Austen and Shakespeare: A Godmersham Lost Sheep Found at Home with Shakespeare

It is always (to me!) an interesting story how a Lost Sheep gets found – or at least any book detective out there would so describe the thrill of locating a book considered lost to eternity in some auction sale or a the stacks of a library or in someone’s private collection. And such discoveries are often serendipitous – the right place, the right time, or a click of a keyboard and Oh Wow! Look at this!

One of our most exciting finds happened in such a way recently. Though I continue to search library catalogues of colleges and universities and institutions, knowing full well that the provenance of a Knight bookplate might not even be recorded, it is always sheer luck to stumble on one when doing something else entirely…so here’s the story:

One of my book groups was reading Hamnet, by Maggie O’Farrell (fabulous book if you have not read it…), and I was doing some research on the fact vs. fiction questions the book raises. And internet surfing brought me to various Shakespeare-related sites – the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust  a treasure trove of information and many images. My Reading with Austen hat is always on and realized I had never searched their library for the Knight bookplates (I search for Chawton, Godmersham, Montagu, Edward, Knight, etc. – and find often that Montagu is misspelled, or he is referred to as “Montagu George, Knight of Chawton,” etc. – these provenance errors complicate searching!) – and the miracle of online catalogue searching brought up a book in their collection with the MGK bookplate! A check in the Reading with Austen catalogue shows this exact title as listed in the 1818 Godmersham catalogue [the images from the SBT have just been added to the listing]: a book by Philip Miller titled The Gardeners Kalendar (1732).

[Here is the link to the SBT catalogue. ]

Eureka! Problem at the time was the SBT was closed, so I waited until they opened to request images – they were as excited as we were to find this Lost Sheep on their very own shelves. There is something comforting about a Jane Austen-related book finding itself at Shakespeare’s birthplace – even Jane (Shakespeare fan that she was) might appreciate this turn of events. We cannot have it back at Chawton House, but this is certainly the next best thing…a Lost Sheep found, and surrounded in Shakespeare no less!

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

We appreciate very much the Library staff at the SBT copying all the images we need for the website. Here are the details with some information about the book and the author. Can we imagine Austen consulting this very Kalendar at various times during her gardening year?

Philip Miller. The gardeners kalendar, directing what works are necessary to be done every month, in the kitchen, fruit, and pleasure gardens, and in the conservatory. With An Account of the particular seasons for the Propagation and Use of all Sorts of Esculent Plants and Fruits proper for the Table, and of all Sorts of Flowers, Plants, and Trees, that flower in every Month. By Philip Miller, Gardener to the Worshipful Company of Apothecaries, at their Botanick Garden in Chelsea, and F. R. S.

London: printed for the author, and sold by C. Rivington, at the Bible and Crown, in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, M.DCC.XXXII. [1732]

xv,[1],252,[4]p.,plate ; 8⁰.

With two final leaves of advertisements.
Montagu George Knight, 1844-1914, former owner.
Knight’s bookplate pasted inside front of book.

This book has the least common of the MGK bookplates:

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Philip Miller (1691-1771) was the most well-known of the horticultural writers of the eighteenth-century. He began in London as a florist, grower of ornamental shrubs, and garden designer. It was all the doing of Sir Hans Sloane, who became landlord of the land in Chelsea in 1712 that had been leased to the Society of Apothecaries for their physic garden. In 1722 Sloane transferred it permanently to the Society and recommended that Miller be appointed head gardener – he held this position until shortly before his death in 1771. The Chelsea Physic Garden developed under Miller’s hand into the most richly stocked of any mid-18th century garden, his work there the basis of Miller’s several gardening publications.  [You can read about its history here: https://www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk/about/history/ ]. It was “largely through [Miller’s] skill as a grower and propagator and his extensive correspondence, the Chelsea botanic garden belonging to the Society of Apothecaries of London became famous throughout Europe and the North American colonies for its wealth of plants, which was continuously enriched by new introductions, notably from the West Indies, Mexico, eastern North America, and Europe.”1

Miller is most known for his The Gardener’s and Florists Dictionary or a Complete System of Horticulture (1724) and The Gardener’s Dictionary containing the Methods of Cultivating and Improving the Kitchen Fruit and Flower Garden, which first appeared in 1731 in a folio and went through eight revised editions in his lifetime. There is much information on Miller’s use of the classifications of Joseph Pitton de Tournefort and John Ray, rather than those of Carl Linnaeus – but he later embraced the Linnaeus nomenclature in his Dictionary of 1768. But I shall avoid this discussion and send you to the resources below if you have any interest in botanical history and the naming of plants.

Since this is September, here’s a page sample for what you should be doing in your Kitchen Garden [this is from the 1737 4th ed. at HathiTrust] – it’s all about your cauliflower – there are succeeding entries for work to be done in the Fruit Garden, the Flower Garden, the Pleasure Garden, and the Greenhouse and Stove. You shall be very busy!

You can see the complete text of The Gardeners Kalendar here:

the 1732 1st edition at Google Books: https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Gardiners_Kalendar_Directing_what_Wo/O5xgAAAAcAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0

and the 1737 4th edition at HathiTrust:
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=njp.32101037690227&view=1up&seq=11

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One interesting bit is that it was Philip Miller who sent the first long-strand cotton seeds, which he had developed, to the new British colony of Georgia in 1733. They were first planted on Sea Island, off the coast of Georgia, and hence derived the name of the finest cotton, Sea Island Cotton. [There is inconsistent information on this – you can read the Stephens article cited below for a full account.] But this adds to the whole picture of Miller’s hand in propagation not only in England but also in the colonies – and we all know that cultivation of cotton sustained one part of the Triangular Trade and perpetuated the slave trade and system of slavery in order to produce and transport to England as much of this cotton product as possible. This too is another story – but all things connect as anyone trying to research the simplest thing knows – a Godmersham book found at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, written by a man who had a hand in the development of cotton in the colonies which sustained the slave trade, which then of course leads us to Mansfield Park…and really what was Jane Austen’s “dead silence” all about…

What a digression!

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Though Miller’s most well-known books (noted above), available in many editions through the years, are not listed in the 1818 catalogue, there is one other Philip Miller book in the Godmersham collection, also in the 1908 Chawton library, and this is still a Lost Sheep:

Figures Of the most Beautiful, Useful, and Uncommon Plants described in The Gardeners Dictionary, exhibited on Three Hundred Copper Plates, Accurately Engraven after Drawings taken from Nature. With The Characters of their Flowers and Seed-Vessels, Drawn when they were in their greatest Perfection. To which are added, Their Descriptions, and an Account of the Classes to which they belong, according to Ray’s, Tournefort’s, and Linnæus’s Method of Classing them. By Philip Miller, F.R.S. Member of the Botanic Academy at Florence, and Gardener to the Worshipful Company of Apothecaries at their Botanic Garden at Chelsea. In Two Volumes.

