The Page of Earthly Delights

Rose

This site comes from the Styx area of the Athens neighborhood. It's actually part of a webpage called Dina's Book Room, which can be found at http://www.oocities.org/athens/styx/1410/. It is a really lovely example of a personal archive website created with a lot of care.

Dina lived in Queanbeyan, Australia and read a lot of English lit. Her home page includes My Bookshelf (a list of all her books), a photo album dedicated to Pussal the cat, and a Book Shoppe page which features Amazon affiliate links to purchase 23 different books selected by Dina.

We don't actually get much personal information about Dina from her website — just an image of what she might have been (or still be) like based on what she loved to read. The graphics in The Garden of Earthly Delights are classic digital sentimentalism, lots of impossible beautiful depictions of gardens, fair maidens, and so on.

The Page of Earthly Delights

The Page of Earthly Delights, the most interesting section of Dina's site, is a selection of mostly English poetry on topics including loneliness, aging, "small things," nature, and nonsense. The aging section is a bit funny; Dina mentions a high school course on one of her pages, which makes me think she is probably quite young. Robert Herrick makes frequent appearances. The nonsense poetry section features an annotated version of "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll as well as French and German translations.

I wish that Dina had credited where she got her graphics from because they are quite incredible and unique in some cases, at least when it comes to the medieval cats. It's unlikely that Dina created these graphics herself, as many people offered such imagery for free download on their pages, and in any case Dina would surely not have seen any issue with using graphics others had made for a personal site like this one.

Despite the personal nature of Dina's Garden, her page titled The Book Shop is full of what are presumably affiliate links to Amazon. This is a fascinating example of very early affiliate marketing tactics appearing even on a personal page which was probably not heavily trafficked by anyone aside from Dina's immediate friends and family. Did she ever make much money from those Amazon links? Or was she actually only hoping to refer people to the most convenient place to buy her favorite books online?