Monday, May 19, 2014
News broke late last week that the skeleton of a 13-year-old girl, who’d been dead for some 12,000 to 13,000 years, was discovered by scientists in an underwater cave off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. When I read in Slate that the divers who found this long-missing miss named her Naia--Greek for “water nymph”--it brought to mind how many novel titles over the years have contained the word “nymph” (or a provocative variation on that noun).
The gallery featured below hardly exhausts this theme, but it includes some fine examples of “nymph” tales. Plus cover illustrations by a variety of notable 20th-century artists.
Sadly, I don’t know who painted the captivating façade of Nymph in Suburbia (a work that also belongs among this collection), but I can tell you that Paul Rader was responsible for the artwork on both the 1963 Midwood edition of Sea Nymph, by Peggy Swenson (a pseudonym employed by Richard E. Geis), and the 1968 edition of Reluctant Nympho, by Joan Ellis. The front of John Carver’s Campus Nymphs (Beacon, 1964) is credited to Al Rossi, while the illustration introducing the 1963 Signet edition of Nymph to the Slaughter, by Carter Brown, came from the talented hands of Robert McGinnis (who later produced an even more beautiful cover for that same novel); Harry Barton created the front of Midwood’s 1968 Campus Nympho/Ex-Virgin two-fer; Robert Bonfils did the artwork for Boudoir Nymph (Ember Library, 1966) and $1,000 Nymph (Merit, 1962); and Britain’s Sam Peffer, aka Peff, provided the painting of a woman for the 1958 Pan edition of The Case of the Negligent Nymph, by Erle Stanley Gardner. Finally, Fred Fixler gave us the fronts for both Beat Nymph (Brandon House, 1965), another sexy concoction by Swenson/Geis, and Nympho Twins, a 1977 Casino Books release by Jeff David. (One other work that might have fit right in with Nympho Twins was previously showcased here.)
Click on any of these images to open an enlargement.