Title: The Vision of Dante Alighieri
Author: Dante Alighieri
Publication date: 1908
Library: Ryerson University Library
Call number: PQ4315.C4
Submitted by: Catarina, Josh, Kody, and Tori
annotations, references to other texts, underlining, diagram of main themes
Title: The Waif: A Collection of Poems
Author: Wadsworth, Henry Longfellow
Publication date: Cambridge, Mass., 1845
Library: University of Miami
Submitted by: Jamie Rathjen
A book of poetry from 1845, The Waif, is only subtitled “A Collection of Poems,” and perhaps deserves such a simple caption, as its contents are indeed eclectic. The material comes from a variety of sources, and firstly some of the poems are given an author of “Anonymous,” yet retain their titles. This means that in many cases the sources can easily be resolved with Google using the title or a line; for example, one is “The Awakening of Endymion” by English poet Letitia Elizabeth Landon. The book also counts selections from, among others, Emerson, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Robert Browning, and Felicia Hemans, and an epigraph from Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene;” all of these combine to indicate the book’s range, as some of the 17th century metaphysical poets are included alongside those contemporary to the period. An editor or compiler is not named inside the book, but the anthology is attributed to Longfellow, who also contributed the introductory “Proem.”
This copy of The Waif was originally published in Cambridge, Mass., in 1845, and currently resides in the libraries of the University of Miami. The book contains many markings and other additions, but the only verbal (i.e. containing words) inscription is in the front. It simply says “Deborah F. Adams, from her brother William, Feb. 17, 1845.” The Adams family lived nearby Cambridge, in Dedham, but any connection between the Adams family and the university is unlikely to be discovered without a bookplate, which the book does not appear to contain. Besides the inscription, many poems contain a small cross-like mark to the left of the poem’s title, either directly next to it or slightly below. These marks correlate well with the existence of other markings in the body of the poem, but are not necessarily a signal of it; that is, not every otherwise marked poem has a cross mark next to the title. The marks in the body of the poems consist largely of lines or brackets to the sides of stanzas: sometimes on the left side, sometimes on both sides, and sometimes a mark on the left side extends the entire length of a stanza while the mark on the right lasts only a line or two.
The other markings in the book are all florally themed: a small drawing of some flowers is found at the beginning of Horace Smith’s “Hymn to the Flowers,” as if to decorate the space between the title and the text. Similar drawings are found at the beginning and the end of “Autumn,” to create a sort of initial and to repeat the effect at the end. Finally, fainter drawings can be found in the same positions in other poems: “Why Thus Longing,” “The Lament of the Irish Emigrant,” and “The Death-Bed.” While these don’t seem to resemble anything in particular, except perhaps some vines at the beginning of “Why Thus Longing,” they are again placed either directly next to the beginning or ending words of the poem or below the last line. “The Lament of the Irish Emigrant,” a popular ballad of the day by the English writer Helen Blackwood, Lady Dufferin (also commonly and here known as Mrs. Blackwood; 1807-1867), additionally has what is clearly a small hand drawn above and to the left a stanza that is already marked, pointing at the text. This could be in addition to the vertical line below it, a reference to the vertical line, or a reference to the text (perhaps the incorrect “your’s” with which the stanza opens). These markings continue the pattern of existing next to yet not quite commenting on the text; they are an enigma that is both close to and distant from the poems themselves.
The multiple insertions in the book reach their climax at the end of the poem “Death of a Child,” where a large leaf is truly fastened into the page. This was achieved by cutting two small slits in the page and putting the stem through the gap created, such that a small part (and the leaf’s outline) is visible on the reverse side of the page, but the leaf is kept in place by the page itself. The same effect can also be seen at the beginning of the poem “No More,” but in this case only the stem and a small part above remains; it is surrounded by an outline that hints at this second leaf’s, or flower’s, original size. The marked stanzas refer to a mother (“to know the sweetness of a mother’s voice… No more!”); likely Adams’ mother Dorothy Alleyne (1788-1843), as she would have been the most recent family member to pass away as of the date of the inscription. “Hymn to the Flowers,” fittingly, has the outline of some kind of plant visible on all of its pages. Whatever it was, it is no longer there, but the same slits in the pages are visible at the bottom of page 17, so the plant must have been taken out. Perhaps Adams discovered that flowers don’t work as well for this purpose as leaves, and meanwhile whatever was used bled through to the other pages of the poem. The other botanically related insertion occurs in “The Lament of the Irish Emigrant,” where a small bit of leaf is visible in a position as if it was secured in the crevice between the pages, rather than using the same method with holes as the others. Again, an outline hints that the leaf was once larger than it currently appears, so while the book’s insertions have mostly not survived intact, they have literally made their mark on the pages on which they once laid.
