Reading in the Godmersham Library: Jane Austen’s Nephew Charles Bridges Knight ~ Part V

There’s been a gap of over seven months (!) since the last posting on Charles’ reading at Godmersham –  so I’ll repeat some of the introductory material to refresh your memory.  I again offer hearty thanks to Austen scholar Hazel Jones for sharing this with us as she mines Charles’ diaries – and please see below about information on her just published work The Other Knight Boys, wherein we learn not just more about Charles Bridges Knight, but all his brothers as well!

The Reading with Austen website focuses on the contents of the Godmersham Park Library as noted in the 1818 catalogue of the collection. We know that Jane Austen read and rested in this library because her letters tell us so, and the RwA website has brought this long-ago library back to colorful life. So it is a very interesting treasure to stumble upon other mentions of this library. The scholar Hazel Jones* has been very generous in sharing her research into the diaries of Austen’s nephew Charles Bridges Austen (later Knight), who also spent time in this very library. In doing the research for her new book on Edward Austen Knight’s sons, Hazel’s reading (and transcribing) Charles Bridge’s diaries (which are housed at Jane Austen’s House Museum ), she finds numerous references to the titles he is reading.

Charles Bridges was born March 11, 1803 at Godmersham Park in Kent, the 8th child of Jane Austen’s brother Edward Knight and Elizabeth Bridges. He was a commoner at Winchester* from 1816-1820, attended Trinity College, Cambridge and was ordained in 1828. He was the curate of West Worldham in Hampshire and rector of Chawton from 1837-1867. He died unmarried on October 13, 1867, aged 64 years. He is buried in the graveyard at the St. Nicholas Churchyard in Chawton (Section B: Row 2. 70 ).

 

You can read the other parts here that tell of Charles’ reading while living at Godmersham:

-Charles Bridges Knight at GPL Part I
-Charles Bridges Knight at GPL Part II
-Charles Bridges Knight at GPL Part III
-Charles Bridges Knight at GPL Part IV

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We continue now with Diary 11, dated  November 2nd 1837 – January 28th 1840 

Hazel notes: There is very little of interest in this diary concerning books. Charles is largely obsessed with detailing symptoms of the gout, various remedies and ‘lowering’ diets.

1. ‘Sunday Nov 5 … Received cookery garden and cellar books from Alton.’

These books are not identified by title, so we can only assume Charles has ordered books from the local bookseller in Alton about cookery, gardening, and cellar (root cellar? wine cellar?) books – these would have been his own books and not part of the Godmersham library – but nice to know he is reading something other than religious tomes!

2. ‘Monday Nov 6 ... ‘Sent by Gale for some books.’

 

No information, though I do find a printer / bookseller imprint for a Gale, Curtis and Fenner out of London – they printed and sold books on sporting as well as religion, but mostly around the 1810s – so this may be an offshoot of that original firm. There is also a later Gale bookseller in London. Here is a title page from their book on sporting.

 

 

 

3. ‘Tuesday Dec 5 … I wrote to Johnson about the furniture, & to Roche about some books.’ / and ‘Monday March 26 … Wrote to Roche & Varty for some books.’ / and ‘Saturday April 7 … I found a parcel of books arrived for me from Roche & Varty.’

So I was able to find references to Varty in WorldCat, and with the help of Peter Sabor, we find that “Roche” actually refers to “Roake” –

Roake & Varty were publishers and booksellers / stationers in London from about 1829-1842. They published a number of political, religious, and educational books – so Charles could have been either buying and reading for his own edification or, as Hazel suggests, purchasing books for the Chawton and Alton schools. He mentions supplying the teachers with various texts. [According to Hazel, Charles apparently was in the habit of turning up in the classrooms unannounced to examine the pupils! Every teacher’s nightmare!…] There are no Roake & Varty books at GPL, but here is a title page of one such published by them:

On the laws and liberties of Englishmen: Britons ever shall be free! 1831
(from Internet Archive)

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4. ‘Friday April 20 … I bought today Edward’s Gibbon, at three guineas and a half.’

Ok, so the interesting thing here is that Charles seems to have BOUGHT the Gibbon from his brother Edward! Edward SOLD it to him?? OR Edward is Gibbon’s first name, so did he just mean Edward Gibbon, no possessive? Or, is he just completely confused about author and title? He later mentions “Gibbon’s decline and fall” so we know he is talking about The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, first published 1776 and succeeding volumes through 1789, and many re-printings. It is not listed in the GPL.

Title page from 2nd ed volume I: Heritage Auctions

The only Gibbon book at Godmersham was this, his first published work: Essai sur l’étude de la literature (1761) and a LOST SHEEP:

[Image: Gallica.bnf.fr]

Edward Gibbon, by Henry Walton – wikipedia

[Aside: Human interest story (i.e. gossip): While living in Switzerland as a young man, Gibbon met the love of his life: Suzanne Curchod, the daughter of the pastor of Crassy. Their romance was thwarted by family on both sides – but Curchod went on to marry Louis XVI’s finance minister Jacques Necker – their daughter became Madame de Staël.]

You can read all about Jane Austen and de Staël at this virtual exhibition tour at Chawton House from 2017: “Fickle Fortunes: Jane Austen and Germaine de Staël”

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5. ‘Sunday April 22 … I came home soon after 5 and read till 7 when I dined — at 1/2 past 9 I read the first chapter of Anderson’s Expositions of the Epistle to the Romans, to the servants, meaning to go on with it every Sunday.’

Robert Anderson. A practical exposition of St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans. London: J. Hatchard and Son, 1833. [also an appendix was published in 1837]

[Image: Internet Archive]

Not in the GPL – so one wonders where DID Charles’ own books go??

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6. ‘Monday June 11 ... Today I have been silly enough to subscribe to a publication going about of the lives of eminent Englishmen.’

