when people wore more clothes to the beach than they do to the opera today. But we do know something about books for boys and the Isles of Shoals. (Continued below)


The skinny lad looks much like the cartoon illustrations in “boy books” of the era, especially the adventures of Plupy Shute by Exeter author Henry Shute that were popular in the early 20th century. Shute and many others imitated the 19th century “bad boy” genre of authors like Thomas Bailey Aldrich and his friend Mark Twain whose Tom Bailey and Tom Sawyer were required reading for all adolescent males. Contemporary authors including Duane Bradley (Mystery at the Shoals, 1962) and Christina M. Welch (A Boy of the Shoals, 1973) have grappled with the concept of juvenile fiction centered at the Isles of Shoals. Perhaps the best known and most successful work of this type is Celia’s Lighthouse (1949) by the late Portsmouth author Anne Molloy. (Courtesy of Portsmouth Athenaeum)

MORE on boy books in Portsmouth



357_Bathers_detail02 images here (c) Portsmouth Athenaeum



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