Tag Archives: Place name

Book submission: The Vision of Dante Alighieri

Title: The Vision of Dante Alighieri
Author: Translated by Rev. Henry Francis Cary
Publication date: London, 1910
Library: D.H. Hill Library at NC State
Call number: PQ4315-C37
Submitted by: Taylor Wolford
Description:
The first page of the book before the cover page is signed by a previous owner Clarence Poe and dated December 19, 1910 with the location included as Singapore. In the bottom-left hand corner, there is a publishing sticker from Methodist Publishing House Printers, Publishers, & Booksellers with the address Stamford Road Cor. Armenian Street, Singapore. There is another page in the book that includes notes and themes from the text.

Book submission: Journal of the Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the Countries Visited during the Voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle

Title: Journal of the Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the Countries Visited during the Voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle
Author: Darwin, Charles
Publication date: New York, 1880
Library: Millsaps College Library
Call number: QH11.D2
Submitted by: Students of Millsaps course – What is the Future of the Book?
Description:
This book contains lots of annotation in the margins of the text.

Book submission: The Doctrine of Salvation by Faith Proved; Or, an Answer to the Important Question, What Must I Do to Be Saved?

Title: The Doctrine of Salvation by Faith Proved; Or, an Answer to the Important Question, What Must I Do to Be Saved?
Author: Clarke, Adam
Publication date: Baltimore, 1818
Library: Millsaps College Library
Call number: BT753.C43x
Submitted by: Students of Millsaps course – What is the Future of the Book?
Description:
The first page contains an ownership inscription dated 1854, the ink of which soaks onto the next page.

Book submission: Tell-Trothes New Yeares gift … And The passionate Morrice. 1593.–John Lane’s Tom Tell-Troths message, and his pens complaint. 1600.–Thomas Powell’s Tom of all trades. Or The plaine path-way to preferment … 1631.–The glasse of Godly loue. (By John Rogers?) 1569.–

Title: Tell-Trothes New Yeares gift … And The passionate Morrice. 1593.–John Lane’s Tom Tell-Troths message, and his pens complaint. 1600.–Thomas Powell’s Tom of all trades. Or The plaine path-way to preferment … 1631.–The glasse of Godly loue. (By John Rogers?) 1569.–
Author: Furnivall, Frederick James, ed.
Publication date: London, 1876
Library: Hayden Library, Arizona State University
Call number: PR1120 .F8
Submitted by: Soren Hammerschmidt
Description:
Book prize from the New Shakespeare Society and Prof. John L. Johnson, Professor of Lang & Lit at U of Mississippi, to Charlton Henry Alexander of Kosciuscko, MS, in a copy of Tell-Trothes New Year’s Gift (London, 1876)

Book submission: D. Iunii Iuvenalis Satirae

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
Description:
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.

Book submission: The Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare (10 volumes)

Title: The Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare (10 volumes)
Author: Shakespeare, William
Publication date: London, 1879
Library: University of Virginia, Alderman Library
Call number: PR2753 .S6 1879 v.1-10
Submitted by: Maggie Whalen
Description:
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.

Our next subject: The Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare, a ten-volume set published in London in 1879.

UVA-administered bookplates reveal that the set came to the UVA Library Collection through the books of one Roberta Welford (1873-1956), a women’s rights advocate and suffragist whose papers are preserved in UVA’s Special Collections Library. Personal bookplates indicate that the set was previously owned by Amélie Rives Troubetzkoy (1863-1945), the niece of aforementioned Amélie Louise and Ella, the daughter of Alfred.

In our first post, we discussed at length another tome of Shakespeare owned and annotated by the second, and most famous, Amélie. That text, a hefty volume entitled The Plays of William Shakespeare, was published in London in 1823. It contains two inscriptions by Amélie, one from 1885 and another from 1890, as well as a number of marginal annotations. Two Gentlemen of Verona, Much Ado About Nothing, Taming of the Shrew, and All’s Well That Ends Well are among the plays most thoroughly marked in this previously discussed text.

Considering the substantial overlap in content between these two collections, it’s somewhat surprising that Amélie owned, let alone read and marked, both.

And yet, Amélie’s The Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare is similarly rich with annotations. Of the ten volumes to the set, I was able to examine nine (volume 6 was missing) and found some degree of user modification in each.

