It is always (to me!) an interesting story how a Lost Sheep gets found – or at least any book detective out there would so describe the thrill of locating a book considered lost to eternity in some auction sale or a the stacks of a library or in someone’s private collection. And such discoveries are often serendipitous – the right place, the right time, or a click of a keyboard and Oh Wow! Look at this!
One of our most exciting finds happened in such a way recently. Though I continue to search library catalogues of colleges and universities and institutions, knowing full well that the provenance of a Knight bookplate might not even be recorded, it is always sheer luck to stumble on one when doing something else entirely…so here’s the story:
One of my book groups was reading Hamnet, by Maggie O’Farrell (fabulous book if you have not read it…), and I was doing some research on the fact vs. fiction questions the book raises. And internet surfing brought me to various Shakespeare-related sites – theShakespeare Birthplace Trust a treasure trove of information and many images. My Reading with Austen hat is always on and realized I had never searched their library for the Knight bookplates (I search for Chawton, Godmersham, Montagu, Edward, Knight, etc. – and find often that Montagu is misspelled, or he is referred to as “Montagu George, Knight of Chawton,” etc. – these provenance errors complicate searching!) – and the miracle of online catalogue searching brought up a book in their collection with the MGK bookplate! A check in the Reading with Austen catalogue shows this exact title as listed in the 1818 Godmersham catalogue [the images from the SBT have just been added to the listing]: a book by Philip Miller titled The Gardeners Kalendar (1732).
Eureka! Problem at the time was the SBT was closed, so I waited until they opened to request images – they were as excited as we were to find this Lost Sheep on their very own shelves. There is something comforting about a Jane Austen-related book finding itself at Shakespeare’s birthplace – even Jane (Shakespeare fan that she was) might appreciate this turn of events. We cannot have it back at Chawton House, but this is certainly the next best thing…a Lost Sheep found, and surrounded in Shakespeare no less!
We appreciate very much the Library staff at the SBT copying all the images we need for the website. Here are the details with some information about the book and the author. Can we imagine Austen consulting this very Kalendar at various times during her gardening year?
Philip Miller. The gardeners kalendar, directing what works are necessary to be done every month, in the kitchen, fruit, and pleasure gardens, and in the conservatory. With An Account of the particular seasons for the Propagation and Use of all Sorts of Esculent Plants and Fruits proper for the Table, and of all Sorts of Flowers, Plants, and Trees, that flower in every Month. By Philip Miller, Gardener to the Worshipful Company of Apothecaries, at their Botanick Garden in Chelsea, and F. R. S.
London: printed for the author, and sold by C. Rivington, at the Bible and Crown, in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, M.DCC.XXXII. 
xv,,252,p.,plate ; 8⁰.
With two final leaves of advertisements. Montagu George Knight, 1844-1914, former owner. Knight’s bookplate pasted inside front of book.
This book has the least common of the MGK bookplates:
Philip Miller (1691-1771) was the most well-known of the horticultural writers of the eighteenth-century. He began in London as a florist, grower of ornamental shrubs, and garden designer. It was all the doing of Sir Hans Sloane, who became landlord of the land in Chelsea in 1712 that had been leased to the Society of Apothecaries for their physic garden. In 1722 Sloane transferred it permanently to the Society and recommended that Miller be appointed head gardener – he held this position until shortly before his death in 1771. The Chelsea Physic Garden developed under Miller’s hand into the most richly stocked of any mid-18th century garden, his work there the basis of Miller’s several gardening publications. [You can read about its history here: https://www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk/about/history/ ]. It was “largely through [Miller’s] skill as a grower and propagator and his extensive correspondence, the Chelsea botanic garden belonging to the Society of Apothecaries of London became famous throughout Europe and the North American colonies for its wealth of plants, which was continuously enriched by new introductions, notably from the West Indies, Mexico, eastern North America, and Europe.”1
Miller is most known for his The Gardener’s and Florists Dictionary or a Complete System of Horticulture (1724) and The Gardener’s Dictionary containing the Methods of Cultivating and Improving the Kitchen Fruit and Flower Garden, which first appeared in 1731 in a folio and went through eight revised editions in his lifetime. There is much information on Miller’s use of the classifications of Joseph Pitton de Tournefort and John Ray, rather than those of Carl Linnaeus – but he later embraced the Linnaeus nomenclature in his Dictionary of 1768. But I shall avoid this discussion and send you to the resources below if you have any interest in botanical history and the naming of plants.
Since this is September, here’s a page sample for what you should be doing in your Kitchen Garden [this is from the 1737 4th ed. at HathiTrust] – it’s all about your cauliflower – there are succeeding entries for work to be done in the Fruit Garden, the Flower Garden, the Pleasure Garden, and the Greenhouse and Stove. You shall be very busy!
You can see the complete text of The Gardeners Kalendar here:
One interesting bit is that it was Philip Miller who sent the first long-strand cotton seeds, which he had developed, to the new British colony of Georgia in 1733. They were first planted on Sea Island, off the coast of Georgia, and hence derived the name of the finest cotton, Sea Island Cotton. [There is inconsistent information on this – you can read the Stephens article cited below for a full account.] But this adds to the whole picture of Miller’s hand in propagation not only in England but also in the colonies – and we all know that cultivation of cotton sustained one part of the Triangular Trade and perpetuated the slave trade and system of slavery in order to produce and transport to England as much of this cotton product as possible. This too is another story – but all things connect as anyone trying to research the simplest thing knows – a Godmersham book found at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, written by a man who had a hand in the development of cotton in the colonies which sustained the slave trade, which then of course leads us to Mansfield Park…and really what was Jane Austen’s “dead silence” all about…
What a digression!
Though Miller’s most well-known books (noted above), available in many editions through the years, are not listed in the 1818 catalogue, there is one other Philip Miller book in the Godmersham collection, also in the 1908 Chawton library, and this is still aLost Sheep:
Figures Of the most Beautiful, Useful, and Uncommon Plants described in The Gardeners Dictionary, exhibited on Three Hundred Copper Plates, Accurately Engraven after Drawings taken from Nature. With The Characters of their Flowers and Seed-Vessels, Drawn when they were in their greatest Perfection. To which are added, Their Descriptions, and an Account of the Classes to which they belong, according to Ray’s, Tournefort’s, and Linnæus’s Method of Classing them. By Philip Miller, F.R.S. Member of the Botanic Academy at Florence, and Gardener to the Worshipful Company of Apothecaries at their Botanic Garden at Chelsea. In Two Volumes.
London: Printed for the Author; And Sold by John Rivington in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, A. Millar, H. Woodfall, J. Whiston and B. White, J. Hinton, G. Hawkins, R. Baldwin, J. Richardson, W. Johnston, S. Crowder, P. Davey and B. Law, T. Caslon, and R. and J. Dodsley, 1760.
According to a Sotheby’s sale catalogue, the 300 plates of various plants were drawn by Richard Lancake and two of the leading botanical artists and engravers of the period, Georg Dionysius Ehret and Johann Sebastian Miller (formerly Müller). The work was published by subscription in 50 monthly parts, with each part containing 6 plates, between 25 March 1755 and 30 June 1760. Two later editions were published in 1771 and 1809. It sold in 2017 for £12,500 and there are several currently online listed from $14,000 to $37,000 – but alas and sigh, none of them mention an MGK bookplate, and we can expect if this copy ever does show up, it will be far beyond our pocketbook.
And again, our hearty thanks to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust for 1.) having this book on their shelves; and 2.) their generosity in providing the images for the website. One more Lost Sheep found is a very comforting thing, and I suppose we have Maggie O’Farrell and her Hamnet to thank for this whole book detective episode!
While 2020 can be said to have been a total disaster of a year in so many ways, I am happy to offer up one very exciting, positive, and downright awesome accomplishment: William Cowper is back home at Chawton House.
