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

So, I begin this final post on Charles Knight’s diaries with a book mentioned in an earlier diary that Hazel just found – In Diary 6, November 7, 1833, Charles writes:

‘read to Henry the Memoirs of Dalrymple’.

Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland. From the Dissolution of the last Parliament of Charles II. Until the Sea-battle off La Hogue. By Sir John Dalrymple, Bart. The second edition. Printed for W. Strahan; and T. Cadell, in the Strand: and A. Kincaid and J. Bell, and J. Balfour, Edinburgh, 1771-88.

This 3 volume set is found in the GPL catalogue and was listed in the 1908 catalogue, but is alas! A LOST SHEEP.

According to Wikipedia, “Sir John Dalrymple of Cousland, 4th Baronet (1726 – 26 February 1810) was a Scottish advocate, judge, chemist and author. He is best known for his Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland from the dissolution of the last parliament of Charles II until the sea battle of La Hogue, first published in 1771. A new edition of 1790 carried on to the capture of the French and Spanish navies at Vigo. The Dalrymples formed a dynasty among the legal profession in Scotland. Although a central figure in the Scottish Enlightenment and a friend of persons like David Hume and Adam Smith, Dalrymple’s writings were rather unappreciated and he has been described as an irritating member of the Edinburgh literati.” [love this!]

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Now on to the last of the Diaries, numbers 13, 14, and 15. These three diaries are dated January 1837 through March 1851. None of the books mentioned will be in the Godmersham Library catalogue, and as Hazel notes:

“Attached are Charles’ diary entries which mention books or reading. They are numbered 13, 14 and 15 on the cover. There is no 12, but it isn’t missing – the dates continue more or less uninterrupted from Diary 11. The final diary ends in March 1851. There must be other diaries out there – I cannot believe that he just stopped. The references to books are few and far between over these years. He belongs to a book club, but fails to specify the texts bought in from Varty’s or his response to them. Neither does he reveal the titles of books read on visits to his parishioners (I think I found one.)  Frequent trips back to Godmersham are disappointingly unrecorded, beyond the date he leaves and returns to Chawton.”

 

Diary marked number 13, January 30th 1837 – September 25th 1837; January 1841 to November 9th 1844:

No evidence of reading, but:

1844: ‘Thursday Feby 8. I spent most of the day with Adela. Willis came about cleaning the pictures.’

‘Friday ... I was with Adela looking over old pictures.’

[Charles is at Chawton, Adela is Edward II’s 2nd wife and mother of Montagu! (who did care very much about the books, even if his father didn’t!)]. I have asked Chawton House is there is any knowledge of a Willis – a servant, either man or woman – a check into local census records of the time mention no one with that name…] – a picture of Adela is forthcoming. Reading Hazel’s newest book – see below – you learn more about Adela. I love this image of she and Charles looking over old pictures…]

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Diary marked number 14, November 10th 1844 to July 31st 1847:

1845 ‘Saturday June 28 … Read Eothen.’  [he continues reading Monday June 30th]

Alexander William Kinglake. Eothen; or Traces of travel brought home from the East. London: J Ollivier, 1844.

Eothen title page – 2nd edition (all I could find)

 

Kinglake – 1863 portrait by Harriet M. Haviland (National Portrait Gallery)

 

Alexander Kinglake (1809–1891) was an English travel writer and historian. Eothen was originally published anonymously and very popular, and tells of his travels in Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. He is most known for his The Invasion of the Crimea: Its Origin, and an Account of its Progress down to the Death of Lord Raglan, in 8 volumes, published from 1863 to 1887 by Blackwood, Edinburgh. This book is listed in the 1908 catalogue (under Crimea) with an incorrect publication date; and all 8 volumes are still in the Knight Collection, but nothing on Eothen.

 

You can read a recent edition with an introduction here.

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‘Monday August 25 … Dined at Wigrams & met some Heathcotes; and sang. I took an old book full of songs from the Gt House – which was of use.’

So, what this is anybody’s guess! No knowing if they were religious songs or something more light-hearted. There is listed in the Knight Collection a book titled Divine Songs, by Isaac Watts – no mention of this either in the GPL 1818 or Chawton 1908 catalogues, but it was published in 1715 as Divine Songs Attempted in Easy Language for the Use of Children (also known as Divine and Moral Songs for Children, a collection of didactic, moralistic poetry for children that for the next 150 years remained one of the most popular of children’s books and went into many editions. It looks like something that might have been / should have been in the GPL, and something Charles would have been familiar with, and likely used so much it wasn’t on the shelf during the cataloguing process – but I am completely digressing / guessing here!

Divine Songs – title page – British Library

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‘Wednesday Nov 5. I walked to Alton … Looked in at Mrs Faithfull to leave Sumner’s exposition of the Gospels, which I mean to read there.’

‘Drew a little to make a beginning, copying from a beginner’s book of the childrens (Edward’s children). Read some French grammar.’

We discussed a different book by Sumner in Part III of these Diary posts :

A Series of sermons on the Christian faith and character, by John Bird Sumner. London, 1823.  Not in the GPL. But is in 1908 and the Knight Collection.

This one now mentioned is A Practical Exposition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark, in the form of lectures … By J. B. Sumner. London : J. Hatchard & Son, 1831. The 1834 edition of this is listed in 1908 and remains in the Knight Collection, so likely what Charles is referring to.

 

John Bird Sumner, 1780-1862, was a bishop in the Church of England and Archbishop of Canterbury from 1848-62. He wrote numerous treatises on religion, and while none are in the GPL catalogue, several are listed in the 1908 and remain in the Knight Collection.

 

 

Portrait of Sumner attributed to Eden Upton Eddis – Wikipedia

Don’t know to what children’s book he is referring, but interesting that he has taken up drawing, and continuing with his French.

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‘Tuesday Nov 11 …. Read at Mrs Faithfull’s at half past ten, one of Sumner’s lectures on St Matthew [see above] to her & Sally Howard.’

‘Friday Nov 27 … I wrote to desire Roake & Varty to send Crawley the Bishops charge & Wigram’s sermon.’ (His friend Crawley from his days at Trinity College Cambridge, who now lives in Wales).

See Diaries Part V for information on Roake & Varty, publishers and booksellers that Charles frequently purchased from:  https://readingwithaustenblog.com/2020/04/22/reading-in-the-godmersham-library-jane-austens-nephew-charles-bridges-knight-part-v/

Wigram’s Sermon refers to this:

Art. II.—“A Sermon, preached June 11, 1827, before the Corporation of the Trinity House.” By the Rev. Joseph Cotton Wigram, A. M. Curate of St. James’, Westminster. London: Rivingtons. 1827.

It appears in The Christian Remembrancer; or, The Churchman’s Biblical, Ecclesiastical and Literary Miscellany: Volume 10.  January 1, 1828.

The “Bishop’s Charge” likely refers to this:

The Bishop’s Charge, not as it was, but as it should have been. By a Protestant. [Charles James Blomfield]. London, 1843.

Neither is in 1908 or in the Knight Collection.

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‘1846 Jany 1 ... I wrote to Roake & Varty [for more books] & Jarvis & Jones’ [see below]

‘Thursday Feby 5 … I staid in all the afternoon reading Walpole’s memoirs.’

