Saturday, December 13, 2014

Frank Sullivan and George Price: A Moose in the Hoose

Humorist Frank Sullivan wrote for the New Yorker and was a member of the Algonquin Round Table. In 1959 he published A Moose in the Hoose, a Christmas story illustrated by cartoonist George Price, who also worked for the magazine. The illustrations are colored in suitable reds and greens as well as blue and gray. The story relates how the Creevy family deals with a moose in the--ahem!--hoose. Price's drawings depict some antic goings on. The book bears a Christmas inscription and the signature of Sullivan.

The Creevy family is apparently based on the family of Russell Crouse, a playwright who was part of the team Lindsay and Crouse. Their most famous collaboration was the book for "The Sound of Music." The eBay seller, who seems to have access to some Crouse family lore, notes that Crouse and Sullivan may have worked together once in radio. This seems plausible enough.

Russell Crouse is the inspiration for the character Wendel Creevy. Crouse's wife Anna is Anna Creevy. The children Timothy and Lindsay Ann also have the same first names in the story. The name Lindsay Ann, the actress Lindsay Crouse, is a play on the name of the writing team Lindsay and Crouse. The seller notes, "It also has the inscription of 'Russel Crouse alias Wendel Creevy.'" It would be more accurate to call that a signature. Compare the writing to a 1951 signed photograph of Russell Crouse. Note the similarity in the shape of the letters and how the central portion of the name is underlined. This must have been Crouse's copy of the book and his children, to whom the book is dedicated, are selling it. It's an interesting copy of the book, perhaps the most interesting to be found anywhere, and it has been languishing on eBay for at least a year. The price has been reduced for the time being from $50 to $45 with free shipping.

Signed and inscribed "Merry Christmas/Frank Sullivan"
Is it possible that the children to whom this book is in part dedicated may have drawn in it?

Other animals have entered the hoose as well.

Well, there's something you don't see every day.

Dedication page signed "Russell Crouse/alias/Wendel Creevy"

EBay Listing

EBay Item Description
[End of eBay listing]

A Moose in the Hoose signature

Known signature of Russel Crouse, 1951

Note:  George Price has been written about extensively in these pages, but could there ever truly be enough?

Why not grab some eggnog and peruse this blog's festive assortment of Christmas posts?


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