As mentioned, the inscription in the book identifies it as belonging to a Deborah F. Adams (1813-1879), who I have identified as living in Dedham, Mass., and who received it from her brother, William Chickering (ca. 1814-1873). Little can otherwise be discovered about the family just from the inscription; however, a more eminent member of the family was one of Deborah’s sons, Dr. James Forster Alleyne Adams (1844-1914), a Harvard graduate who became a doctor in the area. The source of the insertions and markings – at least the ones clustered around the theme of death, which is not necessarily all of them – may be the death of two other family members, the first being a son, Horatio (1836-1850). The family had three children die young, but only Horatio after the book was published and received in 1845. One subtle way of referring to this may be that the only example of a passage that has pencil lines running down both sides of an entire stanza, creating a bracket-like effect, is in “Death of a Child.” The other markings of this kind are either only on the left side, or with a stanza-length line on the left side and a shorter one on the right. The poem itself, also called “My Child,” is by New England poet and minister John Pierpont (1785-1866), and the theme lies somewhere between denial and disbelief, expressed right from the opening line: “I cannot make him dead!” The end of each of the ten stanzas also contains a refrain, always some variation on “he is not there!” except at the very end, when it changes to “he is there!” i.e. in Heaven. Pierpont captures the feeling of the speaker expecting to see the boy around, offering up the refrain when the speaker realizes otherwise.
The notes in this copy of The Waif are in some places as mysterious as the subtitle of the book itself: “A Collection of Poems.” Aside from poems such as “Death of a Child,” one can sometimes only wonder at non-verbal annotations. The same questions can be asked of them as the selection of poems itself: why were the specific poems chosen? What context or message is the author trying to create? The word “waif,” as of the early 20th century, could have meant “goods found of which the owner is not known,” giving the impression of the book as a curious collection of poems happened upon by the reader, without any context. The Waif, and the annotations of this copy, might even be the idea of Book Traces in book form: when presented with a list of poems, it’s up to the reader to try to make sense of them.
Ancestry.com. “Deborah F. Adams.” Massachusetts, State Census, 1855 [database on-line]. Provo, Utah: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.
⸺. “William F. Chickering.” Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, Utah: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, ed. The Waif: A Collection of Poems. Cambridge, Mass.: John Owen, 1845.
Thayer, William Roscoe, et al. “Non-Academic: Dr. James Forster Alleyne Adams.” The Harvard Graduates’ Magazine 23 (1914-15): 334. http://bit.ly/2ptsiZ4
“Waif.” Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam, 1913. Project Gutenberg. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.
Title: Law Times Reports Vol. XXV
Publication date: Horace Cox, Wellington St., Strand (1877)
Library: Northumbria City Campus Library
Submitted by: Jack Turner
Collection of Law Journals from September 1876- February 1877. Considering the age of the book it is still in remarkably good condition; other than the few flaws that were found.
Title: Lucian – Selected Writings
Author: Allinson, Francis Greenleaf
Publication date: Boston, 1905
Library: Millsaps College Library
Call number: PA4230.A3
Submitted by: Students of Millsaps course – What is the Future of the Book?
This book, we believe, was used as a text for a class on our campus in the early 1900s. It features many latin translations, as well as a great deal of annotation, ostensibly made by the student who used this copy. Other traces of note include a bizarre, white-supremacist quote on the back page, as well as some sketches and doodles drawn on large spaces on some pages.