Charles must mean this: Lives of eminent and illustrious Englishmen, from Alfred the Great to the latest times, on an original plan. George Godfrey Cunningham. Glasgow, A. Fullarton & Co., 1834-42.

Not in the GPL – but it is good to know that Charles had a moment of “silliness”! It was originally published in 16 parts (then into 8 volumes).

[Image: Internet Archive]

7. ‘Wednesday June 13 ... I read some of Waddingtons History of the church & some of Johnson’s Life by Boswell … I have generally passed the time in reading the above books, besides the Bible’. (Hazel notes: He finds time for reading over a period when he is laid up with the gout.) – Not in the GPL, but here is a title page [from HathiTrust]:

History of the church, from the earliest ages to the reformation, by George Waddington / Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.  London: Baldwin & Cradock, etc…, 1830-1833.

 

Boswell’s Life of Johnson was covered in this post on Samuel Johnson in the GPL: this is a LOST SHEEP, however, and therefore worth repeating…

 

 

 

8. ‘Monday July 23 … I began to read Gibbon’s decline and fall today.’

See above for details: he bought it on April 20, started it July 23 – Charles, like all of us, must have had a piled-high TBR stack!

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9. 1839 ‘Thursday (Feb 7th) I began this morning reading to the servants before prayers, instead of having prayers only. I began Slade’s psalms …’

Slade is mentioned in Part IV of Charles’s reading:  James Slade wrote a few works on the Psalms, a number of them after the diary date of 1839. There is nothing in the GPL: but maybe this was what he was reading to the servants (did Charles always “practice” on the servants I wonder?)

An Explanation of the Psalms as read in the Liturgy of the Church. By the Rev. James Slade, Canon of Chester. London, 1832. [ title page from MW Books on abebooks] 

10. ‘Friday March 8 … The rest of the day I passed in reading Abercrombie’s Intellectual powers, which I finished; & began his moral feelings.’

We have two works mentioned here, neither in the GPL catalogue:

In 1830, John Abercrombie published his Inquiries concerning the Intellectual Powers and the Investigation of Truth. Edinburgh / London, 1830. We don’t know what edition Charles had, but here is a title page from the 5th edition of 1835 [HathiTrust].

This was followed with The Philosophy of the Moral Feelings in 1833, published by John Murray (Jane Austen’s own publisher!)

John Abercrombie (1780-1844) was a Scottish physician and philosopher, known for his medical treatises. These two works of philosophy were widely popular at the time of their publication and were variously reprinted in Britain and the United States.

John Abercrombie – ( c) Wellcome Library; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Though these books are not in the 1818 GPL catalogue, it gives me an opportunity to tell of two books by a different John Abercrombie that were at Godmersham, but are now LOST SHEEP.

This John Abercrombie (1720-1806) was a Scottish horticulturist who wrote a number of books on gardening, and was as a young man employed at the Royal Gardens at Kew, and at Leicester House. 

Kew Gardens – William Marlow, 1763 – MetMuseum

John Abercrombie. The propagation and botanical arrangements of plants and trees, useful and ornamental, proper for cultivation in every department of gardening; nurseries, plantations and agriculture. …etc. [a very long title!]. London, 1784.

The Universal Gardener And Botanist; or, a General Dictionary of Gardening and Botany. Exhibiting in Botanical Arrangement, according to the Linnæan System,…. Etc, etc.,[another very long title!].  By Thomas Mawe and John  Abercrombie. London, 1778.

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And finally, the last entry for Diary 11:

11. ‘Tuesday March 19 … I began reading Thicas’s history of the French revolution, which Edward lent me.’

I can find nothing on this exactly, but perhaps it is a mistake on Charles’s part or illegible, because I do find this (it is not in the 1818 catalogue):

Adolphe Thiers, circa 1830 – wikipedia

Histoire de la Révolution française, by Adolphe Thiers (could this be the “thicas” ?) The first two volumes appeared in 1823, the last two (of ten) in 1827. It was the first major history of the French Revolution in French and won Thiers a seat as the second-youngest elected member of the Academie Française. He was the second elected President of France, and the first President of the French Third Republic.

 

There are other books in the 1818 catalogue about the French Revolution, as well as a number of books in French– so if Edward lent it to Charles around 1839, where did it come from if not the Godmersham or Chawton libraries? It is not listed in the 1908 catalogue either.  Did Charles never return the set to Edward?  And, is it clear that Charles spoke / read French?

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This book on the French Revolution is listed in the GPL catalogue and is in the Knight Collection, and has the Montagu George Knight bookplate:

Archibald Alison. History of Europe during the French Revolution. Embracing the period from the Assembly of the Notables, in M.DCC.LXXXIX., to the establishment of the Directory, in M.DCC.XCV. By Archibald Alison. London / Edinburgh, 1833-1842.

[Images from the Reading with Austen website]

So many unanswered questions to ponder…

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There is one more post in this series about Charles’ Godmersham reading, which I shall prepare shortly. In the meantime, you can learn more about Charles and his brothers in Hazel Jones’ just published The Other Knight Boys: Jane Austen’s Dispossessed Nephews – watch this space for an upcoming interview with Hazel – I highly recommend the book, so many interesting tales of the children Jane Austen knew and played with, and the various directions their lives took them. You can purchase it here at Jane Austen Books.

 

Stay tuned for Part IV…

©2020 Reading with Austen Blog

Reading with Jane Austen ~ Women Writers in the Godmersham Park Library ~ Episode 2!


UPDATE: I have re-posted this list of women writers in the Godmersham  Park Library to include the titles of their works and have noted their current location or if they are LOST SHEEP.

Abbreviations:

  • KC = Knight Collection at Chawton House
  • JAHM =  Jane Austen House Museum
  • LOST SHEEP – please help us find this title!

