Title: The James Madison Letters in Four Volumes (Vol. 3)
Author: Coun, Mac
Publication date: New York, 1884
Library: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
Call number: E302 .M19
Submitted by: Luke Coulter
Bound in green canvas with a torn spine
Title: American Men of Letters: William Hickling Prescott
Author: Ogden Rollo
Publication date: Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1904
Library: San Jose State University
Call number: PS 2657 05
Submitted by: Alondra Ibarra
Photograph found on title and publication page.
Annotations found next to title and publication page on the photograph of Mr. Prescott4
Title: Complete Works of William Shakespeare Volume 8
Author: William Shakespeare (Author), Alexander Dyce (Editor)
Publication date: Merrill and Baker London and New York 1880
Library: San Jose State Library (MLK Library)
Call number: PR2753 D91880
Submitted by: Casey Modiri
#718 out of 1000 registered sets.
An image of a painting by J. Bertrand depicting a scene from Othello called “The Death of Desdemona”.
A piece of wax paper is followed by paintings done by artists or pictures representing specific characters.
Annotations in picture of are page 237: circled words, underlined words and margin writing.
Title: Corona and Coronet: Being a Narrative of the Amherst Eclipse Expedition to Japan, in Mr. Jame’s Schooner-Yacht Coronet, to Observe the Sun’s Total Obsuration 9th August, 1896
Author: Todd, Mabel Loomis
Publication date: Boston, 1899
Library: Ivy Stacks
Call number: DS 809 T63 1899
Submitted by: Dawn E. Hunt
Clippings made for (E.D. Adams? the name is not totally legible) on July 7 and July 13, 1918 from newspapers and magazines about eclipses and other astronomical phenomena from a clipping agency, Henry Romeike, Inc., “The First Established and Most Complete Newspaper Cutting Bureau in the World”. The book itself is rather unusual, as it is a description of a journey from Massachusetts to Japan (and back) to view the total solar eclipse on August 9, 1896, written by an adventurous woman, Mabel Loomis Todd. It is well written and quite entertaining. There had been a total eclipse on June 8, 1918, the last total solar eclipse to cross the entire United States, Oregon to Florida, prior to the total eclipse of August 21, 2017, Oregon to South Carolina. Perhaps E.D. Adams had seen the eclipse and was interested in learning more?
Title: The Christian Year: Thoughts in Verse
Author: Keble, John
Publication date: New York, 1860
Library: University of South Carolina
Submitted by: Jamie Rathjen
An 1860 edition of The Christian Year: Thoughts in Verse, originally published in 1827 by the English churchman Rev. John Keble, harbors among various examples of non-verbal marginalia two distinct references to the death of the Rev. Alexander Glennie (1804-1880), the locally eminent rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Georgetown County, S.C. Perhaps fittingly, his death came on the evening before All Saints Day (1 November), so that both inscriptions say the same thing: “Mr Glennie called to his reward on All Saints eve 1880 at Charlott Virginia.” This is indeed a reference to Charlottesville, as no other place name in Virginia begins with “Charlotte,” but, unfortunately from a UVa point of view, what Glennie was doing in the area was limited to a trip to higher elevations for the sake of his health. In fact, this book contains the only reference I have found to his being in Charlottesville; any others, such as his cenotaph in the All Saints churchyard, only give the state. The owner of the book, who I have not been able to identify despite an owner’s inscription in the front (which has proven largely illegible), it appears need not have known Glennie personally; they could have easily been an eager parishioner, for example. Yet the nature of the verses they have selected makes it clear that they held him in high regard.
Rev. Alexander Glennie was born on 8 July 1804 in the south-east of England, yet was through his parents a full-blooded Scot. He originally became the rector of his parish in 1832, the boundaries of which were the Waccamaw River, the ocean, and the North Carolina border, leaving a narrow strip of land about 50 miles long that includes modern Myrtle Beach (Freeman). The South Carolina Historical Magazine notes “There is very little information to be obtained in regard to this Parish before 1800;” thus, perhaps it was brought to relative prominence with Glennie. His church was in the southern part of the parish, on Pawleys Island, and the current building dates from the early 20th century, but the rectory (i.e. Glennie’s house) survives from 1822. His journal, largely consisting of a list of church functions he performed in the 1850s and the people for which he performed them, and secondarily the constitution of the church’s Sunday school from the 1830s, survives and has been digitized, revealing that he ministered to both blacks and whites. While, as with almost all southern states, teaching slaves to read or write was illegal in South Carolina, apparently teaching them in religion was not, and Glennie regularly visited each of his parish’s 10 plantations in turn. In 1866, Glennie moved to the nearby Prince George Winyah episcopal church, across the river in Georgetown (Freeman). Throughout this period, he also found the time to keep voluminous observations of the weather in the area on both a monthly and daily scale from ca. 1834 until 1880, leaving an important resource for historical research into the lowcountry climate, and they formed the weather section of a local paper, the Georgetown Times and Comet, for “30 or 35 years” until shortly before his death. Yet the recordings stop in May 1880, a few months before his death. Around this period, Glennie left the area with his second wife and daughter, both named Mary, for a recuperative “trip to the mountains” in Virginia. It was on this trip, as it was later put in another local newspaper, the Georgetown Enquirer, that he was “called to his long reward.”