‘Saturday Feby 8 … I read a good deal of Walpole’s memoirs of Geo. 3d —’

Horace Walpole. Memoirs of the Reign of King George the Third ... Edited, with notes, by Sir D. Le Marchant. Horace Walpole. London, 1845.

These Memoirs were published in 4 volumes. The listing in both the 1908 catalogue (under George III!) and the Knight Collection list only two volumes.

Horace Walpole (1717-1797) Horace Walpole portrait:  by Rosalba Carriera, c. 1741

The Jarvis & Jones  must refer to an outdoor clothing outfitter, as in Diary Vol 5,  Monday February 11, 1833, Charles writes: ‘I received a velveteen shooting jacket from Jarvis & Jones.” Charles was an avid outdoorsman, not something all that clear in these posts about his (mostly) religious reading. If you want to know more about the importance of proper shooting attire and the “velveteen shooting jacket,” here is all you need to know via the The Sportsman from 1859.

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‘Monday Feby 9 ... I wrote to Mrs Lefroy & sent her a book by Edwd to B Stoke, who went to meet the express train. It was a manuscript of Aunt Janes from FCK.’

‘Lady Susan’ Manuscript – Morgan Library

Well, this is VERY exciting! Charles is writing this in February 1846. It is believed this was the manuscript of Lady Susan – Cassandra Austen had bequeathed it to her niece Fanny Knight Knatchbull on her death in March 1845 – so here it is being delivered to Mrs. Lefroy, who would be his cousin Anna Lefroy (daughter of James Austen)  – exciting indeed!

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Tuesday Feby 19 … Went to the book sale at Wigram’s … I bought some books for myself, and some for Edwd.’

‘Saturday Feby 28 … I sent a box of books to Bain to be bound.’ (They are returned to him on April 17th.)

So I find this: the bookbinder Bain might be this – still in existence!:

 

Bell & Bain, founded on 4th April 1831 by James Bell and Andrew Bain, is one of the oldest established printing companies still in existence in UK. In 1891, the firm was made a limited company, under the title Bell & Bain Ltd.

I had no luck with Wigram’s as a bookseller or publisher … unless he is referring to Joseph C. Wigram, mentioned above – Wigram was the  Archdeacon of Winchester and Bishop of Rochester and wrote on religious topics including a work on the management of Sunday Schools. In August 1845 (see above) Charles writes of dining at Wigrams and meeting some Heathcotes – Deirdre Le Faye includes both in her biographical index to the Letters – so could this just be a reference to a friend selling some of their books?

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‘Monday May 18 ... I finished the Crescent & the cross.’

Eliot Warburton. The Crescent and the Cross, Or, Romance and Realities of Eastern Travel. London: Henry Colburn, 1845.

Warburton, was an Irish traveler and novelist, born near Tullamore, Ireland. This book was an account of his travels in 1843 in Greece, Turkey, Syria, Palestine and Egypt – I mentioned above the Kinglake book Eothen – they appeared at nearly the same time and shows the public’s ongoing interest in such travels. The fact that Charles read both accounts is telling. Warburton’s book was a huge success and went into 18 editions! It is however, neither in the 1908 nor the Knight Collection.

And just to give another nod to Horace Walpole, Warburton wrote the Memoirs of Horace Walpole and His Contemporaries (London: Colburn, 1852).

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1847: ‘April 22 … read Roscoe’s life of Lorenzo de ‘ Medici & got thro’ the preface & part of the 1st chapter.’

Roscoe – Title page, Vol 2 of 3rd ed, 1797 – HathiTrust

William Roscoe. The Life of Lorenzo de’ Medici called the magnificent. I-II. London: Printed by J. M’Creery and Sold by J. Edwards, 1795.

There are several editions of this work, so not sure which Charles is reading as it is not listed in either catalogue – first edition was published in 1795 in 2 volumes.

Portrait of Lorenzo de’ Medici, 15th century,
Agnolo Bronzino and workshop (Wikipedia)

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‘Thursday May 13 … Wrote for some books to Varty.’ [Charles was a boon for the independent bookshop!]

‘June 8 … Sarah Ewens began to be educated by me today as candidate for a pupil teacher; we began Mrs Markham’s History of England.’

Mrs. Markham (i.e. Elizabeth Penrose). A History of England from the First Invasion by the Romans to the End of the Reign of George III. (1823).

Elizabeth Penrose (1780 – 1837), known by her pseudonym Mrs. Markham, was an English writer, mostly of histories and stories for children. Her History of England, first published in 1823, went through many editions, with the title changing with the addition of the reigning monarchs after George III. We cannot know which edition Charles was using for teaching Sarah Ewens.

Philip de Laszlo. Sketch for ‘Dame Emily Penrose – wikipedia

[An additional bit on Penrose is that her granddaughter was Dame Emily Penrose, DBE (1858 – 1942) – she was Principal of three early women’s university colleges in the UK: Somerville College, Oxford University from 1907 until 1926, the Principal of Royal Holloway College from 1898 until 1907, and the Principal of Bedford College from 1893 until 1897.]

 

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 Diary 15:  August 1st 1847 to March 24th 1851

1848: ‘Monday Oct 17 … Wrote to Varty for some stationery & books for the school.’

‘Sunday Oct 22 ... Had the pupil teachers at 5 to read Secker’s lectures.’ (And the following Sunday.)

Secker Lectures – from Reading with Austen website

Thomas Secker appeared in Part IV: this was in the GPL and remains in the Knight Collection:

Lectures on the Catechism of the Church of England: with A Discourse on Confirmation. By Thomas Secker, LL.D. Late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury. Published from the Original Manuscripts By Beilby Porteus, D.D. and George Stinton, D.D. His Grace’s Chaplains. London, 1769.

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1849: ‘Thursday April 5 … I went to Alton & ordered Burke’s landed gentry & Williams’s laws relating to the clergy.’

There are so many editions of Burke’s landed gentry – it has its own wikipedia page!

Since he is ordering this in 1849, it might be the edition of 1843-49 titled:

 

A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, a companion to the Baronetage and Knightage. By John Burke and John Bernard Burke.     London: H. Colburn, 1845-1848.

No editions are listed in either catalogue. The Knight Collection has only this book by Bernard Burke: Encyclopaedia of Heraldry: or General Armory [later titled General Armory, which is how it is listed in the Knight Collection – first published in 1884 under this title.]

 

 

For Williams, I find this:

David Williams. The laws relating to the clergy; being a practical guide to the clerical profession in the legal and canonical discharge of their various duties. London: Printed for Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, 1813 and a 2nd ed in 1822.

The Knight Collection has a book titled: The Duties and Rights of the Clergy – this could refer to Edward Stillingfleet’s Ecclesiastical cases relating to the duties and rights of the parochial clergy stated and resolved according to the principles of conscience and law / by the Right Reverend Father in God, Edward, Lord Bishop of Worcester. London: Printed by J.H. for Henry Mortlock.., 1698.

There are other titles by Edward Stillingfleet in the GPL catalogue, but not this one – need to have a better look at the complete title in the Knight Collection.

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

‘April 18 … Preparations for lending Library.’ (In Alton. Charles suggested setting it up.)

