Tuesday, 10 May 2016

CFP: Marginalia Conference and Masterclass, 23 September 2016

Below is the CFP for the Marginalia Conference and Masterclass that Paul Tankard, Shef Rogers and I have been organising for the last few months—and which has occupied so much of my "free' time that I have done little more than update old posts on this blog. More details will follow as they become available.

* * * **

The Centre for the Book, Monash University, in collaboration with the Centre for the Book, University of Otago and The State Library of Victoria, are hosting:

Marginal Notes: Social Reading and the Literal Margins.
 A One-Day Conference and Masterclass.



Keynote Speakers: Prof. Bill Sherman, Director of Research and Collections, Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Prof. Pat Buckridge, Griffith University, Queensland

Conference date: Friday 23 September.
Venue: State Library of Victoria, Melbourne

There are margins to both traditional print- and paper-based texts as well as virtual texts. Whatever text they surround, encompass, define or limit, margins are the spaces in which ideas are contested and debated. Historically, readers have used the physical margin as a space in which to respond to the voice of the author, and to communicate with other readers. As it has become increasingly easy to add marginal notes to virtual texts, and for readers to share their electronic marginalia with each other, scholars are able to scrutinise marginalia in new ways and to reconstruct social reading practices on an unprecedented scale. While contemporary and historical annotation practices have much in common, and there is much to be learned about historical practices from studies of contemporary marginalia, historical practices raise unique and challenging interpretative issues of their own. And, although a range of recent studies have increased our knowledge concerning the distribution and availability of books, the identity and diversity of readers and annotators, the spread and even the nature of literacy in the early modern and modern periods, there remain significant challenges for scholars encountering marginalia.

This conference will investigate marginalia in texts from the early modern period to the present, with a particular focus on the interpretative challenges posed by marginalia in the literal margin—whether encountered directly, via digital surrogate or in mediated form. Topics may include:
  • Studies of historical marginalia and annotation
  • Theoretical models and methodological protocols for conceptualising marginalia
  • The reproduction of marginalia in virtual environments
  • The location and use of marginalia via digital surrogate
  • Studies of virtual marginalia that shed light on historical practices
  • Changing or limiting contemporary reader practices in virtual environments
  • Marginal notations as “signs of engagement”
  • The nature and interpretative challenges of pictures, doodles, stains and traces etc.
  • Interpretative issues posed by anonymous vs. celebrity marginalia
  • Particular annotators, or particular annotated texts
  • Marginalia as literary work
  • Commentary as writing, writing as commentary
  • Marginalia as (auto)biographical record or life writing
  • Annotation in combination with inter-leaving and grangerising
It is anticipated that the papers from the conference will form the basis of an edited collection to be published by a quality academic press.

Length of papers: 
Papers will be twenty minutes each (with ten minutes for Q and A).

Please send abstracts of 250–300 words to the convenors by 15 June:
Dr. Patrick Spedding (Patrick.Spedding@monash.edu)
Dr. Paul Tankard (paul.tankard@otago.ac.nz)

To allow for delegates to make their travel plans and/or apply for funding in a timely fashion, proposals will be considered and confirmations issued as they come in.

Masterclass: Prof. Bill Sherman will conduct a masterclass at the State Library of Victoria, using items from the Rare Books Collection to demonstrate some of the interpretative challenges that annotated material presents to scholars and librarians. Seating is limited. For further details, or to book a seat, please contact Dr. Patrick Spedding (Monash University): Patrick.Spedding@monash.edu.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Harvard Library Company, 1793


I have an octavo volume of Eliza Haywood's The Female Spectator which, acording to a printed label in it (above), was once "The Property of Harvard Library Company, constituted January 1793." The label has a section for a price; the annotation in this area has been erased, but other annotations (below) suggest that the book was disposed of by the Harvard Library Company by 1845, since the new owner ("W.D."?) has added "Bought at Auction Feb. 17/45" and "No.58" to the fixed endpaper.


