Thursday 16 December 2010

What You Miss Online: text-bases vs microfilms

I have been working on an article on An Apology For The Conduct of Mrs Teresia Constantia Phillips (1748). Phillips (aka Con Phillips) does not have a Wikipedia page (shame on Wikipedia) but you will find a few details about her here.

My article is an account of the publication of Phillips's Apology. It was published in parts. Eighteen of them over the course of a few years. I mention this because, one aspect of my research has been trying to uncover newspaper advertisements for each Number. I started, of course, with the Burney Newspaper database.

It took a while to find a few advertisements, but once I was on the right track I refined, varied and repeated my search in a way that has rapidly become familiar to literary scholars. Below is the text of a typical advertisement (from Old England, 9 April 1748):

On Monday next will be published,
(Price One Shilling)
The First Number of

AN APOLOGY for the Conduct of Mrs TERESIA CONSTANTIA PHILLIPS; more particularly that Part of it which relates to her Marriage with an Eminent Dutch Merchant: The Whole authenticated by faithful Copies of his Letters, and of the Settlement which he made upon her to Induce her to suffer (without any real Opposition on her Part) a Sentence to be Pronounced against their Marriage; together with such other Original Papers, filed in the Cause, as are necessary to illustrate that remarkable Story.

Were ye, ye Fair, but cautious whom ye trust,
Did ye but know how seldom
Fools are just,
So many of your sex would not in vain.
Of broken Vows, and faithless Men, complain;
Of all the various Wretches Love has made,
How few have been by
Men on Sense betray’d?
Rowe’s Fair Penitent.

To be had at her House in Craig’s Court, Charing Cross; where all Booksellers may be supplied, with the usual Allowances; and to prevent Imposition, each Book will be signed with her own Hand.

N.B. Whoever presumes to pirate this, or any of the following Numbers, will be prosecuted with the utmost Rigor of the Law, being duly enter’d at Stationers Hall.

No. II. will be publish’d on Monday the 25th Instant.

It is amazing how few advertisements you find if you search for "Teresia Constantia Phillips" or "Apology for the Conduct"—none in fact. This is because the Burney database search-engine doesn't cope well with caps. So you have to search for words not in caps. Or in italic, that also doesn't work well either. Oh, or words that start with a lower-case s, or contain a medial s (that is, a long-esse, the one that looks like an "f"). Or multi-word searches. Otherwise it is great!

Keeping this in mind, and—as I said—refining, varying and repeating my search, I found sixty-six advertisements using these seven search terms

Mrs Phillips = 26
Teresia = 11
Apology = 11
Phillips's Apology = 7
Fair Penitent = 7
Dutch Merchant = 3
Metzotinto = 1

Of course, I used other terms too, but didn't find anything that had not already been discovered using the above terms. That is, other searches only threw up duplicates. I was pretty happy with what I found, and was able to write the first draft of my article on the basis of these advertisements.

But, having satisfied myself that this was all I was going to find on the Burney database, I then turned to the microfilm series on which the Burney database is founded. It is time-consuming and—frankly—unpleasant work, but by searching for advertisements in just a single newspaper title I found a further fifty-four advertisements. Important advertisements, which added enormously to my article. (Including the advertisements for a Dutch translation of Phillip's Apology!)

Which is the reason for the title to this post. And this warning: if you rely on text-bases like EEBO, ECCO, and Burney, you will almost certainly miss at least half of the material you are looking for. I say this confidently because the microfilm search I conducted could be expanded to other newspapers to discover even more material.

And this is why, tedious as it is, it is still necessary to search the microfilms that text-bases like the Burney Newspaper database are generated from. And it is also why, expensive and seemingly redundant as they are, it is still necessary for genuine research libraries to buy and keep the microfilms that these text-bases are generated from!

Wednesday 15 December 2010

The Byronic Heroine

I finished reading Atara Stein's The Byronic Hero in Film, Fiction, and Television last night. And, well, I have to say I was very disappointed in the book. So disappointed I went looking for other reviews and—having not found one—wrote my own for Amazon (here and below). I wanted to be able to direct my students to a recent account of some pop-culture Byronic Heroes, but I am going to have to keep searching.

The main problem with this book is probably the inability of essentialist feminism to deal with characters who disrupt gender stereotypes, but the most obvious problem is the fact that Stein is never clear about who is responsible for either the characters and actions or responses she is making observations about.

Stein tends not to talk about authorial or directorial intention, she criticises characters and plots as if they came into being independent of authors, publishers, producers, studios etc and there is no discussion of genre expectations in cinema even, though the book is about genre expectation in literature. Stein also tends to be silent about reader/viewer response, though the essentialist arguments she quotes depend on this.

If a female character uses violence to protect herself, is she necessarily masculinised/de-feminised? If a character is briefly depicted in her underwear, is she necessarily feminised/sexualised/weakened? The critics quoted here believe, yes necessarily, and that the female character briefly depicted in her underwear is thereby shown to be vulnerable: that a (male) viewer cannot help but have a sexual response to this depiction, and that his response re-inscribes the character's position as object/victim of the viewing male.

The possibility is not considered that a female viewer may have a sexual response, a male may not have one, or that such a response from either a male or a female does not necessarily inscribe the character in a position as object/victim, that the fictional female concerned may be indifferent—in her fictional universe—to the response of others, seeks, welcomes or is empowered by the response or is perfectly capable of defending herself from any form of unwanted attention or aggression. In the context, some of these are even more implausible than the arguments that Stein presents, but the fact is that only one possibility is considered.

If we are not talking about the character's fictional universe, then the argument must be articulated that briefly depicting a female in her underwear cannot help but lead to a sexual response in viewing males, and that this response re-inscribes the position of all real women as object/victim. Again, the possibility is not considered that a female cinema-goer may be indifferent to the response of others, seeks, welcomes or is empowered by the response, or is perfectly capable of defending herself from any form of unwanted attention or aggression.

When I read this sort of criticism I find myself wanting to ask the writer: how is a fictional female to protect herself—as a female and in a way that does not inscribe her in a position as either object/victim or masculinised/de-feminised? In fact, how is a powerful fictional female to be depicted at all?

And how can any sort of feminist criticism value the male response (assumed to be sexual, and assumed to be violent and predatory) over the female one? Do a few seconds of (hetro-male) "fan service" negate the overwhelming Grrl-power message of a film? In the case of the Alien franchise, a Grrl-power message that was enthusiastically embraced and has subsequently reappeared many times over. Is the ultimate argument, that the good these film do over-balanced by the evil that they perpetrate?

Stein's answer seems to be yes, the good is over-balanced. Which brings me to Stein's broader argument: that escapist cinema makes film-viewers into drones who are more obedient and accepting of their lot, that escapist cinema drains our collective bile. That the portrayal of characters like Ripley is intended to re-inscribe conventional gender roles and keep women passive/weakened.

The problem is, this argument really only works if you can establish that characters like Ripley are either intended to be, or are perceived to be, unappealing, or that their fate is either intended to be, or are perceived to be, an object lesson in how not to behave. Since neither the intentions of the film-makers (broadly considered) nor the response of the film goers (broadly considered) are considered at all then Stein's argument simply cannot be successful. She does not even articulated her argument this clearly.

* * * * *

My Amazon review:

First up: this book is *full* of typos, outrageous ones, ones that every text-editing program (like Word) would pick up. This suggests that nobody at SIUP was paying any attention when this book went to press … which may explain how this book got published at all in its present form.

I am intensely interested in this topic, so I found the first couple of chapters useful, even though I disagreed with many of the arguments and claims.

However, I was simply bored by the sections on The Crow and Anne Rice’s vampires, and bored to tears by the sections on Neil Gailmon's Dream and Star Trek's Q. The chapters on these characters do not have a clear over-arching argument and there is no over-view of the characters and plot-lines, just an endless series of observations, some of which are contradictory, some of which are implausible or wrong-headed, and many of which are simply repetitive.

The wost section is undoubtedly the one I was most interested in -- the one I bought the book for -- on the Byronic Heroine. Stein wants to mount a feminist argument against the Terminator and Alien films, but seems unsure how to do it, so she simply attacks the film from every direction and quotes -- approvingly -- some of the asinine arguments I have ever read.

