Saturday 2 December 2017

Eliza Haywood’s House in the Great Piazza

My 2011 article on “Eliza Haywood at the Sign of Fame” discusses—in great detail—two advertisements I found for the April 1744 sale of “The genuine Household Goods of Mrs. Eliza Haywood, Publisher, at her House in the Great Piazza, next Russell-Street, Covent-Garden” (a copy of this article is on the Monash Repository here). The closing paragraph to my article reads:

While our perception of Haywood’s finances may have a significant influence on our interpretation of the motives for her actions, Haywood's publishing activity at the “Sign of Fame” is now far less open to speculation. We know exactly how long this publishing venture lasted; the number of works known to be published and sold there has been increased and these works have been more accurately dated. We also know exactly where Haywood lived and worked, have a floor-plan of her lodgings and a crude catalogue of the contents of this house. And if one minutely examines the drawings, paintings and engravings of this section of Covent Garden from the period one can easily imagine a painting of Fama Bona—in flowing while robes, with wings stretched out behind her, a golden trumpet held to her lips by her right hand, and a laurel wreath or an olive branch raised in her other—on a wooden board swinging above the figures who pass along the arcade and into Haywood's shop.

I wrote imagine in the closing sentence of the above paragraph because, having minutely examined the drawings, paintings and engravings of this section of Covent Garden from the period, I can not be certain I have actually seen Haywood’s shop sign (Fame) or a detailed image of the shop-front from the early 1740s. However, some near-contemporary (i.e. broadly mid-eighteenth century) views of Covent Garden, appear to provide some detail of the building Haywood inhabited in the period 1742–44. One of those views is the subject of today’s post. But first I should explain: the corner building that Haywood occupied—which has since been demolished—was nos. 18 and 19 of the Great Piazza. The eastern face of what was the Great Piazza is now occupied by a part of the Royal Opera House complex, most obviously by the Floral Hall. At street level in the Piazza (now called the “New Arcade”) there are a number of shops. The section of Russell Street adjacent to this block is now called, in some maps, “Culverhay.”

Nos. 18 and 19 of the Great Piazza were the southernmost of what had been Sir Edmund Verney’s two houses, which sat between Covent Garden Theatre and Russell Street on the eastern side of the Piazza. The Survey of London volume covering the Piazza helpfully includes the map of Covent Garden I have used above and a conjectural reconstruction of this four/five story building based on detailed inventories from 1634. While it is not difficult to see, from the reconstructed floor plans, how Verney’s two houses were laid out, it is not so easy to see how the southernmost house (Haywood’s) was divided in two by “Samuel Bever, Esqr.” in about 1740, shortly before Haywood moved in. Apparently, the twelve rooms of this property (nos. 18 and 19) were divided so that one residence faced the Piazza and the other faced Russell Street.

The view below, by T. Sandby, is from roughly the position I have marked "X" in the above plan of Covent Garden. It was originally published in 1766; it was reissued by Edward Rooker in 1768; John Boydell in 1777, as a part of in his “Six Views of London” series; and it was published again Boydell in 1777 (on a reduced scale). The images I use in this post are from this smaller version of the view (160 x 225mm instead of 410 x 553mm), a copy of which I bought in 2011. Low-resolution copies of this view are available online, but they are no use when you want to look at the details, like I do here. If I can ever afford the larger view, or one of the earlier engravings, I will. (Grosvenor Prints have had a copy of the large 1777 engraving for sale at £490, since at least 2011.)

In the view below, Covent Garden is seen from the south-east side of the Piazza, looking towards Covent Garden Theatre (at left) and the house Haywood’s occupied (at centre, partly obscured by a column). As you can see, there is a dog and various figures in the foreground, moving from right to left these appear to be: a woman selling goods in the shadow of the colonnade, a group of beggars, a sleeping chair-carrier, a man having his shoes shined, a boy with a hoop, a couple walking towards the theatre, and two boys playing marbles; further back we see people leaning on in shop windows and on wooden railings and selling goods from large baskets in the middle of the square.

In the gap between two columns, above and behind the beggars, appears to be either no. 18 or 19 of the Great Piazza.