Now, Cowper was not aware he had been sent from home at some point, but in the history of the whys and wherefores of the books in Edward Austen Knight’s library at Godmersham Park, i.e. why some remained and some were sold, the fact that William Cowper’s Poems left the nest was a sad event, and the finding and returning of it has really been the Holy Grail of our team of diligent GLOSSers. And so we are Happy to report that the deed is done, this Holy Grail of ours now in the safekeeping of the Library at Chawton, and we can all rest easy from here on in.
[UPDATE:Here is a photo in The Times of January 4, 2021, with Chawton House’s Clio O’Sullivan proudly holding up the Cowper for all the world to see – excellent PR!]
What was different about this particular book is that it has been available since the Reading with Austenproject began – for sale at Bernard Quaritch and completely out of our reach. And every time we found ourselves getting closer, another GPL book would show up at auction, and off went our scant funds to purchase it. Enter the Friends of the National Libraries! To their very generous donation to Chawton House for the express purpose of acquiring this Cowper, GLOSS was able to supply the needed additional funds, and the Cowper is now officially at Chawton once again.
The title itself is actually two volumes of poems: the first one published in 1782 was Cowper’s first published work Poems, by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq. (J. Johnson, 1782)
Title Page, Poems, 1782, RwA website
The second volume is the 1785 published edition of Cowper’s most well-known poem The Task, A Poem in Six Books, to which is added his comic poem “The Diverting History of John Gilpin.” (Johnson, 1785)
Title page, The Task (1785), RwA website
So why William Cowper? What makes this book so important to The Reading with Austen project and the Library at Chawton House?
Does anyone actually read him anymore? Does anyone actually know how to properly pronounce his name?? [it’s Cooper]. Does he perhaps have something to do with Jane Austen??
Well, it all started with Henry Austen – in his “Biographical Notice” in the posthumous publication of his sister’s Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, he writes:
Her reading was very extensive in history and belles lettres; and her memory extremely tenacious. Her favourite moral writers were Johnson in prose, and Cowper in verse.
This then was a ready invitation to find Cowper reflected in all her letters and all her fiction – and one is not disappointed:
In November 1798 [Ltr. 12], Austen writes to Cassandra:
We have got Boswell’s “Tour to the Hebrides’, and we are to have ‘his Life of Johnson’; and, as some money will yet remain in Burdon’s [the bookseller] hands, it is to laid out in the purchase of Cowper’s works.
[Deirdre Le Faye suggests that this would either be the 6th edition of 1797 or the new edition of 1798]. Ed. I believe that the 6th ed. was published in 1794, so a typo, a later printing of the 6th or a later edition??…. shall look into this…
2. And nearly a month later in December 1798 [Ltr. 14], she writes again that “My father reads Cowper to us in the evening, to which I listen when I can.”
3. When next Austen mentions Cowper, in February of 1807, we can readily believe she has memorized all of his poetry, because she drops his lines whenever she can, and it is the Sharp Elves eyes of many an Austen scholar who have found these gems:
Now in Southampton, Austen writes of the Shrubs which border the gravel walk in her garden: “…we mean to get a few of the better kind & at my own particular desire he procures us some Syringas. I could not do without of a Syringa, for the sake of Cowper’s Line. – We talk also of a Laburnam [sic].” [Ltr. 50]
Cowper’s line: from The Task “The Winter Walk at Noon”
‘…Laburnum, rich / In streaming gold; syringa, iv’ry pure.’
4. In September 1813, Austen is at Godmersham, and we can perhaps imagine she has this very Cowper in hand when she writes:
“I am now alone in the Library, Mistress of all I survey – at least I may say so & repeat the whole poem if I like, without offence to anybody.” [Ltr. 89]
Here Austen is playing on Cowper’s words in his “Verses, supposed to be written by Alexander Selkirk” where we find:
“I am monarch of all survey, My right there is none to dispute; From the centre all round to the sea, I am lord of the fowl and the brute.”
5. In November of the same year, and again at Godmersham, Austen writes of Henry’s man-servant William, who apparently is a lover of the country rather than of city life: “An inclination for the Country is a venial fault. – He has more of Cowper than of Johnson in him, fonder of Tame Hares & Blank verse than of the full tide of human Existence at Charing Cross.” [Ltr. 95]
Cowper writes in concluding “The Sofa”:
God made the country, and man made the town. What wonder then, that health and virtue, gifts That can alone make sweet the bitter draught That life holds out to all, should most abound And least be threaten’d in the fields and groves? Possess ye therefore, ye who, borne about In chariots and sedans, know no fatigue But that of idleness, and taste no scenes But such as art contrives, possess ye still Your element; there only ye can shine, There only minds like yours can do no harm. Our groves were planted to console at noon The pensive wand’rer in their shades. At eve The moon-beam, sliding softly in between The sleeping leaves, is all the light they wish, Birds warbling all the music. We can spare The splendour of your lamps, they but eclipse Our softer satellite. Your songs confound Our more harmonious notes: the thrush departs Scar’d, and th’ offended nightingale is mute. There is a public mischief in your mirth, It plagues your country. Folly such as your’s, Grac’d with a sword, and worthier of a fan, Has made, which enemies could ne’er have done, Our arch of empire, steadfast but for you, A mutilated structure, soon to fall.
Now for the Novels:
First, in Sense and Sensibility, Marianne bemoans Edward’s appalling lack of emotive reading skills:
“Oh! mama, how spiritless, how tame was Edward’s manner in reading to us last night! …To hear those beautiful lines which have frequently almost driven me wild, pronounced with such impenetrable calmness, such dreadful indifference!-
“He would certainly have done more justice to simple and elegant prose. I thought so at the time, but you would give him Cowper.”
“Nay, mama, if he is not to be animated by Cowper! – but we must allow for differences of taste…but it would have broke my heart had I loved him, to hear him read with so little sensibility.” [S&S, Vol. I, ch. 3]
And later, from Elinor:
“Well, Marianne…you have already ascertained Mr. Willoughby’s opinion in almost every matter of importance. You know what he thinks of Cowper and Scott; you are certain of his estimating their beauties as he ought, and you have received every assurance of his admiring Pope no more than is proper.” [S&S, Vol. I, ch. 10]
2. InEmma, Mr. Knightley, keen observer of Frank and Jane, conjures up Cowper:
…he could not help remembering what he had seen; nor could he avoid observations which, unless it were like Cowper and his fire at twilight,
‘Myself creating what I saw,’
brought him yet stronger suspicion of there being a something of private liking, of private understanding even, between Frank Churchill and Jane. [Emma, vol. III, ch. 5, quoting The Task, Book IV, “The Winter Evening”].
3. Fanny in Mansfield Park twice quotes Cowper:
Her horror at Mr. Rushworth’s plans to “improve” Sotherton:
Cut down an avenue! What a pity! Does not it make you think of Cowper? ‘Ye fallen avenues, once more I mourn your fate unmerited’ (from The Task, Book I, “The Sofa”)
And later, Fanny, stranded in Portsmouth, again quotes Cowper in Vol. III, ch. 14:
Her eagerness, her impatience, her longings to be with them, were such as to bring a line or two of Cowper’s Tirocinium forever before her. “With what intense desire she wants her home,” was continually on her tongue, as the truest description of a yearning which she could not suppose any school-boy’s bosom to feel more keenly.
Cowper’s “Tirocinium: or, A Review of Schools” (1785, published with The Task) is a poem Cowper wrote addressed to a father who has sent his son away to school; Cowper “recommend[s] private tuition in preference to an education at school.”
