An Interview with Princess Perdita Pricklepants


This is so cool!  We did an interview with Laura C. Dunklee of the Hedgehog Welfare Society which you can find here (there’s also a wonderful review of our little book):

HWS Newsletter Volume 85

We’ve transcribed it here for those who might have issues with reading the PDF and to make links and things work:

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An Interview with HRH Princess Perdita Pricklepants Laura C. Dunklee, HWS Co-Chair for Health, Research, and Education

Thank you, your Royal Highness, for making yourself available for this interview. I know your time is valu- able and shall strive to be respectful and mindful of your commitments. For those not familiar with the groundbreaking “Hedgehog Art Through the Ages,” might you explain your vision for the book?

We had a few goals.

First we wanted to delight readers with the magnificent world of hedgehog art. There’s so much wonderful work out there from the Renaissance through the Modern period and we’re glad to be able to share this wonderful, lovely, and often fun world of hedgehog art. From Botticelli to Warhol there are so many ways to represent hedgehogs and capture the mysterious quilly essence that it makes for a fascinating journey.

Second we wanted to give each work enough context to be appreciated while keeping a light touch and a sense of humor. And lastly, we wanted to be sneakily educational, by describing major art periods, notable things about individual artists, their styles of representing hedgehogs, and their innovations.

Many people, even art historians (who should know better!), are unaware of the vast repository of art that includes – correction: celebrates – hedgehogs; why do you think this is and what can we, your subjects, do to raise visibility about this most important subject?

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“Rembrandt’s Portrait of Hedgehog Noble”

Hedgehog art history and art criticism is a young field, which does mean fewer will be exposed to the many works which are, even now, still being found. For instance, just this last month a 40,000 year old cave painting of a hedgehog was discovered! We work with the Royal Society of Hedgehog Art Historians, and hold the public outreach chair, so we’re promoting a greater knowledge and understanding. When notable discoveries are made, we share them with our subjects.

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We published this book to give a nice overview of hedgehog art, and so far readers have responded delightfully well. In an effort to bring hedgehog art in the public eye we (shameless plug alert!) produce tee shirts (search for “Urchin Wear” on Amazon), and have other merchandise such as note cards and delightful things on Redbubble.com. If subjects would like to raise visibility, following us on Facebook or Twitter and sharing anything that you particularly like would be a great way to spread the word, and of course, if you should purchase a book (we’d be endlessly grateful if you did) then writing a review would be very helpful. And if you really are an enthusiast and would like a tee shirt, there are many designs to choose from, in case one delights.

In the past we tried to reach out to various scholars at universities to further promote a popular knowledge of hedgehog art, though strangely professors rarely respond, and when they did they seemed to get confused. They’d just send notes saying things like “Please stop emailing me,” or “Do I need to get a restraining order?” For the record they don’t need to put in an order for art history retraining, we’d be happy to advise at no charge.

How do you feel about the way the artists’ models were treated as they posed for these remarkable works? What do you know about these models and their lives beyond the art world?

Well, I think we can say the first poor hedgehog used in the cave art was probably not very happy. An ancient human effectively blew ochre all over the poor thing to create an outline – horrifying. People apparently weren’t very polite 40,000 years ago.

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“Detail of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel”

There are a number of unknown models in works from the Renaissance, and little is known about the day to day lives of common hedgehogs (Hedgehog Cultural Studies is also a very young field, though the Hedgehog American Cultural Association is making progress researching and promoting public awareness). Given the refined and subtle poses in works through most art history, we want to assume that models were treated with the gentleness and kindness all hedgehogs deserve, but this is something we must research more to be sure of.

 

One of the most remarkable things we’ve learned about this is that Her Highness’s forebears are occasionally represented. In this case we do have various records and stories and know that as nobility, they were generally treated with due dignity, decorum, and politeness, though human social norms were odd.

For instance, the culture of Renaissance Italy held unusual superstitions regarding the idea of hedgehogs crawling in their food as “unclean,” and in Paris in the late 1800s the mere presence of hedgehogs could scandalize literary salons. We also know that there were various court intrigues among Renaissance hedge- hogs, especially the Venetians, with conflicts and even impoliteness.