Of the 45 authors listed with a total of 62 titles, 23 are in the Knight Collection at Chawton House, 29 are LOST SHEEP, 3 works are partially in KC and partially LOST, 2 are in private collections, and the 5 Jane Austen 1st editions are at the Jane Austen’s House Museum.

As mentioned in my previous post on Sarah Scott, it is interesting to search the Godmersham Park Library 1818 catalogue for titles written by women, knowing that Jane Austen would have had access to them. So here is a list of all the women writers and their works,  with hopes to eventually do a post on each (which might actually get done in these times of quarantine…).

It is quite an impressive list – novelists, poets, playwrights, philosophers, historians, essayists, translators, letter-writers! And while many of the works remain in the Knight Collection, there are more that are Lost Sheep, our effort still to locate them. If you might have a copy of any work by any of these women with a Knight bookplate in them, please get in touch with us!

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Austen, Jane (1775-1817) [of course!]

  • Northanger Abbey: and Persuasion. 1st 4 vols. London, 1818. JAHM
  • Sense and Sensibility: A Novel. 1st 3 vols. London, 1818. JAHM
  • Pride and Prejudice: A Novel. 1st 3 vols. London, 1813. JAHM
  • Mansfield Park: A Novel. 1st 3 vols. London, 1814. JAHM
  • Emma: A Novel. 1st 3 vols. London, 1816. JAHM

Baillie, Joanna (1762-1851)

  • A Series of Plays, in which it is attempted to delineate The Stronger Passions of the Mind, each passion being the subject of A Tragedy and a Comedy. 4th 2 vols. London, 1803. LOST SHEEP

Barbauld, Anna Letitia (1743-1825) [as A. Aikin, her maiden name]

  • Miscellaneous pieces, in prose, by J. and A. L. Aikin. 2nd 1 vol. London, 1775. LOST SHEEP

Bowdler, Jane (1743-1784)

  • Poems and essays, by A Lady Lately Deceased. 2 vols. Bath, 1786. KC

[Jane Bowdler] Poems and Essays by A Lady Lately Deceased. Bath, 1786.

Brooke, Frances (1724-1789)

  • The History of Lady Julia Mandeville. By the translator of Lady Catesby’s letters. 2nd 2 vols. London, 1763. LOST SHEEP

Brunton, Mary (1778-1818)

  • Self-control: a novel. 3rd 3 vols. Edinburgh, 1811. KC

Burney, Frances (1752-1840)

  • The Wanderer; or, Female Difficulties. By the author of Evelina; Cecilia; and Camilla. 5 vols. London, 1814. KC (vol 2-4 only)

Campan, Jeanne Louise Henriette Genest (1752-1822)

  • Memoirs of the private life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France and Navarre. To which are added, recollections, sketches, and anecdotes, illustrative of the reigns of Louis XIV. Louis XV. And Louis XVI. By Madame Campan, First Lady of the bed-chamber to the Queen. 3rd 2 vols. London, 1824. KC

Carter, Elizabeth (1717-1806)

  • Poems on Several Occasions. 1 vol. London, 1762. LOST SHEEP
  • All the Works of Epictetus, Which are now Extant; consisting of His Discourses, preserved by Arrian, In Four Books, The Enchiridion, and Fragments. Translated from the Original Greek, By Elizabeth Carter. With An Introduction, and Notes, by the Translator. 1 vol. London, 1758. KC (2 copies)

Chapone, Hester (1727-1801)

  • Letters on the Improvement of the mind, addressed to a young lady. 1st 2 vols. London, 1773. KC

Cornwallis, Mary (1758-1836)

  • Observations, Critical, Explanatory, and Practical, on the Canonical Scriptures. By Mrs. Cornwallis, of Wittersham, Kent. 4 vols. London, 1817. LOST SHEEP

Craven, Elizabeth Craven, Baroness (1750-1828)

  • A Journey through The Crimea to Constantinople. In A Series of Letters from the Right Honourable Elizabeth Lady Craven, To His Serene Highness The Margrave of Brandebourg, Anspach, and Bareith. Written in the Year M DCC LXXXVI. 1st 1 vol. London, 1789. LOST SHEEP

Dixon, Sarah (1671/2-1765)

  • Poems on Several Occasions. 1st 1 vol. Canterbury, 1740. LOST SHEEP

Dobson, Susannah (d. 1795) [as translator]

  • The Life of Petrarch. Collected from Memoires pour la Vie de Petrarch. Jacques-François-Paul-Aldonce de Sade (1705-1778); translated by Mrs. [Susannah] Dobson. 4th 2 vols. Embellished with eight copper-plates, designed by Kirk, and engraved by Ridley. London, 1799. KC

Edgeworth, Maria (1768-1849)

  • Patronage by Maria Edgeworth. 4 vols. 2nd London, 1814. KC
  • Tales of Fashionable Life, by Miss Edgeworth. 1st 6 vols. London, 1809-12. KC
  • Harrington, a tale; and Ormond, a tale. 2 vols. London, 1817. LOST SHEEP

Elie de Beaumont, Anne-Louise Morin-Dumesnil (1729-1783)

  • Lettres Du Marquis de Roselle. Par Madame E. D. B. Nouvelle Edition. 2 vols. London, 1764. KC

Elwood, Anne Katharine (1796-1873)

  • Narrative of a Journey Overland from England by the Continent of Europe, Egypt, and the Red Sea, to India; including a residence there, and voyage home, in the years 1825, 26, 27, and 28. By Mrs. Colonel Elwood. In two volumes. 1 vol ed? London, 1830. LOST SHEEP

Fielding, Sarah (1710-1768) [as translator]

  • Xenophon’s Memoirs of Socrates. With the Defence of Socrates, before His Judges. Translated from The Originial [sic] Greek. By Sarah Fielding. 1st 1 vol. Bath, 1762. KC

Gardiner, Jane (1758-1840)

  • An excursion from London to Dover: containing some account of the Manufactures, Natural and Artificial Curiosities, History and Antiquities of the Towns and Villages. Interspersed with Historical and Biographical Anecdotes, Natural History, Poetical Extracts, and Tales. Particularly intended for the amusement and instruction of youth. By Jane Gardiner, Elsham Hall, Lincolnshire. In Two Vols. 1st. ed. 2 vols. London, 1806. KC

Jane Gardiner. An Excursion from London to Dover. London, 1806.