But Cowper is much more than a quote here and there in Mansfield Park. Kerri Savage, in her Persuasions On-line essay: “Attending the Interior Self: Fanny’s ‘Task’ in Mansfield Park,” believes that the character of Fanny actually embodies all that Cowper espouses in The Task, and that “ultimately [Cowper’s] Task emphasizes the individual who makes a difference in the world as one who ‘attends to his interior self.’ Cowper contrasts the immorality in the city with the quiet, green rural life that nurtures the introspective moral life,” as we saw above. Sounds just like Fanny, doesn’t it?
5. And in Austen’s unfinished Sanditon, Cowper is found in Mr. Heywood’s responding to Mr. Parker that he knows not a thing about the famous bathing spot Brinshore:
“Why, in truth, sir, I fancy we may apply to Brinshore, that line of the Poet Cowper in his description of the religious Cottager, as opposed to Voltaire – ‘She, never heard of half a mile from home’” [from “Truth” in Poems, 1782)
….Cowper’s point being that the happy cottager is content with her faith and her rural life, unlike the worldly Voltaire:
She for her humble sphere by nature fit, Has little understanding, and no wit, Receives no praise, but (though her lot be such, Toilsome and indigent) she renders much; Just knows, and knows no more, her bible true, A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew, And in that charter reads with sparkling eyes, Her title to a treasure in the skies. Oh happy peasant! Oh unhappy bard! His the mere tinsel, her’s the rich reward; He prais’d perhaps for ages yet to come, She never heard of half a mile from home…
We think of Cowper as a moral, religious poet, with a tendency to melancholy, musing on the beauties of nature and rural life, and why Henry emphasized Austen’s appreciation of him in his overly sanitized biographical essay. But in reading a few poems [can I confess to not doing much with Cowper before? – here’s an Aside: I looked in all my college British Literature texts – Cowper is there, but we touched on nary a single one of his poems!]… but in now finally reading a few of his poems, I do find much humor, especially the very comic “The Diverting History of John Gilpin.”
First published anonymously in The Public Advertiser in 1782, and then in The Task in 1785, “John Gilpin” has been rendered into a number of children’s books, notably by Randolph Caldecott in 1878 – his illustration of Gilpin on his wild run has even become the symbol of the esteemed children’s book award, the Caldecott Medal:
Randolph Caldecott, John Gilpin [wikipedia]
It was also illustrated by Charles E. Brock, noted illustrator of Jane Austen’s novels. [I love these connections!]:
And certainly knowing the backstory of and a reading of the beginning of The Task, can bring to mind an appreciative young Austen reading these works with much laughter and perhaps a bit of idea-plucking for her very own juvenilia?
Here’s “The Sofa” story and how The Task came to be, as Cowper describes it himself:
The history of the following production is briefly this. A lady, fond of blank verse, demanded a poem of that kind from the Author, and gave him the SOFA for a subject. He obeyed; and, having much leisure, connected another subject with it; and, pursuing the train of thought to which his situation and turn of mind led him, brought forth at length, instead of the trifle which he at first intended, a serious affair – a Volume. [Advertisement to The Task, 1785].
“The Sofa” begins thus: from The Task, A Poem, In Six Books, Book I. The Sofa.
SING the SOFA. I who lately sang Truth, Hope and Charity, and touch’d with awe The solemn chords, and with a trembling hand, Escap’d with pain from that advent’rous flight, Now seek repose upon an humbler theme; The theme though humble, yet august and proud Th’ occasion — for the Fair commands the song.
We can recall Austen’s penchant for sofas in her juvenilia – one is always quite relieved to find one always at the ready when needed!
[Note: Laurie Kaplan in her Persuasions On-Line essay references other aspects of Austen’s juvenilia in relation to Cowper’s love of the Country vs. the City:
“…for example, in “Letter the 4th: Laura to Marianne” in Love and Freindship, Jane Austen may have been alluding laughingly to Cowper’s preference for the simple life. Laura tells Marianne that she has been warned: “‘Beware of the insipid Vanities and idle Dissipations of the Metropolis of England; Beware of the unmeaning Luxuries of Bath & of the Stinking fish of Southampton’” (78-79). “‘Alas!,’” Laura exclaims, “‘What probability is there of my ever tasting the Dissipations of London, the Luxuries of Bath or the stinking Fish of Southampton? I who am doomed to waste my Days of Youth & Beauty in an humble Cottage in the Vale of Uske.’”]
I offer you a brief version: [short-shift really – do yourself a favor and read all the links I provide – it is all very interesting, whether my English professors at the time thought so or not…]
William Cowper (1731-1800) was born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, and was known for his nature, religious, and humanitarian poetry. He was the most-read poet between the eras of Alexander Pope and William Wordsworth. Coleridge called him “the best modern poet,” and he is considered a major influence on the Romantic poets.
[A totally irrelevant Aside: I lived for a number of years in Barkhamsted, Connecticut, which was incorporated in 1779 and named after England’s Berkhamsted. The Town of Barkhamsted presented Berkhamsted with a gavel and block on July 4, 1976 in celebration of the United States Bicentennial – the Berkhamsted Town Council uses it in its meetings. I wonder if I had known about William Cowper at the time, if I would have been better versed in his poetry today!]
Cowper’s friendship with John Newton [hence the combined Museum in their names] was foundational in many ways in Cowper’s life and writings. Newton was a former captain of a slave ship who became a staunch abolitionist, wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace,” and invited Cowper to contribute hymns to his Olney Hymns (1779) – Cowper wrote 67 of them [some sources say 68]! Newton also wrote the preface to Cowper’s first published Poems (1782) – this was suppressed by the publisher who thought its overly religious tone might discourage readers, but the preface is here in this 1st edition Godmersham copy, making it the earliest of printing runs before Johnson stepped in and had it removed, and the more rare indeed.
In a letter of 3 October 1790, Cowper wrote to Joseph Johnson, asking him to reinstate the preface—which was done for the 5th edition of 1793 and for all subsequent editions published by Johnson, including the 6th of 1794. [I thank Peter Sabor for this information. located in The Letters and Prose Writings of William Cowper. 5 vols. Oxford UP, 1979-86].
It was meant to be sung as the ballad “Admiral Hosier’s Ghost” to the tune of “Come and Listen to my Ditty” – you can listen to the first stanza here, with thanks to the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings:
The Negro’s Complaint
Forc’d from home and all its pleasures, Afric’s coast I left forlorn; To increase a stranger’s treasures, O’er the raging billows borne. Men from England bought and sold me, Paid my price in paltry gold; But, though theirs they have enroll’d me, Minds are never to be sold….
Cowper’s life was a roller-coaster of manic episodes, poetry his main outlet for expression. He was trained in the Law but did not practice [hence his “of the Inner Temple, Esq.”], and seemed to have been dependent on the kindness of friends and loved ones to get him through his trying times. He published his first book of Poems in 1782, not a success apparently; published his “Epitaph on a Hare” [see above for Austen’s reference to the “Tame Hares”!] in The Gentleman’s Magazine in 1784 (as well as Cowper’s letter on his hares which you can read here: https://www.cowperandnewtonmuseum.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/mw_tame_hares.pdf, but it was the1785 publication of The Task that did very well and ensured his popularity. He also translated Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey from the Greek in 1791.
So much of his output was autobiographical, and his 1799 poem “The Castaway” gives the reader a true sense of his emotional struggles. He died in 1800 and is buried at the St. Nicholas Church in East Dereham, where a stained glass window commemorates his life. There is also one at St. George’s chapel in Westminster Abbey, a two light stained glass window in memory of both Cowper and George Herbert.
And he lives on and on because Jane Austen mentions him numerous times in her letters and novels [do they read him now in British Literature college classes I wonder?!]
So Welcome Home Mr. Cowper – we are most pleased you are no longer missing, no longer a LOST SHEEP! Kudos to the Friends of the National Libraries and to the dedication and generosity of the GLOSS team!
Austen, Jane. The Letters of Jane Austen. Ed. Deirdre Le Faye. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011.