Looking closer, we can see a coach (far left), someone entering an open doorway (left), and shop windows (right); above both the door and the shop-windows are small, upper windows. Beneath the upper window (at right) is a partial-view of a shop sign or lamp.

Looking closer still, at pretty-close to maximum magnification (2400dpi scan), confirms the impression that this is a shop-sign, not a lamp, but that is all, there are no further details to be recovered.

From what I have seen in other views of Covent Garden—and there are a surprisingly large number of these—I am pretty confident this is the shop that had been Haywood’s Sign of Fame. I will do a post on what Haywood’s signboard may have look like another time. And I may do one with a number of views of the general area, and the contents of her house. But for now I will content myself with a few more details of the figures in this view.

Friday 1 December 2017

Representing Little Merlin’s Cave, 1737 to 1741

I have a pretty limited knowledge of incunabula and post-incunabula printing, but it seems that woodblock images were often copied, re-purposed and re-used. And it seems a quite a lot of book-historical and art-historical research goes into tracing the histories of particular images and tropes, and the work of particular artists. A good example of this sort of scholarship is Charles Zika’s, The Appearance of Witchcraft: Print and Visual Culture in Sixteenth-Century Europe (London: Routledge, 2007), which traces a myriad of witchy-themed woodblocks between unrelated texts.

Although woodblock printer’s ornaments were copied and frequently re-used in the eighteenth century—I have written a few articles and blog posts on this subject—illustrative artwork, often engraved, appears to have been less frequently copied, or has less often been the subject of book-historical studies. (And here I am excluding commonplace and expected duplication: the copying of engravings between editions or when a work was translated.) Of this type of copying, I can only think of three examples. I mentioned the first of these in a footnote in my article “Imagining Eliza Haywood,” (Eighteenth-Century Fiction, 29, no. 3 (2017): 360n45), as follows:

Although engraved plates could be “transposed from book to book” … this practice appears to have been uncommon. See Thomas Stretser, Merryland Displayed (London: J. Leake, 1741), 16: “after he [Curll] found the Pamphlet pirated, to make his differ from the pirated Editions, he adds a Frontispiece ... This Plate I find was engraved so long ago as the Year 1712, for the use of Mr Rowe’s Translation of Quillet’s Callipædia, then published by Mr. Curll, and has served for several Books since, particularly the Altar of Love, and Mrs. Singer’s Poems.”

The second example I have noticed is the close-copying of the frontispiece from the first volume of The Ladies Library. Written by a Lady. Published by Mr. Steele, 3 vol. (London: Jacob Tonson, 1714), which appears in the third volume of Eliza Haywood’s La Belle Assemblee (London: D. Browne [et al.], 1731). I did a blog post about this almost seven years ago now (here). Although I have two copies of the Haywood volume, I still haven’t picked up a cheap copy of The Ladies Library, so I haven’t been able to update that post with better images. Meh.

The third example I have noticed of this sort of re-use, set out below, is far more interesting in many ways, since it involves erotic artwork and a more varied form of re-use.

* * * * *

An engraved vignette headpiece, with a somatopic design, appears [1] at the start of the text of Little Merlin’s Cave. As it was lately discover’d, by a Gentleman’s Gardener, in Maidenhead-Thicket (London: T. Read, 1737). The design was copied twice and modified to represent “Merryland,” early and late 1741: as [2] the frontispiece to Arbor Vitæ: Or, The Natural History Of The Tree Of Life (London: E. Hill, 1741) and, reversed, as [3] a folding, engraved plate (above) in A New Description of Merryland, “Eight [sic] Edition” (Bath: J. Leake and E. Curll, [1741]).

A few explanations: a somatopia is a literary conceit, in which a utopian landscape is comprised of a human body—almost always a woman’s body. The term was coined by Darby Lewes in 2000. A New Description of Merryland was a hugely popular somatopia written by Thomas Stretser, which I have often mentioned on this blog, and which has its own Wikipedia page (here).

Below are the engraved vignette, frontispiece and folding plate, cropped and reversed (where necessary) to make the comparison easier.

Note how in [1] the recumbent female landscape exists, in 1737, in isolation; later, in [2] early 1741, an erect penis is added in the foreground; later still, in [3] considerable detail is added when the engraving was enlarged, but the view remains unchanged. Below are [1] and [2] with the changed section in a red box for ease of comparison.

