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.

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‘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 ~ Women Writers in the Godmersham Park Library ~ Episode 2!


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

Abbreviations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baillie, Joanna (1762-1851)

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

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

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

Bowdler, Jane (1743-1784)

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

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

Brooke, Frances (1724-1789)

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

Brunton, Mary (1778-1818)

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

Burney, Frances (1752-1840)

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

Campan, Jeanne Louise Henriette Genest (1752-1822)

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

Carter, Elizabeth (1717-1806)

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

Chapone, Hester (1727-1801)

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

Cornwallis, Mary (1758-1836)

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

Craven, Elizabeth Craven, Baroness (1750-1828)

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

Dixon, Sarah (1671/2-1765)

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

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

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

Edgeworth, Maria (1768-1849)

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

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

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

Elwood, Anne Katharine (1796-1873)

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

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

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

Gardiner, Jane (1758-1840)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grant, Anne (1755-1838)

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

Hays, Mary (1759-1843)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Macaulay, Catharine (1731-1791)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Masters, Mary (fl. 1733-1755)

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

Meades, Anna (b. ca. 1734)

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

Montagu, Elizabeth Robinson (1718-1800)

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

Montolieu, Isabelle de (1751-1832)

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

More, Hannah (1745-1833)

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

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

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

Parry, Catherine (d. 1788)

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

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

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

Porter, Jane (1776-1850)

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

Radcliffe, Ann Ward (1764-1823)

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

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

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

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

Scott, Sarah (1723-1795)

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

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

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

Smith, Charlotte Turner (1749-1806)

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

West, Jane (1758-1852)

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

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

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

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

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c2020 Reading with Austen Blog

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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c2020 Reading with Austen Blog

Reading with Jane Austen ~ Holy Bibles in the Godmersham Park Library

UPDATE: since this was posted I have done a bit more research re: the Bibles at Godmersham.

First, I discover (with thanks to Gillian Dow) that the Chawton House blog has an in-depth essay by the then CH librarian Jacqui Grainger on the Holy Bibles extant in the Knight Collection. You can read that here:

http://chawtonhouselibraryreadinggroup.blogspot.com/2011/11/family-bibles-455-years-of-bibles-in.html

This list gives more detail of each bible title than what is listed in the Knight Collection – you can find a link to the excel file here (scroll down): https://chawtonhouse.org/the-library/library-collections/the-knight-collection/

So in comparing what bibles are listed in the Godmersham 1818 catalogue to those listed in the 1908 Chawton Library catalogue (a nightmare of a list), and seeing what is today in the Knight Collection, we find some overlap, some discrepancies, some books gone missing, and more questions than when I started on this adventure… I note in red below what is new information; at the end of the post I add in the bible titles Grainger listed in her blog post that could have been listed in the 1818 catalogue based on their publication date (i.e. 1818 or before) to see if they are in either the 1818 or 1908 catalogue. Confused?? I submit that this is a proven way to absolutely lose your mind – but bear with me if you can….

A Bible handwritten in Latin, on display in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England. The Bible was written in Belgium in 1407 AD, for reading aloud in a monastery – image from Wikipedia

In the spirit of Christmas, I thought a look at the Bibles at Godmersham Park might bring up some interesting finds. There were many religious books in Edward Austen’s Library, many commentaries, sermons, and theological treatises – all reflecting a thoughtful gentleman’s moral approach to life. Edward, as George Austen’s son, was certainly grounded in such, and his brother James and later Henry were both rectors. You can read several posts on this blog of Edward’s son Charles’s diary entries regarding his study in this very library (with grateful thanks to Hazel Jones for sharing those with us!) – and most of what he was reading were these very religious texts.

But in limiting this post to just the Holy Bible to see which editions were housed at Godmersham, and likely works that Jane Austen would have had access to while visiting her brother, I find that there are only six Bibles listed in the catalogue, and NONE of them remain in the collection.