Austen, Jane. The Novels: I referred to the Oxford Classics editions, the Chapman Oxford editions, and the Cambridge editions for text and notes.
Great news all! Our GLOSS team has been successful in locating and returning another title [Memoirs of Saint-Simon] formerly housed in Edward Austen Knight’s Godmersham Park library! It has the Montagu George Knight bookplate and the shelf ticket from the library. Purchased at Arenberg Auctions in Brussels (yours truly happily won the bidding, despite the entire auction being conducted in French!), it is now safe and sound in the Chawton House library collection:
Saint-Simon, Louis de Rouvroy duc de. Mémoires de monsieur le duc de S. Simon, ou L’observateur véridique, sur le règne de Louis XIV, & sur les premières époques des règnes suivans. Londres ; et se trouve à Paris, Buisson ; Marseille, Jean Mossy, 1788.
[Saint-Simon, Louis de Rouvroy duke of. Memoirs of Monsieur le Duc de S. Simon, or The Truthful Observer, on the reign of Louis XIV, and on the first periods of the following reigns].
This is the first substantial edition of these famous Mémoires, the complete edition of which will not appear until 1829-1831. Without the suppl. printed in 1789.
Portrait of Louis de Rouvroy, duke of Saint-Simon, knight of the King of France’s Orders in 1728. By Jean-Baptiste van Loo. Private collection (Le Mallier, matrilineal heirs to the last duke of Saint-Simon, castle of Chasnay), reproduction after a photograph of the original painting [Wikipedia]
Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon was born in Paris in 1675, son of the first duke Claude de Rouvroy (1608–1693) and Charlotte de L’Aubespine, daughter of François, marquis de Hauterive by his wife, Eléonore de Volvire, marquise de Ruffec. King Louis XIII appointed Claude a Master of Wolfhounds and granted him a dukedom in 1635 [the title’s name refers to the seigneury that was held by the Rouvroy family at Saint-Simon in Aisne]. Louis’s godparents were Louis XIV and Queen Marie-Thérèse.
In 1695 Louis married Marie-Gabrielle de Durfort, daughter of Guy Aldonce Durfort, Duke of Lorges; they had three children. The dukedom passed from father to son Louis in 1693; he was the second and last holder of the title, since his two sons predeceased him.
Louis’s memoirs are a classic of French literature, wherein Louis gives a full and lively account of the court of Versailles of Louis XIV, “The Sun King,” and the beginnings of the Regency of Louis XV. [Do not let all these Louis’s confuse you – it is part and parcel of French history and cannot be avoided…she says confusedly]
“In the Memoirs, Saint-Simon’s observations allowed him to describe vividly both the elegance and the corruption of the court of Versailles. Despite some errors of fact and interpretation, his knowledge of history made him aware of the breakdown of traditional checks and balances that underlay Louis XIV’s royal absolutism and which was to lead, in the next century, to the French Revolution. Saint-Simon’s intensely written accounts of court intrigues and such events as the deaths of the Grand Dauphin, the Duke of Burgundy, and Louis XIV himself—as well as his incisive word portraits of his fellow courtiers—make him perhaps the world’s greatest writer on the prestige, the ambitions, the uncertainties, and the ironies of public life. He completed his Memoirs in 1752.”
When Saint-Simon died in Paris in March 1755, mostly in debt and out of favor, all his possessions, including his writings, were seized by the Crown. According to Wikipedia, these“Mémoires were kept under sequestration and only circulated through private copies and excerpts until the restitution of the manuscript to his heirs in 1828.”
Did Jane Austen ever comment on Louis XIV? – she had much to say in her History of England about the British monarchs, but she made only a passing reference to the Duke and Duchess of Orléans and the D’Entraigues in her letters [and one tiny reference to Louis XIV – see below]. Members of the French royal family who has sought refuge in England during the tumultuous revolution in France, Louis-Phillipe (1773-1840) and his wife Marie-Amélie (1782-1866) [she was the niece of Marie Antoinette] lived in England for part of their exile. Returning to France during the Bourbon Restoration, Louis-Philippe was chosen as King of the French and reigned from 1830-1848. They returned to England in 1848 after his abdication [following the history of France and its monarchy is a chaotic exercise, so only here mentioning this Louis-Philippe because Jane Austen did]:
In September of 1816, Cassandra is visiting Cheltenham (where she and Jane had visited in May), and Jane writes:
“The Duchess of Orleans, the paper says, drinks at my Pump.”[Ltr. 144, Sept 1816]. And a few days later she writes again:
“So, you have C. Craven [Charlotte Craven] among you, as well as the Duke of Orleans & Mr. Pococke. But it mortifies me that you have not added one to the stock of common acquaintance. Do pray meet with somebody belonging to yourself. – I am quite weary of your knowing nobody.”[Ltr. 145, Sept 1816]
Austen also refers to the D’Entraigues & Comte Julien in April 1811:
“…[they] cannot come to the Party – which was at first a greif, but…their not coming has produced our going to them tomorrow Even’g, which I like the idea of. It will be amusing to see the ways of a French circle.”
“Eliza caught her cold on Sunday in our way to the D’Entraigues…Eliza enjoyed her even’g very much & means to cultivate the acquaintance – & I see nothing to dislike in them, but their taking quantitites of snuff. – Monsieur the old Count, is a very fine looking man, with quiet manners, good enough for an Englishman – & I believe is a Man of great Information & Taste. He has some fine paintings, which delighted Henry as much as the Son’s music gratified Eliza – & among them, a miniature of Philip 5. of Spain, Louis 14.s Grandson, which exactly suited my capacity. – Count Julien’s performance is very wonderful… but M. le Comte must do without Henry. If he w’d but speak English, I would take to him.”[Ltr. 71, April 1811].
[As an aside, because here’s a tale to tell, and Austen doesn’t mention a thing about it: the Comte Emmanuel-Louis D’Antraigues (1753-1812) was a French pamphleteer, diplomat, spy and double agent, forger, and political adventurer. He and his wife were both murdered in their London home on July 22, 1812 by their Italian servant, either for personal or political reasons, who can tell – but this is a mere one year and three months after Austen visited them…]
So, we do know that Austen certainly followed the events in France – she had after all two brothers who served in the Royal Navy, and for most of her life England was at war with France. Her knowledge of French and French history would have increased due to her close relationship with her cousin Eliza (later her brother Henry’s wife), married to a French Count who lost his head to the guillotine. Austen peppers her letters with French phrases, though not so much in the novels [for a great discussion read Joan Austen-Leigh’s account “Jane Austen: The “French Connection” in Persuasions 20 (1998): 106-18].
This happy but confusing aside into French history is to just address the question whether Jane Austen read French, the general consensus being that she did. Did she read this very book about Louis XIV? She may have, or at least we can imagine her pulling it off the shelf – South Case, column 5, shelf 1 to be exact! [see here on the Reading with Austen website [pictures soon to be added].
OR, maybe Austen just pretended to understand France and French history and the French language, à la Catherine Morland…
Regardless, this French title is now in the library at Chawton House, where it certainly belongs – kudos to all on the intrepid GLOSS team for help in getting these memoir volumes back home!
Our GLOSS Team is very pleased to announce a new LOST SHEEP that has been returned to the Fold!
Pharmacopoeia Collegii Regii Medicorum Edinburgensis. [By the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh]. Edinburgi, Apud W. Sands, A. Murray, & J. Cochran. Sumptibus J. Patoni ibidem Bibliopolae. MDCCXLIV. [Fourth Edition].
