A must-read review! A must-read book! Professor Moore spoke at the JASNA AGM in Williamsburg, an insightful, eye-opening talk on Jane Austen’s knowledge of the dissolution of the monasteries and how she weaves this into her novels:
Not too much this week, as I have had company, and as it should, internet cruising takes a back seat. But this latest finds blog post starts with an Austen on the Block! – then moves on to Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, nursery rhymes, John Steinbeck, and various things about books ….
First and foremost: Austen on the Block!
An interesting set of Jane Austen’s novels (a 1854 reprint of the Bentley set of 1833) that was owned by Austen’s niece Fanny Catherine Knatchbull is up for auction on March 28, 2019 at Forum Auctions in the UK:
Austen (Jane) Novels, 6 vol. in 5, reprint of first collected edition, engraved frontispiece to each vol. but lacking half-titles and additional engraved vignette titles, vol.1 with presentation inscription from F.C. Knatchbull to her daughter Louisa dated 1856 (in Louisa’s hand) and remaining vol. with ownership signature of Louisa to front free endpaper, contemporary half calf, spines gilt with double morocco labels (3 lacking, a few chipped), rubbed, 8vo, Richard Bentley, 1833 [but c.1854]
A lovely association copy, once owned by Jane Austen’s favourite niece. Estimate is £4,000 – £6,000
Read more about it here at Forum Auctions.
A new website “Shakespeare Census” has been launched: it is a database that attempts to locate and describe all extant copies of all editions of Shakespeare’s works through 1700 (excluding the four folio editions). Visit https://shakespearecensus.org/homepage
The Ides of March is upon us (March 15th), and so this is interesting news:
The ruins in the Largo di Torre Argentina in Rome, and where Julius Caesar met his untimely end, is home to dozens of stray cats and is currently crumbling and fenced off. It will soon undergo extensive renovations and open to the public in 2021. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/site-where-julius-caesar-was-stabbed-will-finally-open-public-180971613/
Read about and view many of the illustrations from William Darton’s Nursey Songs at Spitalfield’s Life: http://spitalfieldslife.com/2019/03/09/dartons-nursery-songs/
This edition from 1822 sold at auction in 2014 for $12,500!:
Songs for the Nursery, Collected From the Works of the Most Renowned Poets, and Adapted To Favourite National Melodies. London: Printed [By R. & A. Taylor] For William Darton, 1822. Estimate $ 6,000 — 8,000
Visit http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/etexts/darton/ for a bibliography of the William Darton and Sons works exhibited in 1992 at the Lilly Library.
The Library of Congress “Today in History” for March 9, 1841: Survivors of Amistad Mutiny Released
“The Supreme Court issued a ruling on March 9, 1841, freeing the remaining thirty-five survivors of the Amistad mutiny. Although seven of the nine justices on the court hailed from Southern states, only one dissented from Justice Joseph Story’s majority opinion. Private donations ensured the Africans’ safe return to Sierra Leone in January 1842.”
Image: Joseph Cinquez, the Brave Congolese Chief…
[Drawn by James or Isaac Sheffield]; Moses Yale Beach, lith.;
Boston: Joseph A. Arnold, c1839
A Miniature Books collection on exhibit at The Grolier Club in NYC: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/07/books/tiny-books-grolier-club.html
“A Matter of Size: Miniature Texts & Bindings” from the Collection of Patricia J. Pistner. March 5 – May 18, 2019
Image: Two Speeches by Abraham Lincoln: “The Gettysburg Address” and his “Second Inaugural Address;” written and bound by London bookbinders Sangorski & Sutcliffe in 1930.
