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Updated 02/17/2008

Blanche McManus (Mansfield)


with reference to her husband:

Francis Miltoun (Milburg Francisco Mansfield)

Additional information has come to light  

     Little is known regarding the writer/artist Blanche McManus, except that she was born  on Talladega Plantation,1 in East Feliciania Parish, Louisiana, in 1870, studied in London and Paris, and returned to the U.S. in 1893 when she established a studio in Chicago2. By 1895, she was authoring and illustrating a series of children's books, including The True Mother Goose (1895), The Voyage of the Mayflower (1897) and How the Dutch came to Manhattan (1897)3.  In those same years, she was producing illustrations for other authors books, often working on three or four books at one time.

     Around 1900, she travelled with writer/husband, Francis Miltoun (Milburg Francisco Mansfield), throughout Europe and North Africa.  Their collaboration led to a series of travel books, fully illustrated by McManus.  M. F. Mansfield was a writer and and had an apparently short-lived (ca. 1897 to ca 1900) publishing house [M. F. Mansfield and Co., later to be known as M. F. Mansfield and A. Wessels.]3  The couple is probably best known for a series of illustrated travel books which incorporated the newly invented automobile within a typical travelog of the period.  Blanche McManus' sketches and water colors of the people they met and views of architectural/natural scenes adds an interesting element to the books.

     She and her husband lived in Paris when not travelling, and Blanche McManus continued illustrating for publishers back in the United States.  Little is known about the rest of the Mansfield's time together.  Research1 has shown that Blanche McManus was in Toulin, France, in 1911 by the signing of a book contract (for The American Woman Abroad) which was witnessed by her husband.   A power of attorney was sent by Blanche McManus from Nice, France, in the 1910s, to her sister in Louisiana.  From her newspaper death notice4, we know she died at an infirmary in new Orleans June 19, 1935, and was survived by her husband and sister.  She is buried in the family cemetery just outside Woodville, LA.

     From the list of works outlined below, Blanche McManus appears to have worked with 3 primary publishers, E.R. Herrick & Co., M.F. Mansfield & Co (later M.F. Mansfield & A. Wessels), and L. C. Page & Co., with the odd book put out by other publishing houses.  Both Mansfields must have kept their American publishing contacts while abroad in Europe, as L.C. Page & Co. hired them for a total of 25 books between 1903 and 1927 (23 of these books would be published between 1903 and 1912).  The last 2 books appear to be a reissuing of Rambles in Normandy and Rambles in Brittany, but that is unconfirmed as of this writing.

Notes:

1. Research information prepared by Anne Riley Jones, Louisiana, a volunteer researcher for Kellscraft Studio.

2. Margolin, Victor.  The Golden Age of the American Poster. NY: Ballantine Books. 1976. Pg. 29.  
       This book also contains copies of two known posters done by Blanche McManus: The True Mother Goose, 1895 (to promote her own book of the same title published by Lamson Wolffe & Co.), and The Adventures of Captain Horn, 1895, to promote a book of the same title written by Frank R. Stockton, and published by Charles Scribners and Sons.

3. Information gathered from the Library of Congress website. This was compiled by an author search of the on-line catalog for Blanche McManus and Milburg Francisco Mansfield.

4. From: The Woodville Republican, Saturday, June 22, 1935:

"MRS. BLANCHE McMANUS MANSFIELD

Mrs. Blanche McManus Mansfield died at an infirmary in New Orleans on Wednesday night June 19 and her remains were brought here for interment the following afternoon in the family cemetery at the McManus home. Rev. T. B. Clifford, rector of the Episcopal church here, officiated at the service which was attended by many of her old friends. in this her girlhood home.

An artist of international fame, a writer of charming books of travel which have been widely read, Mrs. Mansfield was, beyond question, the most distinguished of Wilkinson county's daughters. Born in the family home just outside of Woodville she showed unmistakable signs of exceptional talent early in her life. After reaching young womanhood she studied art in New Orleans and Chicago. The designs she submitted for illustrating the prayerbook of the English church at the time of the celebration of Queen Victoria's Jubilee in London in 1897 were selected in an international contest of artists, an honor of which the people of her state were justly proud. Going abroad to continue her artistic career she met and married Mr. Mansfield, an American diplomat and writer of ability who was consul both at Barcelona, Spain and Marsailles, France for a period of years. Subsequently she and her husband made Paris their home and during the World War did much philanthropic work among the French and the American soldiers there. Thus in this cosmopolitan life her experiences were unusual and interesting. She portrayed many of them by word and by illustration in her "An American Woman Abroad" and in her successful series for children, "Our Little Cousins." She is survived by her husband and by one sister, Mrs. Grace Walsh, of McManus, La., and of Woodville. Her other sister, Miss Verona McManus, died several years ago."


Chronological Publishing History of Books Authored/Illustrated by Blanche McManus and Francis Miltoun:

Note: * - Additional titles provided by the Rare Book Dept., Boston Public Library, 2004.
Many of these books may have only been cover design illustrations by Blanche McManus.