The nadir is reached on pages 199 and 200 where Sarah Connor, from the Terminator films, is criticised because she "emulat[s] her culture's icon of heroic behaviour: the violent male outlaw …. It does not occur to her to adopt a creed of nonviolence." (199) [Well, *that* would be a short action film!] And when Ellen Ripley, from the Alien films, returns to her hyper-sleep-bed-thing at the end of one film, we are informed that this brief glimpse of her in her underwear:

[1] re-feminises her;
[2] makes her “a vulnerable sex object”;
[3] and therefore “a potential victim for men”; a potential realised in the mind of one critic
[4] who fantasises “sexual violence can bring the uppity Ripley down” and therefore concludes
[5] that the scene is intended as “a warning to female viewers.”

That’s right: simply show that you have legs and you inscribe yourself as an inevitable rape victim. Apparently this message is so loud and clear that the simple act of showing Ripley’s legs drowns out the you-go-girl message implicit in depicting a woman who has saved herself (and human kind) by single-handedly annihilating a nest of the most terrifying aliens ever imagined.

Oh, and note that these two films are related (thematically?) to Catherine from Wuthering Heights and Eustacia from The Return of the Native. I believe the phrase is “drawing a long bow.”

Whatever merit some of these arguments have—and as a card-carrying feminist I do agree with some of the observations on inscribing gender—it annoys me to see such sloppy thinking, contradictory, implausible or wrong-headed arguments, masquerading as “feminism.”

I will not be recommending this book to my students.

Thursday 18 November 2010

Evidence of Impact, A Decade Later

Way back in August of 2000 (four years before I finished my PhD!) I contributed to a discussion on the C18-List prompted by an exchange between Ellen Moody and Betty Rizzo about whether Frances Burney ought to be called Fanny Burney today. To me, this is a simple feminist argument. We don't use familiar names for male writers (Billy Shakespeare anyone?), so why should we do so for female writers?

As one contributor observed "Questions on the meaning of Fanny in the 18th c. are central." So I passed a few of the posts onto my cousin James Lambert, a lexicographer with an encyclopedic knowledge of sexual slang. He replied at some length, but those who wanted to believe that Fanny had an obscene meaning in the eighteenth century remained unconvinced. The debate shifted to Fanny Hill (is the name a pun?), and the true believers cited more dubious scholarship.

Eventually, the debate wearied the list and it died out. James and I went away, read the articles mentioned, remained skeptical and—some months later—said so. But the debate was over. Nobody who believed that Fanny was an obscene pun in the eighteenth century was interested in debating the subject online.

Early in the debate, John Dussinger had asked: "Won't some brilliant person on this list write an essay on the use of 'Fanny' in our long period?" This seemed like an excellent idea, so James and I decided that is what we would do. The only problem was, we were both rather busy so … *cough* … it was March 2007 before I started working on my part of the article and March 2008 before the first draft of the article was ready for submission.

We sent it to Studies in Philology who sent it off for refereeing and in October 2010 they graciously accepted the article, agreeing to publish it in their first number of 2011. We have just sent off the final galley edits and, all going well, our article will be printed just over a decade after John posed his challenge.

When I was attempting to answer John's question, I realised that we needed to consult the original songbooks that provide the earliest evidence for the obscene use of the word Fanny (in the early nineteenth century). I was unable to do so because I do not live in London (the songbooks are in the British Library) and they have never been published in full.

So, I suggested to a colleague in musicology that we should propose to Pickering and Chatto a full edition of these bawdy songbooks. Pickering and Chatto were delighted with the idea, the proposal was accepted, work is now underway and this four-volume edited collection will be published in the first half of 2011.

* * * * *

A few months ago I filled in the final report for my ARC grant. I held off on doing this for as long as possible, because the central questions in that report concern "Research Outputs" and "Evidence of Impact." The only "Impact" that the ARC is interested in is the impact of your research on others, and so the "Evidence" and "Outputs" that the ARC are interested in take the form of published books, articles, chapters, reviews and citations of the same etc.

The ARC are not interested in anything that has been researched, written, submitted, or even accepted, only items that have been printed or are being printed now. All of which is well and good in its way, but you are supposed to submit this report on your global impact immediately, on the day your money stops!

When it can take a decade—as here—between the prompt for an article and its publication, and when it can take three years between the submission of an article and it being printed, there seems little chance that an ARC final report, submitted on the day your funding stops, will capture even a fraction of your "Research outputs" and, as for "Evidence of Impact," it could be years again before any of the arguments we have presented gain any traction.

Which is why questions like these seem so stupid. It is also why filling in reports, and answering questions like these, is so disheartening. I am terribly sorry, I only managed to get half a dozen conference papers presented, three articles published, an exhibition and an international conference organised, but according to the citation indexes compiled a day or two after these articles were published: nope, no impact.

This is also why, no doubt, it seems like anyone whose speech is not peppered with "affectless references to DEST points, citation indices, ERA rankings, ARC applications …" is either a failure or a radical who belongs to one of the "secretive cells of idealistic academics" that Joseph Gora and Andrew Whelan have written about here.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Haywood Bibliography Note 6

In my Bibliography of Eliza Haywood I explain that Ab.59 The Fortunate Foundlings (1744) was translated into French under the title Les Heureux Orphelins (1754) and then was translated back into English under the title The Happy Orphans in 1758. Throughout the nineteenth century, this translation was published under the title Edwin and Lucy; Or, The Happy Orphans.

Since The Happy Orphans is only distantly related to The Fortunate Foundlings I did not list editions of it in the main sequence of my Bibliography. Instead, I listed them in Appendix D (entries Ed.59.12a–Ed.59.16).

Almost all editions are uncommon, so it is not surprising that I have seen only two for sale in the last decade. The one (illustrated here) which I bought is unrecorded and has been added to my revised Bibliography. The one I didn't buy—a copy of Ed.59.12a, mistakenly attributed to Edward Kimber—is still available for £2000 here.

Since my copy of Ed.59.17 is both unique and pretty, I am including a few pictures of it here, as well as adding a corrected entry for Appendix D to my Haywood Bibliography, Addenda and Corrigenda page.

[UPDATE: 2 July 2016: After all my pictures disappeared again I decided to give up on external hosts for large versions (1000px) of my image files and, for now on, will stick with the smaller images (500px), which Blogger is prepared to host.]

Saturday 13 November 2010

The Faust Tradition

Study Guides, Essays and Notes

Faust. This site has it all: sections on the Legend of Faust, Books, Music, Theatre, Art, Film, Games

See also Cummings study guide

Prose Faust Texts, Chapbooks etc. in English

The history of the damnable life, and deserved death of Dr. John Faustus. Newly printed, and in convenient places, impertinent matter amended, according to the true copy, printed at Frankford; and translated into English, by P.R. gent. (London: Printed by C. Brown; for M. Hotham, at the Black Boy on London-bridge, and sold by the booksellers, [ca. 1700]) in Early English Prose Romances, edited by William John Thoms (London: Nattali and Bond, 1858), vol. 1, 151–300. [Wing H2156]

The Second Report of Doctor Iohn Faustus, containing his appearances, and the deedes of Wagner. VVritten by an English gentleman student in VVittenberg an Vniuersity of Germany in Saxony. Published for the delight of all those which desire nouelties by a frend of the same gentleman. (London: Printed by Abell Ieffes, for Cuthbert Burby, and are to be sold at the middle shop at Saint Mildreds Church by the stockes, 1594) in Early English Prose Romances, edited by William John Thoms (London: Nattali and Bond, 1858), vol. 1, 302–414. [STC 10715]

The History of Dr. John Faustus: Shewing how he sold himself to the devil, … Also, strange things done by him, and his servant Mephistopholes. With an account how the devil came for him, and tore him to pieces (Derby: Printed in the year, 1787)

History of DR. FAUSTUS Shewing His wicked Life and horrid Death, and how he sold himself to the devil, to have power for 24 years to do what he pleased, also many strange things done by him with the assistance of MEPHISTOPHELES. With an account how the Devil came for him at the end of 24 years, and tore him to pieces (n.d. [18C?]) in Amusing Prose Chap-Books, Chiefly of Last Century, edited by Robert Hays (London: Hamilton Adams, 1889), 286–98.

Marlowe's Faustus

Christopher Marlowe, The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, [A1, the 1604 quarto text] edited by Alexander Dyce (London, mid-19C).

Christopher Marlowe, The Tragicall History of D. Faustus [A text] ed. Hilary Binda (2010?)

Christopher Marlowe, The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, [B1, the 1616 quarto text] edited by Alexander Dyce (London, mid-19C).

Christopher Marlowe, The Tragedie of Doctor Faustus [B text] ed. Hilary Binda (2010?)

