Here's the fifth of my Bowie Book Club covers: Hart Crane's The Bridge, an epic poem inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge. This one owes a bit to fortuitous happenstance (definitely in my top three varieties of happenstance) – I was looking for images of bridges for another title on the list (Wonder Boys), when I stumbled upon a scan of the 1883 book, The New York and Brooklyn Bridge – Illustrated in the British Library collection. Published to celebrate the opening of the bridge, it is justifiably boastful:
The Great Bridge, after thirteen years weary waiting and anxious watching, is at last finished, and of the thousands who will cross this broad pathway which connects the two cities, we venture to assert not one will disagree with us in the statement that it is “well done;” and when generation after generation shall have passed to “that bourne from whence no traveler e'er returns,” our Great Bridge will still stand, enduring as the Pyramids, and as a monument of the greatest engineering work the world has ever seen.
Hard to argue with that! The book is full of interesting facts, figures and diagrams – and some rather beautiful pictures, ripe for the picking by any wandering designer. It's a fascinating read; well worth a look if you're at all interested in the history of New York.