I have been unable to find a trace of the Harvard Library Company, constituted (by coincidence?) in the same month as the execution of Louis XVI, by guillotine, at the Place de la Révolution. Which is a shame, it would be nice to know more about a library founded, it seems, in imitation of The Library Company of Philadelphia sixty years earlier. If you have any information on this Library Company of Harvard, I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Portraits of James Annesley

As Wikipedia says, James Annesley (1715–60) "was an Irishman with a claim to the title Earl of Anglesey, one of the wealthiest estates in Ireland. The dispute between Annesley and his uncle Richard Annesley was infamous in its time, but his story is perhaps best known today as a possible inspiration for the 19th century novel Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson, among other works of literature"—later mentioning "Eliza Haywood's novel Memoirs of an Unfortunate Young Nobleman (1743) … [which] narrates a wildly inaccurate imagining of James' life in the American Colonies." I'd dispute the "wildly inaccurate" but two contributors to this Wikipedia entry are engaged in a war and I have no desire to get involved!


Anyway, I know of three engravings of James Annesley, all appear to be based on one (above), published in March 1744, attributed to George Bickham the Younger (1706–71; fl.1736–58), after an original by Kings—possibly Giles King (fl.1732–46). Two of the three appear on eighteenth-century editions of The trial … between Campbell Craig, Lessee, of James Annesley, plaintif, and the Right Honourable Richard Earl of Anglesey, Defendant which I have. There were many, competing, editions of this trial, the two illustrated editions (below) being that printed "for R. Walker" (ESTC: n13750; online here) and "for Jacob Robinson" (ESTC: t195578).



As you can see below, by comparing each of the reprints with the original, the Walker plate is reversed. The ship, on the left of the original, is now on the right (below); and Annesley, who is facing left is now facing right. I flipped and paired the portraits below to show the background in the same position in both plates, reversing details on Annesley.

Although major features are flipped, minor ones are not, so that, when reversed like this, they do not match: note, in particular, that his buttons and button-holes are now on the reverse side. This is because, if the copiest had copied these features along with the others, in reverse, they would appear be on the wrong side according to prevailing fashions: men's buttons always being on their right, or the viewer's left!


With the Robinson plate (below), the background has simply been erased, so no reversal of major and minor features is necessary. Note how the features of the original ornate frame are retained, and the crown, though the frame is at odds with such an austere background.


Saturday, 7 November 2015

More Eighteenth-Century Dildos


On 15 April this year The Mirror reported that the dildo (above and below) had been discovered by archaeologists excavating an eighteenth-century toilet in Gdansk, Poland (see here).


Someone from the Regional Office for the Protection of Monuments, noted that cleaning revealed (as can be seen below) the dildo to be well-preserved and “in excellent condition” (see here): it is eight-inches long, with a pair of balls. It is covered in high-quality leather, filled with bristles, and has a carved wooden tip. Such an object—described by Herodas in the 3rd century BCE—would have been “certainly expensive.”


The History blog picked up the story (here), adding a few details: that the latrine is in the Podwalu suburb of Gdansk, and the dildo dates from the second half of the 18th century. The latrine is believed to have once belonged to a school of swordsmanship, since old swords were previously discovered at the site.


Marcin Tymiński, suggested—according to the History Blog— that the dildo was “probably dropped in the toilet, either deliberately or in a tragic slippery-fingers accident”; elsewhere this is stated more politely: “According to the archaeologists, it was mistakenly dropped in the toilet by the person who was using it.”

Oddly, it seems to have occurred to only one reporter (here) that, since fencing schools were occupied almost exclusively by males, there is a reasonably good chance that “the person who was using it” was a male. (Such luxury items almost certainly being beyond the reach of female staff or servants.)

For my April 2010 post on Eighteenth-Century Dildos, see here.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Connubial Happiness and Boston editions of The Wife

I have previously posted on the subject of the nineteenth-century, Bowdlerised Boston edition of Ab.70.5 The Wife (1756), one of the last works by Eliza Haywood to be published before the modern revival of interest in her as an author (see here). I know of three issues of the Boston edition by Andrew Newell (now, only two are in my Bibliography).

Yesterday, I discovered an 1836 reprint of this Bowdlerised Newell edition, also published in Boston, this time by James Loring (1770–1850). The title has been changed to The Young Bride at Home: Or, A Help to Connubial Happiness: with a Comparative View of the Sexes.


Two copies of the book are available online (here and here), attributed to Hannah More (1745–1833), since her name is attached to the Comparative View of the Sexes which occupies the final nine pages of the text.