Oddly enough, volumes 7 through 10 are the only texts that feature user inscriptions. All read: “Amélie Rives / 1881 / Castle Hill,” indicating that Amélie acquired this set four years prior to her bulkier edition of Plays.

A number of other dates crop up throughout Dramatic Works, particularly on plays’ title pages, revealing that Amélie returned to this text many times throughout her life. She records, for example, that she read Taming of the Shrew “for the first time in this edition the evening of” December 29, 1896; Love’s Labour’s Lost for the “2nd time” on the same night; and “reread” The Tempest on January 23, 1932.

These annotations recall a note Amélie makes in her copy of Plays, in which she records that she read The Tempest, perhaps for the first time, in 1900 at her family’s estate, Castle Hill.

The pages of Amélie’s Dramatic Works are thoroughly underscored and bracketed. Her marginal annotations frequently mention her daily life in Virginia and occasionally reference her own writings.

Annotations in The Tempest. In the first image, she marginally defines “kybe” as a “chilblain.” In the second, she underscores “homely” and writes: “NB Homely used here as we Virginians use it now!!”

Annotations in Love’s Labour’s Lost. In the first image, Amélie emphatically brackets and underscores a footnote about a famous bay horse named Morocco and writes: “NB Splendid subject for a poem or story!!” Second: she underscores “canary” (a popular dance in Shakespeare’s time) and writes in the margins: “NB Can this be the origin of the Negro ‘pull Cary’?” Third: a marginal note: “NB 25th Aug 1895.” Fourth: some dense underscoring.

Annotations in Troilus and Cressida. Amélie underscores “placket” and writes: “Modern American i.e. ‘Skirt.’”

Annotations in King Lear. She responds to Shakespeare’s use of “nuncle” (defined in the footnotes as “a familiar contraction of mine uncle”), and writes in the margins: “And in Virginia we always address old Negros as ‘Uncle’ + ‘Aunt’ — 1892.”

Annotations in the Preliminary Remarks to Macbeth. Amélie underlines and brackets this passage heavily. She writes extensive, barely legible, notes in the margins. At the bottom of the page, she underscores the name of the author and writes of his book of lectures: “Get at once if possible! ’92.”

On the final endpapers of several volumes, Amélie collects her favorite lines, passages, phrases, and ideas.

On the rear endleaf of volume 1, Amélie records the following line from The Tempest: “The red plague rid you for learning me your language. Page 214.”

In the final pages of volume 5, Amélie records a series of “Notes” and corresponding “Page” numbers from The First Part of King Henry IV and King Henry V. One note reads: “The lady Ermengare. (Ermengare is a beautiful name.)” On the next page, Amélie transcribes an exchange between Prince Harry and Pions from The Second Part of King Henry IV. The page, however, is torn.

And for that reason, perhaps, she transcribes the passage again on the book’s front endpaper.

On a rear endpaper in volume 7, she copies the following line from Troilus and Cressida: “‘This I presume will wake him’–Page 198.”

In volume 9, she notes perceived “Repetitions of Shakespeare:” “In Hamlet, ‘Himself the primrose way of dalliance treads.’ In Macbeth, ‘that go the primrose way to the everlasting fire.’”

Finally, in volume 10, she writes: “Othello ‘Goats + Monkeys!’ see page 119.” On the corresponding page, Amélie has written “NB” beside the line: “You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus.–Goats, and monkeys!” At the bottom of the page, she brackets a footnote that explains the “great art” of the line.

Perhaps most intriguing among Amélie’s many annotations are those that speficially reference her writing process. In Plays, Amélie marks a line from All’s Well That Ends Well (“So there’s my riddle, One, that’s dead, is quick”), which corresponds to the title of her most famous novel (The Quick or the Dead?). In Dramatic Works, she reads the story of a legendary horse and notes that it would be a “splendid subject for a poem or story!!” Bearing these instances in mind, the endleaf lists explored above read almost like condensed catalogs of potential literary inspiration.

From Judith Page Rives’s The Living Female Writers of the South, to her daughter’s Oeuvres de Boileau, to her granddaughter’s various collections of Shakespeare’s plays, evidence of the Rives women reading with pencils in hand spans three generations and at least 80 years. Though the Rives women are remembered first and foremost as prolific writers, their active engagement with these texts reveals that they were also ambitious readers. As is demonstrated by this post and the last, the UVA Library Collection is dense with examples of the Rives family’s involvement with literature, both public and personal in nature.