The Christian Year is laid out with one verse for each significant day in the religious year, starting with Advent and looping back around to All Saints’ Day and the Sundays just before Advent, with the remainder of the book being given to saints’ days and verses for events (baptisms, weddings, funerals, etc.). The poems appear to be inspired at least in part by a Bible verse presented before the text of each; they can be expanded upon Paradise Lost-style, or perhaps Keble inserts a word from the verse into the poem (for example, “hoary”). The two most substantial references to Glennie come in the second stanza of, appropriately, “All Saints’ Day,” as well as at the end of “Twenty-fifth Sunday after Trinity,” which in 1880 would have been 14 November, or two weeks after Glennie’s death. Of the two, the book’s owner could have found the latter more relevant: “Say not it dies, that glory, / ‘Tis caught unquenched on high” begins the final stanza. Yet it is the next two lines that receive a small marking next to them: “Those saint-like brows so hoary / Shall wear it in the sky.” Clearly, the book’s owner thinks Glennie worthy of high praise. In “All Saints’ Day,” it is five lines that are marked, such as “Such calm old age as conscience pure / And self-commanding hearts ensure.” It appears that any lines associating old age with wisdom, discipline, and any other generally enviable qualities have caught the owner’s eye in this section of the book.
A third reference to Glennie appears in “Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity,” where a simple “Mr. Glennie” has been written next to the next-to-last stanza. Another mention of the “Christian Pastor” has interested the owner, but with a different attitude towards the preacher: “bow’d to earth / With thankless toil, and vile esteem’d.” An accompanying set of two lines just below summarizes the pastor’s attitude: “Yet steadfast set to do his part, / And fearing most his own vain heart.” Perhaps Keble (and the book’s owner) feel sympathy for the unappreciated preacher: the verse for this poem, as well as the poem itself, is a story from Daniel about the attempted burning of three Jews in Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. The king finds that not only were they not burned, but a fourth figure has appeared who looks “like the Son of God.” The verse and the poem, then, argue that those who righteously follow their religion can even withstand death.
Besides the book’s various markings, it also harbors an insertion of a poem by contemporary English poet Rodon Noel (1834-1894), here called “Dying” but also “The Old,” in the middle of the verse “Twentieth Sunday after Trinity.” This verse is not necessarily even about death like “Twenty-Fifth Sunday” is, rather, it takes place on top of a mountain, representing a place of contemplation. The first three of the six stanzas are devoted to the scene, and in the latter three Keble writes in the voice of God to scold a slightly lapsed would-be believer. A possible connection to “Dying” is that Noel sets a similar atmosphere of, indeed, silence and reflection. Yet two observations about the poem and its surroundings in the book indicate that perhaps it is a different sort of insertion, or came later, than all the others. The first is that there appears to be pencil lines, in the same manner as the other places in the book, under the outline indicating where the poem was placed, i.e. they seem to be obscured by the poem. The second is that as far as I can tell, “Dying” was first published only in 1892, and only in collections of Noel’s work; one such collection places it under the header of “Poems First Published in the ‘Canterbury Poets’ Series,” which was indeed in 1892, as opposed to another section indicating one of Noel’s books. Both of these point to “Dying” being a later, yet topical, insertion.
This copy of The Christian Year functions primarily as a memorial to Glennie in a variety of different ways: the written notes, the bracket-like markings picking out specific lines, and the insertion of “Dying.” As the rector of a church whose parish covered a wide area and many plantations within, Glennie need not have been personally known to the owner of the book, but the depth to which the owner was affected by Glennie’s death, as well as being practically the only source I have found for the preacher’s being in Charlottesville, suggests that perhaps he was, or at the very least that the owner was a devotee. They had possessed the book for some time: it was published in 1860 and the readable part of the inscription dates it to 1869, and it was perhaps found fitting for this purpose.
Buxton, Victoria Noel. The Collected Poems of Roden Noel. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Company Limited, 1902.
Corey, Sharon Freeman. “All Saints Waccamaw Episcopal Cemetery.” Images of America: Georgetown County’s Historic Cemeteries. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia, 2016.
Galbraith, J. E. H. “All-Saints Waccamaw. Mural Tablets and Tombstone Inscriptions.” The South Carolina Historical Magazine 13 (1912): 163-176.
Glennie, Alexander. Daily Meteorological Observations, 1863-1880. Vol. 6. Lowcountry Digital Library. .
⸺. Alexander Glennie Journal, 1831-1859. Lowcountry Digital Library.
Keble, John. The Christian Year: Thoughts in Verse. New York: James Miller, 1860.