Genlis, Stéphanie Félicité, comtesse de (1746-1830)

  • Adèle et Théodore, ou, Lettres sur l’éducation, Contenant[.] Tous les principes relatifs aux trois différens plans d’éducation des Princes, des jeunes Personnes, & des Hommes. 1st 3 vols. Paris, 1782. KC (vol 3 only), LOST SHEEP (vol 1 and 2)
  • Les Veillées du Château, ou, cours de morale à l’usage des enfans, par l’auteur d’Adèle et Théodore. 1st 3 vols. Paris, 1784. KC

Graffigny, (Françoise d’Issembourg d’Happoncourt), Mme de (1695-1758)

  • Letters written by a Peruvian Princess. A New Edition, in two Volumes. London, 1771. LOST SHEEP
  • The Peruvian letters, Translated from the French. With An additional original Volume. By R. Roberts, translator of Select Tales from Marmontel, author of Sermons by a Lady, and translator of the History of France, from the Abbé Millot. 2 vols. London, 1774. KC
  • Lettres d’une Peruvienne. 1 vol. Paris, n.d. LOST SHEEP

Grant, Anne (1755-1838)

  • Poems on various subjects, by Mrs. Grant. 1st Edinburgh, 1803. LOST SHEEP
  • Letters from the mountains; Being the real correspondence of a lady, between the years 1773 and 1807. 2nd 3 vols. London, 1807. KC

Hays, Mary (1759-1843)

  • Female Biography; or, Memoirs of Illustrious and Celebrated Women, of all ages and countries. Alphabetically arranged. By Mary Hays. 1st 6 vols. London, 1803. In the collections of the Godmersham Park Heritage Centre.

Haywood, Eliza Fowler (1693-1756) – as a contributor

  • A Companion to the theatre: or, a view Of our most celebrated Dramatic Pieces: In which the Plan, Characters, and Incidents of each are particularly explained. Interspers’d With Remarks Historical, Critical and Moral. 2 vols. London, 1747. LOST SHEEP

Lee, Harriet (1757-1851) and Sophia Lee (1750-1824)

  • Canterbury tales. By Harriet Lee [and Sophia Lee]. 5 vols. London, 1804. [The original 5 volumes of this work were published in 1797, 1798, 1799, 1801 and 1805. The 4th edition of vol. 1 was published in 1804; it’s not possible to identify the editions of the rest of volumes in the Godmersham Library copy from the Godmersham catalogue details]. LOST SHEEP

Lee, Sophia (1750-1824) [see under Harriet Lee]

Lennox, Charlotte (ca. 1730-1804) [as translator]

  • Memoirs of Maximilian de Bethune, Duke of Sully, Prime Minister to Henry the Great. Containing The History of the Life and Reign of that Monarch, And his own Administration under Him. By Pierre Mathurin de L’écluse des Loges (ca. 1713-1783). Translated from the French by the Author of The Female Quixote [Charlotte Lennox]. To which is added, The Trial of Ravaillac for the Murder of Henry the Great. 5 vols. London, 1757. KC

Macaulay, Catharine (1731-1791)

  • The history of England from the accession of James I. to that of the Brunswick Line. By Catharine Macaulay. 1st 5 vols. (of 8). London, 1763-83. KC

Catharine Macaulay. • The history of England from the accession of James I. to that of the Brunswick Line. London, 1763-83.

Maintenon, Françoise d’Aubigné, marquise de (1635-1719)

  • Lettres de Madame de Maintenon. Contenant[.] Des Lettres à différentes personnes, celles à M. d’Aubigné, & celles à M. & à Me. de Villette. Nouvelle Edition. 16 vols. Maestricht [Maastricht], 1778. KC

Marlborough, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of (1660-1744)

  • An Account of the Conduct of the Dowager Duchess of Marlborough, From her first coming to Court, To the Year 1710. In a Letter from Herself to my Lord––. 1 vol. London, 1742. LOST SHEEP

Masters, Mary (fl. 1733-1755)

  • Familiar Letters and Poems on Several Occasions. By Mary Masters. 1st 1 vol. London, 1755. LOST SHEEP

Meades, Anna (b. ca. 1734)

  • The history of Sir William Harrington. Written some years since, And revised and corrected By the late Mr. Richardson, author of Sir Charles Grandison, Clarissa, &c. 1st 4 vols. London, 1771. LOST SHEEP

Montagu, Elizabeth Robinson (1718-1800)

  • An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespear, compared with the Greek and French Dramatic Poets. With Some Remarks Upon the Misrepresentations of Mons. de Voltaire. 1st 1 vol. London, 1769. LOST SHEEP
  • The letters of Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu, with some of the letters of her correspondents. Part the first, Containing her letters from an early age to the age of twenty-three. Published by M. Montagu, Esq. M.P., her 1st 2 vols. (of 4). London, 1809-13. KC

Montolieu, Isabelle de (1751-1832)

  • Agathoclès, ou Lettres écrites de Rome et de Grèce, au commencement du Quatrième Siècle, Traduites de l’allemand de Mme. Pichler, Par Mme. Isabelle de Montolieu. 1st 4vols. Paris, 1812. LOST SHEEP

More, Hannah (1745-1833)