‘April 19th ... arranged the lending Library books and tracts.’

‘April 22 … Gave G. Ewens some books to cover for the lending Library.’

Well, hooray for Charles! I need to research more to see if the existing library in Alton, located on Vicarage Hill, is actually the very one that Charles Knight started in the community.

Alton Library, Vicarage Hill (Wikipedia)

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1850: ‘Feb 11. Monday … Began to read “Daily steps toward Heaven.” God grant they may really lead me there.’

[I hope you are now there too Charles!]

I find this:

 

Daily steps toward Heaven, or practical thoughts on the Gospel history, and especially on the life and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, for every day of the year, according to the Christian seasons, with titles and characters of Christ, and a harmony of the four Gospels. London, Park, 1850. 2nd ed. By A. H. Dyke Acland, afterwards Troyte. Earliestr edition I find is 1849. This title page is from 1860.

 

 

 

‘July 22. Monday. Called on Mrs Hedges. Lent her Mant’s book about the state of the blessed.’

Se, there are a few options here:

The Souls of the Blessed. By Bishop Mant. London: Edwards and Hughes, 1844. Series: Tracts for Englishmen, 6; Pamphlets, v. 1, no. 26.

 

The Happiness of the Blessed considered as to the particulars of their state; their recognition of each other in that state; and its difference of degrees. … To which are added Musings on the Church and her Services [in verse]. By Richard Mant, successively Bishop of Killaloe, and of Down, Connor and Dromore. London, 1833.

[my underlines – Charles’ words are “the state of the blessed” so likely he is referring to this book]

This book is not in either catalogue or the Knight Collection.

But I like this one the best, though I don’t think even Charles could have imagined this one in 1850, because it was not published until 1869!

Henry Alford. The State of the Blessed Dead.  This was one of 4 discourses delivered in Canterbury Cathedral during Advent in 1868, and appeared in the “Pulpit Analyst” in 1869.

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So we will leave Charles with his reading and his writing here. There are no more diaries, at least none have yet been found. Charles lived until 1867, and it would be odd that from 1851 until his death he would have stopped journaling – we can only hope more will be located.

As a final parting, here is an example of Charles’ diary writing, making our little peak into his life all the more personal, and with thanks again to Hazel for sharing this:

Extract from Charles Knight’s diary for 1834

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If you want to learn more about Charles Bridges Knight, Hazel has just published her new book The Other Knight Boys: Jane Austen’s Dispossessed Nephews (Uppercross Press, 2020). You will learn much about Charles, as well as all of his brothers: Edward, George, Henry, William, and John. It is a compelling tale of Jane Austen’s brother Edward’s male children. I have enjoyed reading along with Charles (well some of the time!) – I hope you have too. It has been a grand entry into the Godmersham Park Library and later the library at Chawton House as we continue the search for the LOST SHEEP – help us if you can!

 

 

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Links to the previous five posts on Charles’ diaries, with again, sincere thanks to Hazel Jones for sharing all the diary entries about Charles in the Godmersham Library.

-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
-Charles Bridges Knight at GPL Part V

©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”

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

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

[Image: Internet Archive]

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

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

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

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

[Image: Internet Archive]

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kew Gardens – William Marlow, 1763 – MetMuseum

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

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

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And finally, the last entry for Diary 11:

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

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

Adolphe Thiers, circa 1830 – wikipedia

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

 

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

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

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

[Images from the Reading with Austen website]

So many unanswered questions to ponder…

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

 

Stay tuned for Part IV…

©2020 Reading with Austen Blog

Reading with Jane Austen: 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.

***********

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

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

Since there is a bit of a gap since my last posting in late April on these diaries of Charles Bridges Knight, I’ll repeat some of the introductory material to refresh your memory. As we continue to see what Charles was reading in the Godmersham Park Library, I again offer hearty thanks to Austen scholar Hazel Jones for sharing this with us as she mines Charles’ diaries: 

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. Ms. Jones is writing a book on Edward Austen Knight’s sons, and in 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

We continue now with Diary 10, dated January 19 1836 – January 27th 1837: 

‘Jany 24 … I read some of Kidd on my return home.’

John KIdd – Wellcome

John Kidd (1775-1851), a physician, chemist and geologist, is considered the first of the “scriptural geologists.” His On The Adaptation of External Nature to the Physical Condition of Man, was volume II of the “Bridgewarter Treatises,” a collection of 8 volumes by various scientists and theologians that began publication in 1833. The GPL housed only volume 1, 2, and 4 – by Thomas Chalmers, John Kidd and Charles Bell respectively.

Not in the Library at Chawton House, so all three of these volumes are Lost Sheep.

*****

‘Jany 25 … I rose at 1/2 past 7 and read german till breakfast time. After that I sat in the Hall and read Burnet till one o’clock, a good long patch. It is an interesting book I think. It was very well in those days to have texts & restraints against popery, when the papists were a strong party, a popish King was on the throne, and the protestant interest all over Europe was threatened.’ (He then launches into a sermon on Christian conduct and principles.)

It is interesting here to have some actual commentary from Charles!

There are several books by a Burnet in the GPL, four by Gilbert Burnet, and two by Thomas Burnet.

Gilbert Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury -WP

Gilbert Burnet (1643-1715): I surmise Charles is referring to either of these two titles – the Bishop Burnet’s Travels has a reference to a discussion of Popery:

  1. Bishop Burnet’s travels through France, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland: Describing their Religion, Learning, Government, Customs, Natural History, Trade, &c. And illustrated with curious Observations on the Buildings, Paintings, Antiquities, and other Curiosities in Art and Nature. With a Detection of the Frauds and Folly of Popery and Superstition in some flagrant Instances, also Characters of several eminent Persons, and many other memorable Things worthy the Attention of the Curious. Written by the Bishop to the Honourable Robert Boyle. To which is added, an Appendix, containing Remarks on Switzerland and Italy, by a Person of Quality, and communicated to the Author. A Table of Contents and a Character of the Bishop and his Writings. London, 1750.

However, if you note Charles’ entry for March 26 below:

‘March 26 … I finished Burnets times, which has lasted me all the winter, & given me much instructive information and interest. I like the book very much, & am sure the author must have been a very good and wise & sociable man.’

He is referring to this:

  1. Bishop Burnet’s History of His Own Time. Vol. I. From the Restoration of King Charles II. to the Settlement of King William and Queen Mary at the Revolution: To which is prefix’d A Summary Recapitulation of Affairs in Church and State from King James I. to the Restoration in the Year 1660. London, 1724, 1734.

Both of these Burnet titles are in the 1818 GPL catalogue and are extant in the Knight Collection at CH. They also both have the Thomas Knight bookplate.

*****

Samuel Horsley -Wikipedia

‘Jany 26 … I tried my luck at a sermon on the marriage supper … but could make nothing of it, and therefore read one and then another of Horsleys … After dinner I read some of Kidd, which I do not think much of – it seems very much got up I think.’

Well, so much for Kidd! –

We discussed Samuel Horsley in Part III – he wrote a number of tracts, sermons, and treatises, and Charles notes he was reading more than just this one title that is listed in the 1818 catalogue:

Letters from the Archdeacon of Saint Albans, in reply to Dr. Priestley. With an appendix, containing Short Strictures on Dr. Priestley’s Letters by an unknown Hand. London, 1784. This is at Chawton.