“Alexander Glennie [Prince George].” Find A Grave, 26 June 2014. Web.
“Rev Alexander Glennie [All Saints].” Find A Grave, 10 Oct 2006. Web.
Georgetown Times and Comet. 14 Aug 1879. https://newspaperarchive.com/georgetown-times-and-comet-aug-07-1879-pageno-328071007?tag=glennie&rtserp=tags/glennie?psi=87&pci=7&ndt=by&py=1828&pey=1880&psb=date/
Georgetown Enquirer. 10 Nov 1880. https://newspaperarchive.com/georgetown-enquirer-nov-10-1880-pageno-328059927?tag=glennie&rtserp=tags/glennie?psi=87&pci=7&ndt=by&py=1828&pey=1880&psb=date/
Title: The Poems and Letters of Bernard Barton
Author: Barton, Bernard
Publication date: London, 1850
Library: Ohio University’s Alden Library
Call number: 4079
Submitted by: Alicia Carter
Searching through the stacks of Alden’s 7th floor, I was shocked to find this unique book. The cover is quite simple and in remarkably good shape for its age. Upon opening the book the inside of the cover is inscribed with the name Le Grice; the ink is beginning to bleed but the signature remains intact. The previous owner inserted a page on the end paper from another volume, the inserted page is titled “A Sonnet, Tributary to the Poet Bernard Barton.” The owner has also written commentary on the top of the inserted page, “For long reference to Bernard Barton Lee Lamb’s Letters.” Throughout the novel there is indicators of close reading, including underlining, check marks, and exclamation points. On page 33 there was a unique inscription, “Aged 64. A.D. 1849.” This inscription indicates that the reader has also read other materials on the author and wanted to note the authors age at that specific time in the memoir.
Title: Fables de Florian, suivies de son Théatre
Author: Florian, Jean Pierre Clais de
Publication date: Paris, n.d.
Library: D. H. Hill Library
Call number: PQ1983 .F6 F3 1924
Submitted by: Cate Rivers
This beautifully illustrated book has a charmer name tag pasted in the front cover from Claire Kral Necker, a cat biologist, and a gift attribution that I think translates to “Illustrated for Francine.”
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: The bibliographer’s manual of English literature containing an account of rare, curious, and useful books, published in or relating to Great Britain and Ireland, from the invention of printing; with bibliographical and critical notices, collations of the rarer articles, and the prices at which they have been sold
Author: Lowndes, William Thomas
Publication date: London, 1865
Library: Arizona State University Hayden Library
Call number: PR83.L6x 1865
Submitted by: Emily Zarka
Contains hundred of handwritten slips of paper inserted by previous owner that serve as additions to all six volumes
Title: English poetry (1170-1892)
Author: Manly, John Matthews, 1865-1940, comp.
Publication date: Boston, 1907
Library: Arizona State University Hayden Library
Call number: PR1175 .M33
Submitted by: Devoney Looser and Meghan Nestel
Editor’s inscription: “To Mrs. Evans / from the Editor / 1907.” Includes bookplate of Jessie Benton Evans (1866-1954) Memorial Collection.
Title: The Life and Campaigns of General Lee
Author: Childe, Edward Lee
Publication date: London, 1875
Library: Thomas Cooper Library USC
Call number: E 467.1 .L4 C55
Submitted by: Ashley Thess
Franklin Printing Company newspaper clippings from 21 years after the book was published about the Lee family taped into the back. On the back of the clippings is news of Bryan’s presidential campaign and factories reopening across the country
Title: D. Iunii Iuvenalis Satirae
Author: John Delaware Lewis
Publication date: 1882, New York
Library: Van Wylen Library, Hope College
Call number: PA 6446 .A2 1882 v.1
Submitted by: Kellyanne Fitzgerald and Kaitlyn Rustemeyer
Latin and English book with marginalia from a Hope College student between 1890-1906. Contains an ad from the Holland Sentinel with identifying information that narrowed the year to 1890-1906, as well as a deposit slip from the First State Bank.
Title: George Eliot’s Poetry, and Other Studies
Author: Cleveland, Rose
Publication date: New York, 1885
Library: University of Virginia, Alderman Library
Call number: PS1351.C4 G4 1885
Submitted by: Maggie Whalen
The Book Traces @ UVA team recently happened upon this 1885 edition of Rose E. Cleveland’s George Eliot’s Poetry, and Other Studies in the UVA Library’s circulating collection.
Wedged between pages 88 and 89 is a photograph of a young woman in profile, clipped from a newspaper. A caption below identifies her as Madame Paderewski.
The volume is otherwise unmodified, save for a library-administered bookplate inside the front cover, which indicates that it came to UVA through the books of one Paul B. Victorius.
This volume and its modifications provoke a number of questions, some answered more easily than others. Who, for example, is this Madame Paderewski? Who so carefully removed her image from a newspaper? And why did this admirer of Paderewski choose to preserve her likeness in a book of criticism on George Eliot?