London: Printed for the Author; And Sold by John Rivington in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, A. Millar, H. Woodfall, J. Whiston and B. White, J. Hinton, G. Hawkins, R. Baldwin, J. Richardson, W. Johnston, S. Crowder, P. Davey and B. Law, T. Caslon, and R. and J. Dodsley, 1760.

According to a Sotheby’s sale catalogue, the 300 plates of various plants were drawn by Richard Lancake and two of the leading botanical artists and engravers of the period, Georg Dionysius Ehret and Johann Sebastian Miller (formerly Müller). The work was published by subscription in 50 monthly parts, with each part containing 6 plates, between 25 March 1755 and 30 June 1760. Two later editions were published in 1771 and 1809. It sold in 2017 for £12,500 and there are several currently online listed from $14,000 to $37,000 – but alas and sigh, none of them mention an MGK bookplate, and we can expect if this copy ever does show up, it will be far beyond our pocketbook.

You can see a full text (1771 ed.) of this gorgeous book here: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015063465242&view=1up&seq=5&skin=2021

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And again, our hearty thanks to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust for 1.) having this book on their shelves; and 2.) their generosity in providing the images for the website. One more Lost Sheep found is a very comforting thing, and I suppose we have Maggie O’Farrell and her Hamnet to thank for this whole book detective episode!

Resources:

1. See “Miller, Philip” in the Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography.

Other resources on Miller:

Hazel Le Rougetel, “Gardener Extraordinary; Philip Miller of Chelsea, 1691–1771.” Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society 96 (1971): 556–63.

_____. The Chelsea Gardener, Phililp Miller 1691-1771. London: Natural History Museum, 1990.

W. T. Steam, “Philip Miller and the Plants from the Chelsea Physic Garden Presented to the Royal Society of London, 1723–1796.” Botanical Society of Edinburgh Transactions 41 (1972): 293–307.

S. G. Stephens. “The Origin of Sea Island Cotton.” Agricultural History 50.2 (1976): 391-99.

©2021, Reading with Austen blog

Bringing the Godmersham William Cowper “Poems” Back Home to Chawton House

While 2020 can be said to have been a total disaster of a year in so many ways, I am happy to offer up one very exciting, positive, and downright awesome accomplishment: William Cowper is back home at Chawton House.

Now, Cowper was not aware he had been sent from home at some point, but in the history of the whys and wherefores of the books in Edward Austen Knight’s library at Godmersham Park, i.e. why some remained and some were sold, the fact that William Cowper’s Poems left the nest was a sad event, and the finding and returning of it has really been the Holy Grail of our team of diligent GLOSSers. And so we are Happy to report that the deed is done, this Holy Grail of ours now in the safekeeping of the Library at Chawton, and we can all rest easy from here on in.

You can read the Chawton House announcement here: https://chawtonhouse.org/2021/01/treasured-austen-family-heirloom-returns-home/

[UPDATE: Here is a photo in The Times of January 4, 2021, with Chawton House’s Clio O’Sullivan proudly holding up the Cowper for all the world to see – excellent PR!]

Poetic justice: Chawton House, Hampshire, once owned by Jane Austen’s brother, has acquired a first edition of Poems by William Cowper that also belonged to her brother. The book, by Austen’s favourite poet, was probably read by her

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What was different about this particular book is that it has been available since the Reading with Austen project began – for sale at Bernard Quaritch and completely out of our reach. And every time we found ourselves getting closer, another GPL book would show up at auction, and off went our scant funds to purchase it. Enter the Friends of the National Libraries! To their very generous donation to Chawton House for the express purpose of acquiring this Cowper, GLOSS was able to supply the needed additional funds, and the Cowper is now officially at Chawton once again.

The title itself is actually two volumes of poems: the first one published in 1782 was Cowper’s first published work Poems, by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq. (J. Johnson, 1782)

Title Page, Poems, 1782, RwA website

The second volume is the 1785 published edition of Cowper’s most well-known poem The Task, A Poem in Six Books, to which is added his comic poem “The Diverting History of John Gilpin.” (Johnson, 1785)

Title page, The Task (1785), RwA website

So why William Cowper? What makes this book so important to The Reading with Austen project and the Library at Chawton House?

Does anyone actually read him anymore? Does anyone actually know how to properly pronounce his name?? [it’s Cooper]. Does he perhaps have something to do with Jane Austen??

Well, it all started with Henry Austen – in his “Biographical Notice” in the posthumous publication of his sister’s Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, he writes:

Her reading was very extensive in history and belles lettres; and her memory extremely tenacious. Her favourite moral writers were Johnson in prose, and Cowper in verse.

This then was a ready invitation to find Cowper reflected in all her letters and all her fiction – and one is not disappointed:

  1. In November 1798 [Ltr. 12], Austen writes to Cassandra:

We have got Boswell’s “Tour to the Hebrides’, and we are to have ‘his Life of Johnson’; and, as some money will yet remain in Burdon’s [the bookseller] hands, it is to laid out in the purchase of Cowper’s works.

[Deirdre Le Faye suggests that this would either be the 6th edition of 1797 or the new edition of 1798]. Ed. I believe that the 6th ed. was published in 1794, so a typo, a later printing of the 6th or a later edition??…. shall look into this…

2. And nearly a month later in December 1798 [Ltr. 14], she writes again that “My father reads Cowper to us in the evening, to which I listen when I can.”

3. When next Austen mentions Cowper, in February of 1807, we can readily believe she has memorized all of his poetry, because she drops his lines whenever she can, and it is the Sharp Elves eyes of many an Austen scholar who have found these gems:

Now in Southampton, Austen writes of the Shrubs which border the gravel walk in her garden: “…we mean to get a few of the better kind & at my own particular desire he procures us some Syringas. I could not do without of a Syringa, for the sake of Cowper’s Line. – We talk also of a Laburnam [sic].” [Ltr. 50]

Cowper’s line: from The Task “The Winter Walk at Noon”

‘…Laburnum, rich / In streaming gold; syringa, iv’ry pure.’