As far as I can tell, nobody has previously recognised The Young Bride at Home as a reprint of Haywood's The Wife or Newell's Bowdlerised reprint of the same. But the discovery that The Young Bride is a reprint of Newell's Bowdlerised edition will now make it possible for Haywood scholars to compare the two texts, who did not have access to one of the five copies the Boston edition (all in US libraries), or to the 1983 History of Women microfilm collection which contains it.

Because The Young Bride is a nineteenth-century reprint of Ab.70 The Wife, the OCR rendering of it is almost perfect, unlike the two eighteenth-century editions on Google Books—a “plain text” view of either of which offers no text at all, just page images, though the text appears when you do a general Google-search.

* * * * *

Below is an example of what I mean, taken from [1] Ab.70.1 (the 1756, 1st, ed. here), [2] Ab.70.4 (the 1773, 3rd ed. here), the [3] British Library here and [4] Harvard University copies here of The Young Bride

[1] ' 5 Sir, It is a fancy which all good subc' jects and true protestants must approve 5 e and I think you have no pretence to -* find fault with my fancy; .-- you, who ' yesterday thought yourself very fine, I 5 suppose, in the livery of a highland S ragamuffin, a silly flOWer with scarce Fany smell or "taste, and a bundle of a stinking leaves for a cockade!

[2] Sir, 'it-is a fancy which all. good subzfijects and true protestants must approve; '* and l-think you have no pretence' to 'Ofind faultwith my fancy ;-you, who '*- yestirirdasthought yoursels veryfine, I * suppose, in the livery of a highland ' ragamuffin, a sllly- flower with scarce Aianysssrncillrz or taste, and a bundle of it stinking leaves' for a cockade i'

[3] ‘Sir, it is a fancy which all good subjects and true protestants must approve; and I think you have no pretence to find fault with my fancy; you, who yesterday thought yourself very fine, I suppose, in the livery of a Highland ragamuffin, a silly flower with scarce any smell or taste, and a bundle of stinking leaves for a cockade l’

[4] 'Sir, it is a fancy which all good subjects and true protestants must approve; and I think you have no pretence to find fault with my fancy; you, who yesterday thought yourself very fine, I suppose, in the livery of a Highland ragamuffin, a silly flower with scarce any smell or taste, and a bundle of stinking leaves for a cockade!'

There are 333 characters (including spaces) in this passage: there are no errors in the Harvard University copy, one in the British Library copy [=3 errors per thousand characters], but eight in Ab.70.1 [24 per thousand] and forty-three in Ab.70.4 [129 per thousand]—the main errors being adding random characters and running together text.

* * * * *

The above example from The Young Bride indicates how much of the text remains unchanged. I compared the whole of this section (SECT. III. Difference of opinion in affairs of Government), to the same section from the text, as edited for the Pickering and Chatto edition. While the word-count varies somewhat, depending on hyphenation and so forth, there are approximately seventeen hundred and thirty words in this section: the Boston edition adds ten words, and cuts forty-five, reducing the length by roughly two percent.

The change in length is minor, and many of the changes are inconsequential: “talk on those affairs” becomes “converse on these subjects”; “endued with” becomes “possessed of”; “without all question” becomes “without doubt”; “these sheets” and “close this section” becomes “these pages” and “conclude these remarks.”

The consequential changes are the ones which indicate modernising: by de-emphasising the immediacy of events (“About the middle of last May” becomes “Not long since”), the politics (“flagrant marks of Jacobitism” and “harmless Jacobites” becomes “political marks” and “harmless politicians”)—“King GEORGE, and the Hanover succession” is retained as a rallying cry since a succession of Hanoverian Georges occupied the throne from 1715 to 1830!—and toning down the sex (“the man, in whose arms she lies” becomes “the man, who is the object of her affections” and “feasting and visiting took up their days, and love engross'd their nights” is shorn of its love-engrossed nights all together. So much for “Connubial Happiness”!).

* * * * *

That Haywood's work continued to find an audience in 1836 (eighty years after her death) suggests the continuing appeal of her writing, independant of any appeal she may or may not have had as a writer. This 1836 edition is now the latest of any Haywood work before the modern revival of interest in her, and the latest in the main section of my Bibliography, post-dating Ab.36.7 The Fruitless Enquiry (1819). The code for The Young Bride at Home is / will be Ab.70.6.