Sources
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.

For more on Book Traces @ U.Va., visit our blog at https://booktraces.library.virginia.edu .

Book submission: Zóphiël, or, the Bride of Seven

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
Description:
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 .

Sources
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.

Book submission: The plays of William Shakespeare

Title: The plays of William Shakespeare
Author: Shakespeare, William
Publication date: London, 1823
Library: University of Virginia, Alderman Library
Call number: PR2752 .S8 1823
Submitted by: Maggie Whalen
Description:
Judith Rives was not the only writer in her family. In the later years of his life, her husband, William Cabell Rives, wrote biographies of John Hampden and James Madison, both of which are available in the UVA Library circulating collection. Their daughter, Amélie Louise Rives Sigourney (1832-1873) also dabbled in writing, penning but never publishing a number of poems and stories before her death.

The most notable writer among the Riveses, though, was surely Judith’s granddaughter and Amélie Rives Sigourney’s niece, Amélie Rives Troubetzkoy (1863-1945). Goddaughter of Robert E. Lee and eventual heiress of the Castle Hill estate, Amélie ran in the same circles of Albemarle society as her grandmother had. Unlike her grandmother, though, Amélie’s celebrity was not only local, but national. Amélie’s fame was due in large part to her first novel, The Quick or the Dead? (1888), which was an immediate sensation. The book, which dared to depict women as sexually aware, was “reviled by critics and clergymen across the country,” but nonetheless sold 300,000 copies (Lucey). Amélie proceeded to publish at least 24 volumes of fiction, a number of uncollected poems, and a play. According to Censer, Amélie was part of a small group of southern female authors who in their works “presented southern women who were intellectually astute and domestically skilled. Their heroines neither sought nor enjoyed belledom but instead searched for fulfilling, useful lives” (8). Amélie, in particular, experimented with gender conventions and on occasion confronted the more difficult topics of race and class (Censer 8).

The UVA Library Collection contains a number of books associated with Amélie Rives Troubetzkoy, including those written by her and others owned by her. This copy of Barbara Dering, Amélie’s 1893 sequel to The Quick or the Dead?, is thoroughly marked, featuring the inscriptions of at least two distinct owners and marginalia throughout.

The circulating collection also contains a thick copy of Shakespeare’s plays, formerly owned and heavily annotated by Amélie Rives Troubetzkoy herself.

Amélie inscribed the volume with her name multiple times. The first example appears on the front endpaper and reads: “Amélie L. Rives / Castle – Hill / 15th of March – 1885.” At the time of this initial inscription, Amélie was just 22-years-old, still three years from publishing The Quick or the Dead?.

A second inscription appears on the title page of The Tempest. Here, Amélie has inscribed her name twice, first with her maiden name, “Rives,” and a second time with her married name, “Troubetzkoy.” The names are accompanied by a date: “18th June 1900.” At the time of this inscription, Amélie was 37-years-old and had published a number of novels. Though she had married the noble but impoverished Pierre Troubetzkoy four years prior to this inscription, Amélie continued to publish her literary works under her maiden name, perhaps explaining the double signature.

Many passages of the plays that follow are bracketed, check-marked, and underscored.

Amélie has also left several notes throughout the volume. In The Gentleman of Verona, for instance, Amélie stars and brackets several lines of text at the end of Scene I and writes at the bottom of the page: “Same idea exposed several times in Tempest by Gonzalez.”

Later, in Much Ado About Nothing, she notes: “In Shakespeare’s time ‘ache’ was pronounced ‘H’ – AR.”

In the margins of Taming of the Shrew, she seems to make a wry joke about husbands, marking the line: “A husband! a devil!” and writing at the bottom of the page: “The book opened here of itself just as I had said laughingly ‘O gin I had a husband!’” According to the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of “gin,” this exclamation might translate roughly to “If only I had a husband.”