Other British Faust texts

William Mountfort, The Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, Made into a Farce, in Six Plays, Written by Mr. Mountfort, 2 vols. (1720)

Goethe's Faustus

Faust, in the original metres, Translated by Bayard Taylor (pre-1878).

Faust Parts I & II (2003). A complete translation by A. S. Kline, with line numbers, and full stage directions.

Other European Faust texts

Historia vnd Geschicht Doctor Johannis Faustj des Zauberers An edition in German (with a translation into English) by Prof. Harry Haile, University of Illinois, based on the Wolfenbüttel Manuscript (1580s).

Das Volksbuch von Dr. Faust (um 1580)

[UPDATED 18 June 2013]

Friday 12 November 2010

How much for five used Condoms?

I will leave it up to you to decide how much emphasis you read into my title, and where you place the emphasis: whether you read it as a loud and incredulous rhetorical question—or a polite enquiry—concerning the price, or whether it is a disgusted response to the fact that it is five used condoms that sold, but the answer is the same: 2000 Euros or A$2750 for five condoms. That is 400 Euros or A$550 each.

On 9 November 2010 the Palais Dorotheum auctioned off the following lot

Lot No. 131: Five c. 1900 air bladder Condoms in original cardboard box with maker’s label. Size (of box!) c. 26 x 6 cm. Estimate EUR 300,- to 500

As I said, the realized price was 2000 Euros. The sale, which appeared under the heading of "Antique Scientific Instruments, Models and Globes" [actually, "historische wissenschaftliche instrumente und globen"], attracted a good deal of attention. (See here and here.) Enough, in fact, for me to hear about it before 9 November. I did consider bidding a fraction above the range, but knew I would be wasting my time. It is a consolation that I was right.

The condoms would have been useful as an example of the longevity of "skins" (condoms made from fish, sheep or pig gut) and of the longevity of the practice of cleaning and reusing them (a common practice in the eighteenth century). As such, it would have made a nice illustration in the book I am planning on this subject. Oh well.

Thankfully—as you can see—the Palais Dorotheum have supplied a very high resolution image. From this and the commentary online it appears that the former owner of these five condoms kept a careful tally of how many times he used each one. And it looks like they were only supposed to be reused ten times! Lovely. (The image below is slightly larger than life-size.)

[UPDATE: 2 July 2016: After all my pictures disappeared again I decided to give up on external hosts for large versions (1000px) of my image files and, for now on, will stick with the smaller images (500px), which Blogger is prepared to host.]

Thursday 11 November 2010

University, a vocational charnel house?

Joseph Gora and Andrew Whelan have written an amusing piece for The Australian under the title Invasion of Aca-zombies (as in, invasion of the Academic Zombies).

UNIVERSITIES are increasingly populated by the undead: a listless population of academics, managers, administrators and students, all shuffling to the beat of the corporatist drum … Academic zombie speech is peppered with affectless references to DEST points, citation indices, ERA rankings, ARC applications, esteem factors, FoR codes, AUQA reviews and the like. […]

The most curious aspect of this zombie plague, though, is … the pockets of resistance it fails to quash. A tutorial here, textbook marginalia there, crack squads of indomitable postgrads, secretive cells of idealistic academics and even the odd public intellectual: all scattered signs that intelligent life persists. Occasionally it is necessary, as in Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead, to pass as undead to survive.

Of course, I like to think of myself as belonging to one of the secretive cells of idealistic academics in this vocational charnel house. So, I am probably a zombie and deluded.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

300-Year-Old Stash of Erotica Found

On an auspicious day in April this year The Daily Mail published—with no by-line—a story under the heading 'I pray lovely creature, comply!' 300-year-old stash of erotica found hidden in Lake District manor house.

The Daily Mail is a "middle market tabloid newspaper" according to Wikipedia. It should be remembered that this is "middle" in relation to Fleet Street-norms, so it is about as sophisticated as Melbourne's Waverley Leader and as prurient as FHM.

The story runs as follows:

A secret hoard of lewd pamphlets written to titillate the common man more than 300 years ago have been discovered in a manor house. Known as Chapbooks the bodice-ripping yarns were found hidden in the library of Townend House at Troutbeck in the Lake District. The pamphlets had been shoved behind a collection of straightforward books, presumably to hide them.

Chapbooks - the name derives from 'chapmen' the door-to-door peddlers who sold this type of literature - told racy tales of amorous advances, love and marriage. The pamphlets were printed on cheap paper so thin that hardly any have survived the ravages of time.

Townend House was owned by a landowning farming family, the Brownes, whose literary collection has been passed to the National Trust. Emma Wright, who is the Trust custodian at Townend said:

'The Browne book collection goes back through the centuries and proves that rural people had a strong interest in literature. However, as we have gone slowly through the library we have found hidden away these Chapbooks. They contain rather saucy even rude tales which were found to be rather amusing by their 18th century readers.'

One tale is called The Crafty Chambermaid's Garland and details the story of a young woman who tricks a man into marrying her. Written in 1770 it states: 'The Merchant he softly crept into the room. And on the bedside he sat himself down. Her knees through the counterpane he did embrace. Did Bess in the pillow did hide her sweet face. He stript (sic) of his clothes and leaped into bed saying now lovely creature for thy maidenhead. She strug led (sic) and strove and seemed to be shy. He said divine beauty I pray now comply.'

The National Trust has put some of the steamy pages with their illustrations onto digital photo frames with MP3 recordings also available for visitors. Mrs Wright added:

'The Chapbooks have really caught the imagination. The Brownes were obviously far from straight-laced.'

Since the distribution of erotica in the eighteenth-century is central to my present research, I contacted Emma Wright, the Townend House Custodian. She informs me "that these books were catalogued in 2004" and—showing great restraint—adds

The Daily Mail article is somewhat inaccurate in respect of the "discovery" of the chapbooks—they have not been found hiding behind the other books (although that would make a good story!). They are very much part of the collection and have in several cases been rebound by a family member and are shelved along with everything else in our library.

So, not a "secret hoard"; not "shoved behind a collection of straightforward books"; and not "found" or "discovered"! To this I would add not erotic, but perhaps The Daily Mail staff are made of more "combustible material" than I am!**

If—without this colourful tale—you are still interested in looking over the list of the Browne family chapbooks, you can do so via Copac. Select "National Trust" from the pull-down list next to Library, and then type in "Townend chapbooks" as a Keyword.

If you do this search, as I have, you should then get a list of 49 records, ranging from 1700 to ca. 1820. The crafty chamber-maid's garland is one of the oldest, one of only eight that are dated to before ca. 1800; it is also one of the few that can be described as racy or erotic, along with The London 'prentice; or, The wanton mistress (1795?) and The maid's lamentation (1800?).

As such, this collection is of little use to me as an example of the distribution of erotica in the eighteenth-century. But it is an excellent example of wild exaggeration, hyperbole, unsubstantiated claims, misleading information etc. It is also a good example of why we need to always check our sources!

* * * * *

**The phrase comes from Boswell and Johnson. Boswell in Search of a Wife, 1766-1769 (17 March 1768) writes:

We seemed hearty and easy. Only I, whose combustible, or rather inflammable, soul is always taking fire, was uneasy at having left Mary, a pretty, lively little girl whom accident had thrown in my way a few days before.

Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1787), under 1777, ætat 68 records:

I asked whether Prior's Poems were to be printed entire: Johnson said they were. I mentioned Lord Hailes's censure of Prior, in his Preface to a collection of Sacred Poems, by various hands, published by him at Edinburgh a great many years ago, where he mentions, "those impure tales which will be the eternal opprobrium of their ingenious authour." Johnson. Sir, Lord Hailes has forgot. There is nothing in Prior that will excite to lewdness. If Lord Hailes thinks there is, he must be more combustible than other people." I instanced the tale of "Paulo Purganti and his Wife." Johnson. "Sir, there is nothing there, but that his wife wanted to be kissed, when poor Paulo was out of pocket. No, Sir, Prior is a lady's book. No lady is ashamed to have it standing in her library."

Saturday 23 October 2010

German review of The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood from 1916

I found the following review when hunting up early references to some of the works Haywood published at The Sign of Fame. My German is not up to translating it, but from what I can read Wilhelm Paterna was suitably impressed with Whicher's The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood; and had nothing to add beyond this fact.

However, just in case anyone is overcome with the desire to translate the review I thought I would do what I could to clean up the OCR, number the paragraphs, and reproduce the text here. Corrections would also be welcome.