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Reading with Austen – Godmersham Park Library

4. In September 1813, Austen is at Godmersham, and we can perhaps imagine she has this very Cowper in hand when she writes:

“I am now alone in the Library, Mistress of all I survey – at least I may say so & repeat the whole poem if I like, without offence to anybody.” [Ltr. 89]

Here Austen is playing on Cowper’s words in his “Verses, supposed to be written by Alexander Selkirk” where we find:

“I am monarch of all survey,
My right there is none to dispute;
From the centre all round to the sea,
I am lord of the fowl and the brute.”

[You can read the full poem here: https://www.eighteenthcenturypoetry.org/works/o3794-w0130.shtml and we can only imagine Austen sitting there in the Godmersham Park library, reciting this aloud to herself!]

5. In November of the same year, and again at Godmersham, Austen writes of Henry’s man-servant William, who apparently is a lover of the country rather than of city life: “An inclination for the Country is a venial fault. – He has more of Cowper than of Johnson in him, fonder of Tame Hares & Blank verse than of the full tide of human Existence at Charing Cross.” [Ltr. 95]

Cowper writes in concluding “The Sofa”:

God made the country, and man made the town.
What wonder then, that health and virtue, gifts
That can alone make sweet the bitter draught
That life holds out to all, should most abound
And least be threaten’d in the fields and groves?
Possess ye therefore, ye who, borne about
In chariots and sedans, know no fatigue
But that of idleness, and taste no scenes
But such as art contrives, possess ye still
Your element; there only ye can shine,
There only minds like yours can do no harm.
Our groves were planted to console at noon
The pensive wand’rer in their shades.  At eve
The moon-beam, sliding softly in between
The sleeping leaves, is all the light they wish,
Birds warbling all the music.  We can spare
The splendour of your lamps, they but eclipse
Our softer satellite. Your songs confound
Our more harmonious notes: the thrush departs
Scar’d, and th’ offended nightingale is mute.
There is a public mischief in your mirth,
It plagues your country.  Folly such as your’s,
Grac’d with a sword, and worthier of a fan,
Has made, which enemies could ne’er have done,
Our arch of empire, steadfast but for you,
A mutilated structure, soon to fall.

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Now for the Novels:

  1. First, in Sense and Sensibility, Marianne bemoans Edward’s appalling lack of emotive reading skills:

 “Oh! mama, how spiritless, how tame was Edward’s manner in reading to us last night! …To hear those beautiful lines which have frequently almost driven me wild, pronounced with such impenetrable calmness, such dreadful indifference!-

“He would certainly have done more justice to simple and elegant prose. I thought so at the time, but you would give him Cowper.”

“Nay, mama, if he is not to be animated by Cowper! – but we must allow for differences of taste…but it would have broke my heart had I loved him, to hear him read with so little sensibility.” [S&S, Vol. I, ch. 3]

And later, from Elinor:

“Well, Marianne…you have already ascertained Mr. Willoughby’s opinion in almost every matter of importance. You know what he thinks of Cowper and Scott; you are certain of his estimating their beauties as he ought, and you have received every assurance of his admiring Pope no more than is proper.” [S&S, Vol. I, ch. 10]

2. In Emma, Mr. Knightley, keen observer of Frank and Jane, conjures up Cowper:

…he could not help remembering what he had seen; nor could he avoid observations which, unless it were like Cowper and his fire at twilight,

‘Myself creating what I saw,’

brought him yet stronger suspicion of there being a something of private liking, of private understanding even, between Frank Churchill and Jane. [Emma, vol. III, ch. 5, quoting The Task, Book IV, “The Winter Evening”].

3. Fanny in Mansfield Park twice quotes Cowper:

Her horror at Mr. Rushworth’s plans to “improve” Sotherton:

Cut down an avenue! What a pity! Does not it make you think of Cowper? ‘Ye fallen avenues, once more I mourn your fate unmerited’ (from The Task, Book I, “The Sofa”)

And later, Fanny, stranded in Portsmouth, again quotes Cowper in Vol. III, ch. 14:

Her eagerness, her impatience, her longings to be with them, were such as to bring a line or two of Cowper’s Tirocinium forever before her. “With what intense desire she wants her home,” was continually on her tongue, as the truest description of a yearning which she could not suppose any school-boy’s bosom to feel more keenly.

Cowper’s “Tirocinium: or, A Review of Schools” (1785, published with The Task) is a poem Cowper wrote addressed to a father who has sent his son away to school;  Cowper “recommend[s] private tuition in preference to an education at school.”  

But Cowper is much more than a quote here and there in Mansfield Park. Kerri Savage, in her Persuasions On-line essay: “Attending the Interior Self: Fanny’s ‘Task’ in Mansfield Park,” believes that the character of Fanny actually embodies all that Cowper espouses in The Task, and that “ultimately [Cowper’s] Task emphasizes the individual who makes a difference in the world as one who ‘attends to his interior self.’ Cowper contrasts the immorality in the city with the quiet, green rural life that nurtures the introspective moral life,” as we saw above. Sounds just like Fanny, doesn’t it?

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5. And in Austen’s unfinished Sanditon, Cowper is found in Mr. Heywood’s responding to Mr. Parker that he knows not a thing about the famous bathing spot Brinshore:

“Why, in truth, sir, I fancy we may apply to Brinshore, that line of the Poet Cowper in his description of the religious Cottager, as opposed to Voltaire – ‘She, never heard of half a mile from home’”  [from “Truth” in Poems, 1782)

….Cowper’s point being that the happy cottager is content with her faith and her rural life, unlike the worldly Voltaire:

Full-text is here: https://www.eighteenthcenturypoetry.org/works/o3794-w0030.shtml

She for her humble sphere by nature fit,
Has little understanding, and no wit,
Receives no praise, but (though her lot be such,
Toilsome and indigent) she renders much;
Just knows, and knows no more, her bible true,
A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew,
And in that charter reads with sparkling eyes,
Her title to a treasure in the skies.
Oh happy peasant! Oh unhappy bard!
His the mere tinsel, her’s the rich reward;
He prais’d perhaps for ages yet to come,
She never heard of half a mile from home…

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We think of Cowper as a moral, religious poet, with a tendency to melancholy, musing on the beauties of nature and rural life, and why Henry emphasized Austen’s appreciation of him in his overly sanitized biographical essay. But in reading a few poems [can I confess to not doing much with Cowper before? – here’s an Aside: I looked in all my college British Literature texts – Cowper is there, but we touched on nary a single one of his poems!]… but in now finally reading a few of his poems, I do find much humor, especially the very comic “The Diverting History of John Gilpin.”