At some point in the future I will do a post on Merlin’s Cave in the Royal Gardens at Richmond, created under the direction of Queen Caroline, the elaboration of grottos as sexual metaphors, and the construction of somatopic gardens more generally. For now it is enough to say that “Merlin’s Cave”—an above-ground “grotto”—was the talk of the town in London in the late 1730s. There is an excellent post on this subject, with lots of pictures, here. Omitted from the discussion is the fact that Caroline’s “grotto” was the inspiration for Little Merlin’s Cave. As it was lately discover’d, by a Gentleman’s Gardener, in Maidenhead-Thicket—and the rather naughty series of images above.

Thursday 30 November 2017

Bibliomania, The Evidence Accumulates

Fortunately, “bibliomania is not a psychological disorder recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders". However, according to Mark D. Griffiths, “taxonomic collecting” (“attempt[ing] to own an example of every type of a series of items produced”) and “the multiple purchasing of the same book” are probably either “fetishistic” or a symptom of an obsessive-compulsive disorder. While Griffiths notes that there is “very little academic research on the topic”—research reviewed in his article—he concludes that “book collecting can be compulsive.”

It is unlikely anyone who has jokingly described themselves as a bibliomaniac will disagree with this conclusion, just as it is unlikely that many of these same people are likely to agree with Freud that collecting is “a manifestation of anal-erotic impulses” or a “neurotic defence against pre-oedipal or oedipal traumas”—statements also quoted by Griffiths. In Civilisation and its Discontents (1930), 56–57, Freud argues, that “putting out fire by urinating” on it represents a “sexual act” and that controlling this desire is an achievement, a heterosexual masculine victory of culture-over-nature which is both “without a prototype” and “impossible” for women. Which tells you a great deal about Freud and his credibility, and very little about fire. And the capacity of women to urinate on it.

Returning to taxonomic collecting and purchasing multiple copies of the same book—if these are symptoms of bibliomania, then I am a bibliomaniac. In 1887, Augustine Birrell said, in relation to book collecting, that “until you have ten thousand volumes the less you say about your library the better.” But I am talking about bibliomania, not book-collecting, and by Griffiths’ definition, it is possible to be a bibliomaniac by repeatedly buying copies of only one book. Buying a dozen copies of Birrell’s Obiter Dicta, for instance, would be enough to make you a bibliomaniac.

Anyway, I was thinking about compulsive behaviour the other day when two more sets of Haywood’s Female Spectator arrived—these being my sixth and seventh set of the “Second” edition, i.e. Ab.60.5 the first London, duodecimo edition, which is not really the second London edition, and was not the first duodecimo edition. When I set out, without much premeditation, to collect Haywood taxonomically, I had not thought that I would end up with so many “duplicates” as well. Of course, very few hand-press books are genuine "duplicates" bibliographically-speaking (there are often slight differences, as I discuss here), and every book has its own history, more or less recoverable, which makes it unique (even volumes from the same set, as I discuss here).

Still, seven sets of the 1748 “Second” London edition does seem excessive, even to me. The vendor, whose outstanding collection on Hume ended up in a Japanese university, assured me that he had had a dozen copies of many of Hume's works before he parted with his collection. And David Levy assures me that his Hoyle collection also includes a significant number of “duplicates” of some items. Both collectors said I had nothing to be concerned about. But I am not sure I should be taking advice from people whose bibliomania is more advanced than my own.

Having gone online to self-diagnose, I found the Wikipedia entry on Bibliomania, and passed from that to the article by Griffiths, which I have been quoting from (“In Excess. Hooked and Booked. A brief look at bibliomania,” Psychology Today, 17 September 2013). Having read Griffiths’ essay, it appears that I now have to decide which diagnosis is worse, an obsessive-compulsive disorder or a paraphilia.

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Knitting for Bibliographers, by Professor Greenough

As Wikipedia explains, Chester Noyes Greenough (1874–1938) was Professor of English (from 1915) and Dean at Harvard University (1919–27). Inasmuch as he is known to bibliographers today, he is known for his Bibliography of the Theophrastan Character (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1947) and his unpublished card catalogue of “English Prose Fiction, 1470-1832,” which is held at Harvard University’s Widener Library.