The full reference to the review is:

Wilhelm Paterna, [review of George Frisbie Whicher, The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood (New York: Columbia University Press, 1915)], Beiblatt zur Anglia 27:10 (October 1916): 280–85.

* * * * *

The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood, by George Frisbie Wicher. New York, 1915. Columbia University Press.—210 SS.

[¶1] Das buch will nicht einer vergessenen autorin zu dem ihr vorenthaltenen platz verhelfen, sondern nur—aus der überzeugung heraus, daß auch das kleinste glied einer entwicklung von bedeutung ist—kommende bearbeiter der englischen literaturgeschichte mit einem ausführlichen und zuverlässigen bericht über ihr leben und wirken versehen. Dabei wird gleichzeitig, oder vielmehr: nebenbei, die aufmerksamkeit darauf gelenkt, wie sie das werk ihres Zeitgenossen Defoe ergänzt und das schaffen einer Miss Burney und Miss Austen vorbereitet.—

[¶2] Autobiographie war leider unter den wenigen formen der schriftstellerei, die Mrs. Haywood nicht versuchte, und so können wir, da auch frühe berichte über sie fehlen, wenig von ihrem leben sagen. Die spärlichen angaben, die uns die Biographia Dramatica bieten, sind nahezu alles, was wir mit Sicherheit wissen. Immerhin gelingt es dem autor, durch fleißiges forschen und kombinieren verschiedener tatsachen die mitteilungen um eine ganze anzahl von daten zu vermehren, [281] die wenigstens sehr wahrscheinlich sind; ohne daß dabei allerdings ergebnisse von besonderem interesse zutage träten.

[¶3] Bemerkenswert hingegen ist das material. das der verf. auf grund eingehenden Studiums der umfangreichen werke zu- sammenträgt:

[¶4] Die “Short Romances of Passion” stehen durchaus unter dem einfluß der französischen romanzen. Daneben bemerken wir, häufig unausgeglichen, die Wirkung der italienischen “novelle” und der “Exemplary Novels” des Cervantes, seltener orientalische züge, die durch französische vermittlung gegangen sind. Der Vorwurf der kurzen geschieht en ist: abschreckendstes laster neben engelgleicher Unschuld. Die personell sind nichts als ein notwendiges übel—ohne träger der leidenschafteil, die geschildert werden sollen, geht es ja schlechterdings nicht—ohne jegliche Individualität; die frauen: entzückendes nichts, tote Vollkommenheit; die männer: beiden der liebe, aber nicht des krieges. was im gegensatz zur französischen und englischen heldenromanze zu beachten ist. Die szene liegt in der regel angeblich in einem romanischen land. das dem damaligen leser das dorado der leidenschaften war. tatsächlich aber in einer unwirklichen weit der phantasie. Die technik gleicht der schlechter bühnenstücke jener zeit. Wohl begegnen wir einigem geschick im schürzen des knotens. aber die feineren mittel der Verzögerung, täuschung usw. und der lösung der Verwicklung sind noch nicht bekannt. Die handlung ist traditionell: der rücksichtslose leidenschaftliche mann verfolgt das unschuldige weib. Es wird betrogen und stirbt unverzüglich oder erleidet wenigstens den lebendigen tod im kloster. Doch ist zu erwähnen, daß “The British Recluse”, “The Double Marriage” und “The City Jilt” bereits einen realistischen zug zeigen, indem sie auf diesen hoch dramatischen schluß verzichten und die heldin resigniert, von der weit zurückgezogen, ihren lebensabend verbringen lassen. Auch zeigen sich schon spuren des motivierens und analysierens der leidenschaften in “Idalia”, “The Fatal Secret”, “The Mercenary Lover” und besonders in “The Life of Madam de Villesache”.—Bei aller Unwahrheit der leidenschaft, wie sie diese romanzen bieten, war es doch wichtig für die entwicklung der englischen prosaerzählung, daß neben Defoe, bei dem die liebe als treibende kraft keine rolle spielt, eine [282] Zeitgenossin stand, die sie stark betonte und damit den Vorrat an motiven für die nachfolger bedeutungsvoll ergänzte.

[¶5] Die Untersuchung der “Duncan Campbell Pamphlets” weist “The Spy upon the Conjurer” und “The Dumb Projector” als sichere beitrage der Mrs. Haywood nach, während “The Secret Momoirs [sic, for Memoirs]” sehr wahrscheinlich in journalistischer voraussieht des beim tode Campbeils wiedererwachenden interesses von Defoe im voraus begonnen waren, dann aber von unserer autorin vervollständigt und auch wohl überarbeitet wurden. Über Defoes und Bonds teilhaberschaft finden sich gute bemerkungen, docli sind die Untersuchungen nicht umfassend und tiefgehend genug, um Sicherheit und klarheit zu geben. Wahrscheinlich liegt es aber auch garnicht in der absieht des kapitels, die Verfasserschaft der Duncan-Campbell- literatur endgültig festzustellen.

[¶6] Wie die “Short Romances of Passion”, so schuf Mrs. Haywood auch ihre “Secret Histories” und “Scandal Novels” nach französischem Vorbild. Seit mitte des 17. Jahrhunderts wurde der büchermarkt in Frankreich mit einer flut von erzählungen überschwemmt, die nicht mit politischen, religiösen und derartigen motiven, sondern mit liebe und intrigue die gesamte Weltgeschichte neu zu erklären vorgaben. Erreicht wurde diese gattung aber eigentlich nur durch "Mary Stuart", allenfalls auch durch “A Letter from H— G—g Esq.”, eine geschiente, die noch nachträglich für den liebenswürdigen aber unbedeutenden helden von 1745 Propaganda machte. Dafür ging jedoch eine um so größere zahl von echten “Scandal Novels” aus der fleißigen feder hervor. Sie waren durch Vermittlung des “New Atlantis” der Mrs. Manley nach den französischen “romans ä clef” gebildet und verdienen mehr beachtung, als ihnen bisher geschenkt ist. Denn die skandal-geschichten zwangen den dichter—was dem romanzier noch gänzlich fremd war—zur beobachtung und wiedergäbe des natürlichen lebens, wenngleich sie auch, wie parodie und burleske, nicht direkt zur Schöpfung von Charakteren führten.—Erfolgreiche betrachtungen widmet der verf. der Identifizierung der verschiedenen persönlichkeiten. So ist es z. b. interessant zu hören, daß Ochihatau in “Adventures of Eovaai, Princess of Ijaveo”, ein Zerrbild des ministers Walpole ist, während sich die beste geschichte dieser art: “Secret History [283] of the Prescnt intrigues of the Court of Carimania”, das einzige werk, das nach einem größern zusammenhängenden plan geschaffen wurde, eine Verunglimpfung Georgs II und des lustigen lebens darstellt, das er als Prince of Wales geführt.

[¶7] Die Vorliebe der Verleger für werke von der band der Airs. Haywood ließ Pope nicht ruhen, ihnen seinen dank abzustatten, und so finden wir in der “Dunciad”, von aufläge zu aufläge Avechselnd. den jeweiligen sünder am pranger. Doch auch die autorin selbst traf der beißendste spott. Als grund, wahrscheinlich sogar nur als vorwand für die entzündung seines nasses, dienten Pope dabei die “Memoirs of Lilliput”, die zeilen gegen ihn enthielten und der Airs. Haywood zugeschrieben wurden, die aber, wie der verf. zeigt, nach inhalt und stil garnicht von ihr stammen können. Sie entgegnete nichts, wurde aber in den streit verwickelt. Ein neuer angriff war die folge, und hinfort verschwand der name Haywood, einst die beste reklame, vom titelblatt ihrer werke, die, wohl nicht zum wenigsten infolge dieser Schmähungen, einen gemäßigteren, moralisierenden Charakter annahmen.

[¶8] Die werke der reifezeit tragen fast ausschließlich die form von briefen oder periodischen essays und haben didaktischen inhalt, der durch kleine romantische erzählungen gemildert wird. Die briefform war ein erbe aus den zeiten der Gombreville, La Calprenede und Scudery, die handschreiben zu den verschiedensten zwecken einzuschieben liebten. Airs. Haywood jedoch benützt sie ausschließlich als mittel zur Steigerung des lebhaften effektes. Die glänzenden möglichkeiten, die in der fortführung einer geschiente durch hin und wider gewechselte briefe lag, erkannte sie selbst nach Veröffentlichung der Pamela und Clarissa noch nicht, wenngleich hie und da eine Verwicklung schon zufällig durch einige briefe hindurchgeht.—Auf dem gebiet des essays folgte sie Addison, ohne ihn jedoch auch nur entfernt zu erreichen. Und ihre “Conduct Books” gar waren inhaltlich mehr als bescheiden, wenn auch z. b. “A Present for a Servant Maid”, das sicherlich ein handbuch für mögliche Pamelas sein sollte, zahlreiche leser fand.