*****

‘Jany 30 … I read some of the articles of faith of the reformed french church, contained in a french testament, with prayers and psalms set to tunes & offices at the back of it, printed in 1668.’

Well, he could have been reading anything…there are a number of French titles in the catalogue, though I do not find anything dated 1668. We are impressed with Charles’ abilities to read in German and French…

*****

‘Feby 2 … I rose at 7 and read some Slade’s psalms.’

James Slade-unknown artist – Bolton Library and Museum – WP

James Slade (1783-1860):  In 1813 Slade became the rector of Teversham and in 1817 the vicar of Bolton-le-Moors, where he remained for nearly 40 years.

He is most known for these two titles which went into a number of editions; neither is listed in GPL catalogue, but worth the mention nonetheless. They may have been in Charles’ own collection.

  1. Twenty-one prayers, composed from the psalms, for the sick and afflicted : to which are added various other forms of prayer for the same purpose, with a few hints and directions for the use of the younger clergy. London: Rivington, 1828.
  1. An Explanation of the Psalms as read in the Liturgy of the Church. By the Rev. James Slade. London, 1832.

*****

‘Feby 6 … After dinner I finished Kidd, & began Bell.’

This refers to the citation above, the 4th volume in the “Bridgewater Treatises” along with John Kidd. This volume is by Charles Bell (1774-1842) and titled: The Hand: Its Mechanism and Vital Endowments as Evincing Design. London, 1833. This, as noted, is a Lost Sheep.

 

Bell was a noted  “Scottish surgeon, anatomistphysiologistneurologist, artist, and philosophical theologian. He is noted for discovering the difference between sensory nerves and motor nerves in the spinal cord. He is also noted for describing Bell’s palsy” [wikipedia].

This work he wrote as part of the eight the “Bridgewater Treatises” on the hand, is full of pictures where he compares “hands” of different organisms ranging from human hands, chimpanzee paws, and fish feelers. After the first few chapters, Bell orients his treatise around the significance of the hand and its importance in its use in anatomy. He emphasizes that the hand is as important as the eye in the field of surgery and that it must be trained” [wikipedia].

This work may have done much to feed Charles’ abiding interest in natural history…. we can only wish he had commented more on it.

*****

‘Feby 7 … I read some of Bell at different times today, & a part of a sermon of Barrows.’

See Part I for another reference to Barrow. I find nothing re: sermons in the 1818 catalogue; there is only this title: The Eventful History of the Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of H. M. S. Bounty: its causes and consequences.

Issac Barrow, by Mary Beale

But I do find an Isaac Barrow (1630-1677), “an English Christian theologian and mathematician who is generally given credit for his early role in the development of infinitesimal calculus; in particular, for the discovery of the fundamental theorem of calculus” [Wikipedia]. He is most known for his sermons, of which he published a number, such as Several Sermons against Evil-Speaking [London, 1678]. Charles is likely referring to him, though there are no works in the GPL catalogue… but you can read, if you are so inclined to follow Charles’ reading path, many of Barrow’s sermons online here: https://biblehub.com/sermons/authors/barrow.htm

Mary Beale, self-portrait, c1675

[Totally an aside here, with nothing to do with Charles or his reading, or even the GPL, but interesting to note that this portrait of Isaac Barrow was painted by Mary Beale (1633-1677), one of most famous and successful female portrait painters of the 17th century… always good to give a nod to the Ladies, with all these overly-wigged men weighing down these posts…!] This self-portrait is in the collection of the St. Edmundsbury Museums.

*****

Hazel notes here after the Feb 7 diary entry : Repeat reading of Burnet, Bell, and Kidd throughout the month and beyond, the latter even though he claims to have finished it on Feb 6th.

*****

‘Feby 21 … I rose at 1/2 past 7 and read a bit of Hermas s Shepherd before breakfast. I don’t know much about its authenticity, but it was at any rate I suppose written quite in the earliest age of Christianity and is on that account very interesting.’

In the 1818 catalogue, I find the following:

The Genuine Epistles of the Apostolical Fathers, S. Barnabas, S. Ignatius, S. Clement, S. Polycarp. The Shepherd of Hermas, and the Martyrdoms of St. Ignatius and St. Polycarp, Written by those who were present at their Sufferings. Being, together with the Holy Scriptures of the New Testament, a compleat Collection of the most Primative Antiquity for about CL Years after Christ. Translated and Publish’d, with a large Preliminary Discourse Relating to the several Treatises here put together. By the Right Reverend Father in God, William, Lord Bishop of Lincoln. The Second Edition, Corrected.  By William Wake. London: 1710.

This is a Lost Sheep.

William Wake (1657-1737) was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1716 until his death in 1737; he authored numerous treatises, two of which are in the GPL, the one above and this:

The Principles of the Christian Religion Explained: In a Brief Commentary upon the Church-Catechism. By the most Reverend Father in God, William, Lord Arch-Bishop of Canterbury. The Fifth Edition Corrected. London, 1731.  This also a Lost Sheep.

The Shepherd of Hermas was an early Christian work of the 2nd century – it comprises five visions, twelve mandates, and ten parables, uses allegory to tell its tale, and calls on the faithful to repent of the sins that have harmed the Church. You can read the full text in translation here: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/shepherd.html

*****

 ‘March 8 … Read some Exodus and Hall’s contemplations. I mostly read a contemplation of Hall’s now if I have time, & there happens to be  a suitable one to my morning’s chapter … I read every evening before I go to bed a chapter in the NT in Greek, & refer to Macknight. This whim is about a week old.’

Neither of these authors is listed in the 1818 GPL catalogue, but Charles is likely referring to these two titles:

Joseph Hall (1628) – WP

  1. Joseph Hall (1574-1656), an English Bishop, satirist and moralist. Contemplations on the Historical Passages of the Old and New Testaments published in 1614.
  1. James MacKnight (1721-1800) wrote several works on the New Testament, any of which Charles might be referring to: Harmony of the Four Gospels (1756), The Truth of the Gospel History Shewed (1763), and A New Literal Translation from the Original, of the Apostle Paul’s First and Second Epistle to the Thessalonians (1787).

*****

‘March 15 … Before dinner I read some of Secker on Popery’. (Also on the 16th, 17th, 20th, 21st)

Thomas Secker (1693-1768), the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1758-1768, has two works listed in the 1818 GPL, and both are in the Knight Collection, and both have the less common oblong Montagu George Knight bookplate:

  1. Lectures on the Catechism of the Church of England: with A Discourse on Confirmation. By Thomas Secker, LL.D. Late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury. Published from the Original Manuscripts By Beilby Porteus, D.D. and George Stinton, D.D. His Grace’s Chaplains. London, 1769. “Five Sermons against Popery” can be found in this work.

  2. Sermons on Several Subjects
    , By Thomas Secker, LL.D. Late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury. Published from the original Manuscripts, By Beilby Porteus D.D. and George Stinton D.D. His Grace’s Chaplains. London, 1770.This title has Edward’s signature and “Godmersham Park” on the front free endpaper as you see above.