If one looks at biblical references in Jane Austen’s writings (fiction and letters), we find mostly joking references to characters or scenes from the Bible, and though we can infer her religious upbringing and her moral approach to life as seen in her characters and plots, Austen mentions little about the celebration of Christmas itself or any references to the actual meaning of Christmas (we can forgive her! – she gave us the wonderful Christmas Eve story of Mr. Elton’s drunken proposal to Emma! AND we cannot forget that she really created the very first Scrooge, long before Dickens ever did so!).

BIBLICAL REFERENCES IN JANE AUSTEN:

Here are a few examples from her Letters showing this tendency to jokingly comment on Biblical characters or stories:

  • Ltr. 90 to Francis Austen 25 Sept 1813 – she likens the transporting family members in various fashion (post-chaises, chairs, horses, and a coach) to “St. Paul’s Shipwreck, where all are said by different means to reach the shore safely” [see Acts 27:44]
  • In Ltr. 108 to Anna Austen, 28 Sept 1814, Austen jokes about one of Anna’s use of the “vortex of dissipation” in her book: “… I cannot bear the expression; it is such thorough novel slang – and so old, that I dare say Adam met with it in the first novel he opened.”
  • “We do not much like Mr. Cooper’s new Sermons; – they are fuller of Regeneration & Conversion than ever – with the addition of his zeal in the cause of the Bible Society” Austen writes Cassandra in September 1816 [Ltr. 145].
  • And Austen jokingly writes to her niece Fanny about Anna who is visiting and is “so young & so blooming & so innocent, as if she had never had a wicked Thought in her Life – which yet one has some reason to suppose she must have had, if we beleive the Doctrine of Original Sin, or if we remember the events of her girlish days.” [Ltr. 151, February 1817].
  • In Ltr 153, March 1817, she again writes Fanny: “As to making any adequate return for such a Letter as yours my dearest Fanny, it is absolutely impossible; if I were to labour at it all the rest of my Life & live to the age of Methusalah [sic], I could never accomplish anything so long & so perfect…”

CHRISTMAS REFERENCES:

Christmas references in the letters are few and far between, and all just make mention of visitors either being there for Christmas, or staying through Christmas, or not visiting for Christmas at all. She wishes Cassandra “a Merry Christmas, but no compliments of the season” [Ltr 15, 1798], whatever that means! She makes a quick reference to Cassandra’s “Christmas gaieties” in 1801 [Ltr. 29]. But it is only in Letter 77, dated 29-30 November 1812, when she is at Godmersham and writing to Martha Lloyd that she touches on seasonal doings:

“We are just beginning to be engaged in another Christmas Duty, & next to eating Turkies, a very pleasant one, laying out Edward’s money for the Poor; & the Sum that passes through our hands this year is considerable, as Mrs. Knight left £20 to the Parish.”

*****

THE HOLY BIBLES AT GODMERSHAM:

So let’s look at what Holy Bibles were in the Godmersham Library, and add these titles to our ever-growing list of Lost Sheep. You will see that many are very old, now very collectible and expensive to acquire. As we have no images of these Bibles, and most were lavishly and beautifully illustrated, I include a title page image if one was available online. And we ask that if you should have any of these Bibles on your shelves, to please check to see if they might have one of the Knight bookplates – we live in hope!

The Holy Bible, according to The Authorized Version, with notes, explanatory and practical; taken principally from the most eminent writers of the United Church of England and Ireland: together with appropriate introductions, tables, indexes, maps, and plans: prepared and arranged by the Rev. George D’Oyly, B.D. and the Rev. Richard Mant, D.D. Domestick Chaplains to His Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury. Under the direction of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. For the Use of Families.

Oxford: Printed for the Society at the Clarendon Press, by Bensley, Cooke, and Collingwood, printers to the university; sold by F. C. and J. Rivington, booksellers to the Society, St. Paul’s Church-Yard; and by all other booksellers in the United Kingdom, 1817. 4to. 3 vols.