Perhaps the most intriguing of Amélie’s annotations appears in All’s Well That Ends Well. Here, Amélie marks an “X” beside the line: “So there’s my riddle, One, that’s dead, is quick,” and writes below: “The book also opened here just as I was trying to find another title as good as The Quick or the Dead. 23 Nov. 1888.” In this moment, we witness an intimate memorialization: Amélie marks in her copy of Shakespeare’s plays the phrase that inspired the title of her most famous literary work, published just half a year prior in April 1888.

From Judith Rives’s humble response upon finding her name in Female Writers of the South to her granddaughter Amélie Rives’s remarks and reminiscences upon Shakespeare, it is clear that the UVA Library Collection contains an array of Rives family literary treasures, not only those printed by press but also those marked by hand.

For further examples of volumes owned/annotated by members of the Rives family, see the related post on Judith Paige Rives’s copy of The Living Female Writers of the South.

For more on Book Traces @ UVA, visit our blog at https://booktraces.library.virginia.edu .

Sources
“The Cabell Family.” Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. University of Virginia Library, n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.
Censer, Jane Turner. The Reconstruction of White Southern Womanhood, 1865-1895. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2003. Google Books. Google. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.
Hatch, Peter J. “The Garden and Its People.” “A Rich Spot of Earth”: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello. N.p.: Yale UP, 2012. 33. Google Books. Google. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.
Lay, K. Edward. “The Georgian Period.” The Architecture of Jefferson Country: Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia. Charlottesville: U of Virginia, 2000. 60-61. Google Books. Google. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.
Lucey, Donna M. “Patron’s Choice: Sex, Celebrity and Scandal in the Amélie Rives Chanler Troubetzkoy Papers.” Notes from Under Grounds. University of Virginia Library: Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections, 23 Aug. 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.
Prose, Francine. “Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous”. The Washington Post. Web. 30 Jul, 2006.
Rives, Amélie. Barbara Dering. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott company, 1893.
Shakespeare, William, et al. The Plays of William Shakespeare. New ed. London: Printed for F. C. and J. Rivington; [etc., etc.], 1823.
Tardy, Mary T. The Living Female Writers of the South. Philadelphia: Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger, 1872.
Varon, Elizabeth R. “We Mean to Be Counted”: White Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia. N.p.: U of North Carolina, 2000. Google Books. Google. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.
Weeks, Lyman Horace. “George Lockhart Rives.” Prominent Families of New York. New York: Historical, 1897. 478. Google Books. Google. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

Book submission: Poems

Title: Poems
Author: Alexander Smith
Publication date: Boston, 1853
Library: University of Virginia, Alderman Library
Call number: PR5453 .S5 1853
Submitted by: Maggie Whalen
Description:
Book Traces @ UVA recently found this 1853 copy of Alexander Smith’s Poems in the UVA Library Collection.

Flipping through the book’s pages, one immediately notices the abundance of notes scrawled in its margins. Indeed, more pages than not include some evidence of a previous reader’s interaction with the text.

Smith’s Poems contains four titled lyrics: “A Life-Drama,” “An Evening at Home,” “Lady Barbara,” and “To —,” as well as several untitled sonnets. First, longest, and most heavily annotated is the 150-page play “A Life-Drama.”

An initial example of marginalia pops up on the first page of this first poem. Above its title, the reader has written in pencil: “Beautiful, Absurd, and Trashy Stuff.” Below, the same hand has extended the play’s title: “A Life-Drama, or The Moon & Stars” (5).

In the pages that follow, the same reader develops in the margins his own system of notes. He scrutinizes and satirizes Smith’s poetry, making verbal and nonverbal annotations of the text, additions and amendments to the text, and citations of literary allusions made within the text.

All of this causes a present-day reader to wonder: Who wrote these ridiculing comments? And, what was his beef with Alexander Smith?

Conveniently, the book’s title page features the inscriptions of two former owners. First is “W. Meredith,” who seems to have inscribed his name on September 2, 1853 in Philadelphia. The precise year of signing is unclear, as the final digit has been blotted out and corrected. Beneath is “Fred. W. M. Holliday,” accompanied by the date “July ’76.”

A handwriting expert I am not, but the highly legible, looping quality of the penmanship in the book’s marginalia resembles much more closely the signature of W. Meredith than that of Fred. W. M. Holliday.