Date: Author: Title: Publisher: Illustrated by?
1896*
Maria Louise Pool
Boss and Other Dogs
Chicago: Stone and Kimball
Blanche McManus
1896*
Ian Maclaren
Kate Carnegie
Dodd, Mead
Blanche Mcmanus
1896*
Charles Gibbon
Margaret Carmichael
New Amsterdam Book Co.
Blanche McManus
1896 Blanche McManus The True Mother Goose. Boston: Lamson Wolffe
& Co.
Blanche McManus
1897*
Rudyard Kipling
Recessional
NY: M. F. Mansfield &
A. Wessels
Blanche McManus
1897*
Richard Mansfield
Blown Away
Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1897 Isaac Watts Childhood's Songs of Long Ago NY: E. R. Herrick Blanche McManus
1897 Emily D. Elton A Mince Pie Dream: A Book of
Children's Verse
NY: E. R. Herrick & Co. Blanche McManus
1897 Blanche McManus The Voyage of the Mayflower NY: E. R. Herrick & Co. Blanche McManus
1897 Blanche McManus How the Dutch Came to Manhattan NY: E. R. Herrick & Co. Blanche McManus
1898 Tom Hall When Cupid Calls NY: E. R. Herrick & Co. Blanche McManus
c1898*
G. A. Henty
Henty Series
Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1898 Alfred Lord Tennyson Crossing the Bar NY: E. R. Herrick & Co. Blanche McManus
1898 Blanche McManus Told in the Twilight: Stories to Tell
Children
NY: E. R. Herrick & Co. Blanche McManus
1898 Rudyard Kipling Mandalay NY: M. F. Mansfield & Co. Blanche McManus
1898 Blanche McManus Bachelor Ballads NY: New Amsterdam
Book Co.
Blanche McManus
1898 Walter Map A Canticle of Wine, or the Drinking
Song of Walter D. Mapes...
NY: M. F. Mansfield & Co. Blanche McManus
1899*
Ruth McEnery Stuart
Holly and Pizen
The Century Co.
Blanche McManus
1899 Lewis Carroll Alice's Adventures in Wonderland NY: M. F. Mansfield &
A. Wessels
Blanche McManus
1899 Rudyard Kipling The Betrothed NY: M. F. Mansfield &
A. Wessels
Blanche McManus
1899 Frank R. Stockton The Adventures of Captain Horn NY: J. E. Rhodes ?? - McManus
executed the poster
for the book
1899 Blanche McManus The Quaker Colony NY: E. R. Herrick & Co. Blanche McManus
1903 Francis Miltoun The Cathedrals of Northern France Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1904*
G. Sidney Paternoster
The Motor Pirate
Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1904 Blanche McManus The 'Sov'rane Herb' and the
Smokers Year, a Calendar for
MDCCCCIIII
Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1904 M.F. and Blanche
McManus Mansfield
Romantic Ireland Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1904 Francis Miltoun Cathedrals of Southern France Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1905*
Henry C. Shelley
The Spell of Old Paris
Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1905*
Charles Rudy
The Cathedrals of Northern Spain
Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1905 Francis Miltoun Rambles in Brittany Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1905 Francis Miltoun Rambles in Normandy Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1905 Blanche McManus Our Little English Cousin Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1905 Blanche McManus Our Little French Cousin Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1905 Francis Miltoun Cathedrals and Churches of the Rhine Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1906*
Nathaniel Hawthorne
In Colonial Days
Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1906 Francis Miltoun Castles and Chateaux of Touraine
and the Loire Country
Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1906 Francis Miltoun Rambles on the Riviera Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1906 Blanche McManus Our Little Scotch Cousin Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1906 Blanche McManus Our Little Dutch Cousin Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1907*
Charles Dickens
The Seven Poor Travelers
The Century Co.
Blanche McManus
1907 Francis Miltoun The Automobilist Abroad Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1907 Francis Miltoun Castles & Chateaux of Old Navarre
and the Basque Provinces
Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1907 Blanche McManus Our Little Hindu Cousin Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1907 Blanche McManus Our Little Arabian Cousin Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1908*
Mary Caroline Crawford
Old Boston in Colonial Days
Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1908 Francis Miltoun In the Land of Mosques and Minerets Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1908
Francis Miltoun
The Spell of Algeria and Tunisia
Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1908 Blanche McManus Our Little Egyptian Cousin Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1909*
Henry C. Shelley
Inns and Taverns of Old London
Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1909 Francis Miltoun Italian Highways and Byways from a
Motor Car
Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1909 Francis Miltoun Castles and Chateaux of Old
Burgundy & the Border Provinces
Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1910 Francis Miltoun Royal Palaces and Parks of France Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1911 Blanche McManus Our Little Belgian Cousin Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1911 Blanche McManus The American Woman Abroad NY: Dodd, Mead Blanche McManus
1912 Blanche McManus Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes:
Children's  Favorite Rhymes &
Jingles
NY: The Platt & Peck Co. Blanche McManus
1925 Francis Miltoun The Spell of Normandy Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus
1927 Francis Miltoun The Spell of Brittany Boston: L. C. Page & Co. Blanche McManus

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