I note that “Hedgehog Art Through the Ages” has you listed as a secondary author; what was it like to collaborate with a co-author, what was your writing and editing process like, and do you feel S.M. Bach was appropriately respectful of your vision for the book? Also, why did you choose to be listed second?

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“David’s Discomfort of Socrates”

S.M. Bach is our loyal hand servant who has worked diligently with us in our research and cataloging, has helped with preparing photos of the art, and is a far better typist (a good hedgehog keyboard is a challenge to design). In working on the book, I would select works, dictate accounts for each, and then we would go over edits and layouts. Editing is definitely not fun, though I left most of that kind of menial labor to the handservants so we could live the true life of mind every hedgehog aspires to.

Due to persistent and pernicious pet prejudice in publishing, the human was required to be listed first – it’s shocking to see such a thing in this day and age, but the fight for progress truly never ends.

As a pet’s rights activist this was very troubling, but we are working on expanding awareness and will work to see the day a hedgehog can publish without the sad specter of speciesism.

What has been the critical reception to this revolutionary work? Do you feel this reception is appropriate? Will there be a second book?

We’re very happy to say the reception has been universally positive. We’ve gotten reviews from several readers (art enthusiasts) who said they felt the book was written specifically for them, and the reviews on Amazon are all very positive, and what reviews we’ve received from websites have been very positive (for instance BoingBoing reviewed our book). Needless to say more reviews to help popularize this important topic would be both delightful and a great contribution to aiding the advance of knowledge.

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“Mucha’s P. Picklepants”

At this point we’re still mulling a second art book. We are planning work on a children’s story book (not art related), and once that’s done we’ll need to see where things stand. There are a number of traditional hedgehog folk tales not well known to humans that we are considering adapting. Needless to say we will continue sharing art research that is not in the current book since there are so many dimensions to it. While the current book begins in the Renaissance, we’ve since found cave art, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greek art, and have shared various wonderful works from the Middle Ages, as well as Chinese art, and other things. It’s an exciting time to be in the field, and we may really need to publish a second volume.

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Are there any artistic periods you are personally drawn to? Are you a collector of hedgehog art and, if so, where might your subjects view some of your private collection?

We usually feel that whatever art we’re looking at is our favorite, but we are uniquely drawn to Art Nouveau works. We are also deeply drawn to Japanese ukiyo-e print making (there is a section on Japanese art in the book). Since we do some work in graphic design, that may be part of the allure of poster art and print making.

And now, more general questions, if I may… As a Princess, you have many responsibilities; do you find these annoying or enjoyable? Are there any you have decided you’d rather not be bothered with and thus have delegated to others?

 

We are a very busy hedgehog, but we like to keep busy. We do try to delegate to tasks that are more physical (or which don’t require the keen intellectual abilities of a hedgehog) over to the handservants. Fortunately, they are reasonably competent so long as one is patient with them.

 

You are the second Princess Pricklepants, having succeeded Princess Penelope; how has she inspired or influenced you as a leader and as a Princess?

Princess Penelope is the stuff of legend, a pioneer in so many fields, and even a presidential candidate. Her example is a daunting one to live up to, though from her we learned that grace, gentleness, good manners, a deep dedication to one’s duties, and careful management of handservants to keep them on task and help them when they get a little confused will yield tremendous results

We also learned from Princess Penelope the importance of developing one’s own vision and voice and pursuing it. While she was more focused on the dramatic arts and being a photo model, we’ve grown more focused on the fine arts, and even learning video animation and production.

We’d recommend taking a look at the book trailer we’ve produced, as well as our various animated features – we’re especially pleased with Hedgezilla vs. Mechahedgezilla, and Hedgezilla vs. Mechahedgezilla II.

You are known for being a highly visible and vocal advocate for politeness and have also gained a reputation for diplomacy: might you share with your subjects how we might emulate you in our daily lives?

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“Vermeer’s Hedgehog With a Pearl Earring”

We are very glad you asked. Today’s world has seen a sad decline in politeness, manners, and etiquette, and it’s well worth bringing this back to promote a more civil society and civil discourse so we can live together without so many petty conflicts.