Painting of Thomas Secker, after Joshua Reynolds, in the collection at Lambeth Palace

‘March 23 … After breakfast I spent some time looking into various books in the library to find something about the 10 tribes of Israel that were taken away by Shalmaneser when he took Samaria & destroyed the Kingdom of Israel.’

Well, this could be any number of books on the history of the OT, etc.!

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III (825 B.C.) -Bible History Online

*****

‘March 26 … I finished Burnets times, which has lasted me all the winter, & given me much instructive information and interest. I like the book very much, & am sure the author must have been a very good and wise & sociable man.’  [See above]

‘April 1 … finished Jebb & Knox’s correspondence. I had great pleasure in reading that book, and have learnt a great deal from it.’ [see Part III on these letters]

*****

‘April 2 … After breakfast read Epictetus’s moral maxims in my french & german grammar. I think of doing the same in Greek with Mrs Carter’s help.’

For his Mrs. Carter reference, Charles is referring to this title:

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. London, 1758.

There are two copies listed in the 1818 catalogue and both are extant in the Knight Collection. What interests us GLOSSers even further is that both Thomas Knight Sr. and his son Thomas Knight Jr. are listed as subscribers, and perhaps the reason there are two copies in the collection.

Elizabeth Carter (1717-1806) was a poet and translator and part of the Bluestocking Circle founded by Elizabeth Montagu. She is most known for this translation of Epictetus.

epictetus-all-1758_-Carter-RwA

Elizabeth Carter as Minerva, goddess of wisdom, by John Fayram (1735-1741), NPG [Wikipedia]

Carter was well-known enough in her time to be one of the women depicted in Richard Samuel’s “Portraits in the Characters of the Muses in the Temple of Apollo” (1775) – she is on the far left, though exact identification of each of the portraits has always been unsubstantiated. Carter said herself to Elizabeth Montagu, “by the mere testimony of my own eyes, I cannot very exactly tell which is you, and which is I, and which is any body else.”

Portraits in the Characters of the Muses (1775) – Richard Samuel

Carter’s poetry was well-regarded, and though Charles does not mention reading her poems, there is a 1st edition copy of her 1762 Poems on Several Occasions listed in the 1818 catalogue. This IS a Lost Sheep, so we add it to our list.

*****

‘March 4 (he means April) … Read some Exodus. Epictetus after breakfast: & german with Louisa  … I finished B White’s tract on Popery …’

Though this title is not in the 1818 catalogue, Charles was reading Joseph Blanco White’s The Poor Man’s Preservative against Popery: addressed to the lower classes of Great Britain and Ireland. London, 1825.

White (1775-1841), born José María Blanco y Crespo, was a Spanish theologian and poet (and obviously the long-lost ancestor of Alan Cumming…?  sorry, I couldn’t resist this totally irrelevant aside – I think even Charles would have been amazed at the resemblance!).

*****

‘April 7 … After breakfast read Epictetus in the library … I did some more Epictetus after lunch … I read a little of Pascals thoughts.’ [See Part III for Pascal’s Thoughts]

‘April 8 … I read Knox’s letter on Christian preaching before dinner, & liked it very much: it will bear many readings.’ [See Part III on Knox]

*****

‘April 9 … I rose soon after 7 & read as usual 2 of Slade’s psalms, a chapter in Exodus, writing remarks, & some of Hall’s contemplations.’ [See above]

*****

Here are a few of Charles’ rare comments on the Godmersham Library itself:

‘June 16 … Louisa & I began to put the Library to rights.’ [Louisa (1804-1889) was Charles’ younger sister].

‘June 17 … I put some of the Library to rights.’

‘June 20 … I finished looking over the Library books by the catalogue.’

[Peter Sabor and Hazel both wonder two things: what sort of mess did he and Louisa leave the library in?? Recall his comment in Part III when he writes of “Rice & I play[ing] at Rackets in the Library…..”

And two, if these comments about “putting the Library to rights” and his reference to the catalogue are any indication that Charles may be one of the hands that crossed out and / or added titles to the catalogue – it appears however after analyzing the various handwritings that this is not the case – more detective work is needed…]

*****

‘June 23 … Began Campan’s Marie Antoinette.’

Marie Antoinette (1783) – Le Brun – The Met

[This portrait of Antoinette is also painted by a woman, Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun, a prominent  French portrait artist of the late 18th century.]

Jeanne Louise Henriette Genet Campan. 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. Third Edition. In two volumes. London, 1824. French text.

Jeanne Louise Henriette Genet Campan (1786) – Joseph Boze

Campan (1752-1822) “was a French educator, writer and lady-in-waiting, in the service of Marie Antoinette before and during the French Revolution” [Wikipedia]. These Memoirs were published posthumously in 1823, as was her De l’Education des Femmes (1824), in which she emphasized the importance of training young girls in domestic economy and all manner of housework.

This title is in the GPL catalogue and remains in the Knight Collection, so is not lost – and another work with Edward’s signature, as you see here.

Full text is available here (in English): https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100731949

I wish Charles had something to say about these Memoirs, but alas! he does not, and Hazel notes that there is no mention of books or reading until November. Perhaps the reading about Marie Antoinette put him off his religious reading diet?? The next diary offers us nothing about Marie Antoinette either…

*****

Notes from Hazel: there are another four diaries, but Diary 10 is the last one likely to be of interest as far as Charles’ reading at Godmersham is concerned. He has moved to Chawton Rectory by the beginning of Diary 11, which is dated Nov 1837 to Jan 1840.

Today’s post has added five Lost Sheep to our growing list of Books Wanted (you can view the list here). And though Charles has left Godmersham and moved to Chawton, we will continue with his comments on reading that are found in Diary 11 and then Diaries 13 – 15 dated 1837-1851 [apparently there is no Diary 12]. So stay tuned…

*****

*Hazel Jones is the author of Jane Austen & Marriage (Bloomsbury Continuum 2009, Uppercross Press 2017), Celebrating Pride & Prejudice (co-authored with Maggie Lane, Lansdown 2012), Jane Austen’s Journeys (Hale 2014) and is currently writing a book on Jane Austen’s Knight nephews. She was a tutor in the Department of Lifelong Learning at Exeter University until 2005 and continues to teach residential courses on aspects of Jane Austen’s writing, life and times. She is the membership secretary and a co-founder of the UK Jane Austen Society, South West Branch.

 

C2019 Reading with Austen blog

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

This is a continuation of recording the diaries of Charles Bridges Knight, son of Edward Knight, and his mentions of the books he is reading in the Godmersham Park Library. We thank Austen scholar Hazel Jones for so graciously sharing her finds with us. It very much brings this library to life as we imagine Charles sitting and reading there, much like his aunt Jane Austen would have done several years before. Some of his diary entries are about the Library itself – fires and warmth (or lack thereof), pictures, outside trees, etc., which brings us vividly back to Austen’s own comments of being there: “Mistress of all I survey…”

You will see that the majority of books he is reading are religious tracts, commentaries, sermons, and such (all but one are by old white men as you will see – I cannot resist the comment…) – Charles was ordained in 1828 and was the curate of West Worldham and later rector of Chawton. One might want to whisper the words of Anne Elliot into his ear (in reverse of her advice to Capt. Benwick): perhaps a little more poetry and literature and a little less didactic prose might be added to his reading diet – it may have also enlivened his sermons!