The clues provided by this text are so limited that forming concrete connections between the various implicated parties (owner, author, photographic subject) proved to be a challenge. Inconclusive it may have been, but the investigation yielded tales that were nonetheless colorful and complex.
The search began naturally with a look into the biographies of each character in this unlikely crew.
Rose Elizabeth Cleveland (1846-1918), author of the text in question, was a writer, editor, lecturer, and the First Lady of the United States during the first of her brother Grover Cleveland’s two terms as President. She published George Eliot’s Poetry, and Other Studies, her first book, while in the White House in 1885. She was notably the first First Lady to publish a book during her incumbency. The following year, she published a 545-page treatise called You and I: Moral, Intellectual, and Social Culture. She continued to write and publish until 1910. Despite her work as a writer and an educator, Cleveland is best remembered for her affair with Evangeline Simpson and for the passionate series of love letters that the two women exchanged. Theirs was a tumultuous relationship, but ended peacefully in Italy, where the two were eventually buried together.
Paul Bandler Victorius (1899-1970), donor of the text in question, was an American collector of rare books and manuscripts with a particular interest in materials related to evolution and Darwin. Born in New York, Victorius moved as a young man to London with the intent of studying medicine. Shortly after arriving, however, he dropped out of school and opened a bookshop. Victorius returned to the United States in 1940 following the destruction of his store in World War II. He eventually settled in Charlottesville and opened a framing business called Freeman-Victorius on UVA’s Corner, where it remained until 2014.
Victorius had, by that time, amassed a collection of Darwin-related materials that was “reputedly the largest and finest in the world,” with the singular exception of the one owned by Darwin himself (“Paul Victorius Evolution Collection”). In 1949, Victorius made a partial gift of his entire collection of Darwin-related material to the UVA Library. The remainder of the collection was subsequently purchased with funds from an anonymous donor. UVA thus found itself in possession of over 800 books and 150 manuscripts relating to the discoveries of Charles Darwin and his contemporaries. The Paul Victorius Evolution Collection is housed in UVA’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. Victorius continued to run his Corner frame shop with business partner Richard Freeman until his death in 1970.
Finally, Helena Gorská Paderewski (1856-1934), the subject of the photograph loosely inserted in the text, was a Polish social activist and the wife of renowned musician, composer, and Polish statesman, Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941). Ignacy, a classically trained pianist, enjoyed international fame for his musical talents and eventually developed into a Polish diplomat. During World War I, Ignacy served as Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Poland. Helena Gorská, meanwhile, organized Polish refugees in Paris in producing and selling dolls dressed in traditional Polish garb, the profits of which were used to the aid of Polish war victims. Helena, who spent the last part of her life seriously ill, is remembered today primarily for this philanthropic project. The dolls, still referred to as “Madame Paderewski’s dolls,” are now rare collectibles sell for many hundreds, and sometimes even thousands, of dollars.
In this book, the complex lives of three seemingly unrelated characters intersect.
Without much else to go on, the search continued with an effort to determine the clipping’s origin, an endeavor made possible by text on its backside.
Fragments of several articles report the outcomes of July 8th baseball games between Boston and the Athletics, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Brooklyn. A search through the Boston Americans’ historical rosters for players named Dougherty, Collins, Stahl, Gleason, and Parent narrows the year of publication to 1902. Mention of the Philadelphia Athletics, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Pittsburgh Pirates hints that the clipping originated in a Pennsylvania newspaper. That one article begins “Special to ‘The Record’,” prompts a search for Pennsylvania periodicals called “The Record.” This search yields evidence of The Philadelphia Record, a daily newspaper active between 1877 and 1947.
Sure enough, nestled within a section called “Womankind” in the July 9, 1902 edition of The Philadelphia Record is the photograph of Madame Paderewski. Accompanying the image is an anonymously authored article: “Paderewski’s Wife: A Personality Decidedly Attractive and Refined.”
The brief article does not provide the full name of its subject, identifying her instead with respect to her husband, Ignace J. Paderewski, “the most famous of pianists.” The author observes that Madame Paderewski is “slender, of medium height and dark complexion” and possesses hands and feet that are “small and exquisitely shaped, as becomes one descended from noble stock.” Despite these merits, the author says: “She is not a handsome woman. Some might call her decidedly plain were it not for the vivacity of her manner and speech. Her eyes, which are dark, are rarely expressive.” Regarding her musical abilities, we learn that she “is not a professional artist, and never appears before the public, although she plays upon the piano well and shows constant improvement as the months roll by.” The author further notes: “She is not an imitator of her husband and does not essay his brilliancy of execution, but shows a sympathetic touch.” We learn that Madame Paderewski’s “favorite subject” of conversation is “her husband and his talents.” Indeed, when discussing Ignace, “she manifests much animation and becomes decidedly more attractive.” Despite her several shortcomings, the author concludes that Paderewski’s wife’s “manner is at all times refined and ladylike and betokens her good descent and breeding.”