First published anonymously in The Public Advertiser in 1782, and then in The Task in 1785, “John Gilpin” has been rendered into a number of children’s books, notably by Randolph Caldecott in 1878 – his illustration of Gilpin on his wild run has even become the symbol of the esteemed children’s book award, the Caldecott Medal:

Randolph Caldecott, John Gilpin [wikipedia]

It was also illustrated by Charles E. Brock, noted illustrator of Jane Austen’s novels. [I love these connections!]:

And certainly knowing the backstory of and a reading of the beginning of The Task, can bring to mind an appreciative young Austen reading these works with much laughter and perhaps a bit of idea-plucking for her very own juvenilia?

Couch by Gillows, London, 1805 – V&A Museum. In Regency Furniture, by Clifford Musgrave, 1961 [author’s collection]

Here’s “The Sofa” story and how The Task came to be, as Cowper describes it himself:

The history of the following production is briefly this. A lady, fond of blank verse, demanded a poem of that kind from the Author, and gave him the SOFA for a subject. He obeyed; and, having much leisure, connected another subject with it; and, pursuing the train of thought to which his situation and turn of mind led him, brought forth at length, instead of the trifle which he at first intended, a serious affair – a Volume. [Advertisement to The Task, 1785].

The Lady in question was Lady Ann Austen [no relation!], and the interesting history of Lady A and Cowper is a project for another day – but I send you to this essay by K. E. Smith if your curiosity has been roused and you must know the details: https://cowperandnewtonmuseum.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Vol02_2_1.pdf

“The Sofa” begins thus: from The Task, A Poem, In Six Books, Book I. The Sofa.

SING the SOFA. I who lately sang
Truth, Hope and Charity, and touch’d with awe
The solemn chords, and with a trembling hand,
Escap’d with pain from that advent’rous flight,
Now seek repose upon an humbler theme;
The theme though humble, yet august and proud
Th’ occasion — for the Fair commands the song.

We can recall Austen’s penchant for sofas in her juvenilia – one is always quite relieved to find one always at the ready when needed!

[Note: Laurie Kaplan in her Persuasions On-Line essay references other aspects of Austen’s juvenilia in relation to Cowper’s love of the Country vs. the City:

“…for example, in “Letter the 4th: Laura to Marianne” in Love and Freindship, Jane Austen may have been alluding laughingly to Cowper’s preference for the simple life. Laura tells Marianne that she has been warned: “‘Beware of the insipid Vanities and idle Dissipations of the Metropolis of England; Beware of the unmeaning Luxuries of Bath & of the Stinking fish of Southampton’” (78-79).  “‘Alas!,’” Laura exclaims, “‘What probability is there of my ever tasting the Dissipations of London, the Luxuries of Bath or the stinking Fish of Southampton?  I who am doomed to waste my Days of Youth & Beauty in an humble Cottage in the Vale of Uske.’”]

A Short History of William Cowper.

You can read all you need to know about William Cowper at the excellent Cowper & Newton Museum website: , as well as at The Poetry Foundation.

I offer you a brief version: [short-shift really – do yourself a favor and read all the links I provide – it is all very interesting, whether my English professors at the time thought so or not…]

William Cowper (1731-1800) was born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, and was known for his nature, religious, and humanitarian poetry. He was the most-read poet between the eras of Alexander Pope and William Wordsworth. Coleridge called him “the best modern poet,” and he is considered a major influence on the Romantic poets.

[A totally irrelevant Aside: I lived for a number of years in Barkhamsted, Connecticut, which was incorporated in 1779 and named after England’s Berkhamsted. The Town of Barkhamsted presented Berkhamsted with a gavel and block on July 4, 1976 in celebration of the United States Bicentennial – the Berkhamsted Town Council uses it in its meetings. I wonder if I had known about William Cowper at the time, if I would have been better versed in his poetry today!]

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John Newton (1725-1807) – wikipedia

Cowper’s friendship with John Newton [hence the combined Museum in their names] was foundational in many ways in Cowper’s life and writings. Newton was a former captain of a slave ship who became a staunch abolitionist, wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace,” and invited Cowper to contribute hymns to his Olney Hymns (1779) – Cowper wrote 67 of them [some sources say 68]! Newton also wrote the preface to Cowper’s first published Poems (1782) – this was suppressed by the publisher who thought its overly religious tone might discourage readers, but the preface is here in this 1st edition Godmersham copy, making it the earliest of printing runs before Johnson stepped in and had it removed, and the more rare indeed.

You can read that 8-page Preface here in the 1794 6th ed: https://www.wmcarey.edu/carey/cowper/newton-preface.pdf

In a letter of 3 October 1790, Cowper wrote to Joseph Johnson, asking him to reinstate the preface—which was done for the 5th edition of 1793 and for all subsequent editions published by Johnson, including the 6th of 1794. [I thank Peter Sabor for this information. located in The Letters and Prose Writings of William Cowper. 5 vols. Oxford UP, 1979-86]. 

Newton’s Thoughts upon the African Slave Trade (1788) influenced Cowper in his “The Negro’s Complaint,” a poem often quoted, even by Martin Luther King, Jr.  You can read that here as well.

It was meant to be sung as the ballad “Admiral Hosier’s Ghost” to the tune of “Come and Listen to my Ditty” – you can listen to the first stanza here, with thanks to the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings:

The Negro’s Complaint
[first stanza]

Forc’d from home and all its pleasures,
Afric’s coast I left forlorn;
To increase a stranger’s treasures,
O’er the raging billows borne.
Men from England bought and sold me,
Paid my price in paltry gold;
But, though theirs they have enroll’d me,
Minds are never to be sold….

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Cowper’s life was a roller-coaster of manic episodes, poetry his main outlet for expression. He was trained in the Law but did not practice [hence his “of the Inner Temple, Esq.”], and seemed to have been dependent on the kindness of friends and loved ones to get him through his trying times. He published his first book of Poems in 1782, not a success apparently; published his “Epitaph on a Hare” [see above for Austen’s reference to the “Tame Hares”!] in The Gentleman’s Magazine in 1784 (as well as Cowper’s letter on his hares which you can read here: https://www.cowperandnewtonmuseum.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/mw_tame_hares.pdf, but it was the1785 publication of The Task that did very well and ensured his popularity. He also translated Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey from the Greek in 1791.