Good to know that the Nobel Prize for Literature (not awarded in 2018) is back, and 2018 and 2019 winners will be announced at the same time this year (in October)… https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/awards-and-prizes/article/79431-after-changes-the-nobel-prize-for-literature-returns.html
A more than creative way to make use of Old Books: https://www.boredpanda.com/old-book-recycling-paper-art-cecilia-levy/
See more teacups and other made-from-books objects by Cecilia Levy here: https://www.cecilialevy.com/
Most of you likely know that I collect books by and about John Steinbeck – Open Culture shares this great tale of Steinbeck as autograph seeker – and from Marilyn Monroe of all people! The letter sold at auction in 2016 for $3,520: http://www.openculture.com/2019/03/heres-john-steinbeck-asking-marilyn-monroe-for-her-autograph-1955.html
A “Rules of the Circulating Library in Ashborne” broadside sold at Forum Auctions in November: this article appears in the Antiques Trade Gazette by Ian McKay: https://www.antiquestradegazette.com/print-edition/2019/january/2374/auction-reports/library-laws-laid-down-at-auction/
“Dated April 5, 1768, the simple printed broadside shown below lays down the ‘Rules…’ that apply to those wishing to use the Circulating Library in Ashbo[u]rne in Derbyshire.
As well as a joining fee of 7/6d, library users were charged six shillings a year for membership, payable in two instalments. They were also entitled to attend quarterly meetings at The Green Man or other designated venue to propose, discuss and vote on what new books might be purchased for the library.
Anyone keeping a book out on loan for longer than what had been agreed on as a reasonable period was liable to a fine of tuppence a day.
All users are reminded “…not to lend any Library Book out of his Dwelling-House on any Pretence whatever.”
What were your favorite finds this past week?
c2019 Jane Austen in Vermont
A week of goodies: Edward Gorey’s covers, Freddie Mercury, costumes for The Crown, Women’s History Month, Erotica, Cookery, Potatoes, Green Books, Doll Houses, and Highwaywomen…
Edward Gorey’s covers for literary classics: https://lithub.com/edward-goreys-illustrated-covers-for-literary-classics/
-What’s scary is how many of the books with these covers I have actually owned…(that dates me!)
Mary Wroth, a contemporary of Shakespeare, is the author of the Guardian’s poem of the week https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2019/jan/28/poem-of-the-week-from-a-crown-of-sonnets-dedicated-to-love-by-lady-mary-wroth
From A Crown of Sonnets Dedicated to Love:
In this strange labyrinth how shall I turn?
Ways are on all sides, while the way I miss:
If to the right hand, there, in love I burn;
Let me go forward, therein danger is.
Now to the 21st-century – here is the Freddie Mercury clone Marc Martel who sings some of the songs in the Bohemian Rhapsody biopic: http://www.openculture.com/2019/02/marc-martel-sings-just-like-freddie-mercury.html
Opening at Winterthur at the end of March (through January 5, 2020): “Costuming The Crown” http://www.winterthur.org/exhibitions-events/exhibitions/future-exhibitions/thecrown/
Waxing poetic on the Potato – more than you ever thought you needed to know: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/potato-idioms
A Folger Shakespeare Library exhibition: “First Chefs: Fame and Foodways from Britain to the Americas” (Jan 19 – Mar 31, 2019): https://www.folger.edu/exhibitions/first-chefs-fame-foodways-britain-americas
-and some of the recipes, such as Hannah Wooley’s Orange and Lemon Marmalade, or William Hughes’s Hot Chocolate: https://www.folger.edu/exhibitions/first-chefs/recipes
March is Women’s History Month!
Two databases that focus on Women Writers are FREE during the whole month of March:
- Orlando: the subscription service Orlando:Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present will be available free for all through the month of March for Women’s History Month: http://orlando.cambridge.org/svHomePage
Here is the login information: (no caps, no spaces)
- The Women Writers Online collection includes more than 400 texts written and translated by women, first published between 1526 and 1850 (no login info required: you can search and read the texts in the collection at: http://wwo.wwp.northeastern.edu/WWO
Peter Harrington has put out a catalogue: In Her Own Words: Works by Exceptional Women – you can read it here: https://www.peterharrington.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/151-final-low-res.pdf
Erotica at the British Library: see this blog post at Untold Lives “Smutty stuff’ for ‘debauched readers’: The Merryland books in the Private Case” https://blogs.bl.uk/untoldlives/2019/02/smutty-stuff-for-debauched-readers-the-merryland-books-in-the-private-case.html
The Private Case is an historic collection of erotica segregated from the main British (Museum) Library collection on grounds of obscenity from the 1850s onwards in a moral climate of suppression and censorship. Now much of the work has been digitized for all the world to see (subscription through Gale or in the Reading Room of the British Library).
