Reading with Jane Austen ~ Lost and Now Found!~ The Edinburgh “Pharmacopoeia” in the Godmersham Park Library

Our GLOSS Team is very pleased to announce a new LOST SHEEP that has been returned to the Fold! 

Pharmacopoeia Collegii Regii Medicorum Edinburgensis. [By the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh]. Edinburgi, Apud W. Sands, A. Murray, & J. Cochran. Sumptibus J. Patoni ibidem Bibliopolae. MDCCXLIV. [Fourth Edition].

A little history:

“Before the existence of the Pharmacopoeia, there were no standardised recipes or methods of producing remedies for apothecaries, and no book or manual for physicians to consult when prescribing drugs or ointments. The move towards standardising medical teaching and practice was yet to happen, and this book acted as the first chain in that process of professionalisation.” [RCPE]

The College of Physicians of London had first published their own Pharmacopoeia in 1618. The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh attempted their own such manual in 1683, but ongoing infighting between surgeons and apothecaries delayed the actual publication until 1699. And what followed is an interesting and confusing history of twelve editions with many changes, some due to advances in chemistry and medical science, some due to previous editions having sold out, and some due to infighting as to what should actually be included and how it should be listed.

The various editions remained in general use in Scotland until 1864, when it combined with the London and Dublin Pharmacopoeias in 1864 to create the British Pharmacopoeia, still in use today. But unlike most other medical writing that since around 1750 was rendered in English rather than Latin, the Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia was still published in Latin until the 11th ed of 1839. Translations were made into English and many other languages, and this added to the confusion when trying to gain an understanding of all available editions. None of the various editions stated as such, and only by studying the introductory material and the contents listings can it be determined how much revising actually took place. Fortunately David L. Cowen did all this work for the researcher in 1957 (see resources below).

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Cowen lists the following editions:

First – 1699
Second – 1722
Third – 1735
Fourth – 1744
Fifth – 1756
Sixth – 1774
Seventh – 1783
Eighth – 1792
Ninth – 1803
Revised Ninth – 1805
Tenth – 1817
Eleventh (first in English) – 1839
Twelfth (second in English) – 1841

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In this image of the 1st edition of 1699, notice the “device” on the title page:

1st ed. 1699 – image from the RCPE

As Cowen notes,

“in the first edition, the device was a combination of medical, national, and municipal symbols. It contained a staff and snake in a double ornamented oval frame that suggests the Badge of the Scottish Order of the Thistle. Within the ovals was the motto of the Order (and also one of the mottos in the Arms of Scotland): Nenw me impune lacesset. This was capped by a shield containing a representation of Edinburgh Castle, supported by a maiden and a hind, or unicorn, and by the enscrolled motto Nisi Dominus Frustra – all derived from the seal of the City of Edinburgh.

The second edition, and all subsequent printings that used the device, dropped the symbols of the City, and changed the staff to a triple thistle plant about the stalk of which a snake was entwined. A double circle frame, suggesting the Star of the Order of the Thistle was used, containing the same motto as before. On several printings these circles were encased in a black square with corner ornaments.” [Cowan, Part II, 342-43]

It is the 4th edition of 1744 we are most interested in, because this is the copy that was in the Godmersham Park Library. Here is the title page with the revised device that Cowen refers to:

4th ed. of 1744

It has the Montagu George Knight bookplate: [note the price of £20 – very painful! as well as the incorrect date of 1745 – someone did not know their Roman numerals…]

To give you an idea of the contents (there is no T of C in the 1744 edition), these are the main headings:

Medicamenta Simplicia which identifies botanicals, minerals and animals. Then there are the sections that tell how to prepare the remedies with these headings: Praeparationes; Destillate; Spiritus Stillatitii; Aquæ infusæ & Aceta; Tincturae; Decota; Syrupi; Melita, Gelatinæ, Succi & Succorum fæcul; Condita, Confervæ, & Sacchara; Pulvis Antiepilepticus, de Gutteta di êfus; Electuaria, Confeétiones, Anti dota, & Lohoch; Pilulæ Æthiopicæ; Trochifci; Olea per expreffionem; Balsama; Unguenta; Emplastra; Cataplasmat; and finally Medicamenta chemica. Followed by a detailed Index.

