Book submission: Selections from the Prose Writings of Matthew Arnold

Title: Selections from the Prose Writings of Matthew Arnold
Author: Arnold, Matthew
Publication date: New York, 1898
Library: Alderman Library, University of Virginia
Call number: PR4021 .G3 1898
Submitted by: Andrew Stauffer
Edwin Alderman’s copy, with his bookplate and ownership inscription dated “Feb. 1900” from the University of North Carolina. Alderman has bracketed and underlined the following passage, and written in the margin, “This is my creed”:

“Indeed, it is not in my nature — some of my critics would rather say not in my power — to dispute on behalf of any opinion, even my own, very obstinately. To try and approach truth on one side after another, not to strive or cry, nor to persist in pressing forward, on any one side, with violence and self-will, it is only thus, it seems to me, that mortals may hope to gain any vision of the mysterious Goddess, whom we shall never see except in outline, but only thus even in outline. He who will do nothing but fight impetuously towards her on his own, one, favorite, particular line, is inevitably destined to run his head into the folds of the black robe in which she is wrapped.”

A striking window onto the mind and perspective of Alderman, recorded privately in his copy of Arnold. Found on the open stacks of the library that bears his name, this copy has since been moved to UVA Special Collections.

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