[This set is listed as being in the Knight Collection, so we are hoping it is NOT a Lost Sheep – so stay tuned!] – ok, question resolved, I think: The Knight Collection’s D’Oyly and Mant’s set is the 1826 edition, not 1817. WorldCat lists several editions published between 1817 and 1839, 1826 included. So either the 1818 catalogue has the date wrong (it may have been an 1826 printing and this was not noted), or Edward had an 1817 edition and someone later acquired the 1826, which is listed in the 1908 catalogue AND the Knight Collection – so one scenario: Edward’s set went missing, and a later Knight wanted to replace  the title that was in the 1818 catalogue but could only get an 1826 ed… 

*****

The Holy Bible Containing the old Testament and the New Newly translated out of the Original Tongues And with the former Translations diligently Compared and revised by his Majesties speciall command. Appointed to be read in Churches.

Cambridge: Printed by John Hayes Printer to the Universitie, 1683.1st ed. 8vo. 2 vols.

Update: this is listed in the 1908 catalogue but is not in the Knight Collection.

[Image from The Wellcome Collection: https://wellcomecollection.org/works/wrrcjgya]

*****

The Holy Bible: containing the Old Testament and the new: newly translated out of the originall tongues: and with the former translations diligently compared and revised: by his Majesties speciall commandment. Appointed to be read in churches … London: By Robert Barker, printer to the Kings most excellent Majestie, 1641. 8vo. 1 vol.

[For an image, all I can find is this title page for the 1611 edition printed by Robert Barker – from the University of Michigan]

Update: not listed in 1908; not in Knight Collection.

*****

1660 Holy Bible – title page from the Royal Trust Collection

The Holy Bible Containing the Bookes of the Old & New Testament.

Cambridge: Printed by John Field, Printer to the Universitie. And illustrated wth. Chorographical Sculps by J. Ogilby, 1660. 4to. 2 vols.

A copy of this Bible is presently for sale at Bauman Rare Books for $32,000. Their catalogue entry reads:

Monumental 1660 Cambridge edition of the King James Bible, richly illustrated with engraved title page, 128 double-page engravings by Visscher, Hollar, Lombart and others after Rubens, De Bruyn de Vos, Tintoret and others, eight folding maps (including a double hemisphere by John Seller and a plan of Jerusalem), 13 engraved portraits of apostles and 12 small plates mounted on four sheets of scenes from Revelations. “It presented the standard text of the Authorized Version in perhaps the most impressive form available in the mid-17th century.” Beautifully bound in nicely restored contemporary paneled morocco-gilt.

The King James Version of the Bible (first published 1611) has exercised an incalculable impact on piety, language and literature throughout the English-speaking world. Macaulay praised it as “a book, which if everything else in our language should perish, would alone suffice to show the whole extent of its beauty and power” (PMM 114). “In 1660, John Ogilby reissued the large folio Bible of 1659, published by John Field, the printer to the University of Cambridge, with a number of additional engraved plates… For this issue, Ogilby supplied eight whole sheet engravings, seven of which were by [Wenceslaus] Hollar… Nicolaes Visscher supplied Ogilby with sets of engravings from his own stock, most of which were the work of Cornelis Visscher, after Rubens, de Vos, de Bruyn, Tintoretto and others… Ogilby’s Bible was a very expensive book… It presented the standard text of the Authorized Version in perhaps the most impressive form available in the mid-17th century. Its illustrations were works of the best artists, and allowed those who could afford the book to visualize the events of the Bible in a grand style” (Museum of the History of Science, Oxford). “The finest edition of the Holy Bible then extant” (Lowndes, 1367). The collation and number of plates vary greatly from copy to copy—the present copy is bound with the largest number of illustrations we have seen offered. The most expensive of these Bibles were ruled in red—as is this copy. Published in two volumes, this copy is bound with the Old Testament in Volume I, and the Apocrypha and New Testament in Volume II; this copy without the Volume II title page or separate New Testament title page. Engraved general title page depicts Solomon (i.e., the restored Charles II) enthroned. Text and plates ruled in red throughout.

https://www.baumanrarebooks.com/rare-books/bible-book-of-common-prayer/holy-bible/115092.aspx

1660 Holy Bible, engraving image from Bauman Rare Books

Update: the 1908 catalogue lists a “Bible and Prayer Book, 1660 – no other information, so possibly this; not extant in the Knight Collection.