So much of his output was autobiographical, and his 1799 poem “The Castaway” gives the reader a true sense of his emotional struggles. He died in 1800 and is buried at the St. Nicholas Church in East Dereham, where a stained glass window commemorates his life. There is also one at St. George’s chapel in Westminster Abbey, a two light stained glass window in memory of both Cowper and George Herbert.

Cowper stained glass at St. Nicholas Church in East Dereham – wikipedia

And he lives on and on because Jane Austen mentions him numerous times in her letters and novels [do they read him now in British Literature college classes I wonder?!]

So Welcome Home Mr. Cowper – we are most pleased you are no longer missing, no longer a LOST SHEEP! Kudos to the Friends of the National Libraries and to the dedication and generosity of the GLOSS team!

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References:

Austen, Jane. The Letters of Jane Austen. Ed. Deirdre Le Faye. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011.

Austen, Jane. The Novels: I referred to the Oxford Classics editions, the Chapman Oxford editions, and the Cambridge editions for text and notes.

Cowper and Newton Museum, Olney, UK. Website. https://cowperandnewtonmuseum.org.uk/

Dow, Gillian, and Katie Halsey. “Jane Austen’s Reading: The Chawton Years.” Persuasions On-Line 30.2 (2010). Web. http://www.jasna.org/persuasions/on-line/vol30no2/dow-halsey.html

Kaplan, Laurie. “Sir Walter Elliot’s Looking-Glass, Mary Musgrove’s Sofa, and Anne Elliot’s Chair: Exteriority/Interiority, Intimacy/Society.” Persuasions On-Line 25.1 (2004). Web. http://www.jasna.org/persuasions/on-line/vol25no1/kaplan.html

Savage, Kerrie. “Attending the Interior Self: Fanny’s ‘Task’ in Mansfield Park.” Persuasions On-Line 27.1 (2006). http://jasna.org/persuasions/on-line/vol27no1/savage.htm

Smith, K. E. “‘Many a Trembling Chord’: Lady Austen as Muse.” Web. https://cowperandnewtonmuseum.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Vol02_2_1.pdf

 ©2021 Reading with Austen Blog

A Lost Sheep Returned! Saint-Simon’s “Memoirs of the Reign of Louis XIV”

Great news all! Our GLOSS team has been successful in locating and returning another title [Memoirs of Saint-Simon] formerly housed in Edward Austen Knight’s Godmersham Park library! It has the Montagu George Knight bookplate and the shelf ticket from the library. Purchased at Arenberg Auctions in Brussels (yours truly happily won the bidding, despite the entire auction being conducted in French!), it is now safe and sound in the Chawton House library collection:

Saint-Simon, Louis de Rouvroy duc de. Mémoires de monsieur le duc de S. Simon, ou L’observateur véridique, sur le règne de Louis XIV, & sur les premières époques des règnes suivans. Londres ; et se trouve à Paris, Buisson ; Marseille, Jean Mossy, 1788.

[Saint-Simon, Louis de Rouvroy duke of. Memoirs of Monsieur le Duc de S. Simon, or The Truthful Observer, on the reign of Louis XIV, and on the first periods of the following reigns].

This is the first substantial edition of these famous Mémoires, the complete edition of which will not appear until 1829-1831. Without the suppl. printed in 1789.

Portrait of Louis de Rouvroy, duke of Saint-Simon, knight of the King of France’s Orders in 1728. By Jean-Baptiste van Loo. Private collection (Le Mallier, matrilineal heirs to the last duke of Saint-Simon, castle of Chasnay), reproduction after a photograph of the original painting [Wikipedia]

Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon was born in Paris in 1675, son of the first duke Claude de Rouvroy (1608–1693) and Charlotte de L’Aubespine, daughter of François, marquis de Hauterive by his wife, Eléonore de Volvire, marquise de Ruffec. King Louis XIII appointed Claude a Master of Wolfhounds and granted him a dukedom in 1635 [the title’s name refers to the seigneury that was held by the Rouvroy family at Saint-Simon in Aisne]. Louis’s godparents were Louis XIV and Queen Marie-Thérèse.

In 1695 Louis married Marie-Gabrielle de Durfort, daughter of Guy Aldonce Durfort, Duke of Lorges; they had three children. The dukedom passed from father to son Louis in 1693; he was the second and last holder of the title, since his two sons predeceased him.

The Blason famille de Saint-Simon []]wikipedia

The Memoires:

Louis’s memoirs are a classic of French literature, wherein Louis gives a full and lively account of the court of Versailles of Louis XIV, “The Sun King,” and the beginnings of the Regency of Louis XV. [Do not let all these Louis’s confuse you – it is part and parcel of French history and cannot be avoided…she says confusedly]

 “In the Memoirs, Saint-Simon’s observations allowed him to describe vividly both the elegance and the corruption of the court of Versailles. Despite some errors of fact and interpretation, his knowledge of history made him aware of the breakdown of traditional checks and balances that underlay Louis XIV’s royal absolutism and which was to lead, in the next century, to the French Revolution. Saint-Simon’s intensely written accounts of court intrigues and such events as the deaths of the Grand Dauphin, the Duke of Burgundy, and Louis XIV himself—as well as his incisive word portraits of his fellow courtiers—make him perhaps the world’s greatest writer on the prestige, the ambitions, the uncertainties, and the ironies of public life. He completed his Memoirs in 1752.”

[From: https://biography.yourdictionary.com/duc-de-saint-simon]

When Saint-Simon died in Paris in March 1755, mostly in debt and out of favor, all his possessions, including his writings, were seized by the Crown. According to Wikipedia, these Mémoires were kept under sequestration and only circulated through private copies and excerpts until the restitution of the manuscript to his heirs in 1828.”

You can read here a full account of the many editions of the Memoires in this 2011 essay [also in French!]

Memoires, vol. 1 title page

What is apparent is that this 3-volume set from the Godmersham Park was a collection of extracts, published long before the complete editions began to appear beginning in 1828.

The full-text of the complete Memoirs is here at Gutenberg.org (it’s a commitment!): https://www.gutenberg.org/files/3875/3875-h/3875-h.htm

You can read more about Saint-Simon here:

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Who was Louis XIV? [recalling 10th grade world history perhaps?]

Image: Louis XIV [wikipedia]

For information on Louis XIV, you can follow this rather delightful:
“A Day in the Life of Louis XIV.”