This article, published just three years after Helena and Ignacy wed in 1899, reads almost as if a review of Helena’s (apparently limited) merits. Given the snarky tone of the piece, it seems almost surprising that a reader would take such care in removing her photograph from the periodical. Or, perhaps, because of the article’s politely biting tone, the reader omits the text from his or her clipping.
The origin of the clipping established, we work to determine who might have procured this photograph of Helena Paderewski from The Philadelphia Record.
Only three-years-old at the time of the newspaper’s 1902 publication, Paul B. Victorius was probably not responsible for clipping or inserting the image. However, a chance look at Victorius’s genealogical records reveals that his mother, Rose Bandler Victorius (1874-?), was a Polish immigrant. Born in Krákow, Poland, Rose immigrated to the United States as a young child, married New York native Abraham Victor Victorius (1872-1932), and with him raised twins: Jeannette Waldron (1899-1996) and Paul Bandler Victorius. Might Rose, a 28-year-old mother of two young children living (ostensibly) in New York, have clipped this photograph of a musician’s fair wife (and fellow Pole) from the pages of The Philadelphia Record (which in 1902 had “the largest circulation of any newspaper in Pennsylvania”) and preserved it in a book of literary criticism? It’s a stretch, but it does seem plausible.
Might this particular clipping have found its way into this particular text by other means? Of course. Might Paul Victorius have obtained the book through channels other than inheritance? Naturally.
Indeed, Mr. Victorius owned and donated to the University a few, but not many, other books of literature. A search through the Special Collections catalog for books donated to UVA by Paul Bandler Victorius reveals that the vast majority (815 of 844) bear call numbers beginning in QH, denoting Natural History and Biology. The next most populous sections are PR (English Literature) with eight titles, PZ (Children and Young Adult Literature) with three, and PS (American Literature) with two. Due to the limits of the library’s records, these findings represent only those volumes held in Special Collections and exclude books (like this one) that might be part of the library’s greater circulating collection. Given the information we have, however, George Eliot’s Poetry, and Other Studies seems to be an odd, but not wholly unprecedented, component in UVA’s collection of Victorius-related texts.
Determining the connection between Helena Paderewski and Rose Cleveland is a similarly speculative undertaking. Records indicate that Ignacy Paderewski was acquainted with (“on friendly terms with,” even) President Grover Cleveland, as the pianist-turned-diplomat was with nearly every subsequent American President up to, and including, Franklin Roosevelt. Though I was unable to find any evidence of a relationship between the pianist’s wife and the President’s sister, it seems possible that the two women would have been acquainted with one another. Might a reader of the July 8, 1902 Philadelphia Record have recognized, or known of, a connection between Helena Gorská Paderewski and Rose Elizabeth Cleveland? Again, it’s a stretch, but perhaps.
Might the reader have been compelled to insert this particular photo into this particular book because he or she observed that Helena Paderewski, Rose Cleveland, and Mary Ann Evans (known by her pen name George Eliot) were all forceful, female agents? Perhaps. Might the placement of the clipping have been the result of substantially more, or entirely less, forethought? Of course.
The provenance of this text is difficult to determine and the narrative of its modification is incomplete. Even after many hours of research, I cannot report with any certainty how, or why, this particular image arrived in this particular text. As unsatisfying as this in some ways feels, there is gratification in the rich and complex stories that come forth when we ask questions of the historical artifacts that we encounter in our everyday lives, as this book so wonderfully demonstrates.
For more on Book Traces @ U.Va., visit our blog at https://booktraces.library.virginia.edu .
Berkowitz, Judith Ann. “Paul Bandler Victorius.” Geni. N.p., 27 July 2015. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
Berkowitz, Judith Ann. “Rose Victorius (Bandler).” Geni. N.p., 29 January 2012. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
“1902 Boston Americans.” BaseballReference.com. FoxSports, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
Feinstein, Lee A. “Ambassador Feinstein’s Remarks.” 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Great Assembly Hall, Royal Castle. 6 Nov. 2010. IIP Digital. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
“Frances Cleveland Biography.” The National First Ladies’ Library. Museum/Saxton McKinley House, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
“Freeman Victorius: A UVa Corner Tradition.” Sloan Manis Real Estate Partners. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2016.
“Ignacy Jan Paderewski”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.
Madame Paderewski’s Dolls. 1910-1915. The Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. Flickr. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
“Paderewski’s Wife: A Personality Decidedly Attractive and Refined.” The Philadelphia Record [Philadelphia] 9 July 1902, Womankind sec.: 9. Google News. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
“Paul Victorius Evolution Collection.” Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. University of Virginia, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
Phillips, Anna M Laise. “Mme. Paderewski’s Dolls.” The Craftsman XXIX.1 (1915): 114-15. Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture. University of Wisconsin. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
Rose Elizabeth Cleveland, President Grover Cleveland’s Sister and White House Hostess. 1910-1920. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Library of Congress. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.