A little history:
“Before the existence of the Pharmacopoeia, there were no standardised recipes or methods of producing remedies for apothecaries, and no book or manual for physicians to consult when prescribing drugs or ointments. The move towards standardising medical teaching and practice was yet to happen, and this book acted as the first chain in that process of professionalisation.” [RCPE]
The College of Physicians of London had first published their own Pharmacopoeia in 1618. The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh attempted their own such manual in 1683, but ongoing infighting between surgeons and apothecaries delayed the actual publication until 1699. And what followed is an interesting and confusing history of twelve editions with many changes, some due to advances in chemistry and medical science, some due to previous editions having sold out, and some due to infighting as to what should actually be included and how it should be listed.
The various editions remained in general use in Scotland until 1864, when it combined with the London and Dublin Pharmacopoeias in 1864 to create the British Pharmacopoeia, still in use today. But unlike most other medical writing that since around 1750 was rendered in English rather than Latin, the Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia was still published in Latin until the 11th ed of 1839. Translations were made into English and many other languages, and this added to the confusion when trying to gain an understanding of all available editions. None of the various editions stated as such, and only by studying the introductory material and the contents listings can it be determined how much revising actually took place. Fortunately David L. Cowen did all this work for the researcher in 1957 (see resources below).
Cowen lists the following editions:
First – 1699 Second – 1722 Third – 1735 Fourth – 1744 Fifth – 1756 Sixth – 1774 Seventh – 1783 Eighth – 1792 Ninth – 1803 Revised Ninth – 1805 Tenth – 1817 Eleventh (first in English) – 1839 Twelfth (second in English) – 1841
In this image of the 1st edition of 1699, notice the “device” on the title page:
1st ed. 1699 – image from the RCPE
As Cowen notes,
“in the first edition, the device was a combination of medical, national, and municipal symbols. It contained a staff and snake in a double ornamented oval frame that suggests the Badge of the Scottish Order of the Thistle. Within the ovals was the motto of the Order (and also one of the mottos in the Arms of Scotland): Nenw me impune lacesset. This was capped by a shield containing a representation of Edinburgh Castle, supported by a maiden and a hind, or unicorn, and by the enscrolled motto Nisi Dominus Frustra – all derived from the seal of the City of Edinburgh.
The second edition, and all subsequent printings that used the device, dropped the symbols of the City, and changed the staff to a triple thistle plant about the stalk of which a snake was entwined. A double circle frame, suggesting the Star of the Order of the Thistle was used, containing the same motto as before. On several printings these circles were encased in a black square with corner ornaments.” [Cowan, Part II, 342-43]
It is the 4th edition of 1744 we are most interested in, because this is the copy that was in the Godmersham Park Library. Here is the title page with the revised device that Cowen refers to:
4th ed. of 1744
It has the Montagu George Knight bookplate: [note the price of £20 – very painful! as well as the incorrect date of 1745 – someone did not know their Roman numerals…]
To give you an idea of the contents (there is no T of C in the 1744 edition), these are the main headings:
Medicamenta Simplicia which identifies botanicals, minerals and animals. Then there are the sections that tell how to prepare the remedies with these headings: Praeparationes; Destillate; Spiritus Stillatitii; Aquæ infusæ & Aceta; Tincturae; Decota; Syrupi; Melita, Gelatinæ, Succi & Succorum fæcul; Condita, Confervæ, & Sacchara; Pulvis Antiepilepticus, de Gutteta di êfus; Electuaria, Confeétiones, Anti dota, & Lohoch; Pilulæ Æthiopicæ; Trochifci; Olea per expreffionem; Balsama; Unguenta; Emplastra; Cataplasmat; and finally Medicamenta chemica. Followed by a detailed Index.
And I am sure that all made a good deal of sense… a later edition that did have a contents page (6th ed. of 1774) reads like this:
Changes to the Pharmacopoeia were ridden with conflict – folk medicine and tradition often rivaling the learnings of science and pure reason. Cowen gives an example of the animal simples in our 4th edition of 1744 still listed under Man as: “blood, urine, fat, milk, cranium, and mummy of man.” [Pharmacopoeia, 1744, p. 24.]
Here are a few pages to give you an idea of layout and content: [click on each for full page]
When first researching this post, I thought I would make a list of all the titles in the GPL that are in Latin. In a count of the spreadsheet titles, I find 100 in Latin, and another 21 that are an English / Latin combination. So I shall not be listing those, but what is important to note is that the 1818 GPL catalogue does contain this title (and mentioned above):
Pharmacopoeia Collegii Regalis Medicorum Londinensis. By Royal College of Physicians of London. London: Apud T. Longman, T. Shewell, et J. Nourse, 1746.
And this is a LOST SHEEP!
I find another medical text, though in English, that is also a LOST SHEEP, so will add that in here as well and add these two titles to our list of LOST SHEEP:
William Lewis, ed. Medical Essays and Observations, published by A Society in Edinburgh, In Six Volumes; Abridged and disposed under General Heads, In Two Volumes. Containing Vol. I. Meteorology, Mineral Waters, Materia Medica and Pharmacy, Animal Oeconomy. Vol. II. Anatomy and Chirurgery, Essays on particular Diseases, Histories of Morbid Cases, Improvements and Discoveries in Physic. With Copper Plates. By William Lewis, M.B. F.R.S. London: Printed for C. Hitch at the Red Lion, and T. Astley at the Rose in Pater-noster Row, 1746.
Image: Internet Archive
In sum, the Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia is now at the Library at Chawton House, and images will soon be added to its rightful place on the Reading with Austenwebsite. A hearty thank you to the GLOSS team for their generous donations to make this purchase possible, and now on to the next find … eyes peeled one and all for the many LOST SHEEP still waiting to be found ….
In the most recent issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine, there is an essay by Emily Brand on “Foul-weather Jack,” a tale about poet Byron’s grandfather Vice-Admiral John Byron (1723-1786). Brand has recently published her book on the Byron family, The Fall of the House of Byron (John Murray, 2020), and it looks like a compelling read about a family that seemed to be cursed with all manner of misfortune through at least three generations.
[You can hear about the book on several episodes at BBC Sounds – only good for a few more days.]
What caught my eye was Brand’s reference to the Godmersham Park Library and three narratives of sea-faring adventures involving a John Byron apparently housed there – so my GLOSS view of the world went into high-gear to see what books are listed in the 1818 library catalogue and if they are Lost Sheep. And from there, down the research rabbit-hole… here are the results:
First, a bit about John Byron:
Byron was a British Royal Navy officer and explorer. He earned the nickname ‘Foul-Weather Jack’ because of his frequent encounters with bad weather at sea. At the age of 16 he was a midshipman on the ship HMS Wager, part of George Anson’s squadron intending to circumnavigate the globe – Byron made it only to southern Chile, when the Wager shipwrecked, a mutiny ensued and it took Byron more than five years to get back to England. The story of this adventure has been told in various accounts, including Byron’s own Narrative published in 1768 (more on this below).
Vice-Admiral The Hon. John Byron – by Joshua Reynolds, 1759,
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
You can read more about Byron and his further sea adventures circumnavigating the globe (which he did as commodore with his own squadron in 1764–1766), to a stint as Governor of Newfoundland, action in the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution here. He rose to Vice Admiral of the White before his death in 1786. He fathered nine children (three died in infancy), his son John the father of Byron. Admiral Byron died two years before our poet was born, but Byron was familiar with his grandfather’s adventures and paid tribute to him in his shipwreck scene in Don Juan. He wrote to his half-sister Augusta Leigh that his own turbulent, unlucky life was similar to his grandfather’s: “he had no rest at sea, nor I on shore.”
But as compelling as Admiral Byron’s life may be, our interest is in the books in the 1818 GPL catalogue – there are three books in the collection that relate to Byron and his voyages, and all are LOST SHEEP:
Two works are about the 1764-66 voyage of the Dolphin with Byron as Commodore:
1. A Voyage Round the World, In His Majesty’s ship The Dolphin, Commanded by the Honourable Commodore Byron. In which is Contained, A faithful Account of the several Places, People, Plants, Animals, &c. seen on the voyage: And faithful Account of the several Places, People, Plants, Animals, &c. seen on the voyage: And, among other Particulars, A minute and exact Description of the Streights of Magellan, and of the Gigantic People called Patagonians. Together with An Account of Seven Islands lately discovered. In the South Seas. By an Officer on Board the said Ship. The second edition.