And read this shorter-than-the-Memoirs-version about Louis XIV here: “Portrait of the Sun King: From the Writings of Louis de Saint-Simon, Giovanni Battista Primi Visconti, and Ezechiel von Spanheim”: https://pages.uoregon.edu/dluebke/WesternCiv102/Saint-Simon.pdf

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Louis-Philippe I, King of the French, by Winterhalter [wikipedia]

Did Jane Austen ever comment on Louis XIV? – she had much to say in her History of England about the British monarchs, but she made only a passing reference to the Duke and Duchess of Orléans and the D’Entraigues in her letters [and one tiny reference to Louis XIV – see below]. Members of the French royal family who has sought refuge in England during the tumultuous revolution in France, Louis-Phillipe (1773-1840) and his wife Marie-Amélie (1782-1866) [she was the niece of Marie Antoinette] lived in England for part of their exile. Returning to France during the Bourbon Restoration, Louis-Philippe was chosen as King of the French and reigned from 1830-1848. They returned to England in 1848 after his abdication [following the history of France and its monarchy is a chaotic exercise, so only here mentioning this Louis-Philippe because Jane Austen did]:

In September of 1816, Cassandra is visiting Cheltenham (where she and Jane had visited in May), and Jane writes:

Image:
Lesley-Anne McLeodhttp://lesleyannemcleod.blogspot.com/2011/06/cheltenham-notable-spa.html

“The Duchess of Orleans, the paper says, drinks at my Pump.” [Ltr. 144, Sept 1816]. And a few days later she writes again:

“So, you have C. Craven [Charlotte Craven] among you, as well as the Duke of Orleans & Mr. Pococke. But it mortifies me that you have not added one to the stock of common acquaintance. Do pray meet with somebody belonging to yourself. – I am quite weary of your knowing nobody.” [Ltr. 145, Sept 1816]

Austen also refers to the D’Entraigues & Comte Julien in April 1811:

“…[they] cannot come to the Party – which was at first a greif, but…their not coming has produced our going to them tomorrow Even’g, which I like the idea of. It will be amusing to see the ways of a French circle.”

And later,

“Eliza caught her cold on Sunday in our way to the D’Entraigues…Eliza enjoyed her even’g very much & means to cultivate the acquaintance – & I see nothing to dislike in them, but their taking quantitites of snuff. – Monsieur the old Count, is a very fine looking man, with quiet manners, good enough for an Englishman – & I believe is a Man of great Information & Taste. He has some fine paintings, which delighted Henry as much as the Son’s music gratified Eliza – & among them, a miniature of Philip 5. of Spain, Louis 14.s Grandson, which exactly suited my capacity. – Count Julien’s performance is very wonderful… but M. le Comte must do without Henry. If he w’d but speak English, I would take to him.” [Ltr. 71, April 1811].

Emmanuel-Louis de Launay,
comte d’Antraigues

[As an aside, because here’s a tale to tell, and Austen doesn’t mention a thing about it: the Comte Emmanuel-Louis D’Antraigues (1753-1812) was a French pamphleteer, diplomat, spy and double agent, forger, and political adventurer. He and his wife were both murdered in their London home on July 22, 1812 by their Italian servant, either for personal or political reasons, who can tell – but this is a mere one year and three months after Austen visited them…]

So, we do know that Austen certainly followed the events in France – she had after all two brothers who served in the Royal Navy, and for most of her life England was at war with France. Her knowledge of French and French history would have increased due to her close relationship with her cousin Eliza (later her brother Henry’s wife), married to a French Count who lost his head to the guillotine. Austen peppers her letters with French phrases, though not so much in the novels [for a great discussion read Joan Austen-Leigh’s account “Jane Austen: The “French Connection” in Persuasions 20 (1998): 106-18].

This happy but confusing aside into French history is to just address the question whether Jane Austen read French, the general consensus being that she did. Did she read this very book about Louis XIV? She may have, or at least we can imagine her pulling it off the shelf – South Case, column 5, shelf 1 to be exact! [see here on the Reading with Austen website [pictures soon to be added].

OR, maybe Austen just pretended to understand France and French history and the French language, à la Catherine Morland…

Regardless, this French title is now in the library at Chawton House, where it certainly belongs – kudos to all on the intrepid GLOSS team for help in getting these memoir volumes back home!

Memoires, vol. I, Montagu George Knight bookplate

©2020 Reading with Austen Blog

Reading with Austen: What Mary Bennet Reads in “The Other Bennet Sister” by Janice Hadlow

For our ‘Reading with Austen’ Readers: I posted this originally on my Jane Austen in Vermont blog, but thought it would be an interesting exercise to see which of the many books mentioned by Janice Hadlow in herThe Other Bennet Sister were actually in Edward Knight’s library at Godmersham – so here is the post, with the addition of all titles in the the GPL and whether they are safe in the Knight Collection, or LOST SHEEP.

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In Janice Hadlow’s The Other Bennet Sister, a brilliant effort to give the neglected-by-everyone Mary Bennet a life of her own, Mary’s reading is one of the most important aspects of the book – we see her at first believing, because she knows she is different than her other four far prettier and more appealing sisters, that her prospects for the expected life of a well-married woman are very limited, and that she must learn to squash her passions and live a rational life. She also mistakenly thinks that by becoming a reader of philosophical, religious, and conduct texts that she will finally gain approval and maybe even love from her distant, book-obsessed father.

So Mary embarks on a course of serious rational study – and one of the most insightful things in the book is that she learns, after much pain and introspection, that this is no way to lead a life, to find happiness, to find herself. She rejects the novels like the ones Mrs. Bennet finds at the local circulating library as being frivolous, largely because James Fordyce tells her so…

So, I have made a list of all the titles that Hadlow has Mary reading or referring to – all real books of the time, and many mentioned and known by Jane Austen. Hadlow is very specific in what books she puts in Mary’s hands! And shows her own knowledge of the reading and the reading practices of Austen’s era. [If anyone detects anything missing from this list, please let me know…]

I am giving the original dates of publication of each title; most all the titles in one edition or another are available on Google Books, HathiTrust, Internet Archive, or the like – I provide a few of those links, if you are so inclined to become such a rational reader as Mary….

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Anonymous. The History of Little Goody Two Shoes (show JA’s copy). London: John Newbury, 1765. Attributed to various authors, including Oliver Goldsmith. We know that Jane Austen has her own copy of this book, here with her name on it as solid proof.

This exact copy, as noted in Gilson K1, is owned by the great-grandsons of Admiral Sir Francis Austen. It has been on display in the exhibition at the Jane Austen’s House in Chawton in 1975 and at the British Library in 1976.