“Some Store History.” Freeman Victorius. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
“Three Cloth Dolls by Madame Paderewski with Original Medals.” Theriault’s: The Dollmasters. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.
“Very Rare French/Polish Cloth Doll by Madame Paderewski with Original Medallion.” Theriault’s: The Dollmasters. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.
Title: Zóphiël, or, the Bride of Seven
Author: del Occidente, Maria
Publication date: Boston, 1834
Library: University of Virginia, Alderman Library
Call number: PS1123 .B86 Z4 1834
Submitted by: Maggie Whalen
The Book Traces @ UVA team recently happened upon this 1834 edition of Maria del Occidente’s Zóphiël, or, the Bride of Seven in the UVA Library Collection.
The book’s marbled cover is tattered and nearly detached from its contents. The condition of its interior is not much better: the pages are stained, splotchy, and brittle. That the volume appears so loved and worn, though, only adds to the intrigue of its most curious features: its previous owners’ inscriptions and insertions.
The inner cover contains a bookplate, revealing that the text came to UVA by way of one E. R. Reynolds.
Opposite is the front endpaper, which features two inscriptions.
The first, and fainter, reads: “With the respects of / Horace Brooks / 2 – Arty – –.”
Below is a second inscription: “Gen. Horace Brooks, the above written, was the only son of the poet who has been styled ‘The Female Poe.’ He was appointed to West Point through the influence of Gen. LaFayette. His portrait was presented to me about two years ago. / E. R. Reynolds / Oct 27 / 99.”
Taped opposite the book’s title page one finds the portrait of Horace Brooks to which E. R. Reynolds just alluded. The backside of the photograph is labeled “Horace Brooks.” A postage stamp and street address, “Chev – E. R. – Reynolds – / 813 Capital St / Washington / DC,” indicate that Reynolds received the portrait at his home by mail. The postal mark reveals that the portrait/postcard originated from New York.
The portrait, which captures the profile of an elderly Brooks, was evidently taken at Quartley’s, a Baltimore photo gallery. Just above the business’s name and address is a New York return address. It reads: “If not called for return / to H. – Brooks – No – 238 –East 34th / New York City – –.” What Reynolds fails to mention in his inscription is that this portrait was “presented” to him by its subject, Horace Brooks.
Taken together, these names, dates, and locations hint at some greater narrative. Understanding the particular significance of this volume, though, requires answering a few of the many questions its inscriptions and insertions provoke.
First: Who was this E. R. Reynolds?
Biographies of Chevalier Elmer Robert Reynolds (1846-1907) describe him as a man of diverse interests and life experiences. Reynolds spent his late teenage years fighting for the Union with the Wisconsin Light Infantry. He later studied at Columbian University (now George Washington University) in Washington, D.C. He went on to serve for some twenty years in the United States Civil Service as an examiner of pensions. Reynolds’s biographies, however, remember him chiefly for his work as an ethnologist and botanist. His studies focused primarily on American Indian antiquities in Maryland and Virginia. Titles of his scholarly writings include, for example, “Aboriginal Soapstone Quarries in the District of Columbia,” “Pre-Columbian Shell Mounds at Newburg, MD,” and “Prehistoric Remains in the Valleys of the Potomac and the Shenandoah.” His work won him recognition nationally by the Smithsonian Institution, Peabody Museum of American Archaeology, and Harvard University, as well as abroad. In 1887, King Humbert of Italy knighted him Chevalier and Knight Companion of the Royal Order of Italy.
Biographical accounts of Chevalier Reynolds, which appear in encyclopedias, anthropological society registries, and newspapers, characterize him by his public positions: as a veteran, a public servant, a celebrated scientist. Reynolds’s extracurricular interests, namely his fascination with Edgar Allan Poe, go entirely unmentioned.
A tactful search through UVA’s Special Collections Library reveals that Reynolds possessed more than a slight interest in the University’s most famous dropout. Reynolds donated a number of works by Poe and scholarly treatments of Poe to the University of Virginia, many of which are now held in Special Collections.
Several books in Reynolds’s collection of Poe, including The Bells and The Conchologist’s First Book, are bound in the same marbled paper and tagged with the same adhesive label as his copy of Zöphiél.
A note on the front endpaper of The Conchologist’s First Book reads: “Excessively rare.”
This copy of Joyce’s Edgar Allan Poe features a presentation inscription from Reynolds to the Poe Alcove through James A. Harrison.
This copy of Moran’s A Defense of Edgar Allan Poe includes a program and ticket for the author’s lecture on the life and character of Poe, as well as two distinct presentation inscriptions. The second inscription is from Reynolds to J. H. Ingram.
The Special Collections Library also contains extensive correspondence between Reynolds and various Poe scholars, including John Henry Ingram, Poe’s most famous biographer, and Charles William Kent, UVA English Professor and president of the Poe Memorial Association, of which Reynolds was a member.