The Doll’s House at the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood – with great pictures:
Those of us watching Victoria might want more information on the Great Exhibition of 1851: here’s a very small sampling of what’s on the internet:
- Many illustrations here at the British Library, this written by the historian Liza Picard: https://www.bl.uk/victorian-britain/articles/the-great-exhibition
- And a great summary here at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crystal_Palace
Then there’s the scene in North and South with Margaret and John Thornton meeting at the Great Exhibition and where she first sees the respect with which he is held by others (and always nice to have a reason to post a pic with Richard Armitage…)
For those of you wanting to know more about the Green Books that are the heart of the Green Book movie, The New York Public Library has a research guide and a digitized collection online here: https://www.nypl.org/blog/2019/02/25/explore-green-books-schomburg-center
OK, are you a Miss, Mrs. or a Ms.? (all Misters – this is not about you…): Alexander Atkins at the Bookshelf gives us the history – it goes back a long time in case you didn’t know: https://atkinsbookshelf.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/what-is-mrs-short-for/
(you should follow this blog – always enlightening word and book history…)
This week’s favorite “Found on the Internet and how will I ever read it all…”: https://gesteofrobinhood.com/
Here Begynneth A Lytell Geste of Robin Hood… Being A General and True History of the Lives and Robberies of the Most Notorious Highwaymen, Rogues, Cheats, Murderers and Rebel Leaders from the Medieval Period to the 19th Century
This post on “Female Highwaymen” is most arresting (pun intended)… https://gesteofrobinhood.com/2015/10/18/female-highwaymen/
Lady Katherine Ferrers (1634-1660) – do you think Jane Austen had her in mind when creating her Fanny Ferrars Dashwood (the sneaky thief of inheritances)?? Or perhaps that’s where Mrs. Ferrars money came from?
Happy reading! What has been your favorite internet find this week?
C2019 Jane Austen in Vermont
Orlando, the subscription database from Cambridge University Press on “Women’s Writings in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present” – is available for free for Women’s History Month starting tomorrow and throughout March.
The Orlando Project “provides entries on authors’ lives and writing careers, contextual material, timelines, sets of internal links, and bibliographies.”
Here is the login information: (no caps, no spaces)
As always, much new material has been added this past year: just as an example, Professor Isobel Grundy has shared with me that these four near-contemporaries of Jane Austen are now part of the database (or will be added shortly):
Mary Harcourt (later Countess Harcourt) (1750-1833), who was embedded with her husband while he commanded troops in the Low Countries during the War of the First Coalition against revolutionary France, and wrote an account of her experience and her gradual development of strongly anti-war views; and
Eglantine, Lady Wallace (died 1803), a dramatist and conduct-writer, a Scots aristocrat of rather dubious respectability who got caught up in part of the same war and was very friendly with a revolutionary leader. [entry is under Eglinton Wallace].
Jane Loudon (1807-1858), who published a science fiction novel called The Mummy, unfortunately a few years too late for Austen to read it. [to be added soon]
Anna Gordon (Mrs. Brown) (1747-1810), a Scottish ballad-collector and singer. [to be added soon]
If you are wondering about the symbol of the Oak Tree, here is the explanation from the website:
“. . . a little square book bound in red cloth fell from the breast of her leather jacket—her poem The Oak Tree.” —Virginia Woolf, Orlando
Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, a Biography, 1928, inspires this work in literary history. Woolf’s biographical and historical fantasy explores the changing conditions of possibility for women writing in England from the time of Elizabeth I to her own day, and gives us a poet protagonist who is at work throughout the whole of this history on the composition of her poem “The Oak Tree”. The Orlando Project team sees in the oak tree a suggestion of the history of women’s writing in the British Isles, the growth of history from biography, and (in a kind of visual pun) the tree-like structure of our text encoding.