And I am sure that all made a good deal of sense… a later edition that did have a contents  page (6th ed. of 1774) reads like this:

Changes to the Pharmacopoeia were ridden with conflict – folk medicine and tradition often rivaling the learnings of science and pure reason. Cowen gives an example of the animal simples in our 4th edition of 1744 still listed under Man as: “blood, urine, fat, milk, cranium, and mummy of man.” [Pharmacopoeia, 1744, p. 24.]

You can read the entire text of this 1744 edition here (and hope your Latin is up to the task…]

Here are a few pages to give you an idea of layout and content: [click on each for full page]

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When first researching this post, I thought I would make a list of all the titles in the GPL that are in Latin. In a count of the spreadsheet titles, I find 100 in Latin, and another 21 that are an English / Latin combination. So I shall not be listing those, but what is important to note is that the 1818 GPL catalogue does contain this title (and mentioned above):

Pharmacopoeia Collegii Regalis Medicorum Londinensis. By Royal College of Physicians of London. London: Apud T. Longman, T. Shewell, et J. Nourse, 1746.

And this is a LOST SHEEP!

I find another medical text, though in English, that is also a LOST SHEEP, so will add that in here as well and add these two titles to our list of LOST SHEEP:

William Lewis, ed. Medical Essays and Observations, published by A Society in Edinburgh, In Six Volumes; Abridged and disposed under General Heads, In Two Volumes. Containing Vol. I. Meteorology, Mineral Waters, Materia Medica and Pharmacy, Animal Oeconomy. Vol. II. Anatomy and Chirurgery, Essays on particular Diseases, Histories of Morbid Cases, Improvements and Discoveries in Physic. With Copper Plates. By William Lewis, M.B. F.R.S. London: Printed for C. Hitch at the Red Lion, and T. Astley at the Rose in Pater-noster Row, 1746.

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In sum, the Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia is now at the Library at Chawton House, and images will soon be added to its rightful place on the Reading with Austen website. A hearty thank you to the GLOSS team for their generous donations to make this purchase possible, and now on to the next find … eyes peeled one and all for the many LOST SHEEP still waiting to be found ….

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Resources for Further Reading:

British Pharmacopoeia. https://www.pharmacopoeia.com/what-is-the-bp

Cowen, David L. “The Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia.” Medical History 1.2 (1957): 123–39. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1034260/

_____. “The Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia. II. Bibliography.” Medical History 1.4 (1957): 340-51. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1034312/

Lloyd, Rachael.“A Manual for Medicine: The Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia.”  Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh website. Web. https://www.rcpe.ac.uk/heritage/manual-medicine-edinburgh-pharmacopoeia

[With sincere thanks to Katie Childs at Chawton House for sending along the book images.]

©2020 Reading with Austen Blog

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

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

Catherine Knight, by George Romney – Occeansbridge.com

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sarah Scott,1744, by Edward Haytley [wikipedia]

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

Elizabeth Montagu, 1762, by Allan Ramsay – wikipedia

Gary Kelly in his DNB entry for Scott writes:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

1767 Edinburgh ed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of works by Sarah Scott:

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

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

 

Dublin ed, 1754

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

C2020 Reading with Austen blog

Jane Austen and Sir Walter Scott ~ Finding Scott in the Godmersham Park Library

Walter Scott, by Henry Raeburn, 1822

While the goal here is to locate works that were in the Godmersham Park Library [GPL] that have gone missing, there is also an interest in just seeing what authors and subjects were included in the collection. I have written previously about Samuel Johnson where we find some of the works  in the existing Knight Collection at Chawton House and some are unfortunately Lost Sheep.

Today I am going to look at Sir Walter Scott, an author Austen wrote about in her letters and alluded to in her works. We know she admired him but in no way tried to emulate him – in her famous letter to the Prince Regent’s Librarian James Stanier Clarke, she is certainly referring to Scott when she writes:

“I am fully sensible than an Historical Romance founded on the House of Saxe Cobourg might be more to the purpose of Profit or Popularity, than such pictures of domestic Life in Country Villages as I deal in – but I could no more write a Romance than an Epic Poem. – I could not sit seriously down to write a serious Romance under any other notice than to save my Life, & if it were indispensable for me to keep it up & never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I finished the first Chapter.- No – I must keep to my own style & go on in my own Way…” (Ltr. 138(D), p. 312).

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What we find in the GPL catalogue are only two works by Scott, and both remain in the Knight collection today. So no Lost Sheep. But we also find a good number of other Scott titles in this extant collection and so we might infer from this that the Austen Family were avid fans of Sir Walter Scott!

