cover image Greetings from New England

Greetings from New England

Ernest Hebert. Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company, $24.95 (112pp) ISBN 978-0-932575-70-8

American postcards date from 1898, and the attractive specimens collected heredepicting scenes of New England in the early 20th centuryare both quaintly out of date and surprisingly current. Saltboxes and old salts may indeed live on in memory, but Maine's rocky shores of 1905 closely resemble today's, it seems. Organizing the book in sections on postcard portrayals of the New England coast, the land, ``up'' and ``down'' country, Boston, education, history and culture, Hebert ( The Dogs of March ) balances generic themes with site-specific landscapes. Under the title ``A Good Day's Catch at the Seashore,'' an amusingly deadpan card from Monroe, Maine, in 1910 demurely lists row upon row of fish. Another, showing a farmer lushly aswim in tobacco fields, has no place-name. East Hartford's ``Puritan Maid'' restaurant achieves immortality, as does a serenely anonymous yellow cupola. Train stations, farmhouses, historic landmarks and a few New Englanders sometimes with their beasts of burden also put in appearances. The accompanying text is brief to a fault. (Dec.)