*****

The Holy Bible Containing the Old Testament and the New: Newly translated out of the originall Tongues, and with ye Former translations diligently compared and revised, by his Majesties speciall command. Appointed to be read in churches.

Cambridge: Printed by Tho: Buck, and Roger Daniel, Printers to the University of Cambridge. And are to be sold by Roger Daniel, at the Angell in Lumberstreet, London, 1638. 4to. 1 vol.

This Cambridge edition, containing the first major revisions of the King James version, standardized the use of italics and altered several readings in the New Testament. Image is from Sothebys.

Update: listed in 1908 as “Bible and Prayer Book, Cambridge 1638,” so possibly this – not in Knight Collection.

*****

The Holy Bible, or, the Old and New Testament, Explained by Question and Answer, From the Writings of the most eminent Historians, Divines, and Commentators; Containing Many Useful and Entertaining Parts of Knowledge; And embellished with Proper Maps, neatly Engraved, and other Ornamental and Instructive Representations. Designed for the Promoting of Christian Knowledge. [Epigraph on title page].

London: Printed for S. Austen, in Newgate-Street, 1748. 1st ed. 8vo. 1 vol.

[Image is from Chanticleer Books on Abebooks – for sale for $650 – but alas! no MGK bookplate…]

Update: not listed in 1908; not in Knight Collection according to Grainger essay – but the KC list shows a Holy Bible, 1748 – and why I now feel nuts….

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

I have also chosen two works on the history of the Bible, as these two works remain in the Knight Collection and we have images for them:

Thomas Stackhouse. A New History of the Holy Bible, from the Beginning of the World, to the Establishment of Christianity. With Answers to most of the Controverted Questions, Dissertations upon the most remarkable Passages, and a Connection of Profane History all along. To which are added, Notes explaining difficult Texts, rectifying Mis-Translations, and reconciling seeming Contradictions. The whole illustrated with proper Maps and Sculptures. By The Reverend Mr. Thomas Stackhouse, Curate of Finchley, and Author of The Compleat Body of Divinity.

London: Printed for the Author, and sold by T. Payne, at the Crown in Pater-Noster-Row, and the Booksellers in Town and Country, 1733. 4to. 2 vols. (one is missing, so we have a partial Lost Sheep).

This title has the older Thomas Knight bookplate:

Update: this is listed in 1908 as being 2 vols, so the missing volume went missing after 1908.

*****

J. Hamond. An Historical Narration of the Whole Bible. In Two Parts. The First, treating of the Old Testament, with the various Histories of the Lives, eminent Examples, and glorious Actions of the Patriarchs, Judges, Kings, and Prophets; interspersed with many plain, profitable and pious Instructions and Observations thereupon. The Second, containing an Account of the Life and Travels of Our Blessed Saviour and his Apostles. With a Summary of the of the [sic] Matter, Doctrine Scope, and Divine Authority of all the Canonical Epistles. And an Explanation of several chief Heads in that Mysterious Book of St. John’s Revelation. By J. Hamond, D.D. The Whole being an useful Guide to such as desire to read the Holy Scriptures to their Spiritual Comfort and Advantage. Curiously adorn’d with Proper Cuts, engraven by Mr. John Sturt. 

London: Printed for R. Ware, at the Bible and Sun upon Ludgate-Hill, 1749. 8vo. 1 vol.

This title bears the oblong bookplate of Montagu George Knight:

Update: this title is happily found in 1818, 1908, and remains in the Knight Collection!