 

There’s no better guide to manners than the works of Princess Penelope, which begins here and carries on extensively and in much detail.

https://princesspricklepants.com/2014/11/28/princess-pricklepants-guide-to-politeness-manners-delightfulness-grace-and-related-things/

You have a very active presence on social media: Do you maintain all your accounts, yourself, of have you tasked others to handle your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, and Blog? Further, how do you feel about sharing so much of your personal live—and many adventures—in a public manner? Are there some topics you feel are inappropriate for social media discussion?

As royalty, it is our duty to share updates to the public, and we’re so used to it we don’t really even think about it. We often dictate and delegate the typing to the hand servant, as well as much of the clicking parts, and the photo editing, and photography, but we do most of the work.

While Princess Penelope was a bit more open, we are a little more reserved, which is why you see fewer domestic things generally, but it is our duty to serve as an ambassador of manners, and we find it fun to chat with subjects who chime in on our adventures.

We do keep some things to ourselves, though just common sense things that wouldn’t be good etiquette to share.

 

And finally, four personal questions:

What is currently on your bedside table?

Haley’s Guide to Manners, 2015 edition (the classic), a teapot with a bit of chamomile left and a teacup, and a very small rubber crocodile.

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What music are you currently listening to?

Currently listening to Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. Sad he didn’t write a hedgehog piece, it surely would have been glorious.

What are you planning for your next adventure?

We tend to play things by ear, but we’ve heard about a country populated with tiny hedgehogs that we would really like to visit soon. Also there is space travel. Or perhaps working on solving the Mystery of the Moroccan Monkey Mantelpiece. And some are suggesting a trip to Castle Fischer-Price to look for a grail thingie.

Is pink still your favorite color?

Yes, that and indigo. And also emerald green. And sometimes burgundy. Except when it is royal purple.

Thank you for the gracious sharing of your time, Princess; on behalf of your subjects, may I say you are truly an inspiration and we are fortunate to have you.

If you, dear reader, would like to know more about HRH Perdita Pricklepants, she can be found on: Facebook (princesspricklepants)
Twitter (@PPricklepants)
Youtube (urchinwear) Her blog (http://princesspricklepants.com)

And occasionally on Instagram.

 

Hedgehog Art Through the Ages — A Review Laura C. Dunklee, HWS Co-Chair for Health, Research, and Education

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Van Gogh’s The Starry Hedgehog Night

I am an art lover. I am a history lover. I am also a hedgehog lover .
How is it, then, that I was completely, embarrassingly unaware of the vast realm of historical hedgehog art?!

Thankfully, Her Royal Highness, Princess Perdita Pricklepants, and her devoted handservant, S. M. Bach, have devoted so much time and energy to painstakingly researching and documenting this vital, and yet — until now — little known and explored field.

Hedgehog Art Through the Ages is a text that delights, as the authors share with us many recently discovered artistic masterworks. Not only have the authors chosen to include photos of these works, but they have also written engaging, informative comments, introducing the reader to the artists, their place in history, and various important bits about their lives and the masterpieces.

Do not allow yourself to gaze only at the art, only skimming the accompanying text! It is in the words, thoughtfully placed below the images for the ease of finding, that one gains the greatest insights into the importance of each piece. For example, the descriptive words under “The Starry Hedgehog Night”:

Van Gogh’s 1888 “The Starry Hedgehog Night” was a view painted from the east-facing window of his asylum room. The nurses noticed the various hedgehogs hiding in the painting, and were concerned, so Vincent repainted the more well known version of the painting. Much could be said, though it’s better to just look at it.

Upon reading the above, I took the authors’ advice and just looked at it.

I was pleased.

The perfect text for any lover of art, of history, of hedgehogs: go forth, purchase, and savor Hedgehog Art Through the Ages!

 

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Princess Pricklepants, Musician, Rebel


Dear readers,

Our preamble will be brief, since we’re attempting to disempreambulate our writing. There has been much posted to Facebook/Twitter since our last blog post, far too much to cover here, much of it delightful and entertaining.  There have been many art discoveries that probably merit another post or two, notable Disney things, new hats, and many dozens of other fascinating things of great note we’ve written about elsewhere.  One notable thing was the discovery of old family photos from WW I from an ancestor in the 151st Flying Hedgehogs.