  • Florio: A Tale, For Fine Gentlemen and Fine Ladies: and, The Bas Bleu; or, Conversation: Two Poems. 1st 1 vol. London, 1786. LOST SHEEP
  • Strictures on the modern system of female education. With a view of the principles and conduct prevalent among women of rank and fortune. By Hannah More. 9th 2 vols. London, 1799. LOST SHEEP
  • Coelebs in search of a wife. Comprehending Observations on domestic habits and manners, religion and morals. 9th 2 vols. London, 1809. KC

Orléans, Charlotte-Elizabeth, duchesse d’ (1652-1722)

  • Fragmens de lettres originales De Madame Charlotte-Elizabeth de Bavière, Veuve de Monsieur, Frère unique de Louis XIV, Ecrites à S. A. S. Monseigneur le Duc Antoine-Ulric de B** W****, & à S. A. R. Madame la Princess de Galles, Caroline, née Princess d’Anspach. De 1715 à 1720. 1st 2 vols. Hambourg, 1788. KC

Parry, Catherine (d. 1788)

  • Eden Vale. A Novel. In Two Volumes. Dedicated, by permission, To Lady Shelburne. By Mrs. Catherine Parry. 1st 2 vols. London, 1784. KC (vol. 2 only); LOST SHEEP (vol. 1)

Piozzi, Hester Lynch; Thrale, Hester Lynch (1741-1821)

  • Letters to and from the late Samuel Johnson, LL.D. To which are added some poems never before printed. Published from the original mss. in her possession, by Hester Lynch Piozzi. 1st 2 vols. London, 1789. LOST SHEEP
  • Observations and reflections made in the course of a journey through France, Italy, and Germany. By Hester Lynch Piozzi. 1st 2 vols. London, 1789. In a private collection.
  • Anecdotes of the late Samuel Johnson, LL.D. during the last twenty years of his life. By Hesther Lynch Piozzi. 1st 1 vol. London, 1786. LOST SHEEP

Porter, Jane (1776-1850)

  • The pastor’s fire-side, a novel. 1st 4 vols. London, 1817. LOST SHEEP

Radcliffe, Ann Ward (1764-1823)

  • A Journey made in the summer of 1794, through Holland and the Western Frontier of Germany, with a Return Down the Rhine: to which are added observations during a tour to The Lakes of Lancashire, Westmoreland, and Cumberland. By Ann Radcliffe. 1st 1 vol. London, 1795. LOST SHEEP

Riccoboni, Marie Jeanne de Heurles Laboras de Mézières (1713-1792)

  • Lettres de Mylady Juliette Catesby, A Mylady Henriette Campley, Son Amie. Quatrieme Edition. 4th 1 vol. Amsterdam, 1760. KC

Marie Jeanne Riccoboni. Lettres de Mylady Juliette Catesby, A Mylady Henriette Campley, Son Amie. Amsterdam, 1760.

Scott, Sarah (1723-1795)

  • The history of Sir George Ellison. 1st 2 vols. London, 1766. LOST SHEEP
  • A Description of Millenium Hall, and the Country Adjacent: Together with the Characters of the Inhabitants, And such Historical Anecdotes and Reflections, as May excite in the Reader proper Sentiments of Humanity, and lead the Mind to the Love of Virtue. By A Gentleman on his Travels. 1st 1 vol. London, 1762. LOST SHEEP

Sévigné, Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de (1629-1696)

  • Recueil des lettres de Madame la Marquise de Sévigné, a Madame la Comtesse de Grignan, sa fille. Nouvelle Edition augmentée. 9 vols. Paris,m 1785. KC

Smith, Charlotte Turner (1749-1806)

  • Elegiac sonnets, by Charlotte Smith. The fifth edition, with additional sonnets and other poems. 5th 1 vol. London, 1789. LOST SHEEP
  • The letters of a solitary wanderer: containing narratives of various description. By Charlotte Smith. 1st 2 vols (of 3?). London, 1800. LOST SHEEP

West, Jane (1758-1852)

  • Letters to a young lady, in which the duties and character of women are considered, chiefly with a reference to prevailing opinions. By Jane West. 4th 3 vols. London, 1811. KC

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There are several titles in the catalogue with no author listed. Here are two novels – could either of these been written by a woman? [these 2 titles were not counted in the totals noted above] –  more on these two books in a future post…

  • Edward. A novel. Dedicated (by permission) to Her Majesty. London, 1774. 2 vols. LOST SHEEP
  • The correspondents, an original novel; in a series of letters. A new edition. London, 1775. 1 vol. LOST SHEEP

[Title page images are courtesy of the Reading with Austen website].

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c2020 Reading with Austen Blog

Reading with Jane Austen ~ Women Writers in the Godmersham Park Library


As mentioned in my previous post on Sarah Scott, it is interesting to search the Godmersham Park Library 1818 catalogue for titles written by women, knowing that Jane Austen would have had access to them. So I have gone through the catalogue just to pull the names of these women writers, here listing them all, with hopes to eventually do a post on each (which might actually get done in these times of quarantine…).

It is quite an impressive list – novelists, poets, playwrights, philosophers, historians, essayists, translators, letter-writers! And while some of the works remain in the Knight Collection, many are Lost Sheep, our effort still to locate them. If you might have a copy of any work by any of these women with a Knight bookplate in them, please get in touch with us!