*****

Bibles listed in Grainger essay with earlier dates:

7. Leusden, J. and Hooght, E.v.d. (eds.) (1831) Biblia Hebraica, secundum ultimam editionem jos. athiae a Johanna Leusden…ab Everado van der Hoght, V. D. M. Editio nova, recognita, et emendata, a Judah D’Allemand. Londini: Typie excudabat A. Macintosh, 20 Great New Street. Impensis Jacobi Duncan, Paternoster Row. [Accession no. 9478] Inside the front board is the stamp of Adela Portal, and inside the back board the bookplate of her son, Montagu Knight.

Update: not in 1818, in 1908 as “Bible Hebrew, Van de Hooght, London, 1831,” and in Knight Collection. 

11. Scott, T. (ed.) (1850) The Holy Bible; containing the Old and new Testaments, according to the authorized version; with explanatory notes, practical observations, and copious marginal references / by the late Rev. Thomas Scott… a new edition, with the authors last corrections and improvements, and eighty-four illustrative maps and engravings. [New edn.] London: Printed for Messrs. Seeleys, Fleet-Street and Hanover-Street; Hatchard and Co., Piccadilly; and Nisbet and Co., Berners-Street. [Accession no. 9473]

Update: in 1908 and in Knight Collection, 6 vols.

15. Girdlestone, C. (ed.) The Old Testament. With a commentary consisting of short lectures for the daily use of families by the Rev. Charles Girdlestone M.A. vicar of Sedgley, Staffordshire (1837). London: Printed for J. G. & F. Rivington. [Accession no. 9477]

16. Girdlestone, C. (ed.) The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. With a commentary consisting of short lectures for the daily use of families by the Rev. Charles Girdlestone M.A. vicar of Sedgley, Staffordshire (1835). London: Printed for J. G. & F. Rivington. [Accession no. 9476]

Both of the Girdlestone testaments contain the bookplate of Montagu Knight.

Update: in 1908 listed as Girdleston’s [sic] Commentary, 1835, no. 21-26. WorldCat has dates on this 6 vol. set from 1833-1842; New Testament was 2 vols; Old Testament 4 vols. – so likely the set now in the Knight Collection.

17. Scott, T. (ed.) (1835) The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments, according to the authorized version; with explanatory notes, practical observations, and copious marginal references / by Thomas Scott, Rector of Aston Sandford, Bucks. New edn. with the author’s last corrections and improvements; and with two maps London: Printed for L. B. Seeley and Sons; Hatchard and Son; Baldwin and Cradock; and R. B. Seeley and Burnside. [Accession no. 9474]

Update: there is the 1850 edition (see 11 above) in 1908, not this 1835 ed – need to check dates noted in Grainger’s essay against the 6 volumes.

21. Cranmer, T. (1585) The Holy Byble, conteining the Olde Testament and the New. Authorised and appointed to be read in churches. Imprinted at London: By Christopher Barker, printer to the Queen’s most excellent Maiestie. [Accession no. 8962] contains the bookplate of Montagu Knight.

Update: there is a listing in 1908, “Bible, 1585” – no other info, so possibly this title? 

All the other bibles in the Grainger post are not listed in either the 1818 or 1908 catalogues as far as I can tell. There are however a number of other bible titles listed in 1908, and whether it can be determined that any of these actually refer to any titles in the Knight Collection is a detective journey for another day (also need to be at Chawton – wouldn’t that be nice!). Here is a listing of those:

  • Bible and Prayer Book, 1660.
  • Bible and Prayer Book, Cambridge, 1663.
  • New Testament, Latin. Amsterdam 1686 (in Poet’s Cabinet)
  • New Testament, French. Paris, 1668 (    ”    ) – could this be Grainger’s #20?

La Bible qui est toute la Ste. Ecriture du Vieil et du Nouveau Testament autrement L’Ancienne et la Nouvelle Alliance (1678) .Amsterdam: chez la Veuve de Schippers. [Accession no. 9479] Contains Montagu Knight’s bookplate.