Unfortunately, the first inscription does not provide sufficient information to definitively identify W. Meredith. A number of men bearing some variation of the name “William Meredith” were alive during the 1850s. As far as I could tell, none could be linked directly to the book’s other owner, Governor Frederick William Mackey Holliday. However, there is considerable evidence suggesting that the book belonged at one point to either William Morris Meredith (1799-1873) or his son William Keppele Meredith (1838-1903), both of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

William Morris Meredith, the elder, was a prominent Philadelphia lawyer. He also served as United States Secretary of the Treasury between 1824 and 1828. The Meredith Family Papers are preserved at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Among them are some of his personal writings, including an assortment of original poetry and three of his diaries. The second of these diaries opens with an entry written on the eve of his twentieth birthday, at which point he had been practicing law for some time. He reflects: “Eighteen months have elapsed since I commenced the practice of my Profession. My profits have been small and the sincere disgust which I have always entertained for the Law has rather increased than diminished during that period. But after mature consideration, I can discover no other pursuit in which I could engage with any prospect of success. My inclinations urge me to a literary life, but that yields no expectations of an immediate support, and I feel it my duty to relieve my father as quickly as possible from so heavy and useless an encumbrance as myself.”

William Morris’s love of literature is made evident also by the presence of his original verse, most of which was probably written before his legal career began. Notes on the Meredith Family Papers indicate that most of William Morris’s poems consist of “light and witty commentary on women and courting.”

William Keppele Meredith, son of the former, attended Princeton between 1851 and 1853. Plagued from childhood with cataracts and a speech impediment, William Keppele took a leave of absence from Princeton in 1852 and left school permanently in 1853. He returned to Philadelphia and spent most of his life as a “man of leisure,” save for a brief stint as a Union General’s secretary during the war. Meredith went on to become a published writer of both essays and poems. The Meredith Family Papers contains several of William’s original poems, in which he discusses “patriotism, love, adultery, religion, and philosophy.”

It seems entirely possible that either of the Merediths might have at one point owned, and annotated, this volume of Alexander Smith’s Poems. The two shared a love of literature and an affinity for writing verse. If the book was indeed signed in September 1853, 54-year-old William Morris would have been practicing law in Philadelphia and 17-year-old William Keppele would have just returned to Philadelphia from Princeton. Without access to the family’s records kept in Philadelphia or the ability to conduct a handwriting analysis, conclusions are quite difficult to draw.

Information on the book’s second owner is decidedly more distinct. Governor Frederick W. M. Holliday (1828-1899), a Virginia native, graduated Yale University in 1847. Less than a year later, he acquired degrees in philosophy, political economy, and law from the University of Virginia in 1848. Holliday proceeded to open his own law practice in Frederick County, where he was elected the Commonwealth’s Attorney for three consecutive terms beginning in 1851. An avid secessionist, he served as a captain in the Confederate Army, and was later promoted to major and lieutenant colonel. He was forced to resign his commission after he was wounded in battle and his arm was amputated. Following the war, Holliday returned to law and was elected governor of Virginia in 1878. At the end of his governorship, he retired and devoted the remainder of his life to traveling. It was Governor Holliday who ultimately donated this edition of Poems to the UVA Library Collection.

The question of connection between the Merediths and Governor Holliday might be answered by their common involvement in the practice of law or participation in the Civil War. It is also possible that the men were unknown to each other and happened upon the book independently.

Regardless of the note-taker’s identity, this volume stands out for its profusion of readerly commentary, much of which is pointed, funny, and smart. History reveals that this reader was not alone in ridiculing Alexander Smith’s Poems.

When Poems debuted in 1853, Smith was initially praised as the next great British lyricist. Following the book’s publication, Putnam’s Monthly Magazine, an American literary journal, proclaimed that “A Life-Drama” had just “received a more universal and flattering welcome than was ever before awarded to an English poet” (LaPorte 421). Shortly thereafter, though, praise turned to criticism, which consisted of vicious attacks and accusations of plagiarism. Most damning was literary critic W.E. Aytoun’s 1854 review of Poems, in which labeled Smith a Spasmodic. The Spasmodics, a group of mid-19th century poets, closely imitated the Romantics and were criticized for their excessive use of natural imagery and obscure allusions. Smith resisted the title and spent the remainder of his life trying to shake his association with the group. Later in 1854, an anonymous author published a parody of Smith’s “A Life-Drama” entitled The Firmilian: A Tragedy, causing further damage to his reputation. Smith ultimately turned to writing essays, for which he received less attention but better critical reception.