[I will add this so we do not too hastily align Charles with the idea he is a real-life Mr. Collins, picturing him quoting from Fordyce at every opportunity when in the company of young Ladies. Hazel tells me that Charles was, at the time of these diaries, doing clerical duties at the parish in Molash, a small village in Kent near Godmersham – he was busy at work preparing sermons and offering solace to parishioners, and he often stood in for the Revd. Richard Tylden at Chilham. As we can see from his reading material over these few years, he was certainly diligent in his duties. We will have to wait for Hazel’s book on all of Jane Austen’s nephews to be published (hopefully later this year) for more details – we shall find I think that Charles has a more interesting story than just these lists of religious and philosophical books!]

You can read the previous blog posts here:

A quick review of Charles: 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 ).

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Listed here are the books in the GPL library that Charles mentions, beginning with his Diary no. 5, dated January 1, 1833 – April 30, 1833. Not all these books were in the 1818 catalogue, often being published after that date – please note where the books are in the 1818 catalogue and are Lost Sheep – we are constantly on the alert for these! 

‘January 1 (1833) … not going out much on account of the gout I have plenty of time to read all day. I read in the library until luncheon time, then take a ride, then read in my room till dinner …’

‘Thursday Feby 28 … Rice & I played at Rackets in the Library.’

Ok, now what is “Rackets” being played in the Library?? Defined on Wikipedia as follows:

Rackets court – Eglinton Castle

“Rackets or racquets is an indoor racket sport played in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, United States, and Canada. Historians generally assert that rackets began as an 18th-century pastime in London’s King’s Bench and Fleet debtors prisons. The prisoners modified the game of fives by using tennis rackets to speed up the action. They played against the prison wall, sometimes at a corner to add a sidewall to the game. Rackets then became popular outside the prison, played in alleys behind pubs. It spread to schools, first using school walls, and later with proper four-wall courts being specially constructed for the game. And later, specific indoor courts were built as shown here at Eglinton Castle in 1842.”

The idea of Charles playing against the walls of the library is a tad disconcerting! Would his father approve? Would Jane??

In Diary no. 6 (May – Nov 1833), Hazel tells us: “No mention of books or the library. Mainly hunting and fishing and generally slaughtering anything that moves.”

In Diary no. 8 (Oct 1834 – Oct 1835), we find Charles back at work on his reading:

‘Sunday March 8 … Read some of Hannah More’s correspondence;’ and again on ‘Monday March 9 … I read some of Hannah More’

Hannah More by Henry William Pickersgill, 1821

In the 1818 catalogue, there are three Hannah More (1745-1833)  titles:

Strictures on the modern system of female education. With a view of the principles and conduct prevalent among women of rank and fortune. 9th ed. By Hannah More. In two volumes. London: Printed for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1799. A Lost Sheep!

Coelebs in search of a wife. Comprehending Observations on domestic habits and manners, religion and morals. The ninth edition. In two volumes. London: Printed for T. Cadell & W. Davies, in the Strand, 1809. In the Knight Collection, with the less common oblong Montagu George Knight bookplate:

Florio: A Tale, For Fine Gentlemen and Fine Ladies: and, The Bas Bleu; or, Conversation: Two Poems. 1st ed. London: Printed for T. Cadell, in the Strand, 1786. A Lost Sheep!

Hannah More (1745 – 1833) was an English religious writer and philanthropist, a poet and a playwright, and an original member of the BlueStockings. She became more and more evangelical in her writings and campaigned actively against the slave trade.

Dr Syntax with a Blue Stocking Beauty – T. Rowlandson

Austen famously writes of More in a few letters to Cassandra:

You have by no means raised my curiosity after Caleb; – my disinclination for it before was affected, but now it is real; I do not like the Evangelicals. – Of course, I shall be delighted when I read it, like other people- but till I do, I dislike it. [Ltr. 66, 1809]

And in her next letter, Austen speaks on being corrected in the spelling of the title with the added Dipthong [sic]: “I am not at all ashamed about the name of the Novel… the knowledge of the truth does the book no service; – the only merit it could have was in the name of Caleb, which has an honest, unpretending sound; but in Coelebs, there is pedantry & affectation. – Is it written only to Classical Scholars?… [Ltr. 67, 1809]

And Austen later refers to More’ new book Practical Piety published in 1811. [Ltr. 74, 1811]

But Charles refers to More’s “correspondence,’ which I find to be first published in 1835: Memoirs of the life and correspondence of Mrs. Hannah More, by William Roberts, so this may have been added to the library just recently after its publication – OR he refers to another book entirely…

Back to Charles:

‘September 29 Tuesday … I read a chapter in the old & in the new testament as soon as I am dressed, & then some of Taylors holy living … At 1/2 past 8 I go to Henry & read to him the morning psalms, two chapters out of each testament, & some of Sherlock on Death. After breakfast I write a sermon or read for it, or read Burnets own times till between 11 & 12 … I want to read some French too, but have no time, & also Chillingworth, but have no time. I am also reading at odd times Le Bas s life of Wickliffe.’

‘Wednesday Sepr 30 … Began reading George’s Warsaw tour after dinner.’ (Brother George Thomas Knight)

‘Friday Oct 2 … I finished the preface to Bagster’s Bible, & am now going to begin Genesis. It is impossible to look at all the references, & I think it is a good plan to read with some particular object in view.’

So lots here:

Taylor’s holy living: The only Taylor listed in the catalogue is The Worthy Communicant – but Taylor also published a work titled The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living (1650), not found in the catalogue. 

William Sherlock.

– Sherlock on Death:

William Sherlock: The 1818 catalogue lists several works by William Sherlock, including his A Practical Discourse concerning Death, published in London in 1751 (it was a very popular work, originally published in 1689). This is A Lost Sheep!

 

– Burnet’s times must refer to Gilbert Burnet’s Bishop Burnet’s History of His Own Time. Vol. I. From the Restoration of King Charles II. to the Settlement of King William and Queen Mary at the Revolution: To which is prefix’d A Summary Recapitulation of Affairs in Church and State from King James I. to the Restoration in the Year 1660. London, 1724, 1734. Charles mentions reading this a number of times in his diaries – and happily we find this in the Knight Collection, with the older Thomas Knight bookplate:

– Chillingworth refers to Richard Chillingworth, The Religion of Protestants (1674) see Part I for more information.

John Wycliffe at work

– Le Bas Life of Wickliffe is a book dilemma: Charles Webb Le Bas wrote The Life of Wiclif in 1832, not in the catalogue. William Gilpin wrote The Lives of John Wicliff, and the 1766 edition was in the GPL – and alas! A Lost Sheep! – but not the book Charles was reading….

 

– Bagster’s Bible: Samuel Bagster published his first Polyglot Bible in 1816; his Comprehensive Bible (see the next entry for Oct 3) was first published around 1829. Neither appears in Edward’s 1818 catalogue.


