Tag Archives: Indexing

Book submission: Notes of a Traveler on the Social and Political State of France, Prussia, Switzerland, Italy and Other Parts of Europe During the Present Century

Title: Notes of a Traveler on the Social and Political State of France, Prussia, Switzerland, Italy and Other Parts of Europe During the Present Century
Author: Samuel Laing
Publication date: 1841
Library: Thomas Cooper Library
Call number:
Submitted by: Ayris Akbay

Book submission: My Diaries: Being a Personal Narrative of Events 1888-1914, Part Two

Title: My Diaries: Being a Personal Narrative of Events 1888-1914, Part Two
Author: Blunt, Wilfrid Scawen
Publication date: 1920
Library: Betty Boothroyd Library, The Open University, Milton Keynes
Call number: 941.0810924 BLU
Submitted by: Edmund G. C. King
Acquired by The Open University Library in 1977 (probably by donation), this copy of Wilfrid Scawen Blunt’s “My Diaries: Part Two” contains nearly 4000 words of verbal marginalia. A flyleaf inscription indicates that the book was bought in March 1920 (soon after publication) and most, if not all, of the annotation seem to date from around that time.

The annotator was the former Independent Labour Party politician John Arthur Fallows (1864-1935). He shows a special interest in what Blunt had to say about the origins of the First World War and the pre-war conduct of the Entente nations. Fallows emerges from the marginalia as a passionate anti-imperialist, whose Marxist politics evidently led him to take an anti-war (if not pacifist) position during the conflict itself.

This particular copy of Blunt is notable for the contemporary gossip that Fallows inscribes in the margins as well as his scathing and abusive commentary on Britain’s pre-war political establishment along with the aristocracy and the royal family. Edward VII and Winston Churchill are frequent targets of invective, gossip, and innuendo.

For further details and analysis, see: Edmund G. C. King, “Radicalism in the Margins: The Politics of Reading Wilfrid Scawen Blunt in 1920,” Journal of British Studies 55, no. 3 (July 2016): 501-18 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jbr.2016.53).

Book submission: Oeuvres de Boileau

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.

Book submission: Representative English Literature: From Chaucer to Tennyson

Title: Representative English Literature: From Chaucer to Tennyson
Author: Pancoast, Henry S.
Publication date: New York, 1895
Library: Sojourner Truth Library SUNY New Paltz
Call number: PR 85.P35
Submitted by: Hannah Phillips
This book belonged to Adèle Duryée, who signed her name in it. Based on the nature of the book, and given the Henry Holt and Company publishing, it is fair to assume that Duryée used the book in a scholarly manner. Some pages include notes on the text, underlines, arrows, and in at least two instances, written week dates (presumably used to track reading assignments). Her writing is in pencil. The book was rebound at some point in Buffalo, NY. It has been in the SUNY New Paltz collection for as far back as when the institution was called a “Teachers College.”