******************

  1. Austen, Jane (1775-1817) [of course!]
  2. Baillie, Joanna (1762-1851)
  3. Barbauld, Anna Letitia (1743-1825) [as A. Aikin, her maiden name]
  4. Bowdler, Jane (1743-1784)
  5. Brooke, Frances (1724-1789)
  6. Brunton, Mary (1778-1818)
  7. Burney, Frances (1752-1840)
  8. Campan, Jeanne Louise Henriette Genest (1752-1822)
  9. Carter, Elizabeth (1717-1806)
  10. Chapone, Hester (1727-1801)
  11. Cornwallis, Mary (1758-1836):
  12. Craven, Elizabeth Craven, Baroness (1750-1828)
  13. Dixon, Sarah (1671/2-1765)
  14. Dobson, Susannah (d. 1795) [as translator]
  15. Edgeworth, Maria (1768-1849)
  16. Elie de Beaumont, Anne-Louise Morin-Dumesnil (1729-1783)
  17. Elwood, Anne Katharine (1796-1873)
  18. Fielding, Sarah (1710-1768) [as translator]
  19. Gardiner, Jane (1758-1840)
  20. Genlis, Stéphanie Félicité, comtesse de (1746-1830)
  21. Graffigny, (Françoise d’Issembourg d’Happoncourt), Mme de (1695-1758)
  22. Grant, Anne (1755-1838)
  23. Hays, Mary (1759-1843)
  24. Haywood, Eliza Fowler (1693-1756)
  25. Lee, Harriet (1757-1851)
  26. Lee, Sophia (1750-1824)
  27. Lennox, Charlotte (ca. 1730-1804) [as translator]
  28. Macaulay, Catharine (1731-1791)
  29. Maintenon, Françoise d’Aubigné, marquise de (1635-1719)
  30. Marlborough, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of (1660-1744)
  31. Masters, Mary (fl. 1733-1755)
  32. Meades, Anna (b. ca. 1734)
  33. Montagu, Elizabeth Robinson (1718-1800)
  34. Montolieu, Isabelle de (1751-1832)
  35. More, Hannah (1745-1833)
  36. Orléans, Charlotte-Elizabeth, duchesse d’ (1652-1722)
  37. Parry, Catherine (d. 1788)
  38. Piozzi, Hester Lynch; Thrale, Hester Lynch (1741-1821)
  39. Porter, Jane (1776-1850)
  40. Radcliffe, Ann Ward (1764-1823)
  41. Riccoboni, Marie Jeanne de Heurles Laboras de Mézières (1713-1792)
  42. Scott, Sarah (1723-1795)
  43. Sévigné, Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de (1629-1696)
  44. Smith, Charlotte Turner (1749-1806)
  45. West, Jane (1758-1852)

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There are several titles in the catalogue with no author listed. Here are two novels – could either of these been written by a woman? (more on these two books in a future post)

  • Edward. A novel. Dedicated (by permission) to Her Majesty. London, 1774.
  • The correspondents, an original novel; in a series of letters. A new edition. London, 1775.

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c2020 Reading with Austen Blog

Reading with Jane Austen: Sarah Scott in the Godmersham Park Library

While many of the interesting titles found in the Godmersham Park Library of Edward Austen Knight are of religious or historical nature, I find the listings of works by women writers to be the most I am drawn to – and with questions: Did Edward acquire and read these? Did his wife Elizabeth Bridges? We know that all in the family were “great Novel-readers & not ashamed of being so…” [Le Faye, Ltr. 14] Or, perhaps were some of the earlier works those of the original owner of the estate, Mrs. Thomas Knight, Edward’s adoptive mother Catherine Knight?

Catherine Knight, by George Romney – Occeansbridge.com

[Aside: We know that Mrs. Knight was a reader. In Austen’s letters, we find a good number of references to her and it is clear that she and Austen had a respectful and affectionate relationship. This goes back to as early as Austen’s composition of The History of England (completed in 1791), when Austen, in her defense of Mary, Queen of Scots writes:

Oh! what must this bewitching Princess whose only freind was then the Duke of Norfolk, and whose only ones are now Mr Whitaker, Mrs Lefroy, Mrs Knight & myself, who was abandoned by her Son, confined by her Cousin, abused, reproached & vilified by all, what must not her most noble mind have suffered when informed that Elizabeth had given orders for her Death!

 

Mr. Whitaker was the author of Mary Queen of Scots Vindicated (1787) [the title page states: “Author of the history of Manchester; and rector of Ruan-Lanyhorne, Cornwall”] – this book is not in the GPL collection, though there are a few other titles on the history of Mary, Queen of Scots – we can wonder if Jane was influenced by these as well – a topic for another blog post!

Mrs. Lefroy was a neighbor and great friend to Jane. And the mention of Mrs. Knight shows that even at this young age, she and Mrs. Knight would have some sort of rapport discussing history and literature.

Mrs. Knight is also in on the great secret of Jane as author: in an April 25, 1811 letter written to Cassandra while at Henry’s in London, Austen writes of her working on the proofs of Sense and Sensibility:

“I have had two sheets to correct, but the last one only brings us to W.s first appearance. Mrs. Knight regrets in the most flattering manner that she must wait till. May, but I have scarcely a hope of its of its being out in June [it was not published until 23 October 1811]….I am very much gratified by Mrs. Knight’s interest in it; & whatever may be the event of it as to my credit with her, sincerely wish her curiosity could be satisfied sooner than is now probable. I think she will like my Elinor, but cannot build on anything else.”

The point being that Mrs. Knight was a reader and may have added a good number of novels to the collection before she left Godmersham and gave the estate to Edward. Something to be investigated…]

But, back to the topic at hand: women writers at the GPL. I shall start with Sarah Scott. Two of her most popular works were in the GPL and both are now Lost Sheep.

Sarah Scott,1744, by Edward Haytley [wikipedia]

Sarah [Robinson] Scott (1720-1795), born in Yorkshire to Matthew and Elizabeth Robinson, the youngest of nine children, lived much of her life in Cambridge. They were a distinguished family and the children went on to have successful careers. Her older sister was the acclaimed Bluestocking Elizabeth Montagu, who was more well-known and regarded than Sarah for her writings and literary salons, though Elizabeth herself thought Sarah the more talented.

Elizabeth Montagu, 1762, by Allan Ramsay – wikipedia

Gary Kelly in his DNB entry for Scott writes:

Her early letters exhibit a witty, satirical, and fastidious outlook on people, fashionable society, and courtship and marriage, a strong interest in handsome and intelligent men, and contempt for men who feared educated women, for women with no intellectual interests, and for unclean persons of either sex.  