Mrs. [Sarah] Trimmer. The Story of the Robins. Originally published in 1786 as Fabulous Histories, and the title Trimmer always used. You can read the whole book here: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Story_of_the_Robins

Nothing in the GPL.

Rev. Wetenhall Wilkes. A Letter of Genteel and Moral Advice to a Young Lady: Being a System of Rules and Informations: Digested Into a New and Familiar Method, to Qualify the Fair Sex to be Useful, and Happy in Every Scene of Life. London, 1746. Another conduct book.

Full text here: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/012393127

Nothing in the GPL.

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Catharine Macaulay-wikipedia

Catharine Macaulay. The History of England. 8 vols. London, 1763-83. A political history of the seventeenth century, covering the years 1603-1689. This was very popular and is in no way related to the later History published by Thomas Babington Macaulay. You can read more about this influential female historian in this essay by Devoney Looser: Catharine Macaulay: The ‘Female Historian’ in Context

5 volumes only are noted in the GPL catalogue and all are extant in the Knight Collection:

 

Rev. James Fordyce. Sermons to Young Women. London, 1766. A conduct manual.

In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Collins chooses to read Fordyce’s Sermons to Young Women aloud to the Bennet sisters, Lydia especially unimpressed: “Lydia gaped as he opened the volume, and before he had, with very monotonous solemnity, read three pages, she interrupted him …’.

You can find it on google in later editions, but here is an abstract for 2 of the sermons to give you an idea.

And here an essay on Fordyce and P&P by Susan Allen Ford, who also wrote the introduction for the Chawton House Press edition of the Sermons (2012) : http://www.jasna.org/persuasions/on-line/vol34no1/ford.html

Listed in the GPL and in the Knight Collection at Chawton House:

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Frances Burney. Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World. London, 1778. Hadlow gives Evelina a good hearing – in the discussion in Mr. Bennet’s library with Elizabeth and Mary. Elizabeth directly quotes Austen’s own words in defense of the novel that are found in Northanger Abbey. [Evelina, and Mary’s difficulty in coming to terms with such a frivolous story, is mentioned more than once].

Evelina. U Michigan Library

The only work of Frances Burney listed in the GPL is The Wanderer – and that remains in the Knight Collection – only 3 of the 5 volumes, volumes 1 and 5 have gone missing… so are LOST SHEEP:

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Other Novels mentioned are:

Samuel Richardson. The History of Sir Charles Grandison. London, 1753. 7 vols. Reported to be Austen’s favorite book, all seven volumes!

And all 7 volumes are in the GPL catalogue and remain in the Knight Collection: [but where oh where is Pamela??]

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Henry Fielding. The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. 4 vols. London, 1749. Supposedly the reason Richardson wrote his Grandison. [Mentioned more than once] – and here we find three LOST SHEEP:

There are three Fielding titles in the GPL:

  • Tom Jones (1749 – it says it is 6 volumes) – it is however, a LOST SHEEP
  • A Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon (1755) – a LOST SHEEP
  • And Joseph Andrews (1742) – a LOST SHEEP

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Laurence Sterne. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. 9 vols. London, 1759-1767.

In the GPL catalogue and in the Knight Collection – only 2 volumes are listed, dated 1760, 2nd ed. Sterne published the first 2 volumes in 1759, and seven others followed over the next seven years (vols. 3 and 4, 1761; vols. 5 and 6, 1762; vols. 7 and 8, 1765; vol. 9, 1767).

The GPL also lists Sterne’s The Sermons of Mr. Yorick (London, 1765-66) – and the 7th ed. is happily in the Knight Collection.

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Hugh Blair – wikipedia

Hugh Blair. Sermons. Vol. 1 of 5 published in 1777.

You can view it full-text at HathiTrust.

Mary Crawford refers to Blair in Mansfield Park:

“You assign greater consequence to the clergyman than one has been used to hear given, or than I can quite comprehend. One does not see much of this influence and importance in society, and how can it be acquired where they are so seldom seen themselves? How can two sermons a week, even supposing them worth hearing, supposing the preacher to have the sense to prefer Blair’s to his own, do all that you speak of? govern the conduct and fashion the manners of a large congregation for the rest of the week? One scarcely sees a clergyman out of his pulpit.”

Well, both Blair’s Sermons (all 5 volumes of varying dates) and Blair’s Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres. 11th ed. 3 volumes (London, 1809), are in the GPL catalogue and remain in the Knight Collection:

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William Paley, by George Romney (wikipedia)

William Paley. A View of the Evidences of Christianity. London, 1794.

Paley is well-represented in the GPL: this Evidences (2nd. ed., 1794) – in the Knight Collection, but also his:

The principles of moral and political philosophy. By William Paley, M.A. Archdeacon of Carlisle. The second edition corrected (London, 1786) – in the Knight Collection.

Horæ Paulinæ, or the truth of the scripture history of St. Paul evinced, by a comparison of the epistles which bear his name, with the Acts of the Apostles, and with one another. By William Paley, M.A. Archdeacon of Carlisle. 1st ed. (London, 1790) – in the Knight Collection.

Natural Theology; or, Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of The Deity, collected from the appearances of nature. By William Paley, D.D. Late Archdeacon of Carlisle. The Sixteenth Edition, 1 vol. (London, 1819) – a LOST SHEEP

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Aristotle. The Ethics of Aristotle. [no way to know the exact edition that Mr. Collins gives to Mary – it’s been around for a long time!]

The GPL lists only one Aristotle title, and this is a LOST SHEEP:

Aristotelous Peri Poiētikēs. Aristotelis De Poetica Liber. Textum recensuit, versionem refinxit et animadversionibus illustravit, Thomas Tyrwhitt. Editio Tertia (Oxford, 1806).

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Mentions: all Enlightenment thinkers and heavy reading for Mary!

John Locke – LOC (wikipedia)

 

John Locke: the GPL lists only this title and it is a LOST SHEEP

Two Treatises of Government: In the Former, The false Principles and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer, And his Followers, Are Detected and Overthrown. The Latter, is an Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent, and End of Civil Government. By John Locke Esq; The Fifth Edition. 1 vol. (London, 1728).

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Jean-Jacques Rousseau:  much more popular in Edward’s library! – there are several titles listed, these all in the Knight Collection:

Emilius; or, an Essay on Education. By John James Rousseau, Citizen of Geneva. Translated from the French by Mr. Nugent. In two volumes (London, 1763)

A Project for Perpetual Peace. By J. J. Rousseau, Citizen of Geneva. Translated from the French, with a Preface by the Translator (London, 1761).

