Sunday 23 January 2011

A Work of Creative Non-Fiction

Promoted by its creator as "a heart-breaking work of staggering silliness" this video is a response to So, You Want to Get a PhD in the Humanities.

Part of this dialogue is worth transcribing:

Prof. Sawyer (Louise): Over the past four and a half years I have also designed, written and maintained a substantive work of creative non-fiction, a blog which has hundreds of readers. I want to be promoted.

Mr. Chairperson (Daryl): I have read your blog Louise. It is charming. But it is self-published on the non-peer-reviewed internet. Perhaps I should have been more specific. The standard for promotion in this department is two peer-reviewed scholarly books. In print. On paper. With hyperbolic blurbs by leading scholars in the field.

Louise: As I said, my blog is a work of creative non-fiction. It may not be a conventional work of scholarship but it raises vital question about how we read, write, and think in the 21st century. If I were to print it out it would be hundreds of pages long. I want to be promoted.

Daryl: We did not hire you to be a creative writer. You are a professor of literature.

Louise: Traditional academic publishing is dying. The humanities are in peril. You should be grateful for any effort to communicate what we do to a broader audience. However, Daryl, I am also teaching and publishing scholarly work in this field. I want to be promoted.

Daryl: Your blog is written in the voice dead cat. You make fart jokes and drink in an imaginary pub. How can you expect anyone to take you seriously?

And so it goes … Jonathan Swift gets a mention … strangling with a bow tie … bureaucratic make-work … anthrophobic trees. It has it all.

Saturday 22 January 2011

A French Review of The Female Spectator

The following review of Haywood’s Female Spectator appears in the Mercure de France (April 1751): 150–51.

This review is very slightly later than the reviews quoted in my Bibliography (482–83), the information is the same (that the translation was revised) and the assessments are also much the same (both good and bad).

Still, it is always useful to find evidence that establishes that these are consensus views, so I have transcribed the review and translated it (with the generous assistance, once again, of Prof. Wallace Kirsop).

* * * * *

La Spectatrice, ouvrage traduit de l’Anglois. A Paris, chez Rollin, fils, Bauche, fils, & Pissot. Deux vol. in-12. 1751.
  Si on jugeoit de cette nouveauté, par la Traduction qui en parut l’année derniere en Hollande, on s’en formeroit une idée injuste. Cette Traduction a été remaniée à Paris par un homme d’esprit & de goût: nous l’avons lûe avec plaisir, & nous croyons que nos Lecteurs nous sçaurons [sic] gré de la leur avoir fait connoître. Ce n’est pas un ouvrage de la force du Spectateur, mais ce n’est pas un ouvrage sans mérite: il roule presqu’entierement sur l’amour & sur les femmes. Mademoiselle Hayvood [sic], qu’on en croit Auteur, respecte la Religion & les moeurs. Cette remarque ne doit pas paroître inutile dans le siécle où nous sommes.

[The Female Spectator, a work translated from English … Two volumes in 12mo. 1751.]
  If one were to judge of this new publication, by the translation of it that appeared last year in Holland, one would form an unjust idea of it. This translation was revised in Paris by a man of wit and taste: we have read it with pleasure; we believe that our readers will be grateful to us for having made it known to them. This is not a work of the force of the Spectator, but this is not a work without merit: it turns almost entirely on love and women. Miss Hayvood [sic], who is believed to be the author of it, respects religion and morality. This remark should not appear useless in the century we are in.

[UPDATED 18 March 2017]

Friday 21 January 2011

Eliza Haywood Tattoo

Yes, that subject line is correct. See here. What can I say, except amazing!

Literary Tattoos Again

Back in June 2008 I did a post—on my Script & Print blog—titled Literary Tattoos: Writing on the Body.

Literary tattoos are in the news again and, once again, it is The Guardian who is behind all the fuss. Benedicte Page's recent article entry was prompted by "A US publisher [who] is offering free books to anyone who brands themselves in tribute to one of their books. (See here for the full story.)"

Shirley Dent's Written on the Body: Literary Tattoos—the article that prompted my previous blog entry—is much more interesting, as are the links she provides. (See A (Not So) Complete History of Literary Tattoos and Literary Tattoos for People who Love Books. To these I can add Written on the Body: The Art of Tattoo Storytelling, a Flickr group (Tattoos of Words Only) and Margot Mifflin's A Blank Human Canvas.)

[See here for Kate's tattoo]

Looking back at this first article I am struck by this response to a previous (rather jaded) comment:

"As with all tatoos, what seems cool and deep at 25 will be embarrassing at 35 and just a dull blue splodge by 45."