After contracting smallpox in 1741, Sarah’s stock in the marriage market would have plummeted; it may have led to her retreat from the expected social life of a young woman and directed her into a life of writing and female friendships. She developed a close friendship with Lady Barbara Montagu (no relation to Elizabeth), and after a rather disastrous marriage to George Lewis Scott in 1751, of which little is known (and certainly scandalous in some manner*), she and Barbara pooled their small resources and settled in Bath.

Scott published all her works anonymously, though as with Jane Austen, it was likely an “open secret” among her friends and correspondents. Her first novel was The History of Cornelia, published in 1750, and wherein the Heroine has a number of Gothic encounters but returns to a rational and safe view of the world, the book similar to Northanger Abbey in its emphasis on the dangers of reading and female sexuality.

She continued to write novels, largely of a sentimental nature, translated a work from the French, wrote two political histories, and several educational texts. Her 1762 work A Description of Millenium Hall was her most popular, followed by its sequel The History of Sir George Ellison in 1766. These are the two novels that were in the GP Library to which Austen had access, though there is no mention of Scott in her letters (only Sir Walter!).  Both are now missing and Lost Sheep (they do show up in the 1908 catalogue under their titles), Scott is well-represented in the Library at Chawton House with several (but not all) of her works: 1st editions of Millenium Hall, George Ellison, Life of Theodore Agrippa d’Aubigné, and The History of Cornelia (though it doesn’t show up on WorldCat as being in any library!)


Millenium Hall provided a fictional example of what Scott and Lady Barbara were attempting to create in real life, a utopian community of women who would provide help and educational opportunities to the poor women and children in their neighborhood. Millenium Hall, published as written “by A Gentleman on his Travels,” is narrated by a male character who Scott later uses as her protagonist in Sir George Ellison. He tells the life stories of the women living in their secular convent-like home. It is said that it took Scott all of a month to write. The November 1762 of the Monthly Magazine carried the following review of the novel:

Millenium Hall is a name given to the rural and elegant abode of a happy society of Ladies, which the Author tells us he met with in the West of England. The respective histories of these accomplished female Worthies, with their motives for retiring from the World, and forming this delightful connection; together with a particular description of their residence; an account of the rules, and orders of the society; and a view of the very laudable manner in which the amiable Recluses employed their time and their fortunes; — these are the outlines of a work well calculated, as the title justly professes, to inspire the Reader with proper senti ments or humanity, and the love of virtue. We have perused it with pleasure; and heartily recommend it, as a very entertaining as well as a truly moral and sensible performance.

The book was popular and went into several editions through 1778.

[Aside 2: There is a connection to Jane Austen I must mention. It seems that Sir Egerton Brydges, brother of Austen’s great friend and neighbor Anne Lefroy, was the first to note in his Censura Literaria of 1805 that Sarah Scott was the author of nine works. Egerton was married to Mary Robinson, the daughter of Mrs. Scott’s youngest brother, William, and thus probably knew Mrs. Scott’s literary efforts from personal contact. It was a small world! And more proof again that Austen would have known of her. [See Walter M. Crittenden’s introduction to Millenium Hall, p. 18].

1767 Edinburgh ed.

The other title listed in the GP Library catalogue is The History of Sir George Ellison (1766) [also with the title A Man of Real Sensibility; or The History of Sir George Ellison]. The narrator of Millenium Hall tries to improve slaves’ lives in Jamaica, and later establishes a charity school for boys in England modeled after what he had observed at Millenium Hall. His character is likened to Richardson’s Sir Charles Grandison, Jane Austen’s very own favorite Hero. Scott prefaces the book with an epigraph from Lawrence Sterne’s Sentimental Journey:

Dear SENSIBILITY!—Source inexhausted of all that’s precious in our Joys, or costly in our Sorrows.—’Tis here I feel thee—’tis thy Divi|nity that stirs within me.—For that I feel some generous joy—some generous care beyond my self.—All comes from Thee—

Here is a letter to Scott from her sister Elizabeth Montagu about the impending publication of this book: [from the EMOC twitter account, dated 18 February 2020:

[See below for the list of all Scott’s works].

Lady Barbara died in 1765, and Scott lived in various places. Her efforts to again establish a real Millenium Hall at Hitcham House in Buckinghamshire in 1767, to which she invited the writer (and Henry’s sister) Sarah Fielding, among others, proved a failure. She finally settles in Catton, near Norwich, where she dies after a lengthy illness. All of her letters and papers were destroyed after her death in 1795 as per her instruction, though a number of letters to and from her sister Elizabeth Montagu remain. Many of these letters are in the Elizabeth Montagu Collection at the Huntington Library, and currently part of an ongoing project to digitize all of Montagu’s correspondence.

And though most of her letters were destroyed, it seems that there is a 2-volume recent publication of all her extant letters, edited by Nicole Pohl, that runs to 912 pages! – Nicole Pohl, ed., The Letters of Sarah Scott, 2 vols. (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2014). It too is prohibitively expensive (starting at $350 even on the used book market) – you can find it here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/letters-of-sarah-scott/nicole-pohl/9781848934689

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There has been renewed interest in Scott and her contributions to the female literature of her time, called of late “Bluestocking Feminism” [see Kelly]. There have been scholarly editions of her most popular works and all her titles are available in either these scholarly texts, online, or in readily available reprints. What we GLOSSers want however, are the original copies of Millenium Hall and Sir George Ellison that sadly went missing from the Godmersham / Chawton House library sometime after 1908. Let’s hope we can locate (and hopefully) return these two Lost Sheep to the Library at Chawton House! Please contact us if you have any information.

List of works by Sarah Scott:

– The History of Cornelia (1750) [no author noted]: at Chawton House and available as a Gale ECCO reprint.