Lettres de deux amans, Habitans d’une petite Ville au pied des Alpes. Recueillies et publiées par J.J. Rousseau. 3 vols. (Amsterdam, 1761)

Oeuvres diverses de Mr. J.J. Rousseau, citoyen de Genève. 2 vols. (Amsterdam, 1762):

There is some LOST SHEEP material here, but what is actually missing needs to be sorted – M Rousseau is in need of further investigation and might get his very own blog post!

Collection complette des oeuvres de J.J. Rousseau. 1774-1783. partially a LOST SHEEP

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David Hume (McGill)

David Hume has three titles in the GPL:

The History of England, from The Invasion of Julius Cæsar to the Accession of Henry VII. Containing the Reign of The Prince before Conquest, William the Conqueror, William Rufus, Henry I., Stephen, Henry II, Richard I. and John. By David Hume, Esq. 1 vol. (London, 1777) – in the Knight Collection.

Essays, Moral and Political.  The Second Edition, Corrected. 2 vols. (Edinburgh, 1742) – a LOST SHEEP (though we know it sold at auction in 2013).

The Life of David Hume, Esq. written by himself. 1 vol. (London, 1777) – a LOST SHEEP

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A Dictionary of the Greek Language – Mr. Collins gives a copy to Mary:

We cannot know what book Mr. Collins gives Mary – but there are a number of titles in the GPL either in Greek or translated from the Greek. There is this one Greek grammar which I shall include here since it is a LOST SHEEP:

The Elements of Greek grammar, with notes for the use of those who have made some progress in the language. By Richard Valpy. 1 vol. (London, 1805).

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Edward Young. Night Thoughts. 1743. wikipedia

Edward Young. The Complaint: or, Night-Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality. [Known as Night-Thoughts]. London, 1742-45. [No wonder Mr. Hayward suggested a lighter type of poetry!]

You can read the whole of it here, if you are up to it…: https://www.eighteenthcenturypoetry.org/authors/pers00267.shtml

This is in the GPL and is unfortunately a LOST SHEEP: The complaint: or, night-thoughts on life, death, and immortality. By Edward Young. 2 vols. (London, 1746).

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image: wikipedia

William Wordsworth, portrait by Henry Edridge, 1804; in Dove Cottage, Grasmere, England. Britannica.com

William Wordsworth. Lyrical Ballads. London, 1798. Full title: Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems is a collection of poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge [Mr. Hayward does not mention Coleridge at all!], first published in 1798 and considered to have marked the beginning of the English Romantic movement in literature. Most of the poems in the 1798 edition were written by Wordsworth; Coleridge has only four poems included, one being his most famous work, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Here is a link to the full-text of “Tintern Abbey” that so moved Mary: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45527/lines-composed-a-few-miles-above-tintern-abbey-on-revisiting-the-banks-of-the-wye-during-a-tour-july-13-1798

Well, I find this interesting – The Knights must not have been much for the Romantics! Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Keats, Shelley – none are in the GPL at all; Robert Southey has three titles, all in the Knight Collection, so I shall leave him for another day…

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William Godwin. Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Morals and Happiness. London, 1793. [Godwin married Mary Wollstonecraft and was the father of Mary Godwin Shelley]. Outlines Godwin’s radical political philosophy.

William Godwin (portrait by James Northcote) and Mary Wollstonecraft (portrait by John Opie) – from BrainPickings.org

No Godwin either, nor any Wollstonecraft…

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Machiavelli (wikipedia)

Machiavelli – is referred to by Mary, so assume she is familiar with his The Prince (1513).

But we do find Machiavelli!:

The Works of the famous Nicolas Machiavel, Citizen and Secretary of Florence. Written OriginaIly in Italian, And from thence newly and faithfully Translated into English. 1st ed. 1 vol. (London, 1695) – a LOST SHEEP

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Image: Guide to the Lakes. ‘View on Winandermere’ [now called Windermere], by Joseph Wilkerson. Romantic Circles

William Wordsworth. Guide to the Lakes. [full title: A Guide through the District of the Lakes] – first published in 1810 as an anonymous introduction to a book of engravings of the Lake District by the Reverend Joseph Wilkinson. A 5th and final edition was published in 1835 – you can read that online at Romantic Circles here, along with a full account of its rather tormented publication history: https://romantic-circles.org/editions/guide_lakes

Alas! no Guide either…

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John Milton. Paradise Lost. A mention by Mr. Ryder who is defeated by its length, so we know Mary was familiar with it.

Milton gets his due in the GPL:

Paradisus Amissus. Poema Joannis Miltoni. Latine Redditum A Guilielmo Dobson, LL.B. Nov. Coll. Oxon. Socio. [By John Milton, trans. William Dobson, William]. 1 vol. (Oxford, 1750) – in the Knight Collection.

Paradise Lost. A Poem. The Author, John Milton. 1 vol. (London, 1736) – this is a FOUND SHEEP – thanks to three of our esteemed GLOSS Friends!:

Paradise lost. A poem, in twelve books. The Author John Milton. 1 vol. (London, 1751). This is LOST SHEEP (perhaps Mary Bennet absconded with it??)

Paradise regain’d. A poem, in four books. To which is added Samson Agonistes; and Poems upon Several Occasions: And Poems upon Severl Occasions. The author John Milton. The Second Edition, With Notes of various Authors, By Thomas Newton, D. D. 1 vol. (London, 1743) – another LOST SHEEP.

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The Edinburgh Review / The Quarterly Review – brought to Mary by Mr. Ryder, and for which Mr. Hayward perhaps wrote his reviews. The Edinburgh Review (1802-1929); Quarterly Review (1809-1967, and published by Jane Austen’s publisher John Murray) – both were very popular and influential publications of their time…

None are listed in the GPL catalogue, which is not to say that the Knights and Family did not pour over these on a regular basis…

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The Other Bennet Sister is an enjoyable read – it is delightful to see Mary Bennet come into her own, that despite what she viewed as an unhappy childhood, she finds her way through a good number of books in a quest to live a rational, passionless existence. And that the development of some well-deserved self-esteem with the help of various friends and family, might actually lead her to a worthy equal partner in life, just maybe not with Mrs. Bennet’s required £10,000 !

©2020 Reading with Austen Blog

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”

**********

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??

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

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!

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

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.

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

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?

********

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…

**********

 

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!

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

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)

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

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.

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

 

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

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