  • New Testament, Latin. London, 1584 (    ”    ) – could this be Grainger’s #22??

Il Nvovo Ed Eterno Testamento Di Giesv Christo (1556). Lione: Per Giouanni di Tornes e Guillelmo Gazeio. [Accession no. 9480] Contains the bookplate of Montagu Knight.

  • Prayer Book with matching Bible. Cambridge, 1582 (or 1682)
  • Testament, Greek; by Valpy. London, 1831.

*****

So, just giving you a small taste of what Edward Austen’s library at Godmersham offered the family and visitors in need of a Bible close at hand. We can perhaps picture them all sitting around the fire during Christmas week and reading in the round…

Wishing you all a Festive Holiday Season!

c2019 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…

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*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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A Lost Sheep Found! ~ Bringing It Back to Chawton House…

Some excellent news for all you GLOSS followers and contributors. A Lost Sheep has been found at auction, won at the bidding, and now returned to the fold at the Library at Chawton House!

The Story:

A book showed up at the auction house of Dominic Winter in the UK – it was described as having the Montagu George Knight bookplate on the front endpaper. A check of the spreadsheet and the Reading with Austen website found the book listed in the 1818 catalogue of Edward Austen’s Godmersham Park Library – all very exciting. After raising a few funds we bid on the book and thankfully, it stayed just below our limit – it is now back where it came from… Huzzah!

The Book:

Hanway, Jonas. An Historical Account of the British Trade over the Caspian Sea: with the author’s journal of travels from England through Russia into Persia, and back through Russia, Germany and Holland. To which are added, the revolutions of Russia, during the present Century, with the particular history of the great usurper Nadir Kouli, 2 volumes, 2nd ed, London: 1754. Volume 2 is titled The Revolutions of Persia.

Two engraved frontispieces, nine folding engraved maps, 17 engraved plates, some light spotting and offsetting, circular armorial bookplates of Montagu George Knight of Chawton (1844-1914), contemporary sprinkled calf gilt, wear to two spine labels, a little rubbed and scuffed, 4to

Estimate: £300 – £400 – sold for £560 + buyer’s premium and fees.

Here are some images, soon to be posted on the website:

The Author:

A look at wikipedia’s brief life of Hanway reveals some interesting bits about this man, whose book has given us GLOSSers such a feeling of success:

Jonas Hanway, by James Northcote, c1785

Jonas Hanway (1712-1786) was born in Portsmouth, but moved to London after the death of his father. He was apprenticed to a merchant in Lisbon at the age of 17, later partnering with a merchant in St. Petersburg. This led to his extensive travels in Russia and Persia and the Caspian Sea, and later through Germany and the Netherlands and back to England. The rest of his life was mostly spent in London, where the narrative of his travels (published in 1753) soon made him a man of note. His other writings (seventy-four in total) were largely pamphlets of a society-improvement campaigning sort.

Known as a philanthropist and involved citizen, Hanway founded The Marine Society; he became a governor and later president of the Foundling Hospital; he was instrumental in establishing the Magdalen Hospital; he procured a better system of parochial birth registration in London; and he was appointed a commissioner for victualling the navy.

He died, unmarried, in 1786 and was buried in the crypt at St. Mary’s Church, Hanwell. A monument to his memory, sculpted by John Francis Moore was erected in Westminster Abbey in 1786.

Of interest to those of us who love tidbits of social history, Hanway was the first male Londoner, it is said, to carry an umbrella (women had been using them since 1705 – now there’s a blog post!) and was often challenged by hooting hackney coachmen. He was opposed to tipping, had controversial engagements with Johnson and Goldsmith over tea-drinking of all things, supported solitary confinement and proper care for prisoners,  and he worked on behalf of chimney-sweeps. What’s not to like about this fellow?!