Printed for J. Newbery, in St. Paul’s Church-Yard; and F. Newbery, in Pater-noster Row, 1767.
The author as stated on the title page reads: By an Officer on Board the said Ship, and the book has been attributed to Byron himself – indeed this copy is listed in the GPL catalogue as “Byron’s Voyages” and Byron is listed as the author in the 1908 catalogue. As the author remains unknown it is now listed and catalogued in libraries under the publisher Newbery. It is for us a LOST SHEEP.
At the time, there was controversy about the unknown author(s) : I find this (rather lengthy) in The Gentleman’s and London Magazine for May, 1767:
A Voyage round the World in his Majesty’s Ship the Dolphin, commanded by the Honourable Commodore Byron
SOON after the publication of this book, the following paragraph appeared in the Daily Advertiser:
“We are authorised by the undermentioned officers of the Dolphin man of war, to assure the public, in relation to a book lately published for Mr. Newbery, bookseller, in St. Paul’s Church-yard, entitled, “A voyage round the world in his Majesty’s ship the Dolphin, under the command of the Hon. Commodore Byron, and said to be wrote by an officer of the said ship,” that neither of them is the author thereof; that they will not presume to publish the voyage without obtaining leave for that purpose; and that the said bookseller is entirely unknown to them ; P. Mouat, captain; John Marshal, 2d lieutenant; George Robertson, 3d lieutenant, Henry Stacy, purser. The first lieutenant has been abroad seven months, the master three months, and both are still absent, which with the surgeon (who is at present out of town) and those whose names are signed above, were the principal officers of the Dolphin.”
To this paragraph the following answer was published two days afterwards in the Gazetteer.
“Some of the officers belonging to the ship, from motives, perhaps, of a private nature, have disavowed their having any concern in the publication of this volume, and asserted, that they neither know the author or the bookseller. But this amounts to nothing. The author is an officer; but the same motives that induced them to publish their advertisement, obliges him to keep himself conceal’d. All we pretended to was, that the book we published contained a faithful and true account of what was seen on the voyage, and was written by an officer on board the said ship. This is true, and is a truth which these gentlemen will not contradićt, nor, indeed, have they attempted it. Could the author have prefixed his name to the volume without incurring the displeasure of his superiors, he would; but, as that cannot be done, he hopes that so slight a circumstance will not be suffered to invalidate that truth, which the opposers of this publication, and, indeed, all the world cannot contradict.”
The truth seems to be, that the book in question is made from one of the ship journals, kept on board the Dolphin, in consequence of the curiosity excited by a report of some gigantic savages having been discovered in the course of the voyage on the coast of Patagonia. It is undoubtedly genuine, and contains innumerable facts and incidents that it would have been impossible to feign; the account of the Patagonians, however, does not fill quite seven pages of the work, in which, as the editor candidly acknowledges, the reader must not look for that entertainment which many books of the same kind afford, as, fortunately for the adventurers, but unfortunately for the reader, they met with no considerable distress during the voyage, and lost but 12 men out of both ships* [the other ship was the Tama]. The book is adorned with three cuts, not ill designed or executed, two representing the Patagonians, which were certainly drawn from fancy, aided by a verbal description ; and one representing a very picturesque scene in one of the islands of the South-Seas, said in the title to be seven in number, but appears, by the account, to be eight. It is to be wished that instead of one of them at least there had been a chart of the Straits of Magellan, and of the coasts of the principal places mentioned in the narrative; for, without this, the reader has so imperfect and confused a notion of the course, that his imagination cannot accompany the adventurers.
The discovery of the islands in the South-Seas was the object of the voyage, and the editor has, with great propriety, suppressed the latitudes and longitudes of them, in obedience to government, and to prevent any other nation from availing itself of our discovery.
The Commodore left Masa Fuero, called by the Spaniards the lesser Juan Fernandes, an island lying in latitude 33 deg 28 min. south, and in longitude 84 deg 27 min. west from London, and after a passage of 36 days, steering northward, discovered two small islands, which afforded a very delightful prospect, and perfumed the air with the fragrance of their fruits, but the people were prevented from landing by the Indians, who crowded in an hostile manner to the shore, and ran along the coast watching the boat. To these islands, therefore, they gave the name of the Islands of Disappointment. At the distance of about 67 leagues to the W. S. W. they discovered a third island, which all round next the sea was covered with beautiful red and white coral, fine shells and pearls. This they called Coral-Island; it is about, 11 leagues long, and near three broad, but has little fresh water. In the middle of it, however, there is a lake, where the Indians catch turtle, of which they saw many shells. They found also great quantities of fish hanging on the limbs….
[etc. it goes on for a few more pages outlining their discovery of a few more islands, one of which they name Byron after the Commodore. No more is said about the authorship…]
A sale at Christies of this title in 2009 lists the author as Byron, with this note: “This work is normally ascribed to midshipman Charles Clerke” (which is a whole other story … about the Patagonian giants). You can see said giants in this frontispiece from the 1st edition of Voyage:
2. John Hawkesworth. An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the Order of His Present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, And successively performed by Commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, Captain Carteret, and Captain Cook, In the Dolphin, the Swallow, and the Endeavour: Drawn up From the Journals which were kept by the several Commanders, And from the Papers of Joseph Banks, Esq; By John Hawkesworth, LL. D. In Three Volumes. Illustrated with Cuts, and a great Variety of Charts and Maps relative to Countries now first discovered, or hitherto but imperfectly known.
London: Printed for W. Strahan; and T. Cadell in the Strand, 1773
This title is listed in the 1908 catalogue but is not in the Knight Collection – so another LOST SHEEP.
[UPDATE:Jocelyn Harris in a comment below reminds us that Jane Austen would have certainly been familiar with this Hawkesworth account of the voyages: notice the names of Wallis and Carteret; there is also a Dalrymple and an Elliot – all names Austen uses in her Persuasion. See Harris’s brilliant book A Revolution Beyond Expression: Jane Austen’s Persuasion (U of Delaware P, 2007). A future post will discuss the other books in the GPL about James Cook’s voyages, where we will discover additional LOST SHEEP.]
3. The third work in the GPL tells the tale of Byron’s first voyage as a midshipman on the HMS Wager, in 1740-41, its shipwreck and mutiny of some of the crew. It was published in 1743.
John Bulkeley and John Cummins, Late Gunner and Carpenter of the Wager. A Voyage to the South-Seas, In the Years 1740-1. Containing, A faithful Narrative of the Loss of his Majesty’s Ship the Wager on a desolate Island in the Latitude 47 South, Longitude 81:40 West: With the Proceedings and Conduct of the Officers and Crew, and the Hardships they endured in the said Island for the Space of five Months; their bold Attempt for Liberty, in Coasting the Southern Part of the vast Region of Patagonia; setting out with upwards of Eighty Souls in their Boats; the Loss of the Cutter; their Passage through the Streights of Magellan; an Account of their Manner of living in the Voyage on Seals, Wild Horses, Dogs, &c. and the incredible Hardships they frequently underwent for Want of Food of any Kind; a Description of the several Places where they touch’d in the Streights of Magellan, with an Account of the Inhabitants, &c. and their safe Arrival to the Brazil, after sailing one thousand Leagues in a Long-Boat; their Reception from the Portuguese; an Account of the Disturbances at Rio Grand; their Arrival at Rio Janeiro; their Passage and Usage on Board a Portuguese Ship to Lisbon; and their Return to England. Interspersed with many entertaining and curious Observations, not taken Notice of by Sir John Narborough, or any other Journalist. The Whole compiled by Persons concerned in the Facts related, viz. John Bulkeley and John Cummins, Late Gunner and Carpenter of the Wager.