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Also, here are a couple of the hats.

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Rather than bore you with with catching up on all that (which you still can catch up on by visiting Facebook/Twitter), we’ll just begin our story with a picture with words under it.

 

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One day, very recently ago, Princess Pricklepants was sitting in her room chatting with Monkey.

“So Monkey, what are we going to do today?”

“Ooh ooh, ah ah”

“Blast it!  I don’t want to do music lessons!”

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Her Highness was not entirely pleased to learn that she had to practice music. While she enjoyed many things, her time with music practice wasn’t always one of those things. Nevertheless, duty called.

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She set out her flute and music stand and started off into space, hoping she might be able to just stand there for a while and somehow call it done.  Surprisingly, this didn’t work.

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“Princess, time to get to practicing.”

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Her Highness decided to hide under the desk and hope nobody would find her until such a time as everyone forgot about music practice and she could enjoy a nice cup of tea and read Hedgehog Art Through The Ages once more, since it somehow got better every time she read it. Surprisingly, this didn’t work.

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She decided to stand and sniff the flute, thinking this might constitute practice.  Boris dropped by to offer some words of encouragement.

“Your Highness, are you familiar with the Myth of Sisyphus?”

“No.”

“It’s the story of a man condemned to push a rock up a hill every day only to find it back at the bottom.  It’s a metaphor for the… Something.  It’s about why we have to do tedious things we don’t like.  Be like Sisyphus and press on.”

“Those were not words of encouragement.”

“Perhaps it’s a metaphor for punishment and suffering then.”

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Jane the Cow Accountant and Bessie the Generic Cow came in to give a pep talk.  Her Highness attempted to sneak off to return the lovely space under the desk.  She crouched so that she would be invisible.

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The crouch of invisibility seemed to work since she also ran very quickly.  Under the desk everything made sense.  It was the best of all possible spaces under a desk.  She tried to crouch a bit so she could continue to be invisible while lingering in sublime sub-desk perfection.  Puzzlingly, she was still quickly discovered.

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Back in the practice room, Jane and Bessie blocked the way to the desk, which Her Highness looked at forlornly.  The alluring space under the desk still beckoned to her, like destiny calling.

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“Do you suppose I could sit quietly and read a Music History book instead?  Dr. Petunia Pricklebottom’s ‘Pointed Notes: A History of Hedgehog Music’ is highly acclaimed and would be quite edifying to a young hedgehog princess’s musical education.”

“No.”

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“Say, I think there might be something under the table.  I should check into that.  Could be important.”

“Ignore it. Just practice.”

“Oh, but it’s… There is something there.  This is just too important.”

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She checked under the table. There wasn’t much there, but it was still very lovely to be under any furniture, and it brought her closer to the Desk of Wonder. Unfortunately along the way she inadvertently tipped a cow, Bessie, who was distraught.

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Back in the practice room there was much discussion of the value of practice, the importance of persistence, and the inappropriateness of tipping cows.  Her Highness listened, and agreed, and tried very hard to practice.  Unfortunately, she had an idea.

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She realized that if she were to crouch low enough, then she would be invisible, which was exactly the thing she needed to reach the desk.

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It seemed to work pretty well.  Very hard to notice.

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But for some reason, it didn’t take long before she was noticed.  The cows attempted to stage an intervention.

Jane explained that all this escape artistry and delaying was just wasting time since she would have to practice at some point.

Bessie explained that crouching did not make one invisible.  Also if cow-tipping were to occur again there would be Consequences.

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In the practice room, Her Highness decided to spend a short while beholding the bust of J. S. Bach in order to gain sufficient inspiration.

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She was inspired to check in the corner where the somewhat objectionable lamp was.

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She then decided to check under the music stand, in case there was any inspiration there.  She didn’t find any.

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She returned to the lovely, inspiring, alluring spot under the desk.  This was the place she truly wanted to remain forever.  A small amount of cow tipping occurred on the journey, but she hoped it wouldn’t be noticeable.

