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(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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"Pilgrim's Progress," written by John Bunyan in 1678, was standard reading in schools in the 18th century. Photographers Frances and Mary Allen, of Deerfield, Massachusetts, costumed and carefully posed a young boy with "the book" illuminated by candlelight. The Colonial Revival of the early 20th century and the public appetite for historical fiction heavily influenced this and other historical tableaus the Allen sisters choreographed. In this case, the image was an intricate and skilled fiction that conveyed the quest for knowledge believed to have been present in earlier times.
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