London: Printed for Jacob Robinson, Publisher, at the Golden-Lion in Ludgate-Street, 1743.
This title was in the GPL, listed in the 1908 catalogue (but has been crossed- out), and has gone missing, so a LOST SHEEP.
It is this 1740-41 voyage that Byron writes about in his own Narrative in 1768, interestingly enough the year after the “By an Officer on Board the said Ship” author-disputed voyage of the Dolphin (#1 above) was published.
John Byron. The narrative of the Honourable John Byron (commodore in a late expedition round the world) containing an account of the great distresses suffered by himself and his companions on the coast of Patagonia, from the year 1740, till their arrival in England, 1746. : With a description of St. Jago de Chili, and the manners and customs of the inhabitants. : Also a relation of the loss of the Wager man of war, one of Admiral Anson’s squadron. / Written by himself and now first published. London: Printed for S. Baker and G. Leigh; and T. Davies, 1768.
His book sold well enough and went into several editions. [And a little aside: this narrative forms the basis of the novel The Unknown Shore by Patrick O’Brian*]. Byron’s account was the only one which in any way defended Captain Cheap.
Frontispiece -Byron Narrative – BHL
This book is not in the GPL, which I find interesting since the library contained the other three titles concerning Byron – it is not listed in 1908 or in the Knight Collection either. But I find Byron’s “Preface” worth a read, as he mentions the 1743 Bulkeley account of this voyage (#3 above):
As the greatest pain I feel in committing the following sheets to the press, arises from an apprehension that many of my readers will accuse me of egotism; I will not incur that charge in my preface, by detaining them with the reasons which have induced me, at this time, to yield to the desire of my friends. It is equally indifferent to the public to be told how it happened, that nothing should have got the better of my indolence and reluctance to comply with the same requests, for the space of twenty years.
I will employ these few introductory pages merely to shew what pretensions this work may have to the notice of the world, after those publications which have preceded it. It is well known that the Wager, one of lord Anson’s squadron, was cast away upon a desolate island in the South-seas. The subject of this book is a relation of the extraordinary difficulties and hard-ships through which, by the assistance of Divine Providence, a small part of her crew escaped to their native land; and a very small proportion of those made their way in a new and unheard-of manner, over a large and desert tract of land between the western mouth of the Magellanic streight and the capital of’ Chili; a country scarce to be paralleled in any part of the globe, in that it affords neither fruits, grain, nor even roots proper for the sustenance of man; and what is still more rare, the very sea, which yields a plentiful support to many a barren coast, on this tempestuous and inhospitable shore is found to be almost as barren as the land; and it must be confessed, that to those who cannot interest themselves with seeing human nature labouring, from day to day, to preserve its existence under the continual want of such real necessaries as food and shelter from the most rigorous climate, the following sheets will afford but little entertainment.
Yet, after all, it must be allowed there can be no other way of ascertaining the geography and natural history of a country which is altogether morass and rock, incapable of products or culture, than by setting down every minute circumstance which was observed in traversing it. The same may be said of the inhabitants, their manners, religion, and language. What fruits could an European reap from a more intimate acquaintance with them, than what he will find in the following accidental observations? We saw the most unprofitable spot on the globe of the earth, and such it is described and ascertained to be.
It is to be hoped some little amends may be made by such an insight as is given into the interior part of the country; and I find what I have put down has had the good fortune to be pleasing to some of my friends; insomuch that the only fault I have yet had laid to my papers is, that of being too short in the article of the Spanish settlements. But here I must say, I have been dubious of the partiality of my friends; and, as I think, justly fearful lest the world in general, who may perhaps find compassion and indulgence for a protracted tale of distress, may not give the fame allowance to a luxurious imagination triumphing in a change of fortune, and sudden transition from the most dismal to the gayest scenes in the universe, and thereby indulging an egotism equally offensive to the envious and censorious.
I speak as briefly as possible of matters previous to our final separation from the rest of lord Anson’s squadron; for it is from this epocha that the train of our misfortunes properly commences: and though Mr. Bulkeley, one of the warrant officers of the Wager, has long since published a Journal and Account of the return of that part of the ship’s company, which, dissenting from captain Cheap’s proposal of endeavouring to regain their native country by way of the great continent of South America, took their passage home in the long-boar, through the Streights of Magellan; our transactions during our abode on the island have been related by him in so concise a manner as to leave many particulars unnoticed, and others touched so slightly, that they appear evidently to have been put together with the purpose of justifying those proceedings which could not be considered in any other light than that of direct mutiny. Accordingly, we find that the main substance of his Journal is employed in scrutinizing the conduct of captain Cheap, and setting forth the conferences which passed between him and the seceders relative to the way and measures they were to take for their return home. I have, therefore, taken some pains to review those early passages of the unfortunate scene I am to represent, and to enter into a detail, without which no found judgment can be formed of any disputed point, especially when it has been carried so far as to end in personal resentment. When contests and dissensions shall be found to have gone that length, it will be obvious to every reader, why a licentious crew should hearken to any factious leader rather than to the solidity of their captain’s advice, who made it evident to every unprejudiced understanding, that their fairest chance for safety and a better fortune, was to proceed with the long-boat till they should make prize of some vessel of the enemy, and thereby be enabled to bring to the commodore a supply of stout fellows to assist in his conquests, and share in the honour and rewards.
And yet it is but justice even to this ungovernable herd to explain, that though I have said above they appeared in the light of mutineers, they were not actually such in the eye of the law; for till a subsequent act, made, indeed, on this occasion, the pay of a ship’s crew ceased immediately upon her wreck, and consequently the officers authority and command.
Having explained the foregoing particulars, I hope I may flatter myself there are few things in the following sheets, which will not be readily understood by the greatest part of my readers; therefore I will not detain them any longer.
So threeLost Sheep – keep your eyes open GLOSSers!
* Patrick O’Brian’s The Unknown Shore (1959), a sort of sequel to his The Golden Ocean (1956), is neither part of his well-known Aubrey-Maturin Napoleonic War series that started with Master and Commander in 1969, but rather a precursor. The Unknown Shore tells the story of a Jack Byron and Tobias Barrow, who sail aboard HMS Wager as part of the voyage around the world led by Anson in 1740 (sound familiar?) These two characters are considered the prototypes of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin – the series of course was O’Brian’s literary tribute to Jane Austen (notice the JA in both names) – so proof once again, that everything does come back to Jane Austen, no matter how far afield we think we are…
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!]
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…]
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.
‘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
‘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.’
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.
‘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).
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.
‘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.
‘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!
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?
‘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).
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)
‘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.]
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.
1849: ‘Thursday April 5 … I went to Alton & ordered Burke’s landed gentry & Williams’s laws relating to the clergy.’
There are so many editions of Burke’s landed gentry – it has its own wikipedia page!
Since he is ordering this in 1849, it might be the edition of 1843-49 titled:
A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, a companion to the Baronetage and Knightage. By John Burke and John Bernard Burke. London: H. Colburn, 1845-1848.
No editions are listed in either catalogue. The Knight Collection has only this book by Bernard Burke: Encyclopaedia of Heraldry: or General Armory [later titled General Armory, which is how it is listed in the Knight Collection – first published in 1884 under this title.]
For Williams, I find this:
David Williams. The laws relating to the clergy; being a practical guide to the clerical profession in the legal and canonical discharge of their various duties. London: Printed for Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, 1813 and a 2nd ed in 1822.