 –Agreeable Ugliness, or, The Triumph of the Graces; Exemplified in the Real Life and Fortunes of a Young Lady of Some Distinction (1754). A loose translation of Le Laideur aimable by Pierre Antoine, Marquis de La Place, it is a morality tale of two sisters, one beautiful but vain, and the other plain but virtuous. There is a copy at the British Library, a free ebook on Google Books, and a Gale ECCO reprint POD.

 

Dublin ed, 1754

A Journey through Every Stage of Life, Described in a Variety of Interesting Scenes, Drawn from Real Characters. By a Person of Quality (1754). An Arabian Nights sort of work “comprising tales told by a witty female servant to divert her mistress, a disgruntled princess exiled by her brother to clear his way to the throne.” [Kelly, DNB]. A copy at the British Library and available as a Gale ECCO reprint.

– The History of Gustavus Ericson, King of Sweden; With an Introductory History of Sweden, from the Middle of the Twelfth Century. By Henry Augustus Raymond, Esq. (pseud. for Scott) (1761). Full text on HathiTrust, available in reprints.

-The History of Mecklenburgh, from the First Settlement of the Vandals in that Country, to the Present Time; including a Period of about Three Thousand Years (1762). [No author noted]. Likely prompted by the marriage of King George III to Charlotte, the Princess of Mecklenburgh in 1761. At the British Library; full text at HathiTrust, Google Books; various reprints available.

-A Description of Millenium Hall and the Country Adjacent, Together with the Characters of the Inhabitants and such Historical Anecdotes and Reflections as May Excite in the Reader Proper Sentiments of Humanity, and Lead the Mind to the Love of Virtue (1762). By A Gentleman on his Travels. At Chawton House, full text at HathiTrust, the 1955 edition by Walter Crittenden, a scholarly edition edited by Gary Kelly in 1995 (Broadview), and various reprints abound, including kindle.

-The History of Sir George Ellison (1766)]. [No author noted]. Full text available on Google Books (vol 2); also on HathiTrust, a 1767 Edinburgh edition titled A Man of Real Sensibility; or The History of Sir George Ellison; a 1774 Philadelphia edition, printed by James Humphreys, is online at Evans Early American Imprint Collection:  ; a scholarly edition edited by Betty Rizzo (1996); and various reprints now available.

-The Life of Theodore Agrippa d’Aubigné, Containing a Succinct Account of the Most Remarkable Occurrences during the Civil Wars of France in the Reigns of Charles IX, Henry III, Henry IV, and in the Minority of Lewis XIII (1772). [No author noted.] Theodore Agrippa d’Aubigné (1552-1630) was a French poet, soldier, and historian. At the British Library and a few other libraries in the UK and one in Dublin; full text at HathiTrust and Google (same copy); various reprints available.

-The Test of Filial Duty; In a Series of Letters between Miss Emilia Leonard, and Miss Charlotte Arlington: A Novel (1772). Scott’s final work, it is an epistolary novel, emphasizing female friendship and criticizes clandestine marriages as well as “the male-dominated systems of property and patronage.” [Kelly, DNB]. At the British Library, no full-text available except here [subscription needed] : vol. 4 of  Bluestocking Feminism: Writings of the Bluestocking Circle, 1738-1785, edited by Gary Kelly – print edition is available for exorbitant prices!), but there are cheaper reprints available of Filial Duty.

 

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*George Lewis Scott (1708–1780) was a mathematician and literary figure who was tutor to the future George III from 1751 to 1755. He was a friend of the historian Edward Gibbon, the poet James Thomson, Samuel Johnson and other members of the Georgian era literary world, as well as Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin. [Wikipedia]. He was a Robinson family friend, twelve years Sarah’s senior, and family lore says the marriage was never consummated. One problem may have been that Lady Bab tagged along on their honeymoon and lived with them after their return! Scandal would have resulted when Scott returned to her family, so Scott agreed to pay Sarah an annuity, but sources says they spoke of each other with bitterness for the rest of their lives…[Wikipedia, which alas! can sometimes be wrong!]

We can never really know what happened, Scott continued to write and work on her charities, rather than having the requisite twelve children or dying in childbirth…. I am currently reading Millenium Hall – will report on it when I am finished – a bit of a slog, but interesting at the same time! I hope this short intro will entice others to read her, her works thankfully now so readily available.

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A Select bibliography for further reading: there are an increasing number of scholarly essays on Sarah Scott – I list here just a few that I consulted.

  1. Backscheider, Paula R., ed. Revising Women: Eighteenth-Century “Women’s Fiction” and Social Engagement. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins U, 2000.
  2. Crittenden, Walter Marion. The Life and Writings of Mrs. Sarah Scott, Novelist (1723-1795). Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania, 1932.
  3. Kelly, Gary. Scott [née Robinson], Sarah (1720–1795). DNB, 2006. https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/24912
  4. Le Faye, Deridre. Jane Austen’s Letters. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011.
  5. Onderwyzer, Gaby Esther. Sarah Scott: Her Life and Works. Berkeley: U California, 1957.
  6. Pearson, Jacqeline. Women’s Reading in Britain 1750-1835: A Dangerous Recreation. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999.
  7. Nicole Pohl, ed., The Letters of Sarah Scott, 2 vols. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2014.
  8. Robertson, Mary L. “The Elizabeth Robinson Montagu Collection at the Huntington Library.” Huntington Library Quarterly 65.1/2 (2002): 21-23.
  9. “Sarah Scott.” Wikepedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Scott.
  10. Scott, Sarah. Millenium Hall. Ed. Gary Kelly. Peterborough, Ont: Broadview, 1995.
  11. _____. Millenium Hall. Ed. Walter M. Crittenden. New York: Bookman, 1955.

Frontispiece to Millenium Hall, 1762 – a  closer image. A Walker is likely Anthony Walker (1726-1765), etcher and engraver from Yorkshire

C2020 Reading with Austen blog