[¶9] Die letzte periode ist wenig einheitlich, man könnte sie allenfalls als die der “Domestic Novel" bezeichnen. Die dichterin hat sich innerlich von ihren ursprünglichen Vorbildern [284] abgewandt und in leben und literatur reiche erfahrungen ge- sammelt, allein es fehlt ihr das rechte gefäß, sie zu fassen.—An der findlingsliteratur , die infolge der errichtung eines Foundling Hospital in ihrer zeit blühte, beteiligte sie sich mit “Fortunate Foundlings”, einem buch, das zum erstenmal zeigt, daß sie sensationelles nicht nur um seiner selbst willen erzählen kann, sondern gelernt hat, es einzuordnen und für die hauptverwicklung auszunützen. “Life's Progress through the Passioins” zeigt ernstliches bemühen im psychologischen durchdringen der materie und den ehrlichen willen, das leben streng realistisch zu schildern. Und “The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless” endlich, enthält die besten Charaktere, die Mrs Haywood schuf, die umfangreichste Verwicklung, und kommt dem wirklichen leben entschieden am nächsten.

[¶10] So können wir am werk dieser vielseitigen Schriftstellerin den Übergang von “Parthenissa” zu “Pamela” auß beste verfolgen.

[¶11] Wir sind dem verf. für die Untersuchung zweifellos zu grolsem dank verpflichtet. Eine ausführliche, zuverlässige arbeit über Mrs. Haywood war ein bedürfnis, wenn man die, infolge der schweren zugänglichkeit der werke stets auf einer auswahl beruhenden, vielfach verschiedenen und somit sicherlich z. t. falschen bilder der Schriftstellerin in den bisherigen darst eilungen sah. Und diese arbeit hat der verf. uns geschenkt. Mit größtem eifer und mit geschick hat er alles nur erreichbare über das leben zusammengetragen. Die umfangreichen werke sind unermüdlich durchgearbeitet und das material ist zu überzeugenden glücklichen resultaten vereinigt. Die darstellung ist durchweg klar und übersichtlich und durch gut gewählte belege und Inhaltsangaben wertvoller gemacht. Die mit großem fleils am Schlüsse des buches aufgestellte liste der werke der Mrs. Haywood ist vielfach vom verf. auf grund eigner nachprüfung oder forschung ergänzt und berichtigt und darf wohl auf Sicherheit und ziemliche Vollständigkeit anspruch machen. Ein zuverlässiger index erhöht die brauchbarkeit der arbeit.—Schade ist nur, daß sich der verf. bescheidet, künftigen darstellern der englischen literaturgeschichte material zu liefern. Seit wir eine so vorbildliche arbeit über den englischen roman haben, wie die “Englische Romankunst des 18. Jahrh.” von Dibelius, sollte [285] man meinen, würde es sich jeder forscher, der einzelarbeit auf diesem gebiete leistet, zur ehre anrechnen, seine Untersuchung diesem werke anzugleichen. Hätte sich Wicher Dibelius zum muster genommen, so würde er sicherlich sein augenmerk noch auf mancherlei gerichtet haben, das ihm so entgangen, würde er zweifellos noch bedeutend mehr an wertvollen ergebnissen zutage gefördert haben. Und wenn man die Untersuchung von diesem gesichtspunkt aus ansieht, merkt man doch mit bedauern, daß manches fehlt.

Hamburg. Wilhelm Paterna

Thursday 21 October 2010

The Dark Hero, Books, Links etc

This page will be my dumping ground for links and comments as I trawl the net in preparation for my Dark Hero course. A proper web-log = blog!

This page on the The Norton Anthology of English Literature site was my inspiration for the course. Or, at least, it was the one that suggested to me that I might be able to establish a course that focusses on the "Satanic and Byronic Hero": that there were sufficient resources to do it and that it could be justified in academic terms. (Although, I decided it would be best to use the term "Dark Hero" rather than "Satanic Hero": there is no point frightening the horses, is there?) This is how the page begins …

Not until the age of the American and French Revolutions, more than a century after Milton wrote Paradise Lost, did readers begin to sympathize with Satan in the war between Heaven and Hell, admiring him as the archrebel who had taken on no less an antagonist than Omnipotence itself, and even declaring him the true hero of the poem.

* * * * *

This site by Brouke M. Rose-Carpenter for a fifth-year unit (LITR 5535: American Romanticism) at University of Houston-Clear Lake seems like a great starting point.

I like this list of Byronic characteristics:

1. A rebel
2. Does not possess the usual “heroic virtues”
3. Dark Qualities
4. Larger than life
i. Intellectual capacity
ii. Self respect
iii. Hypersensitivity
5. Moody by nature
6. Struggles with integrity
7. Distaste for social institutions and social norms
8. Exiled, outcast, or outlaw
9. Cynical
10. Loner
11. Passionate about a particular issue
12. Emotional
13. Rebels against life itself
14. Arrogant
15. Confident
16. Troubled past
17. Often characterized by some unknown sexual crime
18. Extremely conscious of himself
19. A figure of repulsion, as well as fascination

I also liked the list of Byronic characters she has collected

Cain, Genesis
Romeo, Romeo and Juliet
Satan, Paradise lost
The Flying Dutchman
The Wondering Jew
Rochester, Jane Eyre
Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights
Conrad, The Corsair
Childe Harold
Giaour, The Gaiour
Manfred Astarte,
Ancient Mariner, Rhyme to the Ancient Mariner
George Vavasor, Can you forgive her?
T.J. Swift, Stranger in her Bed

Bruce Wayne, Batman
Gabriel Van Helsing, Van Helsing
Corbin Dallas, The Fifth Element
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean
Professor Snape, Harry Potter’s
Hell boy, Hellboy
William Wallace, Brave heart
John Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Any character, X-men
Shrek, Shrek’s
Ranger, The Stephanie Plum series
Lucivar, Saetan, and Daemon, The Black Jewels Trilogy and Dreams Made Flesh

Better still, the Byronic heroine

Nikita, La femme Nikita
Xena, Xena: The Warrior Princess
Lara Croft, Tomb Raider
Jane Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Surreal, The Black Jewels Trilogy, & Dreams Made Flesh
Domino Harvey, Domino
Le-lo, The Fifth Element

I don't think that Le-lo is a Byronic heroine, and both Lara Croft and Jane Smith seem to be simply action heroes. Still, it is a start.

* * * * *

As for books: it looks like this is the best recent coverage of the Byronic hero-type, although after only six years the focus on Angel and the absence of more recent figures makes the book seem a little dated.

Atara Stein, The Byronic Hero in Film, Fiction, and Television (2004) is a must. Unfortunately, it is not held at Monash (*sigh*) and so I will have to order it … but it looks good on Google books.

* * * * *

Most of the links on this page (The Faust Tradition from Marlowe to Mann) are dead, but I expect most are still somewhere online, so I will try to recreate the live links here soon.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

A Chapbook History of Dr. Faustus

This chapbook History of Dr. Faustus was published in Glasgow in the 1840s. It was published as a part of a series, along with such classics as The Sleeping Beauty of the Wood, The History of Jack and The Bean-Stalk,, The History of Beauty and the Beast, History of Jack the Giant Killer, The Story of Blue Beard and about 150 others. As you can see above, this is number 119. If I wasn't paying off two rather pricey Haywood items, I would buy either this large collection, or this smaller one.

The full title is:

History of DR. FAUSTUS Shewing His wicked Life and horrid Death, and how he sold himself to the devil, to have power for 24 years to do what he pleased, also many strange things done by him with the assistance of MEPHISTOPHELES. With an account how the Devil came for him at the end of 24 years, and tore him to pieces.

The full text appears in Amusing Prose Chap-Books, Chiefly of Last Century edited by Robert Hays (London: Hamilton Adams, 1889), 286–98. But I read it in John Ashton, Chap-books of the Eighteenth Century with facsimiles, notes, and introduction (London, Chatto and Windus, 1882), which—in typical fashion—has been scanned by Google Books but is not available online. I have given the first three chapters below.