Diary no. 9 (Oct 3, 1835 – Jan 18, 1836)

Charles has a few comments on Bagster’s Bible:

‘Saturday Oct 3d 1835. I got up at 6. Read the first chapter in Genesis in Bagster’s Comprehensive Bible, referring to all the New Testament references, as I had determined, but found so many of them quite nihil ad rem [nothing to the point], only containing fanciful allusions to the text, that I resolved to give it up, and mean in future only to refer to such as relate to passages I don’t understand, or are of any particular interest.’ [So much for Bagster… ‘nothing to the point’  seems awfully harsh!]

‘Sunday Oct 4th … I finished Sherlock on Death to Henry for the 3d time. I wonder how long we shall go on reading it once a year.’ [goodness, this seems depressing!]

‘Thursday Oct 6th … I looked over an old journal to Naples in 1825 – 6, & mended a little my Kissingen journal – It is the fashion now to read these things, & Marianne & At Louisa have begun by George’s last Schwalbach tour …(family journals) … I read some of Burnets times.’ (Many other refs to the latter, including ‘like them very much’.)

‘Sunday Oct 11th … I wrote a list of chapters to be read by the sick, taken from Stonehouse’.

– Sir James Stonhouse (1716–1795) was an English physician and cleric – he published many treatises on religion, one of them Every Man’s Assistant and the Sick Man’s Friend, 1788 – to which Charles might be referring. It is not in the 1818 catalogue.

‘Monday Oct 12th … The Sycamore close to the Library was cut down today: I wish a great many more trees were moved; the house is too much shut in by them.’

‘Tuesday Oct 13 … read a good deal of Burnets’ times. What a disgraceful set of libertines the great men of Charles the 2ds time were! Even the churchmen seem to have had but little religion; as for the way of establishing episcopacy in Scotland, it was quite enough to disgust any reasonable man with the very name, & I should think must have left an impression that has not yet worn away. I sat in the hall and read, as I usually do now, the fire being lighted, & find it very comfortable.’

‘Wednesday Oct 14 … After breakfast I read the thoughts of Pascal for some time. I think them hard, & get on very slow, but like them, they are well argued I think.’

– Blaise Pascal: The only Pascal in the GPL is: Les provinciales ou les lettres ecrites par Louis de Montalte a un provincial de ses amis, et aux RR. PP. Jesuites. By Blaise Pascal. Cologne, 1738. A Lost Sheep!

But Charles is more than likely reading Pascal’s Pensées [Thoughts], incomplete at his death in 1662 and published in 1670. This is not in Edward’s catalogue.

Pascal was a renowned mathematician and Catholic theologian. He invented the first calculator, called the Pascaline, this one on exhibit at the Musee des Arts et Metiers, Paris:

[iamge: By Rama, CC BY-SA 3.0 fr, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53246694%5D

‘Monday Oct 19 … began Benson’s Hulsean lectures 1820 for the 2d time … I saw the pictures hung up again in the library.’

– Christopher Benson, Hulsean lectures for 1820: Twenty discourses preached before the University of Cambridge in the year 1820 – and not in the catalogue.

Alexander the Great

 

‘Wednesday Oct 21 … I began Pastor William’s s life of Alexander the great for the 2d or 3d time, & probably shall not go on long with it.

– The Rev. John Williams’s The life and actions of Alexander the Great was published in 1829. It was not in the 1818 catalogue, but is in the 1908 catalogue of Chawton House library.

[Image: Andrew Dunn at Wikimedia commons ]

‘Thursday Oct 22 … ‘I consulted Hooker & Prideaux about the way of spending the Sabbath & the Jewish synagogues. I should think Echard’s eccles. history must be a useful book.’

– We mentioned Hooker’s Ecclesiastical Polity in Part I.

There are two works by Humphrey Prideaux in the 1818 catalogue; perhaps this is the one Charles was reading: The Old and New Testament connected in the History of the Jews and Neighbouring Nations (1715–17). It is in the Knight Collection:

– Echard’s eccles. History is clearly this: 

Laurence Echard. A General Ecclesiastical History from the Nativity of our Blessed Saviour to The First Establishment of Christianity By Humane Laws, Under the Emperour Constantine the Great. Containing the Space of about 313 Years. With so much of the Jewish and Roman History as is Necessary and Convenient to illustrate the Work. To which is added, A Large Chronological Table of all the Roman and Ecclesiastical Affairs, included in the same Period of TIme. By Laurence Echard, A. M. Prebendary of Lincoln, and Chaplain to the Right Reverend James, Lord Bishop of that Diocese. London, 1702.

This work is listed in the 1818 catalogue and is in the Knight Collection, with the older Thomas Knight bookplate and this interesting cover: this Elizabeth Knight is the original cousin with the Knight name which was taken by Thomas Brodnax May in order to inherit the estate in Chawton. It was his son Thomas who adopted Jane Austen’s brother. For a full understanding of all these names see Chawton Manor and Its Owners; A Family History, by William Austen-Leigh and Montagu George Knight.

There are two other titles by Echard in the catalogue and both are extant in the Knight Collection.

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‘Friday Oct 23 … Marked some texts on the Sabbath & looked in Bishop of Bristol’s Ch. history about it.’ – which must refer to:

Robert Gray: The Connection between the Sacred Writings and the Literature of Jewish and Heathen Authors, particularly that of the Classical Ages, Illustrated, principally with a view to evidence in confirmation of the truth of Revealed Religion. By Robert Gray, D. D. Prebendary of Durham and of Chichester, and Rector of Bishop Wearmouth. [Later the Bishop of Bristol], published in London in 1816 – in the 1818 catalogue and A Lost Sheep! You can read the 2nd edition here: https://archive.org/details/connectionsacred01grayuoft/page/n5

‘Sunday Oct 25th … after dinner dipped into White’s Selborne – but it is impossible to read in a party, & if one goes into one’s own room, it ends always in a nap.’

– Charles is Funny! (who knew!) – he is here talking about Gilbert White’s The natural history and antiquities of Selborne, in the county of Southampton: with engravings, and an appendix. London, 1789 – This 1st edition is in the catalogue and A Lost Sheep!

Gilbert White House

 Austen would have been familiar with White, his work and his home  – it was not far from her in Steventon and later Chawton. You can visit his house and gardens here. (Gilbert White died in 1793 and left his home to his nephew John White).

[Austen mentions Selborne a few times in her letters – this one dated May 31, 1811 (Ltr. 74 to her sister) speaks of Anna [Lefroy, her niece] going to visit Selborne  on the Tuesday: “Poor Anna is also suffering from her cold which is worse today, but as she has no sore throat I hope it may spend itself by Tuesday … She desires her best love to Fanny, & will answer her letter before she leaves Chawton, & engages to send her a particular account of the Selbourn [sic] day.”]

‘Saturday Oct 30th … Read to Henry – a sermon of Porteous.’

– Charles unfortunately doesn’t tell us which sermon, but this is the book: Sermons on Several Subjects. By the Right Reverend Beilby Porteus, D. D. Bishop of Chester. By Porteus, Beilby. London, 1783, 1794 – is in the GPL catalogue and is still in the Knight Collection.

Beilby Porteus (1731 – 1809) was a chaplain to King George III, and the Bishop of Chester and later Bishop of London – he is mostly known for being at the forefront of the abolitionist movement.

‘Sunday Nov 1st … We began the Apocrypha a day or two ago, & read 3 or 4 chapters of the 1st book of Esdras – we have skipped the rest & today began the 2d book.’