I was not aware of either work until quite recently, when I encountered a reference to the “Greenough catalogue” as a bibliographical reference to a “lost” work of eighteenth century erotica. Searching online, I found a few more references to this mysterious catalogue. A good example is, Allene Gregory, The French Revolution and the English Novel (New York: Putnam’s Sons, 1915), 321; Gregory writes “I wish to acknowledge an especial indebtedness to a manuscript card list of prose fiction by Professor C. N. Greenough, which formed the basis for my working list of Revolutionary fiction.”

In 1921, PMLA published an article by our good friend George F. Whicher—Eliza Haywood’s first bibliographer—as an appendix to their 1921 volume (George F. Whicher, “The Present Status of the Bibliography of English Prose Fiction between 1660 and 1800,”PMLA, 36 (1921): c–cvi). In it, Whicher describes how Greenough had compiled his catalogue. Describing two unpublished bibliographies, which have “carried forward the listing of prose fiction through the later years of the eighteenth century,” he explains,

One of them is the compilation of that indefatigable collector of literary information, Professor Chester N. Greenough of Harvard. He has collected between 3,000 and 4,000 titles covering the entire period—in fact his list extends to 1832—and has recorded editions besides the first. He has examined, though not with systematic thoroughness, the usual sources of bibliographical information. The feature of his collection which promises to be of greatest value is the large number of clippings from modern booksellers’ catalogues that it contains. As every student of the novel knows, editions and even books not available in any of the great libraries are constantly turning up in dealers’ lists. A collection of these items, such as Professor Greenough, may do much to supplement information gathered from other sources. Professor Greenough has courteously expressed his willingness to have his cards consulted by other workers in the bibliographical field.

(The second card catalogue, begun ca.1906 by John M. Clapp (1870–1953), was bequeathed to Whicher when Clapp retired as Head 
of the Department of English at Indiana University, ca. 1920. By 1922, it was in Amhurst College Library—for its fate, see below.)

Ruth Greenough’s account of her husband’s life, including his life as a scholar, was published in 1940. In this biography, she mentions Chester’s work on his catalogue of “English Prose Fiction”—which he referred to as his “B.P.F.” According to Ruth, Chester had an “almost boyish enthusiasm” when contemplating the “prospect of its attaining finished form” (Ruth Hornblower Greenough, Chester Noyes Greenough; an account of his life as teacher, dean, master & scholar (Cambridge, MA: Merrymount Press, 1940), 287). The “B.P.F.” was begun ca. 1920, “in the early years of his deanship to employ [his] spare moments” (287). The three or four thousand cards Whicher reports in 1922 grew to approximately two hundred thousand cards, catalogued under four hundred tentative subject headings, by the time of his death (286). Inspired by Robert Watt’s Bibliotheca Britannica; Or, A General Index to British and Foreign Literature (1824), Chester’s “B.P.F.” was both a productive way to use of his spare moments, and a break from his duties as Dean.

In 1929, after almost a decade of work on the project, Chester received some research funds, so he employed research assistants to expand on his work and—when this grant money ran out—continued to pay his RAs to work on it. Not surprisingly, Chester was very anxious to see the work finished: when he was Dean (1919–27), “he never ceased to regret … the fact that his own work was lying idle” (117), when he first received his grant money he advised his RA to “Spend like a drunken sailor!” (287), and even after he was paying for the work from his own pocket, he wanted his RA to “push faster”—increasing his hours to increase his output. Ruth says that “he kept a tray of cards” at hand, which he “played with, rearranged, added to” (117), “quieting his nerves by compiling, assorting and indexing the cards”—something “he called his knitting work” (287). His RA adds, “Often in spare moments before going to classes he would finger over the cards and express delight in the accumulation [he was making] for future scholars” (288).