I bought this little chapbook as a prompt to get me started on my reading for the new course I am preparing on the Dark Hero—not that you need an excuse to buy a chapbook like this. The course will start with Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus" and will probably end with Byron's "Cain".

In fact, most of the texts in between simply track a path between these two key texts. I am considering spending more than one week on Faustus. I wanted to read the play as soon as I heard about it, and loved it as soon as I read it, but I also loved the Faustbook and the chapbook version that I have read in Ashton, so I am tempted to include these too. All I have to do is come up with an excuse to include them…

* * * * *

Chapter I. Dr. Faustus’ birth and education, with an account of his falling from the Scriptures.

Dr. John Faustus was born in Germany. His father was a poor labouring man, not able to bring up his son John; but he had a brother in the same country, who was a very rich man, but had never a child, and took a great fancy to his cousin, and he resolved to make a scholar of him; and in order thereunto, put him to the Latin school, where he took his learning extraordinary well. Afterwards he put him to the University to study divinity; but Faustus could in no ways fancy that employment; wherefore he betook himself to the studying of that which his inclination is most for, viz., necromancy and conjuration, and in a little time few or none could outstrip him in the art. He also studied divinity, of which he was made Doctor; but within a short time fell into such deep fancies and cogitations that he resolved to throw the Scriptures from him, and betake himself wholly to the studying of necromancy and conjuration, charms and soothsaying, witchcraft, and the like.

Chapter II. How Dr. Faustus conjured up the Devil, making him appear at his own house.

Faustus, whose mind was to study conjuration, the which he followed night and day, he took the wings of an eagle, and endeavoured to fly over the world, to see and know all the secrets of heaven and earth; so that in a short time he attained power to command the Devil to appear before him when he pleased. One day as Dr. Faustus was walking in a wood near to Wurtemberg, in Germany, he having a friend with him who was desirous to know of the doctor’s art, he desired him to let him see if he could then and there bring Mephistopheles before him; all which the doctor immediately did, and the devil upon the first call made such a noise in the wood as if heaven and earth would have come together; then the devil made such a roaring as if the wood had been full of wild beasts. The doctor made a circle for the devil, the which circle the devil ran round, making a noise as if ten thousand wagons had been running upon paved stones. After this it thundered and lightened, as if the whole world had been on fire. Faustus and his friend, amazed at this noise, and the devil’s long tarrying, thought to leave his circle; whereupon he made him such music, the like was never heard in the world. This so ravished Faustus that he began again to conjure Mephistopheles in the name of the prince of the devils to appear in his own likeness; whereupon in an instant hung over his head a mighty dragon. Faustus calls again after his former manner, after which there was a cry in the wood as if hell had opened, and all the tormented souls had been there. Faustus, in the meanwhile, asked the devil many questions, and commanded him to show many diabolical tricks.

Chapter III, How Mephistopheles came to Dr. Faustus’ house, and what happened between them.

Faustus commanded the spirit to meet him at his house byten of the clock the next day. At the hour appointed he came into his chamber asking Faustus what he would have. Faustus told him it was his will and pleasure to conjure him to be obedient to him in all points of those articles, viz.: —

First, That the spirit should serve him in all things he asked, from that time till his death.

Secondly, Whatsoever he would have, he should bring him.

Thirdly, Whatsoever he desired to know, he should tell him.

The spirit answered him and said he had no such power of himself, until he had acquainted his prince that ruled over him. “For,” said he, “we have rulers over us that send us out, and command us home when they please; and we can act no further than our power is, which we receive from Lucifer, who, you know, for his pride, was thrust out of heaven. But,” saith the spirit, “I am not to tell you any more except you make yourself over to us.”

Whereupon Faustus said, “I will have my request? but yet I will not be damned with you.” Then said the spirit, “You must not, nor shall not have your desire, and yet thou art mine, and all the world cannot save thee out of my hands.” Then said Faustus, “Get thee hence, and I conjure thee that thou come to me at night.” The spirit then vanished. Faustus then began to consider how he might obtain his desire, and not give his soul to the devil.

And while Faustus was in these his devilish cogitations night drew on, and this hellish spirit appeared to Faustus, acquainting him that now he had got orders from his prince to be obedient to him, and to do for him whatsoever he desired, provided he would promise to be his, and withal to acquaint him first what he would have of him? Faustus replied that his desire was to become a spirit, and that Mephistopheles should be always at his command; that whatsoever he called for him, he shall appear invisible to all men, and that he should appear in what shape he pleased, to which the spirit answered that all his desires should be granted if he would sign those articles he should wish or ask for. Whereupon Dr. Faustus withdrew and stabbed his wrist, receiving the blood in a small saucer, which cooled so fast, as if it forewarned him of the hellish act he was going to commit; nevertheless he put it over embers to warm it, and wrote as follows: —

“I, John Faustus, approved doctor of divinity, with my own baud do acknowledge and testify myself to become a servant to Lucifer, Prince of Septentrional and Oriental, and to him I freely and voluntarily give both soul; in consideration for the space of twenty-four years, if I be served in all things which I shall require, or which is reasonable by him to be allowed; at the expiration of which time from the date ensuing, I give to him all power to do with me at his pleasure; to rule to retch and carry me where he pleases body and soul. Hereupon I defy God and Christ, and the hosts of angels and good spirits, all living creatures that bear his shape, or on whom his image is imprinted; and to the better strengthening the validity of this covenant and firm agreement between us, I have writ it with my blood, and subscribe my name to it, calling all the powers and infernal potentates to witness it is my true intent and meaning. JOHN FAUSTUS.”

[UPDATE: 2 July 2016: After all my pictures disappeared again I decided to give up on external hosts for large versions (1000px) of my image files and, for now on, will stick with the smaller images (500px), which Blogger is prepared to host.]

Friday 15 October 2010

David Foxon: Magician

I really shouldn't laugh and throw stones—I am sure my mother wouldn't approve—but this amused me enormously. Barter Books have Foxon's English Verse for sale for £86 (a good price—though it has been listed for at least six months now). Here is the description:

David Foxon, English Verse 1701–1750. A Catalogue of Separately Printed Poems with Notes on Contemporary Collected Editions. 2 volume set (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975); VG: in very good condition with dustwrappers and brown slipcase. Wrappers slightly edgeworn with sm. tear to dustwrapper of vol. II at base of spine. Contents VG. Fascinating book uncovering the secrets of the magician's world. Many illustrations showing how such tricks and illusions are done.

Yes, you read that right: Foxon's English Verse uncovers "the secrets of the magician's world" and shows "how such tricks and illusions are done." Who knew? I'll have to have another look at my copy!

Wednesday 13 October 2010

A New Wikipedia Entry on Ned Ward

At the start of this year the Wikipedia entry on Ned Ward (here) was useless. Which was particularly annoying to me because I wanted to include at least an excerpt of Ward's The London Spy on my eighteenth-century survey course at Monash, and the library resources on Ward were thin (to say the least: they had no edition at all of The London Spy in the general collection).

The entry on Ward was a particularly good example of just how insubstantial the public-domain resources are for students (or scholars) who stray beyond the confines of typical survey-course authors of the period, such as Swift, Johnson, Fielding etc.

And, unlike Aaron Hill's afterpiece The Walking Statue; Or, the Devil in the Wine Cellar (1710)—which I have described elsewhere as "one of those relatively minor eighteenth-century works, by a relatively minor eighteenth-century writer"—The London Spy is constantly being quoted, and is known by every student of the eighteenth-century. Nevertheless, it's author "hardly casts a shadow on the internet."

In order to do something about this, and to give my more experienced and talented students a more useful assessment task than they were accustomed to, I asked them to produce a replacement Wikipedia entry on Ned Ward. Which they did, and did extremely well.

And so today—somewhat belatedly—I uploaded Annie Blachly's entry on Ned Ward. It is a vast improvement on the existing entry. I hope it survives its editorial scrutiny (not all rewrites do), prompts many edits, corrections and additions. Thanks Annie!

[UPDATE 13 November 2010. As of yesterday the "stub tag" was removed from the Wikipedia entry on Ned Ward. It is now a fully fledged, fair dinkum entry. Which means it survived its editorial scrutiny!]

Saturday 4 September 2010

The Era of Gin, Sex and Brutality

The inimitable James Holledge is responsible for Those Crazy Tom Jones Days: Astonishing Vitality and Depravity in an Era of Gin, Sex and Brutality (London: Horwitz Publications, 1965).