With such wilful ignorance carved deep into your character, who needs a tattoo?

And I am struck by this response partly because the only thing of note in the more recent article in The Guardian is the feedback. Particularly this:

if you do foolishly Google Harry Potter tattoos as I did, do yourself a favour and keep the brain bleach on standby...

which, of course, is a challenge. One I should have resisted. But didn't.

"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good" and "mischief managed" are popular—understandably—and so are dark marks, but the popularity of "Expecto Patronum!" is amazing. And the portrait tattoos are simply disturbing!

And then there was this one …

Has anyone else been brave enough to Google Twilight tattoos?

which—having not resisted the Harry Potter teaser, I should definitely have resisted!

Anyway, below are some more of the images I previously culled from various sites—including a few Harry Potter quotes.

[UPDATE 20 July 2012: for my post on an "Eliza Haywood Tattoo" see here; for my post on "Literary Tattoos of Eighteenth-Century Authors" see here]

[UPDATE 20 August 2012: I didn't back-link to the source of these pictures in my original post but a comment from Kate had reminded me to do this. I have done hers just now and will do the others in a few days when I have time to find them all again. Sorry for not doing this sooner!]

[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.]

[UPDATE 2022.03.23: it appears that all my back-links dissapeared with my images; but since many of them are now dead anyway—which is not exactly surprising after eleven years—I will leave this post as it is, except to remove, at her request, the image of a woman whose tattoo read(s) "first thought = best thought"]

Thursday 13 January 2011

The Ladies (in the) Library

This is one of my favourite illustrations to Haywood's La Belle Assemblee (i.e., Ab.16 BA). It is the frontispiece to volume three, which was first published in 1731.

This is the frontispiece to The Ladies Library, Vol. I. Written by a Lady. Published by Sir Richard. Steele, 3rd ed. (London: Jacob Tonson, 1722). It is a re-cutting of the same frontispiece illustration from the first edition of 1714—seventeen years before it was used in BA.

See any similarities? Other than the fact that they are practically identical?


When I was compiling my (endless) entry for BA it did occur to me to wonder whether the illustrations to Haywood's BA were taken from the French work that it is a (partial) translation of, but I had too many other things to check to find out. I still haven't found out. One day I will buy a copy of Madeleine Angélique Poisson de Gomez’s Les Journées Amusantes (Paris: G. Saugrain, 1722–31) and compare them. Meanwhile, I think I have established where this illustration comes from.

[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 5 January 2011

Google Books and the National Library of Malta

I started 2011 by doing one of my regular internet searches for all things Haywood. This time, by checking Google Books for references to some of the more obscure European translations of Haywood's works. I have to do this regularly, as Google puts fresh material online all the time.

The last two posts contain the first fruits of these labours. I found an etext of Der übernatürliche Philosoph (Berlin, 1742), and decided to create a page of links to works not by Haywood, but which had been attributed to her, so that I would have somewhere to keep it (here). I also found a review of Jemmy et Sophie, ou les Méprises de l’Amour, and decided it deserved translation and a page of its own (here).

I have also located a short review of La Spectatrice (text and translation here) and a long review of Die Zuschauerin (see here for an earlier post of my copy of this book), which I am going to have to get someone else to help me translate (both are beyond my limited abilities). Once done, I will publish these translations here too.

* * * * *

These are finds are both interesting and useful, but the real find was this book, held at the Bodleian library and scanned by them for Google Books: Cesare Vassallo, Catalogo dei libri esistenti nella pubblica biblioteca di Malta (Valletta, Malta: 1843).

Malta is an amazing place. As Wikipedia explains: It is one of the world's smallest and most densely populated countries; it's strategic importance led to a sequence of colonisers including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Fatimids, Sicilians, Knights of St John, French and the British!

The National Library of Malta was established in 1776; Malta officially became a part of the British Empire in 1814 and achieved its independence in 1964. (For more details about the library's history, see here.) Cesare Vassallo's Catalogo appeared, then, early in the period of British rule.

Vassallo was the librarian of the public library and "an enthusiastic antiquary" "possessing both zeal and knowledge." Having discovered that the National Library of Malta contains two very rare, and one quite rare, Eliza Haywood translations I contacted the library for more information and discovered that Ms Maroma Camilleri, Senior Assistant Librarian, possesses the same enthusiasm, zeal and knowledge as Vassallo.