AND, he wrote this book that one of the earlier Knights wanted in their library (was it Thomas or Edward we cannot know…)

If you want to know more about our umbrella-carrying author, here is a place to start: Roland Everett Jayne, Jonas Hanway: Philanthropist, Politician, and Author (1712–1786). London: Epworth Press, J. Alfred Sharp, 1929.

Shall end with this grand image and link to an Atlas Obscura essay all about Hanway and his umbrella:

(Original Caption) The First Umbrella–Mr. Jonas Hanway Walking Out In A Shower.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-public-shaming-of-englands-first-umbrella-user

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A hearty Thank You to all who contributed to our book-detective adventure!

Alas! – still so many more Lost Sheep to be found…please keep your eyes peeled, and any contributions to the cause would be greatly appreciated!

c2019 Reading with Austen blog

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

Walter Scott, by Henry Raeburn, 1822

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Marmion (6th ed. 1810):


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

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

Austen’s thoughts on Marmion:

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

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

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

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

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

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  1. The Lady of the Lake (1810):


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

Austen’s references to The Lady of the Lake:

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

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

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

3. The Field of Waterloo (1815):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Antiquary title page, 1871 ed.

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

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

 

 

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

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The other Scott works in the Knight Collection:

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

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7. The Quarterly Review (1816):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indeed!

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Images of Marmion and The Lady of the Lake: the Reading with Austen website.
Image from The Antiquary is from The Geste of Robin Hood

 c2019 Reading with Austen blog

Wanted! ~ The Godmersham Library Copy of Cowper’s Poems

This is at this moment the Godmersham Lost Sheep Society’s Holy Grail. William Cowper’s Poems. Cowper was Jane Austen’s favorite poet (or so her brother Henry tells us in his “Biographical Notice”]. It was located in the Godmersham Library in the South Case: column 1, shelf 3, and a book that Jane Austen would certainly have read there while visiting.


This title, unlike the majority of the Lost Sheep, is actually for sale – and unfortunately way beyond our collective pocketbooks – from Bernard Quaritch Ltd. of London.

Here is the description on Abebooks – see the reference to the all-important Montagu George Knight bookplate and a little bit of the history of Jane Austen and Cowper.

Cowper, William. Poems London: printed for J. Johnson 1782. [With:]_________. The Task, a Poem, in six Books To which is added An Epistle to Joseph Hill Tirocinium, or a Review of Schools, and the History of John Gilpin. London: Printed for J. Johnson 1785.