That specific mention of Reynolds’s interest in Poe does not appear in his biographies (of which there are many) suggests that it was more a hobby than a serious, scholarly endeavor. He is credited, however, with contributing material to a 1902 edition of The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, edited by University of Virginia Professor James A. Harrison.
With this background on Reynolds in mind, we move to the next question: Why did Chevalier Reynolds care about Horace Brooks’s copy of Zóphiël?
Reynolds hints at the answer in his inscription on the book’s front endpaper. The book’s original owner, he explains, was Horace Brooks (1814-1894), the son of its author, Maria Brooks, who wrote under the pseudonym Maria del Occidente. This edition of Zöphiél was published in 1834, at which point Horace Brooks was studying at West Point (1831-1835). As Reynolds notes, Horace was appointed to West Point “through the influence of” General Lafayette, who was apparently quite taken with his mother. An account of Maria Brooks and General Lafayette’s first meeting appears in the 1916 Medford Historical Record:
Like a gallant Frenchman, Lafayette was susceptible to feminine charms, and so pleased was he with Mrs. Brooks that he was eager to befriend her, and learning that she desired for her son an appointment to a United States military academy, he procured it for her, a favor which she had been unable to attain (9).
Horace signs the book “2 – Arty –,” suggesting that it came into his possession during his service as a second lieutenant with the 2nd United States Artillery Regiment in the Second Seminole War, between 1836 and 1838.
The most striking moment in Reynolds’s note is, of course, his comment that the book’s author, Maria Brooks, had been “styled ‘The Female Poe.’
Which brings us to our next set of questions: Who was Maria Brooks? And how was she connected to Edgar Allan Poe?
Maria Gowen Brooks (1794-1845) was an American poet best known for Zöphiél, a book of poems based on the story of Sara in the Book of Tobit. Brooks’s biography is marked by episodes of explosive literary productivity, a succession of tragic losses, and extensive periods of travel abroad. At the age of 13, her father died and she became the ward, and shortly thereafter the wife, of her sister’s widower, John Brooks. Indeed, at age 16, Maria wed John, who was 30 years her senior. During their tumultuous marriage, Maria began writing poetry, composing her first poem at age 19. A year later, her only son, Horace, was born. John died in 1823, at which point Maria moved to her brother’s coffee plantation in Cuba. There, she wrote Zöphiél, or, the Bride of Seven. In 1825, she published the first canto of Zöphiél, which caught the attention of English Poet Laureate, Robert Southey. In their correspondence, Southey praised Brooks’s work and gave her the pseudonym “Maria del Occidente.” In 1829, Brooks completed Zöphiél. The work was published in its entirety in London in 1831 and in Boston in 1834. Following the book’s American debut, Brooks captured the interest of another prominent literary figure, this time stateside: Edgar Allan Poe.
Throughout the 1840s, Maria Brooks’s name, and pseudonym, crops up frequently in Poe’s reviews of other female poets. Amelia Welby, he writes, “has nearly all the imagination of Maria del Occidente…” (The Works 203). Elizabeth Oakes Smith’s The Sinless Child is “undoubtedly…one of the most original of American poems—surpassed in this respect, we think, only by Maria del Occidente’s ‘Bride of Seven’” (The Works 129). Frances Sargent Osgood “has occasional passages of true imagination – but scarcely the glowing, vigorous, and sustained ideality of Mrs. Maria Brooks…” (The Works 98). Estelle Anna Lewis’s “The Broken Heart” “is more enthusiastic, more glowing, more passionate, and perhaps more abundant in that peculiar spirit of abandon which has rendered Mrs. Maria Brooks’s ‘Zophiel’ so great a favorite with the critics” (The Works 948).
Literary critic Kirsten Silva Gruesz observes that although Poe “compares nearly every woman poet about whom he wrote to Maria del Occidente,” he never devotes a separate review to her works (77). In a 2008 article, “Maria Gowen Brooks, In and Out of the Poe Circle,” Gruesz quotes Thomas Ollive Mabbott, the only other critic to have previously commented upon “Poe’s apparent interest in Brooks” (95). Mabbott writes: “his references during 1848 and 1849 make me think he was studying her poetry, and had he lived, might have produced a critique upon it” (95). Poe, however, died in 1849.
(Regarding Poe’s death I feel compelled to remark: Legend has it that on his deathbed, Poe called the name “Reynolds” repeatedly. Most Poe scholars doubt the veracity of this myth, but for those who might still be wondering, our Chevalier Reynolds was only three years old at the time.)