Title: Folly of the Wise
Author: Carolyn Wells
Publication date: Indianapolis, 1904
Library: Van Wylen Library, Hope College, Holland, Michigan
Call number: PS 3545.E533F6
Submitted by: Kelly Arnold, Olivia Lehnertz, Nina Kay
This copy of Folly of the Wise was part of the American Library Association’s War Service Library. There are drawings, stickers, annotations, and stamps.
Title: The story of a beautiful duchess : being an account of the life & times of Elizabeth Gunning, duchess of Hamilton & Argyll
Author: Bleackley, Horace
Publication date: New York, 1907
Library: University of Virginia Alderman Library
Call number: DA483 .A6 B5 1907
Submitted by: Kristin Jensen
Sketch of a woman breastfeeding a baby.
Title: Oeuvres de Boileau
Author: C. A. Sainte-Beuve
Publication date: Paris, 1853
Library: University of Virginia, Alderman Library
Call number: PQ1719.A2 1868a (?)
Submitted by: Maggie Whalen
In the weeks following our post on the UVA Library Collection’s many literary treasures tied to Albemarle County’s historic Rives family, UVA community members brought to our attention a few other Rives-owned and -annotated volumes worth investigating.
First: an 1853 copy of C. A. Sainte-Beuve’s Oeuvres de Boileau.
A bookplate in Oeuvres de Boileau indicates that this text came to the UVA Library Collection through the books of William Cabell Rives.
The book is of interest to the Book Traces @ UVA project first for its gift inscription. The note, which appears in pencil on the book’s title page, reads: “À Mademoiselle Rives / E M / Adieu!” Below the gift-giver’s initials is a sketch of a crown.
Of further note are the annotations, bracketing, and underscoring of the book’s contents. As its title suggests, Oeuvres de Boileau, or Works of Boileau, contains a number of works by the 17th-century French poet and literary critic Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux. The volume’s contents are organized by genre, among them: satire, epistle, ode, epigram, and poetry.
Though marginalia crops up throughout the thick volume, its most heavily annotated sections are those for which Boileau is best known: his still-studied treatise on the rules of Classical verse L’Art poétique (1674) and his mock-heroic epics Le Lutrin (1666). Nearly every page of these two sections contains marks made by a previous reader: brackets, dots, notes in French, and translations in English.
To which Mademoiselle Rives did this well-marked volume belong? And by whom was it given? A look at the Rives family’s history hints at an answer.
As mentioned in our previous post, William Cabell Rives (1793-1868), a wealthy Albemarle landowner and an influential American politician, served twice as the U.S. Minister to France. In the final year of Rives’s first term, 1829-32, his wife, Judith Page Rives, gave birth to the family’s fourth child and first daughter. She was named Amélie by her godmother, then-Queen of France, Marie-Amélie. Shortly after the birth of Amélie Louise Rives, the Rives family returned to the United States. William Cabell Rives served three terms in the United States Senate before he accepted a reappointment as the Minister to France. He served his second term, 1849-1853, under France’s final monarch: Napoleon III. As in his first term, Rives was accompanied in Paris by his family. Indeed, letters preserved in UVA’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library reveal that William’s wife and three youngest children, Alfred (1830-1903), Amélie Louise (1832-1873), and Ella (1834-1892), all resided in France during his tenure as minister.
Bearing this in mind, it seems possible that this book, published in Paris in 1853, the final year of Rives’s term, might have been a parting gift (“Adieu!”) from French Queen Eugénie de Montijo (“E M,” the crown) to one of Rives’s unmarried daughters (“Mademoiselle”), Amélie Louise or Ella.
Based on the limited biographical information available on the two sisters, it seems possible that either might have happily accepted a text on poetic technique. As discussed previously, the Riveses were a family of writers. Both of the girls’ parents, Judith Page and William Cabell Rives, were published authors. Amélie Louise, who would have been 21-years-old in 1853, dabbled in writing, penning but never publishing a number of poems and stories. 19-year-old Ella seems to have been intellectually inclined, too. In an 1851 letter from the girls’ mother to their sister-in-law, Judith describes Ella passing her time in Paris “surrounded with her grammars, dictionaries, [and] maps.”
Unfortunately, records of the queen’s autograph do not confirm this loosely founded hunch and the book’s provenance remains a mystery.