Fabulous resource – spend the month indulging in this feast of information!
c2019 Jane Austen in Vermont
For your reading pleasure this week:
Just opened! A Bibliomania exhibit at the Beineke: https://beinecke.library.yale.edu/exhibitions/bibliomania-or-book-madness-bibliographical-romance
Kate Beckinsale – The Widow: https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/tv/54327/the-widow-kate-beckinsale-amazon-series-news
More on the Austen family lost (and now found) photographs: https://checknewyorktimes.blogspot.com/2019/01/lost-photographs-of-jane-austens-family.html
Making a William Morris Christmas at the National Portrait Gallery:
(from 2014) https://www.npg.org.uk/blog/making-a-william-morris-chirstmas
800 Medieval Manuscripts from England and France 700-1200: https://manuscrits-france-angleterre.org/polonsky/en/content/accueil-en?mode=desktop
More on mediaeval manuscripts: evidence of women’s work on illuminated medieval manuscripts (I love this!): http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/1/eaau7126
The LadyLike Language of Letters (and a lost art?): https://daily.jstor.org/the-ladylike-language-of-letters/?utm_term=The%20Ladylike%20Language%20of%20Letters&utm_campaign=jstordaily_01172019&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email
You could spend weeks at this site: Gallica: https://gallica.bnf.fr/accueil/en/content/accueil-en?mode=desktop
Sign on for some Online Jane Austen – about Northanger Abbey – Hillsdale College – FREE: https://online.hillsdale.edu/courses/_austen/home/jane-austen-schedule
Must-read: an essay on early feminist criticism: https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/9E423C3E76FEB3656379E2FC9920AAE2/S1060150318001420a.pdf/dorothea_or_jane_the_dilemmas_of_early_feminist_criticism.pdf
The Grolier Club at 100: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/arts/design/book-lovers-grolier-club.html
London’s transit posters – the women artists [I bought a calendar of these and have framed my favorites – so beautiful]: https://www.citylab.com/design/2019/01/female-artist-poster-girls-london-transport-museum/579991/
You can view many at their online collection: https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/collections/collections-online/posters
“Better than Turner? The brief and brilliant career of Thomas Girtin” (born in 1775, just like JA): three of his works coming up at auction at Christies on January 31, 2019 in New York: https://www.christies.com/features/The-Life-of-Thomas-Girtin-9651-1.aspx
18 movie/tv adaptations of books in 2019 – READ them before the movie!: https://www.buzzfeed.com/farrahpenn/tv-and-movie-book-adaptations-in-2019 (including Little Women, Catch 22 (with George Clooney…), The Goldfinch, Where’d You Go Bernadette…and more)
The Library of Burnt Books (with a video): http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20190117-the-library-of-forbidden-books
A sad loss to history trivia nerds the world over: “Two Nerdy History Girls” bid farewell (but will continue their own blogs, twitter and facebook pages, and of course their books!) http://twonerdyhistorygirls.blogspot.com/2018/12/in-which-loretta-susan-bid-farewell.html
I missed this, sad to say: Winnie-the-Pooh at the MFA – you can see a tiny bit of the exhibit here – scroll down for the preview: https://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/winnie-the-pooh
For fans of Horace Walpole: thru Feb 24, 2019: https://www.strawberryhillhouse.org.uk/losttreasures/
“This exhibition brings back to Strawberry Hill some of the most important masterpieces in Horace Walpole’s famous and unique collection for a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition. Horace Walpole’s collection was one of the most important of the 18th century. It was dispersed in a great sale in 1842. For the first time in over 170 years, Strawberry Hill can be seen as Walpole conceived it, with the collection in the interiors as he designed it, shown in their original positions.”