Price: $ 10,657.66 / £ 8,000

Description:
2 vols., 8vo., pp. [4], ‘vii’ [i.e. viii, misnumbered], 367, [1, errata]; [8], 359, [1, advertisement for Poems 1782], Poems with the suppressed Preface, E6 and I6 are cancels as usual, The Task with half-title (‘Poems Vol. II’); title-page to The Task shaved at foot touching the date, else good copies in contemporary tree calf, morocco spine labels; front board of volume I restored, joints rubbed in volume II, spines dry and rubbed; the Chawton copy, with the large roundel bookplate of Montagu George Knight and with the earlier Knight family shelf tickets ‘J 9 27-8’; scattered underlining or marked in the margin throughout in pencil and occasionally pen or red crayon. First edition of each volume, with the notoriously rare suppressed preface by John Newton. This copy comes from the library of Chawton House, with an early shelf label and the bookplate of Jane Austen’s great-nephew George Montagu Knight [sic]. Austen’s ‘favourite moral writers were Johnson in prose, and Cowper in verse’ (‘Biographical Notice’, Northanger Abbey), and Cowper provides the moral framework for much of her writing, is referred to or quoted in Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Emma, and, in particular, Mansfield Park, and mentioned several times in her letters. Jane’s father, himself a clergyman, ‘bought a copy of Cowper’s works in 1798 and Jane described him reading them aloud to the family in the evening; ten years later she bought a copy of a new edition as a present for her niece Fanny’ (David Selwyn, Jane Austen and Leisure, 1999). The Austens moved to Chawton Cottage, in the grounds of Chawton House, in 1809, after her brother Edward, who took the name of Knight, had inherited the estates of Chawton and Godmersham Park. Jane regularly used the libraries at both houses: ‘I am now alone in the Library’, she wrote to Cassandra from Godmersham, ‘Mistress of all I survey’. The present volumes appear in the 1818 Godmersham Park catalogue compiled by Edward Knight (South Case, col 1 shelf 3). It has been carefully read, and numerous passages marked, especially in the poems quoted by Austen (‘Tirocinum’, ‘The Truth’ etc.), though almost certainly not by Austen herself. They do however express the canonicity of Cowper in the Austen family and it is hard to imagine she would not have turned through the pages of this set in the library at Godmersham. The Godmersham and Chawton libraries were later merged, hence the Chawton bookplate of Austen’s great-nephew Montagu George Knight. Poems, published at the age of 50, was Cowper’s first and most important collection. The suppressed Preface by the reformed slave trader John Newton is notoriously rare. As curate of Olney, Buckinghamshire, Newton for seven years was a neighbour of Cowper and became a close friend. They collaborated on Olney Hymns in 1779, Newton’s contributions including ‘Amazing Grace’. His Preface was ‘not designed to commend the Poems to which it is prefixed’, but to provide testimony to Cowper’s (and his own) religious experience. In the poems, he writes, Cowper’s ‘satire, if it may be called so, is benevolent dictated by a just regard for the honour of God, an indignant grief excited by the profligacy of the age, and a tender compassion for the souls of men He aims to communicate his own perceptions of the truth, beauty, and influence of the religion of the Bible. A religion, which alone can relieve the mind of man from painful and unavoidable anxieties’. The publisher, no doubt rightly, was alarmed that such an evangelical Preface might prejudice the sale of the book, and, with Cowper’s reluctant consent, withdrew it a week before publication. The Task was written at the suggestion of Cowper’s friend and neighbour Lady Austen (no relation). She had encouraged him to attempt blank verse, and he agreed provided that she would supply the subject. ‘O’, she replied, ‘you can never be in want of a subject: you can write upon any. Write upon this sofa!’ And so he did, hence the wry title, Bookseller Inventory # E4430.1

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If you would like to contribute to the Lost Sheep Fund and help in facilitating the return of this book, we would be most grateful – and you will become one of the esteemed members of our community of GLOSSers. Please contact us here for more information.

Images: Abebooks and the RwA website, courtesy of Bernard Quaritch, Ltd.

C2019 Reading with Austen Blog

Welcome to the “Reading with Austen” Blog!

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[The lovely image for the website was created by Jessica Irene Joyce – jessicairenejoyce.com]

The Reading with Austen website is a re-creation of the Library of Godmersham Park, the estate of Jane Austen’s brother Edward Austen Knight. This virtual library is based on an extant handwritten catalogue from 1818 that lists all the books in his collection and their exact locations on his shelves. Here you can explore the Library as Jane Austen might have seen it on her many visits to the Godmersham estate. On the website you will be able to browse photographs of and bibliographic information for the very editions she may have handled.

You can read the history of the project, spearheaded by Professor Peter Sabor of McGill University on the website and on the pages on this blog (see the sidebar]. The first post on this blog gives a brief history and explanation of what we continue to search for and how you can help us.

In this effort to locate the many books still missing from this original Godmersham collection, a group of scholars, researchers, bibliophiles, and interested people has been created – we call ourselves The Godmersham Lost Sheep Society – GLOSS – and invite any and all of you to join us in this search.

On this blog, I will be posting some of the books we have found and returned to the Library at Chawton House, where the remaining titles from the original library now reside (in the Knight Collection and still owned by Austen’s descendant). And I will also post about the books we have found but are beyond our pocketbooks, those that we have found in institutions, and those 500 or so remaining titles we are still actively looking for.

Please follow us in this journey and help us in our quest to return as many of these books to the fold – you too can become an official GLOSSer!

c2019, Reading with Austen blog