Book submission: Die Aristokratie in Amerika

Title: Die Aristokratie in Amerika
Author: Grund, Francis
Publication date: Stuttgart, 1839
Library: University of Pennsylvania – Van Pelt
Call number: E165 .G92
Submitted by: Mitch Fraas
Description:
When Grund’s book came out in London and Stuttgart it featured several engravings of American political figures. Yet, in this copy the engravings are missing, replaced by a reader’s pencil sketches imitating the absent portraits. For more on the this copy see: http://uniqueatpenn.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/surprise-sketches/

Book submission: The Ideas That Have Influenced Civilization

Title: The Ideas That Have Influenced Civilization
Author: Thatcher, Oliver
Publication date: Milwaukee, 1901
Library: Love Library, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Call number: AC 5 T45 1901 v.5
Submitted by: Julian Fox
Description:
This book, most likely used as a text book, carries annotations made in pencil and pen. In addition to marking passages, the owner of this book also wrote out calculations and opinions about the author’s work. The marks below, made in Francis Bacon’s The Novum Organum, carry some interesting annotations:

Book submission: Henoch Arden

Title: Henoch Arden
Author: Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Publication date: The Hague, 1869
Library: Alderman Library, University of Virginia
Call number: PR5556.A63 1869
Submitted by: Andrew Stauffer
Description:
a Dutch translation of Tennyson’s Enoch Arden – “Henoch Arden,” published in the Hague in 1869. It comes from the library of Thomas Randolph Price, a literature professor and former Confederate soldier, whose books were given to the University of Virginia library in the early twentieth century. It bears the following inscription on the verso of the title-page:

Rotterdam Aug. 28, ’84
Dear Tom
While looking in a booksellers window just now, & smiling at “Dombey En Zoon,” and other English works in Dutch, I got caught in a shower. So I got this book & retreated to a “café,” and got a bottle of Rhine wine, & have taken the two together. I know the English poem almost by heart, & so I can read this Dutch without the dictionary; and it comes back to me, as I read, that we read it together in dear Richmond nineteen years ago. Some of the lines that you read aloud then seem vivid & fresh in my memory – things not to die until I do. And so it seemed to me that it might be a pleasure to you to see clearly – as I do through the mists of another tongue – Enoch Arden from another point of view; and therefore through the golden light of this “flask” of Rhine wine, I give you this book to show you how dear to me our past has been, and how much I think of you.
James R.

When James and Tom were reading the poem together nineteen years ago – that is, in 1865 – “dear Richmond” was facing imminent invasion by General Grant’s troops; the city would soon be burning as the Confederate army made its final retreat; weeks later, Lee surrendered. Next to certain passages in the poem which he knows “by heart,” James R has written “Do you remember?” and “I remember when you read this,” emphasizing the complex and strongly-felt layers of memory at work on these pages of the Dutch Enoch Arden, a poem essentially about the heart-wrenching consequences of coming home to a place where one has been forgotten.

henoch.2

Henoch Arden

Book submission: The Poetical Works of Mrs. Felicia Hemans

Title: The Poetical Works of Mrs. Felicia Hemans
Author: Felicia Hemans
Publication date: Philadelphia, 1843
Library: Alderman Library, University of Virginia
Call number: PR4780.A1 1843
Submitted by: Andrew Stauffer
Description:
The book carries various annotations made in pencil – mostly check marks and lines indicating favorite poems and passages. Most striking, however, is the inscription on the rear free end-paper, again written in pencil in Ellen’s hand:

Sing mournfully, sing mournfully
Our dearly loved is gone.
The gifted and the beautiful
Is from our sight withdrawn.
Then let us sing her requiem now
In this her parting hour
And softly breathe her name, who was
Our fairest, loveliest flower
Mary, Mary, Mary

Apparently composed in 1862 – that is, sixteen years later than the first inscription – these lines were written by Ellen (now Mrs. Minor) for her third daughter Mary Montague Minor, who was born in 1855 and died at age seven. In a halting yet moving pastiche of Hemans’s style – adapting lines from “The Nightingale’s Death Song,” and “Burial of an Emigrant’s Child in the Forest” – Mrs. Minor has transformed her copy of Hemans into a memorial site, and also into a collaborative anthology. Like a family bible, the book bears witness to stages and losses across many years; and like a sourcebook of feeling, it seems to have offered an idiom to its owner, having lost her child: – as Amy Hempel puts it, “fluent now in the language of grief.”

Book submission: Letters of Hannah More to Zachary Macaulay

Title: Letters of Hannah More to Zachary Macaulay
Author: Hannah More
Publication date: New York, 1860
Library: Alderman Library, University of Virginia
Call number: PR3605 .M6 A8 1860
Submitted by: Andrew Stauffer
Description:
Sewing needle inserted in rear free end paper of this copy formerly owned by one Lucy Nelson, who wrote in the book that it was “brought me by Sister from Baltimore, Sept. 1860.”

Book submission: Longfellow’s Poems and Ballads

Title: Poems and Ballads
Author: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Publication date: New York, 1891
Library: Alderman Library, University of Virginia
Call number: PS 2252.W6 1891
Submitted by: Andrew Stauffer
Description:
Copy belonging to Jane Chapman Slaughter, with extensive marginal notes addressed to her lost beloved, John Adamson. The book has the following note written in pencil on the front free endpaper: “Our readings together were in this book, ere you went to your life of work and sacrifice, and I remained to my life of infinite yearning for your presence, the sound of your voice; a yearning never to be satisfied in this world or the next. Now never I see thee/ Never more hear/ The voice of my comrade/ Ever more dear…..’And he never came back.'”

A number of the poems in this copy bear Jane Slaughter’s annotations, with explicit reference to her memories of reading them apparently with John H. Adamson, whose name is also inscribed in the book as its first owner. For example, in the bottom margin after “The Skeleton in Armor,” Jane has written in a note, “Then you looked at your watch & said – “Now shall we go & make that visit, for at 5 o’clock I have to go to Washington,” & we meant you & I, & we had a happy walk –“.  Then, in a later hand, she has added the following, on the facing page: “Our last walk together in this world. Never to see each other more – Never, oh, never! It was after this I called you — “Norseman,” the name we always used to the end, in our letters. Do you remember? – You added to it “your Norseman,” and “your devoted Norseman.”

Similarly, above Longfellow’s poem, “Footsteps of Angels,” Jane wrote in 1900, “You read this, July 1st, Sunday, the day you said – “goodbye,” sitting in the great armchair in the Infirmary parlor – O friend of mine!”; then, in the later hand, she has added, “Once, mine! Now, mine no more!”(29). One more example: at the close of Longfellow’s translation of the “Coplas de Manrique,” is Jane’s note, “Sunday May 6th / No’ubliez pas”; and then, in Jane’s later hand, “Read to me by ‘my Norseman,’ O so long ago, before he went on his “crusade” in Liberia at Capetown [sic] on the West Coast” (100).