(And my peripatetic cousin, who shares a first name with the said author, is responsible for me having a copy. In fact, he is responsible for me having quite a few Hollege/Horwitz Publications or, rather, quite a few more than I would otherwise have.* This book cost him $2.50; you can buy a copy here for $40.00.)

Since this book is [1] awesome and [2] has the honour of being the first added to my shelves since moving (I have been doing quite a bit weeding) I thought I should do a post on it.

If I had received this book any earlier it certainly would have featured in my collection of pulps on eighteenth-century topics at the Monash Lewd and Scandalous Books exhibition (see my post here)—which would be a third reason to do a post.

A fourth is the subject matter … but do I really need an excuse. Doesn't the shout on this book offer all the justification needed?

What was the world of Tom Jones really like?

It was an age of wit, elegance and brutality, of astonishing wealth and miserable poverty. Francis Chartris was the vilest of seducers and Jonathon Wild was King of Thieves. Lady Mary Wortley-Montagu experimented with smallpox immunisation and was kept prisoner for years in an Italian palace by a sex-mad nobleman.

Those Tom Jones Days recreates the outstanding characters of the age in all their astonishing vitality and depravity.

Don't you want to study the eighteenth-century now?

BTW: I suspect that this shout has been tampered with. I would bet … well, I would bet this book … that it read "Francis Chartris was the Rape Master General and Jonathon Wild was King of Thieves …" (As Wikipedia reports, "The Rape Master General" is the title that was given to Chartris). The epithets would balance better, and it would be in keeping with the breathless—and tasteless—tone of the shout. Perhaps, amazingly, "Rape Master General" was a bridge too far for Horwitz!

* He has a great eye for pulp and he is indirectly responsible for me giving in to the urge to collect it. It is a slippery slope and I caution everyone against it. At some point he gave me one Dennis Wheatley paperback: now have twenty of them …

[UPDATE: 2 July 2016: After all my pictures disappeared again I decided to give up on external hosts for large versions (1000px) of my image files and, for now on, will stick with the smaller images (500px), which Blogger is prepared to host.]

Monday 16 August 2010

Not every month of the year

In my last post I quoted a comment made by Peter Opie in his Accession Diaries

It took me some time before I realised that 'rare books are common.' I probably acquire an item or two which is unique, or almost unique, every month of the year.

Opie may have acquired a unique item every month of the year, but I certainly don't. So today's arrival is the cause for some celebration. It is my seventh unique Haywood item in sixteen years of collecting.

This rather battered and unattractive book is a German translation of twelve (of the 24) books of Eliza Haywood's Female Spectator (1744–46). As you can see from the following part-title, books 1–6 of this translation (Die Zuschauerin) were published in 1747 and Books 7–12 in 1748.

Each of the twelve Books had the imprint "Frankfurt und Leipzig"; through the general title gives the credit to Johann Wilhelm Schmidt in Hanover and Göttingen. Possibly the "Frankfurt und Leipzig" refers to the famous book fairs, at which this book was sold.

In my Bibliography of Eliza Haywood this translation appeared as Ab.60.14. I use the past tense because, as you can see, the unique copy illustrated here, now in my hands, and soon to go into a box, is dated 1753.

Consequently, the three copies that I located of Ab.60.14 are now listed under Ab.60.14a: First German edition, first issue, and this new arrival is listed under Ab.60.14b: First German edition, second issue. *NEW*

As well as being rather battered and unattractive, this copy is missing the final leaf and, unlike the first issue (as I must now call it), it has no frontispiece and foreword. Whether it ever had them is likely to remain a mystery, at least until I can find another copy.

But I can't really complain about the condition, or the price: in my (very limited) experience, when unique items come your way, they rarely do so in copies on crisp, creamy paper, with wide margins, bound in crimson leather, with gilt edges and decoration: they tend to look exactly like this: like they only just survived, like it was a battle to survive.

In my mind books like this seem like the lone soldiers we see so often in films, the ones who stumble out of the mud and smoke of battle, with clothes torn, hair awry, smeared in muck, bandaged, limping, looking at the corpses on all sides with glassy eyes, only to collapse from exhaustion in front of the camera.

This is the sort of book that makes you feel virtuous for taking it in, for protecting it, rather than proud of it's beauty and value.

And on that rather melodramatic note, it is into the moving box for Die Zuschauerin!

[UPDATE: 2 July 2016: After all my pictures disappeared again I decided to give up on external hosts for large versions (1000px) of my image files and, for now on, will stick with the smaller images (500px), which Blogger is prepared to host.]

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Peter Opie on Book Collecting

Iona and Peter Opie collected children's books, mostly eighteenth-century books. Peter Opie died in 1982, the Opie collection went to the Bodleian Library in 1988; Iona, seemingly immortal, still maintains their large collection of historic toys and games. In 1989 OUP published a volume of essays, celebrating the collection: Children and their Books.

This books has sat on my shelf undisturbed for five years. When I was packing my children's books today—I am moving, and write this surrounded by 102 large cartons, all but a few of them full of books—I decided to put this aside for a closer look. What particularly caught my attention were two essays: "Selections from the Accession Diaries of Peter Opie" by Clive Hurst and "Collecting Children's Books: Self-Indulgence and Scholarship" by Brian Alderson.

Well, I'd like to see more of the Accession Diaries of Peter Opie! Here's why:

25 May 1965: Twenty years seems a long time when one is looking ahead. It even seems a long period when one is looking at it in a history book. It has not seemed a long time to me while I have been living it. When a historian of collecting comes to look at this period he will remark on how circumstances have changed [but] … The feel of collecting has scarcely altered. When I began collecting chapbooks at 2/6 each, they were expensive trophies I could scarcely afford … Collectors items have, I suspect, always been expensive. Possibly because no collector worthy of the name limits himself merely to items that he can afford.

Damn straight. But, contrarily,

11 June 1980: A collector does not need to live dangerously. The secret of success lies I think more in keeping on and on and on rather than in spending beyond his means. Given that he keeps his eyes open, given that he has taste, judgement, discrimination… and given that he has a third eye which is always fixed on his target, success is simply the natural result of the amount of reading, the amount of thought, and the number of years he is willing to devote to his objective. He needs endurance, plus courage in an emergency. If I had had a little more courage when something splendid was suddenly offered me my collection would now be superb.

Of course, the Opie collection was superb, but he is right in other respects. We might alter the language a little today: success was "simply the natural result of the amount of reading" a collector did only in an era of printed catalogues. Now it is "simply the natural result of the amount of searching" we do on the internet. But, either way, success lies more in "keeping on and on and on" rather than in spending beyond one's means.

On the same date as the first quote above, appear two other interesting observations:

It took me some time before I realised that 'rare books are common.' I probably acquire an item or two which is unique, or almost unique, every month of the year.

but …

It has always seemed to me incredible that one can be an ordinary person, with no official standing, and can go into a shop and come out again having bought something unique.

I have few unique items, but many are genuinely rare, and yet it has also, always seemed incredible to me that such rare works are so easily and so cheaply purchased. I marvel at it daily. The internet is the collector's greatest gift.

(I can't resist an example. Yesterday, my copy of the following work arrived: An Interesting Narrative of the Travels of James Bruce, Esq. into Abyssinia, to Discover the Source of the Nile. Abridged from the Original Work. The Second Edition. By Samuel Shaw, Esq. (London: Printed for the Editor; and Sold by all the Booksellers in Town and Country, 1790).

Now, James Bruce, Esq was an amazing man, a six foot four Scottish traveller who spent more than a dozen years in North Africa and Ethiopia, where he traced the origins of the Blue Nile. Only yesterday, at an English Department seminar, Dr Paul Tankard (visiting from the University of Otago) gave a vivid account of Bruce, who was twice interviewed by James Boswell.

Anyway, the copy that I bought was in its original marbled boards, uncut. It is a trade binding, so it is not particularly pretty now. The paper spine is gone, the page-edges are dark, there are one or two stains; however, ESTC lists only one copy of this edition (under t223024) and yet it cost me £4.99 on eBay.)

4 February 1965: [Re: institutional collections] … after the original impetus of their founder their collections may tend just to come about, & they cannot know all the purposes to which their collection will be put. The collections of the Institution almost inevitably lag behind those in the dedicated private collection in any special field in discrimination, in detail, in condition, in novelty, & in love.