Wednesday Nov 4th … I read Blanco White’s Evidence agst catholicism till dinner time.’

– Joseph Blanco White. Practical and Internal Evidence Against Catholicism, With Occasional Strictures on Mr. Butler’s Book of the Roman Catholic Church; In Six Letters. Roman Catholics of Great Britain and Ireland. Joseph Blanco White, 1825 – this is not in the 1818 catalogue.

‘Thursday Nov 5th … read 2 of Horsley’s sermons on the coming of our Saviour.’

‘Saturday Nov 7th … finished Horsley’s sermons on the Sabbath, read one of Sharp‘s on the same subject.’

Samuel Horsley

Charles could be referring to:

Samuel Horsley. Letters from the Archdeacon of Saint Albans, in reply to Dr. Priestley. With an appendix, containing Short Strictures on Dr. Priestley’s Letters by an unknown Hand. London, 1784. – which is in the 1818 catalogue and remains in the Knight Collection. But Horsley, the Bishop of Rochester, wrote a number of tracts, sermons, and treatises, and Charles may have been reading a different book…

– Sharp? – there is a Samuel Sharp in the catalogue (and in the Knight Collection): Letters from Italy, describing the Customs and Manners of that Country, In the Years 1765, and 1766. To which is Annexed, An Admonition to Gentlemen who pass the Alps, in their Tour through Italy. By Samuel Sharp, Esq. The Third Edition. London, 1767 – but this is unlikely the book with a sermon on the Sabbath…

‘Monday Nov 9th … began Sumner’s sermons on Ctian faith & practice for the 2d time … after dinner I dipped into Pope’s essay on man which is always lying about – it is a very fine piece I think. I am overwhelmed with books just now, that I am reading or want to read – this happens now & then, & on the other hand I am sometimes at a loss what to read. This comes I think of not having a regular course of reading marked out.’ [Note from Hazel: Mr. Knightley needs a word].

– Nothing by Sumner in the 1818 catalogue, but I do find this in searching: A series of sermons on the Christian faith and character, by John Bird Sumner. London, 1823. There are also a number of other Sumner titles extant in the Knight Collection

Alexander Pope. The Works of Alexander Pope Esq. In Nine Volumes Complete. London, 1751. We can assume this set of nine volumes was what was “always lying about” the GP Library… It is in the catalogue and is extant in the Knight Collection.

‘Wednesday Nov 11th … I read Jebb & Knox before dinner.’

Jebb and Knox must refer to the Thirty years’ correspondence between John Jebb and Alexander Knox, published in 1834 (compiled by James Forster). Both John Jebb and Alexander Knox were Irish theologians and writers, and mostly known today for this collection of their letters. It is not in the 1818 catalogue.

[Peter Sabor, the creator of the Reading with Austen website, and also a Frances Burney scholar and Director of the Burney Centre at McGill, tells me that Burney had an interesting connection with this very same duo Jebb and Knox:  the elderly Mme d’Arblay (Burney) met John Jebb, corresponded with him, and gave him a copy of her Memoirs of Doctor Burney. Jebb appears both in the final volumes of Journals and Letters of Mme d’Arblay, ed. Joyce Hemlow, and in Sabor’s own Additional Journals and Letters of Frances Burney, vol. II, that published last year. I will find these citations and do another post on Burney – she is after all also in the GPL 1818 catalogue – only The Wanderer however, which is interesting in itself – we know that Austen not only read and admired Burney, she also was a subscriber to her Camilla, along with Edward’s adoptive mother Catherine Knight].

[But I digress… see how one thing leads to another?? how in one post there are the seeds for at least 20 more…]

‘Friday Nov 13 … The stove that was in the Billiard room is moved into the library, & was lighted today for the first time: I think it will give more heat than the other did, but is not half enough to warm so large a room with so many outside walls windows & draughts of air.’

[In a letter dated September 23-24, 1813 [Ltr. 89], Austen is visiting Godmersham and she writes Cassandra: “We live in the Library except at Meals & have a fire every Eveng.”]

‘Saturday Nov 14 … read part of Knox’s letter on preaching … I read some of Pope’s essay on Man, & some of a book on the antiquity of the Irish nation, proving that a great grandson of Jephet called Partholan was the first known invader of it …’ [Hazel: This book belongs to Lord George Hill].

The earliest surviving reference to Partholón is in the Historia Brittonum, a 9th-century British-Latin compilation attributed to Nennius. Partholon was the first colonist of Ireland by way of Greece. He is now considered just a character in medieval Irish Christian pseudo-history, probably an invention of the Christian writers.

One wonders what book Charles was getting his information from – there is a book on the history of Ireland in the catalogue, but alas! don’t know if this is what Charles is reading:

‘Monday December 28 … read one of Wartons Deathbed scenes, which I liked very much …’

– Warton, John. Death-bed scenes and pastoral conversations. London: John Murray, 1830.

This is exciting to see referenced in Charles’s diaries because this was found and returned to Chawton by our famed GLOSS book detectives! – and although it is not in the 1818 catalogue, it is in the 1908 Chawton catalogue and has the Montagu George Knight bookplate.

 

‘Wednesday Dec 30 … We are reading Scougal’s Life of God in the soul of man, & like it.’) … (‘One of the best books I ever read’ he reports on completing Scougal). I read a little of Stanley on birds in the evening.’

– Henry Scougal. The Life of God in the Soul of Man: or, the Nature and Excellency of the Christian Religion. With Nine other Discourses on important Subjects. By Henry Scougal, A. M. and S. T. P. The Second Edition. To which is Added, A Sermon Preached at his Funeral, by G. G. D. D. London, 1735.

You can read more on Scougal and a summary of his book here. This is in the GPL catalogue and in the Knight Collection: and lots of writing in these volumes – done by Charles?? one can wonder! (Love this “Amen!!!)


Stanley on birds must refer to Edward Stanley’s A Familiar History of Birds: Their Nature, Habits, and Instincts. First published in 1835, this is not in the catalogue and may have been Charles’s own personal copy.

I’ll finish with these two last jottings in Charles’s Diary no. 9:

‘Jany 2d (1836) I read some of D Israelis curiosities of literature before dinner.’

– Isaac D’Israeli. Curiosities of literature. 7th ed, corrected. In five volumes.  London: John Murray, 1823. Vols. 3-5 are in the Knight Collection (not yet on the RwA website).

Finally a little lighter reading for Charles! The “Curiosities” is a collection of anecdotes about historical persons and events, unusual books, and the habits of book-collectors. It was very popular and remained in print through many editions. D’Israeli’s other claim to fame is that he was the father of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.

‘Jany 10 … contrived to spin out my toilet with a little of Nelson’s devotions till 9 our breakfast hour.’

– Nelson, Robert. The Practice of True Devotion, In Relation to the End, as well as the Means of Religion; With an Office for the Holy Communion. By Robert Nelson, Esqr; 14th ed. To which is added The Character of the Author. London, 1758.

This is in the 1818 catalogue but is not in the collection, so we end with A Lost Sheep!

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More to come with Charles’s Diariesanother long list, so stay tuned. And with many thanks again to Hazel Jones for all these library references.

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