Poe’s repeated reference to Brooks in the above-quoted reviews appear to be the most solid connection between the two poets. Indeed, I was unable to find specific mention of Brooks as “The Female Poe,” as Chevalier Reynolds indicates she had been “styled.” Although their relationship is ultimately “unknowable,” Gruesz speculates at length about possible connections between the two writers. She notes, for example, that both Brooks and Poe were included in Samuel Kettell’s 1829 anthology Specimens of American Poetry, which “the young Poe almost certainly got his hands on…as it contained the first critical notice of Tamerlane” (96). Gruesz continues: “Might not the anecdote Kettell told about Brooks—that she took the idea for a poem about a beautiful angel named Zóphiël from her reading in apocryphal literature—have echoed in Poe’s head as he imagined a similar character, Israfel, in a poem first published in 1831?” (96).
Slightly loftier, but intriguing nonetheless, is the eerie overlap in the two figures’ biographies, which Gruesz also highlights: “…a dubiously incestuous marriage involving a teenaged bride; an interest in the esoteric, the ‘curious,’ and the otherworldly; an association with a slaveholding economy; even their experience at West Point, a place that served the literary aspirations of each in different ways” (95).
This copy of Zöphiél raises far more questions than I am able to answer. (For example: What was the nature of the relationship and correspondence between Horace Brooks and Chevalier Reynolds? How did this volume come into Reynolds’s possession? What exactly prompted Reynolds to describe Maria Brooks as “The Female Poe”? Was the “Reynolds,” for whom Poe may or may not have called before his death, related to our Chevalier?) It is nonetheless quite clear that Horace Brooks’s book, inscription, and portrait contribute to Chevalier Reynolds’s collection of materials connected, if tangentially, to his favorite author.
For more on Book Traces @ UVA, visit our blog at https://booktraces.library.virginia.edu .
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Vol. 17. N.p.: A.L. Hummel, 1901. 82. Google Books. Google. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.
Center of Military History. United States Army, 12 Nov. 2015. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe. Vol. 1. N.p.: T.Y. Crowell, 1902. Xix. Google Books. Google. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.
Correspondence of the Poe Memorial Association, Accession #38-406, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.
Find A Grave Memorial. N.p., 16 Oct. 2010. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
Gruesz, Kirsten Silva. “Maria Gowen Brooks, In and Out of the Poe Circle.” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 54.1 (2008): 75-110. Project MUSE. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
Holsinger Studio Collection, ca. 1890-1938. Acession #9862, Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
Interments in the Historic Congressional Cemetery. Bytes of History, 13 Aug. 2006. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
John Henry Ingram’s Poe Collection, Accession #38-135, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.
Joyce, John A. Edgar Allan Poe. New York: F.Tennyson Neely Co, 1901.
The Medford Historical Register. Vol. 19-20. N.p.: Society, 1916. 9-16. Print.
Moran, John J. A Defense of Edgar Allan Poe: Life, Character and Dying Declarations of the Poet. An Official Account of His Death. Washington, D.C.: William F. Boogher, 1885.
The Naturalists’ Universal Directory. N.p.: Cassino, 1882. 187. Google Books. Google. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.
New Century Reference Library of the World’s Most Important Knowledge:. Vol. 4. N.p.: Syndicate Pub., 1909. Google Books. Google. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.
Poe, Edgar Allan. Arthur Gordon Pym: Or, Shipwreck, Mutiny, and Famine: Being the Extraordinary Adventures of Arthur Gordon Pym, Mariner, of Nantucket, North America, During a Voyage to the South Seas, and His Various Discoveries In the Eighty-fourth Parallel of Southern Latitude. London: Published by John Cunningham, Crown-court, Fleet-street, 1841.
Poe, Edgar Allan, and Thomas Brown. The Conchologist’s First Book: a System of Testaceous Malacology, Arranged Expressly for the Use of Schools, In Which the Animals, According to Cuvier, Are Given with the Shells, a Great Number of New Species Added, and the Whole Brought Up, As Accurately As Possible, to the Present Condition of the Science. 2d ed. With illus. of 215 shells, presenting a correct type of each given. Philadelphia: Haswell, Barrington, and Haswell, 1840.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Bells. Philadelphia: Scattergood, 1872.
Prehistoric Cultures of the Delmarva Peninsula: An Archaeological Study. Newark: U of Delaware, 1989. 65. Google Books. Google. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
“Reynolds, Elmer Robert.” Who’s Who in America. Ed. John W. Leonard. Chicago: A. N. Marquis, 1906. 1480-481. Google Books. Google. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.
The United States Army and Navy Journal and Gazette of the Regular and Volunteer Forces. Vol. 29. N.p.: Army and Navy Journal Incorporated, 1891. 658. Google Books. Google, 18 Dec. 2013. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
U.Va. prints and photographs file, Accession #RG-30/1/10/011, Prints0000, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.
Wilson, Woodrow. “Reynolds, Elmer Roberts.” Harper’s Encyclopædia of United States History from 458 A. D. to 1906. By Benson Johns Lossing. N.p.: Harper & Brothers, 1907. 423. Google Books. Google. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.
The Works of Edgar Allan Poe. N.p.: Stone & Kimball, 1896. Google Books. Google, 6 Mar. 2010. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.