I think this related to Peter's observation about "keeping on and on and on"; it takes that maniacal glint in the eye to keep developing a collection, as well as the narrow focus on the actual use of a collection. An institution can rarely maintain such a narrow focus, and so they develop haphazardly ("tend just to come about").

The following two quotes go together, though they are slightly contradictory to my mind.

11 May 1968: Each copy of a book that has been standing around for 200 years or so is liable to vary from other copies, even of the same printing, and to have acquired its own characteristics. Its binding may vary from other copies, its condition certainly does; in addition it may carry the label of its original bookseller, surprisingly often it may still have its original price marked in it. It may bear an inscription by its original owner or donor, there may be comments in it written in a contemporary hand; it may be possible to trace its change of ownership over the years … It is always good to be reminded that the history of a book does not end with its being written and being published, but with it being read, and a catalogue of actual copies can show more vividly than can any general bibliography or history, the story of its readership.

22 November 1973: We are most interested in those books & objects which have been the most popular, or are the most ordinary, or are the most typical of their period. We prefer the trivial to the pretentious, the ephemeral to the monumental.

As Brian Alderson says, many of the books collected by the Opies were not just pretty acquisitions, they were "an artifact whose significance could only be realized by placing it alongside as many equivalent works as possible." Some of the significance of these normal, commonplace books might be realized by placing them alongside as many equivalent works as possible, but each is, indeed, unique as an artifact.

18 November 1967: On the flimsy blue-paper covers of these periodicals, or on tipped in pages which the binder removes before binding, were contemporary advertisements of many of the books I have in this room [i.e., 18C children's books]

This passage appears in a section where Peter Opies describes a large collection of eighteenth-century magazines he acquired in their original wrappers. I have recently bought just four issues of The Microcosm of 1787 [ESTC: p2566]—the only eighteenth-century magazines I have ever seen in original wrappers. These I would like to see "alongside as many equivalent works as possible" precisely for the reason mentioned, to see what sort of information an original reader got to see, which is missing from the bound runs, and the digitised versions that are based on them.

5 November 1970: … had I done so [visited a local bookshop] I know I would now possess that book, the earliest edn of the fairy tales in this country, and, in the mysterious way that ownership has, my voice would have had that much more authority.

This amused me enormously. Ah, the authority that book ownership gives one … in our dreams.

Sunday 18 July 2010

More on Modern Characters (1753)

In 2004, I rejected the attribution of Modern Characters (1753) to Eliza Haywood. I still do reject the attribution, but thanks to Google Books and the Internet Archive—once again—new information has come to light.

In my Bibliography of Eliza Haywood, under Ca.32 I said that "This novel is attributed to Haywood on the authority of a note in a Pickering & Chatto catalogue of 1934" which, in turn, credited the attribution to the writer and book collector James Crossley (1800–83).

The Pickering & Chatto catalogue of 1934 reads:

James Crossley, author and antiquarian, and a celebrated authority on old books, said that this was one of the scarcest and least known of the works of Mrs. Eliza Haywood. It has never been reprinted. It is not included amongst the list of her works given by Mr. G. F. Whicher in "The Life and Romances of Mrs. Haywood."

Since I was unable to find an earlier record of the attribution I suggested that this 1934 entry could have been "the first time the claim had been made in print"; certainly it was the authority for Andrew Block’s attribution of 1939, which has since been widely repeated. It turns out I was wrong, though I was on the right track. I said:

Crossley may have been indebted for the attribution to the misinterpretation of a note in the John Thomas Hope copy of Ab.60.7 The Female Spectator, which attributes authorship to Haywood and cites advertisements for it in ‘Modern Characters, 1753., vol. ii’.

Thanks to Google Books I can now see that the attribution has been in print since 1865, but I was right about the source being John Thomas Hope (d. 1854) of Netley Hall, Shrewsbury.

What I have found (here) is an entry in a Catalogue of a Collection of Early Newspapers and Essayists, Formed by the Late John Thomas Hope, Esq., and Presented to the Bodleian Library by the late Frederick William Hope (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1865), 80 (no. 290):

290. Modern Characters; Illustrated by Histories in Real Life, and address’d to the Polite World. 1753; 12mo.
    Apparently by the contributors to the Female Spectator.

And "the contributors to the Female Spectator" are identified elsewhere (p. 72, no. 255) as being "By Mrs. Eliza Haywood."

* * * * *

Another happy discovery on Google Books and the Internet Archive concerns the fate of James Crossley's library. This is one of the avenues that I pursued in order to discover more about this attribution. In 2004, I stated in a footnote:

P. N. Furbank and W. R. Owens, who dedicate a chapter to Crossley, mention the sale of his library in July 1884 and June 1885. The writer has not been able to determine whether this title was in Crossley’s library and whether his attribution of it to Haywood is recorded in the catalogue of his library or in his own copy of the books. Furbank and Owens (1988), pp.75–82.

I was not "able to determine whether this title was in Crossley’s library" because nobody in Australia had a copy of either of the sale catalogues of his library (Manchester, 12-19 May 1884; London, 11-20 June 1885) and it was a big ask—on top of all the other requests I was pestering librarians with—to go through an auction catalogue looking for this sort of information for me. After all, many auction catalogues are not arranged in a way that makes it easy to find a particular title. And so, even if I had asked, I could never be really sure that whoever I asked didn't miss the information I was after.

So, I put this search on my list of "things to do" next time I was overseas and wrote the footnote I have just quoted.

You might have guessed by now that Crossley’s library catalogue is now on Google Books, which means I have been able to search it myself, and word-search it with a higher-confidence than I would have ever had if I had quickly visually scanning the whole catalogue.

If this is what you've guessed you are both right and wrong. Yes, the catalogue(s) are on Google Books, there are six or seven copies of each of them in fact, but due to the utterly idiotic and irrational restrictions that Google place on the texts they has scanned—out of fear of infringing copyright—not one of these 1884 or 1885 catalogues are available to be viewed in Australia!

(Insert rant about Google being incapable of—or uninterested in—discovering the period that copyright covers in Australia, or Europe or anywhere else—other than the US—for that matter.)

As I might have mentioned before, I have become fairly adept at the use of free proxy servers to confuse Google into thinking that I am in the States (rather than in that mystery-world, Australia) and so in October 2009 I was able to view these catalogues and search for Eliza Haywood and Modern Characters.

What I discovered was exactly what I was looking for, hidden in a lot of twenty-three volumes of the second London sale of Crossley's library. Sotheby Wilkinson and Hodge … Catalogue of the Second Portion of the Library of Rare Books and Important Manuscripts of the Late James Crossley Esq. F.S.A. … (London: 11-20 June 1885), 154 (lot no. 1583):

1583 … —Haywood (Mrs.) Modern Characters: Illustrated by Histories in Real Life, 2 vol. 1583—

What I also discovered, however, was that Crossley also had (p. 126, lots 1290, 1291), a mixed set of Secret Histories, Novels and Poems (1725–42), The Secret History of the Present Intrigues of the Court of Caramania (1727), and A Spy on the Conjurer (1724).

Here is the evidence I was seeking, that Crossley had, in fact, attributed Modern Characters to Haywood, and that this attribution was published in the catalogue of his library in 1885. This 1885 catalogue pre-dates the 1934 Pickering & Chatto catalogue that I claimed was "the first time the [attribution] had been made in print." But, as we now know, it actually post-dates the John Thomas Hope Catalogue of 1865. Oh well. At least we know now.

* * * * *

When I went looking for the London and Manchester catalogues this morning I discovered that it is now no longer possible to view almost all of the Crossley catalogues on Google Books, even using a proxy server—even though this was possible as recently as last October. It seems that Google Books have actually increased their levels of paranoia and fear about copyright litigation.

As a consequence, it took me a very long time to discover—that is, after a very long and frustrating search I discovered—that the Manchester catalogue is now available via the Internet Archive (here; where it can be downloaded in pdf) and that there is only one London catalogue that can now be viewed on Google Books (here; thanks to I was able to view and download this catalogue).

One final word on free proxy servers, which every antipodean scholar should be familiar with. A proxy server "acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers." Servers (i.e. Google) are pretty quick to get wise to the fact that another server ( is acting as a proxy, and so proxy servers like tend to get blocked pretty quickly.

This is why I cannot recommend a single proxy server. Instead, try here, which keeps an updated list of proxy servers in different countries. You might have to try a few before you find one that works (i.e., that allows you to view the page).