The Knight Collection has a book titled: The Duties and Rights of the Clergy – this could refer to Edward Stillingfleet’s Ecclesiastical cases relating to the duties and rights of the parochial clergy stated and resolved according to the principles of conscience and law / by the Right Reverend Father in God, Edward, Lord Bishop of Worcester. London: Printed by J.H. for Henry Mortlock.., 1698.
There are other titles by Edward Stillingfleet in the GPL catalogue, but not this one – need to have a better look at the complete title in the Knight Collection.
‘April 18 … Preparations for lending Library.’ (In Alton. Charles suggested setting it up.)
‘April 19th ... arranged the lending Library books and tracts.’
‘April 22 … Gave G. Ewens some books to cover for the lending Library.’
Well, hooray for Charles! I need to research more to see if the existing library in Alton, located on Vicarage Hill, is actually the very one that Charles Knight started in the community.
Alton Library, Vicarage Hill (Wikipedia)
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.
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
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!
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.
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 Austenwebsite 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:
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)
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:
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.]
5. ‘Sunday April 22 … I came home soon after 5 and read till 7 when I dined — at 1/2 past 9 I read the first chapter of Anderson’s Expositions of the Epistle to the Romans, to the servants, meaning to go on with it every Sunday.’
Robert Anderson. A practical exposition of St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans. London: J. Hatchard and Son, 1833. [also an appendix was published in 1837]
[Image: Internet Archive]
Not in the GPL – so one wonders where DID Charles’ own books go??
6. ‘Monday June 11 ... Today I have been silly enough to subscribe to a publication going about of the lives of eminent Englishmen.’
Charles must mean this: Lives of eminent and illustrious Englishmen, from Alfred the Great to the latest times, on an original plan. George Godfrey Cunningham. Glasgow, A. Fullarton & Co., 1834-42.
Not in the GPL – but it is good to know that Charles had a moment of “silliness”! It was originally published in 16 parts (then into 8 volumes).
[Image: Internet Archive]
7. ‘Wednesday June 13 ... I read some of Waddingtons History of the church & some of Johnson’s Life by Boswell … I have generally passed the time in reading the above books, besides the Bible’. (Hazel notes: He finds time for reading over a period when he is laid up with the gout.) – Not in the GPL, but here is a title page [from HathiTrust]:
History of the church, from the earliest ages to the reformation, by George Waddington / Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. London: Baldwin & Cradock, etc…, 1830-1833.
Boswell’s Life of Johnson was covered in this post on Samuel Johnson in the GPL: this is a LOST SHEEP, however, and therefore worth repeating…
8. ‘Monday July 23 … I began to read Gibbon’s decline and fall today.’
See above for details: he bought it on April 20, started it July 23 – Charles, like all of us, must have had a piled-high TBR stack!
9. 1839 ‘Thursday (Feb 7th) I began this morning reading to the servants before prayers, instead of having prayers only. I began Slade’s psalms …’
Slade is mentioned in Part IV of Charles’s reading: James Slade wrote a few works on the Psalms, a number of them after the diary date of 1839. There is nothing in the GPL: but maybe this was what he was reading to the servants (did Charles always “practice” on the servants I wonder?)
An Explanation of the Psalms as read in the Liturgy of the Church. By the Rev. James Slade, Canon of Chester. London, 1832. [ title page from MW Books on abebooks]
10. ‘Friday March 8 … The rest of the day I passed in reading Abercrombie’s Intellectual powers, which I finished; & began his moral feelings.’
We have two works mentioned here, neither in the GPL catalogue:
In 1830, John Abercrombie published his Inquiries concerning the Intellectual Powers and the Investigation of Truth. Edinburgh / London, 1830. We don’t know what edition Charles had, but here is a title page from the 5th edition of 1835 [HathiTrust].
This was followed with The Philosophy of the Moral Feelings in 1833, published by John Murray (Jane Austen’s own publisher!)
John Abercrombie (1780-1844) was a Scottish physician and philosopher, known for his medical treatises. These two works of philosophy were widely popular at the time of their publication and were variously reprinted in Britain and the United States.
John Abercrombie – ( c) Wellcome Library; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
Though these books are not in the 1818 GPL catalogue, it gives me an opportunity to tell of two books by a different John Abercrombie that were at Godmersham, but are now LOST SHEEP.
This John Abercrombie (1720-1806) was a Scottish horticulturist who wrote a number of books on gardening, and was as a young man employed at the Royal Gardens at Kew, and at Leicester House.
John Abercrombie. The propagation and botanical arrangements of plants and trees, useful and ornamental, proper for cultivation in every department of gardening; nurseries, plantations and agriculture. …etc. [a very long title!]. London, 1784.
The Universal Gardener And Botanist; or, a General Dictionary of Gardening and Botany. Exhibiting in Botanical Arrangement, according to the Linnæan System,…. Etc, etc.,[another very long title!]. By Thomas Mawe and John Abercrombie. London, 1778.
And finally, the last entry for Diary 11:
11. ‘Tuesday March 19 … I began reading Thicas’s history of the French revolution, which Edward lent me.’
I can find nothing on this exactly, but perhaps it is a mistake on Charles’s part or illegible, because I do find this (it is not in the 1818 catalogue):
Adolphe Thiers, circa 1830 – wikipedia
Histoire de la Révolution française, by Adolphe Thiers (could this be the “thicas” ?) The first two volumes appeared in 1823, the last two (of ten) in 1827. It was the first major history of the French Revolution in French and won Thiers a seat as the second-youngest elected member of the Academie Française. He was the second elected President of France, and the first President of the French Third Republic.
There are other books in the 1818 catalogue about the French Revolution, as well as a number of books in French– so if Edward lent it to Charles around 1839, where did it come from if not the Godmersham or Chawton libraries? It is not listed in the 1908 catalogue either. Did Charles never return the set to Edward? And, is it clear that Charles spoke / read French?
This book on the French Revolution is listed in the GPL catalogue and is in the Knight Collection, and has the Montagu George Knight bookplate:
Archibald Alison. History of Europe during the French Revolution. Embracing the period from the Assembly of the Notables, in M.DCC.LXXXIX., to the establishment of the Directory, in M.DCC.XCV. By Archibald Alison. London / Edinburgh, 1833-1842.
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 publishedThe 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.
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.
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
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)
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.
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
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
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!
Austen, Jane (1775-1817) [of course!]
Baillie, Joanna (1762-1851)
Barbauld, Anna Letitia (1743-1825) [as A. Aikin, her maiden name]
Bowdler, Jane (1743-1784)
Brooke, Frances (1724-1789)
Brunton, Mary (1778-1818)
Burney, Frances (1752-1840)
Campan, Jeanne Louise Henriette Genest (1752-1822)
Carter, Elizabeth (1717-1806)
Chapone, Hester (1727-1801)
Cornwallis, Mary (1758-1836):
Craven, Elizabeth Craven, Baroness (1750-1828)
Dixon, Sarah (1671/2-1765)
Dobson, Susannah (d. 1795) [as translator]
Edgeworth, Maria (1768-1849)
Elie de Beaumont, Anne-Louise Morin-Dumesnil (1729-1783)
Elwood, Anne Katharine (1796-1873)
Fielding, Sarah (1710-1768) [as translator]
Gardiner, Jane (1758-1840)
Genlis, Stéphanie Félicité, comtesse de (1746-1830)
Graffigny, (Françoise d’Issembourg d’Happoncourt), Mme de (1695-1758)
Grant, Anne (1755-1838)
Hays, Mary (1759-1843)
Haywood, Eliza Fowler (1693-1756)
Lee, Harriet (1757-1851)
Lee, Sophia (1750-1824)
Lennox, Charlotte (ca. 1730-1804) [as translator]
Macaulay, Catharine (1731-1791)
Maintenon, Françoise d’Aubigné, marquise de (1635-1719)
Marlborough, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of (1660-1744)
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:
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 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.
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.
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…