The library does not have an online computer catalogue—they have limited resources and have wisely been spending their money on fire-proof doors and other safety equipment instead—but Ms Camilleri was able to supply call numbers and other details very quickly indeed. (In fact, as of August 2010, the library has no director and desperately needs funds for the restoration its early books—a situation that is covered in this article.)

Anyway, as the result of finding this 1844 catalogue, and with Ms Camilleri's assistance, I have been able to double the known copies of La Spettatrice (1753), a translation from the French into Italian of the first six books of The Female Spectator; increase from three to four the number of copies known of Memorie d’un Giovane Nobile Sventurato (1745), a translation into Italian of the first volume of Memoirs of an Unfortunate Young Nobleman; and add a twelfth location for the third French edition of La Spectatrice (1751), the French translation of The Female Spectator.

I have also added another library, and another country to the coverage of my Bibliography, which means that one day—when I am preparing the second edition—I will have
an excusea reason to visit this beautiful library and fascinating country.

* * * * *

There is a lot that I could say about Google Books and online text bases right now. Positive and negative. I have stuck with the positive today. Because the Bodleian holds and Google Books has scanned and posted online Vassallo's 1844 catalogue—a book it never occurred to me to look into and, if it had occurred to me, I wouldn't have been able to look in without visiting Sydney (the only copy in Oz)—I have discovered that the National Library of Malta hold three important Haywood items.

It is not clear how long it will be before the National Library of Malta is able to completely catalogue its collection, and when those electronic catalogue records will become available online. Until they do, this 167 year old book is the only window into the collection for overseas researches like me. This window was not provided by the National Library of Malta, or by a philanthropic organisation, but by that monomaniacal monolith, Google.

Vassallo's Catalogo was dumped onto the internet—I am guessing—without the slightest idea (on the part of either Google or the Bodleian library) that they were producing a defacto online catalogue to the early printed books at the National Library of Malta. And—in all likelihood—the National Library of Malta were unaware that Google/Bodleian library was about to perform this service for them. But I am sure that the queries sent to the library, like those I sent, will have alerted them to this fact pretty quickly.

And, I can't resist a final, if somewhat clichéd reflection on what Cesare Vassallo would have made of this. He clearly intended his guide to publicise the collections of the National Library of Malta, of which he was, rightly, proud. No doubt, he wanted to make scholars (such as those consulting his Catalogo in the Bodleian library at Oxford) aware of the riches of this overlooked collection. Surely he would be pleased then that, after 167 years, this guide is still serving this purpose! How many works of scholarship have a shelf life that long?!

[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 3 January 2011

Jemmy et Sophie, 1797

Haywood's The History of Jenny and Jemmy Jessamy (1753) was translated into French by "L. M***" and published by Chez Maradan in 1797.

A short review of this edition appeared in the Journal typographique et bibliographique on 12 June 1797. I wasn't able to see this review when I was researching my Bibliography, but it is now on Google Books (here) so I thought I would transcribe and translate it. (And if anyone cares to improve on this translation I would be very much obliged!)

Journal typographique et bibliographique no. 32 (24 Prairial an 6 [12 June 1797]), 260–61:

Jemmy et Sophie, ou les Méprises de l’Amour; trad. de l'anglais, par L. M***. Très-jolie fig. (An 6). Prix, 3 fr. et 4 francs par la poste. Paris, Maradan, libraire, rue du Cimetière-André-des-Arcs.

  Cette jolie production sort des presses du cit. Crapelet. Nous dirons de cet artiste, que son nom nous suffira pour faire l'éloge de l'exécution typographique, comme l'a si bien dit le Journal de Paris. Nous regrettons de ne pas connoitre l'artiste qui a gravé les caractères. Cependant nous pensons qu'ils ont été fondus par le cit. Lyon, rue St.-Jacques, ou gravés et fondus par le cit. Gando. Nous annoncerons de ce typographe une très-jolie édition des Voyages de Levaillant, dans notre prochain Numéro.

  [This pretty production leaves the presses of citizen Crapelet. We will say “this artist,” that this description will be enough to praise the typographical execution, as the Journal de Paris said so well. We regret that we not discover the artist who engraved the characters. However, we think that they were forged by citizen Lyon, St. Jacques Street, or engraved and forged by citizen Gando. We will announce a very-pretty edition of the Voyages of Le Vaillant from this typographer, in our next Number.]

Not-Haywood Texts, Links etc

This post, providing links to texts that are NOT by Haywood, was replaced by a more comprehensive post in 2021: Works Falsely Attributed to Eliza Haywood . [last updated 26 March 2022]