Looking more closely at the notes made in this copy of Poems, and more specifically those made on “A Life-Drama,” it becomes clear that this volume is engaged in a larger historical conversation about Alexander Smith.

In “A Life-Drama,” a poet named Walter falls deeply in love with an unnamed lady. After meeting in an Italian forest, the two engage in extensive flirtation. To Walter’s dismay, though, his beloved is doomed to marry an old, wealthy man. Time passes and Walter overcomes his heartbreak, ultimately falling in love with another woman, Violet.

Some of the reader’s comments on the play come as brief quips: “Nonsense” (23), “Absurdity” (24), “What stuff and nonsense!” (35), “You sentimental old hypocrite!” (77), “Every idea in this Poem is repeated five times at least” (82), “Ain’t they a pair of wiseacres!” (86), “Unnatural” (131), and “Disgusting Affectation” (131).

The few positive comments that do appear resonate as sarcastic given the generally disgruntled tenor of the reader’s commentary. Beside several lines of bracketed verse in Scene II, for example, he writes: “Beautiful, by God!” (19) Another bracketed passage in the same scene is accompanied by the note: “Love is sometimes said to be incomprehensible” (13).

Other notes are more long-winded. In Scene I, for example, Walter declares: “Bare, bald and tawdry, as a fingered moth / Is my poor life; but with one smile thou canst / Clothe me with kingdoms” (6). In the margins above, the reader reacts:

‘As a finger’d moth!’ A man who would finger a moth, is fit for nothing but camphor [moth repellant]. Mr. Smith says that a moth is both ‘bare and tawdry:’…. Does fingering a moth make it more bald, or more tawdry? In short, I will be very much obliged to anybody who will explain to me the meaning of that line. If Mr. Smith is so very much like a moth, he had better keep clear of camphor, and his friends had better take the necessary precautions about their clothes. (6-7)

Unfortunately, the edges of many pages were trimmed during the volume’s re-binding, so some notes, including the one transcribed above, are abbreviated.

In Scene III, Walter speaks of “gentle pagans…whose red blood ran / Healthy and cool as milk,” to which the reader responds: “Milk, in its natural state, is warm fortunately for the physical comfort of these ‘gentle pagans’” (39).

In Scene V, Walter declares: “My heart is weak as a great globe, all sea,” provoking the reader to write in large, angry letters: “I should like to pitch this fool into the Atlantic to convince him that his heart is a little weaker than the great globe, all sea” (74).

In Scene VI, Walter recites following lines: “I gaz’d till my heart grew wild, / To fold her in my warm caresses, / Clasp her showers of golden tresses” (77). In the margins, the reader reacts to this sensuous description: “Old Bishop Onderdonk would have taken her by storm, in a coach full of people” (77). The reader here makes reference to the contemporary controversy surrounding Bishop Benjamin Treadwell Onderdonk (1791-1861). In 1844, multiple female parishioners, including the wife of one of his fellow clergymen, accused the Episcopal Bishop of New York of sexual misconduct. The scandal remained in contention for over a decade.

In Scene VII, Walter gazes out over the sea and remarks: “The bridegroom sea / Is toying with the shore, his wedded bride, / And in the fulness of his marriage joy, / He decorates her tawny brow with shells” (90). The reader underscores “bridegroom sea,” “the shore,” and “bride,” and then responds in a marginal note: “John and Polly have been married 40 years. To call John a bridegroom, or Polly a bride, would be apt to provoke a smile from the most rigid practicer of decorum. I therefore feel myself the less criminal in having actually laughed at the idea of bridegrooming and briding the Sea and the Shore, that have been married (man and wife) for thousands of years” (90).

In other moments, the reader identifies Smith’s literary allusions, calling to mind contempoary accusations that he had plagiarized portions of Poems. William Shakespeare, Thomas Moore, and Fanny Kemble are each cited several times.