Jane Austen and Walter Scott (1771-1832) really had a fair amount to say about each other. They were contemporaries after all, and Scott a respected poet before he started writing his highly successful novels. Jane Austen is not silent on this development, and writes in Ltr. 108. 28 Sept 1814 to her niece Anna Austen (later Lefroy):

Walter Scott has no business to write novels, especially good ones. – It is not fair.- He has Fame & Profit enough as a Poet, and should not be taking the bread out of other people’s mouths. – I do not like him, & do not mean to like Waverley if I can help it – but fear I must.”

In February 1813, Austen writes  her sister about Pride and Prejudice being “too light & bright & sparkling” and writes that perhaps “something unconnected with the story; an Essay on Writing, a critique of Walter Scott, or the history of Buonaparte…” would offer the necessary contrast.

We know she had access to his works, either in her brother’s collections or in the local circulating library. The two titles listed in the GPL 1818 catalogue are  Marmion and The Lady of the Lake and she mentions both in her letters and her novels:

  1. Marmion (6th ed. 1810):


Marmion; a tale of flodden field
, by Walter Scott, Esq. In two volumes. Sixth edition. Edinburgh / London: Printed for Archibald Constable and Company, Edinburgh: and William Miller, Albemarle-Street and John Murray, London, 1810.

  • Located in the South Case: slip 1, shelf 5 (an interesting fact: Marmion was shelved at the GPL right next to Northanger Abbey!)
  • Current location: Knight Collection, Chawton House
  • Full text: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100613514

Austen’s thoughts on Marmion:

“Ought I to be very much pleased with Marmion? – as yet I am not. – James reads it aloud in the Eveng – the short Eveng- beginning about 10 & broken by supper… [Note that this Letter 53, dated June 20-22, 1808  is written from Godmersham].

“Charles’s rug will be finished today, & sent tomorrow to Frank, to be consigned by him to Mr. Turner’s care – & I am going to send Marmion out with it – very generous in me, I think.” [Ltr. 64: Jan 10-22, 1809].

Later, when writing about her just published Pride and Prejudice: “There are a few Typical errors – & a ‘said he’ or a ‘said she’ would sometimes make the Dialogue more immediately clear – but ‘I do not write for such dull Elves’ ‘As have not a great deal of Ingenuity themselves.’” [Ltr. 79: 4 Feb 1813].

– As Deirdre Le Faye points out (Letters, 4th ed. p 420), this is a quote from Scott’s Marmion (vi. 38):

I do not rhyme to that dull elf
Who cannot image to himself…

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  1. The Lady of the Lake (1810):


The Lady of the Lake. A poem
. By Walter Scott, Esq. The fourth edition. Printed for John Ballantyne and Co. Edinburgh; and Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and William Miller, London; by James Ballantyne and Co. Edinburgh, 1810.

Austen’s references to The Lady of the Lake:

“We began Pease on Sunday, but our gatherings are very small – not at all like the Gathering in the Lady of the Lake.” [Ltr. 75. 6 June 1811].

Both Marmion and The Lady of the Lake are referred to in Persuasion: “Trying to ascertain whether Marmion or The Lady of the Lake were to be preferred” and in her final unfinished work Sanditon, we find the poetry-obsessed Sir Edward Denham directly quoting  from both Marmion and The Lady of the Lake as he spouts off as a “Man of Feeling.”

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Austen also refers to other works by Scott that are not in the GPL catalogue. As noted, some are in the current Knight Collection: these may have been in the library at the Chawton Great House, or mistakenly not listed in 1818, or never owned by Austen or her brother but added to the library by future generations:

3. The Field of Waterloo (1815):

She writes to John Murray during her brother Henry’s severe illness: “My Brother begs his Compts & best Thanks for your polite attention in supplying him with a Copy of Waterloo.” [Ltr. 124: 3 Nov 1815].

– Scott’s poem The Field of Waterloo was published in 1815 and written to raise funds for the families of soldiers killed in the battle. (Le Faye, 450). It is not extant in the Knight Collection.

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4.  Paul’s Letters to His Kinfolk (1815):

And later that month, she writes again to Murray: “My Brother returns Waterloo, with many thanks for the Loan of it. – We have heard much of Scott’s account of Paris – it is be not incompatible with other arrangements, would you favour us with it – supposing you have a set already opened? – You may depend upon its’ being in careful hands.” [Ltr. 126: 23 Nov 1815].