- You can follow this blog in the ongoing search for more of Walpole’s lost treasures: https://www.strawberryhillhouse.org.uk/strawberry-hill-treasure-hunt/
- This portrait of Henry Carey by Marcus Geeraerts is the supposed inspiration behind Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (a must-read for all dedicated Jane Austen fans…)
Some old news: Jane might be appalled (though I think more likely she would have had a copy herself…), but here is a more than interesting essay on Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and the copy that sold at auction in October 2018: https://www.sothebys.com/en/articles/rowan-pelling-on-sex-obscenity-and-lady-chatterleys-lover …
- This copy was owned by the judge in the obscenity case, the saucy bits dutifully annotated by the judge’s wife! It sold for £56,250 ($71,809), way above its £15,000 estimate: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2018/seeger-cone-collection-l18320/lot.159.html
If you are watching Masterpeice’s Victoria, you might wonder about the real history behind it all: here is the pbs version: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/specialfeatures/victoria-s3-e1-history-in-images/#
- The Chartist Movement in more detail at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartism
- and a shorter version direct from Parliament: https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/electionsvoting/chartists/overview/chartistmovement/
- and Willow & Thatch just put up this great summary: https://www.willowandthatch.com/victoria-pbs-who-were-chartists-history/?utm_source=Willow+and+Thatch+Newsletter&utm_campaign=2faedd9710-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_01_21_05_21&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9350788055-2faedd9710-162513921
This all should keep you busy for a good while…
2019, Jane Austen in Vermont
You are Cordially Invited to JASNA-Vermont’s September Meeting
Celebrating 200 Years of Persuasion with
Dr. Cheryl Kinney*
“Persuasion: Engineered Injury”
Sunday, 16 September 2018, 1 -3 pm
Morgan Room, Aiken Hall,
83 Summit Street, Champlain College, Burlington VT
By examining the various injuries and illnesses in the novel (think Anne’s “loss of bloom and spirits;” Mary’s “always worse than anybody’s” sore throats; Louisa “taken up lifeless” on the Cobb pavement; and more), Dr, Kinney will show how Jane Austen uses these bodily changes to expose the moral worth and inner nature of her characters. The talk also reviews the changes that were occurring in Regency medicine and how Jane Austen’s interaction with doctors influenced her writing.
~ Free & open to the public ~
~ Light refreshments served ~
*Dr. Kinney is a gynecologist in Dallas, Texas, listed in “Best Doctors in America” since 2001, named by the Consumer’s Research Council as one of “America’s Top Obstetricians and Gynecologists” yearly since 2002, and chosen as a “Texas Super Doctor” by her peers for the last eleven years. She is on several medical-related boards and has lectured around the world on issues relating to gynecology. But also, and lucky for us, she has been very involved in the Jane Austen Society of North America, both at the national and regional level, and has spoken in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom on health and sickness in the novels of Jane Austen and other 18th and 19th century British authors.
Hope you can join us!
Upcoming meeting: Dec. 2, 2018: Annual Birthday Brunch / Tea, with Prof. Anna Battigelli (SUNY-Plattsburgh) on “Landscapes and Soundscapes in Jane Austen’s Narratives”
c2018 Jane Austen in Vermont
Please read this terrific in-depth post by Tony Grant over at ‘Jane Austen’s World’ on Netley Abbey and Austen’s ties to it and possible influence on her ‘Northanger Abbey.’ I visited Netley Abbey with Tony a few years ago – pouring rain, but also more atmospheric as a result!
Inquiring readers, Tony Grant, a blogger and contributor to this blog for a decade, has submitted this interesting post about Netley Abbey. He ties history, literature, poetry, and painting to Jane Austen’s fascination with the gothic novel, which led to her writing Northanger Abbey in her wonderfully satiric vein. Enjoy!
My Memories of Netley Abbey
When I was eight years old, I recall one of my grandmothers telling me about the ghosts that haunted Netley Abbey. Netley Abbey is four miles along Southampton Water from where I grew up. I lived in Woolston, a small industrial area of Southampton next to the Itchen River, which flows into Southampton Water at the cities docks. (See Google satellite map image below and Google map image alongside it.)
Within walking distance of where I lived are extensive areas of woodland and farms that specialized in market gardening. Netley Abbey itself is set within…
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