The majority of the reader’s notes, however, take the form of original verse, extending and satirizing Smith’s poetry. For example, upon waking from a nap in Scene II, Walter says: “Fair lady, in my dream / Methought I was a weak and lonely bird,” at which point the reader interjects: “Caught napping by a much superior bird, / That was a bird indeed!” (15)

Later in the same scene, as Walter speaks to his unnamed love interest he says: “His words set me on fire; I cried aloud” (25). The reader repeats this line in his note and then continues:
‘I’ll be that Poet—that immortal mind!’
He grasp’d my hand,—I look’d upon his face,—
A thought struck all the blood into his cheeks,
Like a strong buffet. His great flashing eyes
Burn’d on my own. He said, ‘Your name is Smith.’
Why am I cursed with that damning name?
Why am I not Jones, —Milligan, —McShinn,
Pips, —anything but Smith! (25)

Throughout the entire play, the reader continues to interject, adopting the Smith’s style even as he mocks the poet and his characters. In these moments, the reader’s actions echo, or perhaps foreshadow, the anonymous author’s 1854 parody of “A Life-Drama,” The Firmilian: A Tragedy. Included below are a few further examples, which I have abstained from transcribing for the sake of space.

A final instance worth mentioning explicitly appears on the poem’s final page. Smith’s Walter delivers the final words of the play to Violet, his second lover. The reader extends Walter’s speech, and also allows Violet a response:
Yes, Walter! I will sleep upon thy breast,
As yonder moon sleeps on the quiet river.
The stars, and he in the moon, are looking at us,
So come away, for I’m afraid of blushing. (160)

In a final jab, the reader grants Walter the last line. Ever the romantic, he replies to his love: “You look more pale than ever” (160).

Comments like these appear also in the margins of the volume’s subsequent, shorter poems.

So rich in user intervention, so shrouded in mystery, and so embedded in the literary critical context of its time is this copy of Alexander Smith’s Poems that extensive additional research could be conducted on its history.

For more on Book Traces @ UVA, visit our blog at https://booktraces.library.virginia.edu .

Sources
“Benjamin Treadwell Onderdonk.” House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College. Dickinson College, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.
“Camphor, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, December 2015. Web. 9 December 2015.
Executive letter books of Governor Frederick M. W. Holliday, 1878-1881. Accession 33431, State government records collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.
“Introduction” Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism Ed. Denise Evans and Mary L. Onorato. Vol. 59. Gale Cengage, 1997. 5 Dec, 2015.
LaPorte, Charles, and Jason R. Rudy. “Editorial Introduction: Spasmodic Poetry and Poetics”. Victorian Poetry 42.4 (2004): 421–428. Web.
“Poems by Alexander Smith.” Bizarre: For Fireside and Wayside. Vol. 3. N.p.: Church, 1853. 121-23. Google Books. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.
Series 7, William Morris Meredith: William Meredith, Meredith Family Papers (Collection 1509), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Smith, Alexander. Poems. Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1853. Print.

Book submission: Elizabethan England

Title: Elizabethan England
Author: Harrison, William
Publication date: London, 1902
Library: Williston Memorial Library, Mount Holyoke College
Call number: DA610 .H32
Submitted by: Rachael Smith
Description:
Oundle School bookplate indicates gift to Frederick Walter Hall as a prize for German in “midsummer 1890”.

Text is unmarked except for pictured passage.

Oundle School crest is also embossed on front cover.

Book submission: The Ladies Scrap Book

Title: The Ladies Scrap Book
Author: Andrus, S. and Son
Publication date: 1845
Library: Williston Memorial Library
Call number: 83YA L12
Submitted by: Rachael Smith
Description:
Bookplate indicates donation by Laura H. Wild, Mount Holyoke faculty in Department of History & Literature of Religion 1917-1937.

Two inscriptions:

“Given by my scholars at Duxbury Corner, Vermont in the summer of 1853. Ellen D. Wild”

“Miss Laura H. Wild. Given by her mother. June … 1881”

The name Ellen Malcolm Douglas also appears in ink.

Book submission: The complete works of Alfred Tennyson : with illustrations.

Title: The complete works of Alfred Tennyson : with illustrations.
Author: Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson, Baron
Publication date: New York : G. Routledge and Sons, [between 1880 and 1889?]
Library: Ellis LIbrary, Rare Books and Special Collections, Columbia, MO
Call number: MU Ellis Special Collections Closed 828 T25A
Submitted by: Katya Shevchenko
Description:
480 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm
Notes MU: Contains mounted photographs and clippings.