Boileau Despréaux, Nicolas, and Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve. Oeuvres : Avec Notes Et Imitations Des Auteurs Anciens. Paris: Furne, 1853.
Brown, Alexander, et al. Papers of the Rives, Sears and Rhinelander Families.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.
Hall, Fitzedward, et al. Letters of the Rives Family. .
“Nicolas Boileau”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Papers of Roberta Wellford, Accession #6090, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.
Rives Family Papers Compiled by Elizabeth Langhorne, 1839-1990, #10596-d, Albert H. and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
Rives, James Childs. Reliques of the Rives (Ryves). Lynchburg, Va.: J. P. Bell Co., 1929.
Shakespeare, William, and Samuel Weller Singer. The Dramatic Works. 3rd ed. rev. London: G. Bell, 1879.
Shakespeare, William, et al. The Plays of William Shakespeare. New ed. London: Printed for F. C. and J. Rivington; [etc., etc.], 1823.
Title: The Blue Fairy Book
Author: Lang. Andrew
Publication date: London, 1890
Library: University of Victoria
Call number: PZ8 LB1 1890
Submitted by: Lisa Surridge
Extensive hand-colouring of this copy of _The Blue Fairy Book_, almost exclusively in blue (with some exceptions!)
Names on flyleaf: W. Meyerstein and E. Meterstein
I have referred to this as “drawing” but I think you need a tag for “colouring.”
Title: La Gerusalemme liberata (vols. 1 & 2)
Author: Tasso, Torquato
Publication date: Parigi, F. Didot, 1819
Library: Williston Memorial Library, Mount Holyoke College
Call number: 36Y T18g 2
Submitted by: S. Mulligan
Vol. 1, Title page: “Mark all _ you consider beautiful either for sentiment or language.”
Vol. 1, p. 74: (trans. Ital.-Eng.) “The shivers fly up.”
Vol. 1, last Fly Sheet: drawing, Greek symbols, initials (?)
Vols. 1 & 2: intact deckle edges (Vol. 2, p. 69 below)
Vols. 1 & 2: reader notes where stopped/started by date (Vol. 2, p. 94 below, “April 15th: Did not read for a _ for tonight in be-ginning of April.”)
Vols. 1 & 2: beautiful hand marbled End Sheets
Title: Penrod & Sam
Author: Tarkington, Booth
Publication date: New York City, 1916
Library: Sojourner Truth Library, New Paltz, NY
Submitted by: Johanna Turano
The notes written in the book aren’t actually related to the story at all, instead it looks as if someone was doing last minute math homework on the beginning page of the book. I hope they got the right answer.
Title: Poetical Works of John Keats
Author: Keats, John
Publication date: London, 1851
Library: University of Victoria, Canada
Call number: PR4830 E86 1851
Submitted by: Alison Chapman
In last page is inserted a coloured paper drawing, possibly used as a bookmark, of an Egyptian figure and hieroglyphs.
Title: Aunt Effie’s Rhymes for Children
Author: Jessie Margaret Edmonston Saxby
Publication date: London, 1852
Library: University of Victoria, Canada
Call number: PZ6 S258A95 1852
Submitted by: Alison Chapman
Squashed insect (unidentified).
Crayon markings (student wonders if crayon was used by a child reader as a book mark)
Title: The Life and Trial of Guiteau the Assassin
Author: Ridpath, John Clark
Publication date: Cincinnati, Jones Brothers & Company, 1882
Library: Columbia University (Butler Library)
Call number: 973.8 G949
Submitted by: Tara Key
The owner of this book, Peter High Stauffer, of Loudonville, Ohio, was an editor, songwriter and publisher. He was born in Bucks County, PA in 1852, and died in Loudonville in 1904. He seems to have been a Renaissance man, as evidenced by this beautiful drawing in the front of this book, as well as sheet music found in the NYPL collection for a tune called, “Mother’s Saturday Night.” He also published a tract in 1889 by Reverend J. R. Sikes titled, “The Biblical Reason Why Prohibition Is Wrong” which detailed the use of wine in religious celebration. In his obituary he was described as a liberal Republican,and a former candidate for mayor.