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Unfortunately, the cow tipping was noticed, and Bessie, the tipped cow, fully blocked any possible exit, leaving her forced to face the flute.

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And so, after a few minor distractions, she got to practicing Bach’s Flute Sonata in E Minor, which was lovely.  Once she got playing, it was really quite fun.  After she’d played for an hour and a half, it was time to practice calligraphy.  Her Highness was not entirely pleased to learn that she had to practice calligraphy. While she enjoyed many things, her time with calligraphy wasn’t always one of those things. So she decided to hide under the desk.

Stay tuned, Princess Pricklepants and Somehow More Hedgehog Art Through The Ages will be coming soon to a blog near you.  While we enjoy many things, our time with blog posts isn’t always one of those things, and there is the great distraction of that alluring space under the desk.  But we’ll try to get to it soon.

Princess Pricklepants, the Animated Feature(s)


Dear reader,

Exciting news!  We now present to you two animated features highly worth watching.

First, we present Hedgezilla vs. Mecha-Hedgezilla, our very brief homage to Godzilla movies.  It even has a delightful soundtrack.

 

Secondly, we present to you this magnificent, refined, and tasteful book trailer which is an elegant and captivating viewing experience:

As an added bonus, we’re included for free, this additional video, which is less magnificent, refined, and tasteful, but still delightful as a viewing experience:

We hope you enjoyed these.  The book trailers refer to this remarkable work of literature which if you don’t have a copy of you should make sure to order so you can get it in time for Christmas:

https://www.amazon.com/Hedgehog-Through-Ages-Steven-Bach/dp/1539641880/

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve been working on learning how to create animations. Expect more to come, and subscribe to our Youtube channel if you’s like to keep up.

As a special ultimate bonus finale, we present yet another new video:

Coming soon: Princess Pricklepants, Novelist.

The New Book Is Here!


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It’s here! Our new book is now up on the Createspace site and you can order it:
https://www.createspace.com/6456156

Just go to the page, hit “Add To Cart” then check out, and in some amount of time the book will be in your hands to read, admire, impress friends with, trick museum employees with, confuse art historians with, or to use in any other way you see fit, though we ask you to be nice to the book.

The book features more than 40 works of hedgehog-centric art from various periods of art history along with original amusing and delightful commentary.

Also available on amazon here:

https://www.amazon.com/Hedgehog-Through-Ages-Steven-Bach/dp/1539641880/

For those across the pond, it’s available here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539641880/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_sqkkybZ6B5EGM

If you’re looking for Hedgehog Art Through The Ages Shirts, they can be found here:

http://urchinwear.net/product-category/shirts/hedgehog-art/

Princess Pricklepants and Hedgehog Art Through History – A Book Review


Dear reader, sorry for the brief blog hiatus.

In today’s unique post we review the interesting and sublime book, Hedgehog Art Through The Ages by S. M. Bach and P. P. Pricklepants.  For our book review, we will include very special guest hedgehog spokesmodel, our very own Princess Perdita Pricklepants.

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We begin with the front cover, which is nicely illustrative of the nature of the contents. Despite the appearance of an expression of disapproval, Her Highness fully approves of this cover.

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The book has quite striking and impressive cover art, that looks just like the kind of cover art a book of this type would have.

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The cover also serves as a convenient teacup holder/coaster.

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The back cover is both attractive and helpfully illustrative of the contents of the book as well, with hedgehog-scale photos of some highlights of the contents, and a general feel of an actual book, which it totally is.

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The book is also simply marvelous to behold.

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Interior illustrations include write-ups full of witty, delightful flowing prose.

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The interior takes the reader through many periods of art history from the Renaissance through the Modern period, all of which are wonderful, delightful, and fascinating.

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This book includes an extensive and delightful section on Japanese hedgehog art, with a fascinating and delightful look at Hedgezilla.

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This book is also suitable as a playscape for smaller pets.

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The cover/binding are designed with safety in mind with pets, even when presenting the sometimes dangerous Modern art.

We’re excited and pleased to announce that this book will be available soon – we’ll update this site once we have order information.