-The reference is to Scott’s Paul’s Letters to His Kinfolk (Murray, 1815), his personal writings on his travels to the battlefield of Waterloo and through Paris and occupied France. This title is in the Knight Collection.

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5. The Antiquary (1816): On December 16-17, 1816 [Ltr. 146], Austen writes to her nephew James Edward Austen (later Leigh), referring to the character Isabella Wardour in Scott’s The Antiquary:

“Uncle Henry writes very superior Sermons.- You & I must try to get hold of one or two & put them in our Novels; – it would be a fine help to a volume; & we could make our Heroine read it aloud of a Sunday evening, just as well as Isabella Wardour in the Antiquary, is made to read the History of the Hartz Demon in the ruins of St Ruth – tho’ I beleive, upon recollection, Lovell is the Reader.”

The Antiquary title page, 1871 ed.

The Antiquary, considered to be Scott’s own favorite of his novels, is in the current Knight Collection.

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6. The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805):

 

 

The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805): Austen directly quotes Scott’s chivalric romance on two occasions in Mansfield Park, one by Fanny and the other about Fanny, and this work, though not in the GPL catalogue, is in the Knight Collection. This is the poem that brought Scott instant success.

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The other Scott works in the Knight Collection:

  1. The Vision of Don Roderick (1811)
  2. Ballads (1806)
  3. Rokeby (1813)
  4. The Waverley Novels (20 volumes)
  5. The Lord of the Isles (1815)
  6. Scott’s History of Scotland (1829-1830)
  7. Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft (1830)
  8. Other editions of Marmion and The Lady of the Lake
  9. And also Lockhart’s 7 volume Life of Scott (1848)

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7. The Quarterly Review (1816):

One final mention of Scott in Austen’s letters refers to the review of Emma in the Quarterly Review (issued March 1816). She writes on April 1, 1816 [Ltr. 139] to her publisher John Murray:

“I return you the Quarterly Review with many Thanks. The Authoress of Emma has no reason to complain of her treatment in it – except in the total omission of Mansfield Park.- I cannot but be sorry that so clever a Man as the Reveiwer of Emma, should consider it as unworthy of being noticed.”

Though an anonymous review, it was widely known to have been written by Walter Scott. This is still disputed by some critics.  And whether Austen knew if her “so clever a Man” was Scott has also not been definitively established.

You can read the original text here at the British Library:
https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/review-of-emma-in-the-quarterly-review-1815

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We can’t discuss Scott and Austen without a few words by him about her:

Sir Walter Scott wrote in his journal on March 14, 1826, with his oft-quoted “Bow-wow”:

I have amused myself occasionally very pleasantly during the last few days, by reading over Lady Morgan’s novel of _O’Donnel, which has some striking and beautiful passages of situation and description, and in the comic part is very rich and entertaining. I do not remember being so much pleased with it at first. There is a want of story, always fatal to a book the first reading–and it is well if it gets a chance of a second. Alas! poor novel! Also read again, and for the third time at least, Miss Austen’s very finely written novel of _Pride and Prejudice_. That young lady had a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of ordinary life, which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with. The Big Bow-wow strain I can do myself like any now going; but the exquisite touch, which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting, from the truth of the description and the sentiment, is denied to me. What a pity such a gifted creature died so early!

Scott’s journal entry for September 18, 1827, has the following reference to Austen:

Wrote five pages of the _Tales_. Walked from Huntly Burn, having gone in the carriage. Smoked my cigar with Lockhart after dinner, and then whiled away the evening over one of Miss Austen’s novels. There is a truth of painting in her writings which always delights me. They do not, it is true, get above the middle classes of society, but there she is inimitable.

Indeed!

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Image from The Antiquary is from The Geste of Robin Hood

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Found! ~ John Milton, Paradise Lost, 1736

This book was found online, purchased by a few of us GLOSSers, and is now returned to the Library at Chawton House. It was in the 1818 catalogue and shelved in the East Case: column 5, shelf 6.

Milton, John. Paradise Lost

Milton, John. Paradise Lost. A Poem. Book The First. Paradisus Amissa. Poema, A Joanne Miltono Conscriptum (Latin and English). J. Hughs, 1736. Bookplate of Montagu George Knight of Chawton to front end paper.

 

Montagu George Knight bookplate

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