* * * * *

Prof. Chester Noyes Greenough’s “accumulation” is described in a FAQ answer on the Harvard University Library website (here):

Professor Chester Noyes Greenough’s “Catalogue of English Prose Fiction, 1470-1832” is still an index card file kept in a large wooden case in Houghton Library. It is located in an area not normally open to the public, so it is necessary to contact Houghton to arrange to consult it in person:

The staff at the Haughton were kind enough to answer a query of mine concerning Frailties of Fashion; Or, Adventures of an Irish Smock (1782), which I have mentioned on this blog before (here) and which is the subject of a forthcoming essay I have co-authored for Notes and Queries, supplying images of the card concerned (front, above; back, below). As you can see, the card records the title, format, price, publisher, the novel is characterised (probably from a review), and it has been checked in the British Museum catalogue. It appears the initial details were taken from The Monthly Review; a subtitle and a reference were later added—“CR LV 234,” which is a reference to the Critical Review, 55 ([1783]): 234—plus information on cross-references from subtitle, and subjects (Ireland and Fashion)—later still, details taken from Jules Gay’s Bibliographie des ouvrages relatifs à l'amour, aux femmes, au mariage et des livres (1871), 1.36, were add to the back of the card. (Identifiable as such, since Gay is responsible for the ghost “Randall (1875?)” edition.)

Below the transcript from Gay on the back is a stamp: “This card given to the Harvard College Library by J. M. Clapp January, 1929”—a statement of provenance that explains the cataloguing date on the front “8.11.09” (i.e., 8 November 1909), a decade before Greenough commenced his “Catalogue of English Prose Fiction, 1470-1832,” but three years after Clapp began his. From these details it seems that Clapp’s card catalogue collections were bequeathed to Whicher, who passed them on to Amhurst (where they resided in 1922); but that the collection was passed on to Harvard in 1929—whether by Clapp (who was still alive), Whicher (ditto), or Amhurst itself, is unclear—and added to the Greenough “Catalogue,” precisely at the moment Greenough was dispersing grant money “like a drunken sailor” to accelerate the expansion of his own card catalogue. From which, it seems likely that the first hand is Clapp’s, and the remainder either Greenough’s or his RA’s.

In my database Checklist of Eighteenth-Century Erotica I record remarkably similar details to those recorded by Clapp and Greenough. Because of the limited scope of my Checklist (fewer than two thousand titles), and the greater ease with which details can be added to virtual “cards” in FileMaker, I have the luxury of adding more of the same sort of details: more detailed title-page information, more advertisements and reviews, more details of copies located, etc. So it is not really surprising that my working methods are also much the same, my regrets about being kept from my Checklist by teaching and admin, ditto, and now the name I use for the time I spend on what has become my “knitting.”

If the card above is typical of the Clapp/Greenough catalogue, as I am tempted to refer to it as now, it is a remarkable achievement. It is a shame it is not better known.

Thursday 19 October 2017

Early Reviews of Haywood's Memoirs of Utopia (1725–26)

The following note and editorial addition, concerning Haywood's Memoirs of a Certain Island Adjacent to the Kingdom of Utopia, appears in the Critical Review, 4 (November 1757): 272 (online here):

To the Author of the Critical Review.

  LAST winter a book called Modern Lovers was published, pr. 3 s. but in fact was only part of The Memoirs of Utopia. This month the same publisher has exhibited a book called Prostitutes of Quality, which is likewise extracted from Memoirs of Utopia, and yesterday a book was published, called Memoirs of B— Tracey, which in fact is only a part of an absence book, called A History of the Human Heart, which is not fit to be read by the public.

Nov. 26, 1757.
      Your obedient servant,
            T. L.

N. B. The authors of The Critical Review are obliged to T. L. for the above letter; and should be obliged to him for the same sort of information hereafter; for they would heartily join him in detecting such notorious and infamous impositions on the public.

The four works mentioned here are:

[1] Modern Lovers; Or, The Adventures of Cupid, the God of Love: A Novel (London: Printed for J. Cooke, at the King’s-Arms, in Great-Turnstile, Holbourn, 1756); ESTC: t66385.

[2] Prostitutes of Quality; Or, Adultery á-la-mode. Being Authentic and Genuine Memoirs of Several Persons of the Highest Quality (London: Printed for J. Cooke, and J. Coote, opposite Devereux-Court, in the Strand, 1757); ESTC: t46030.

[3] Memoirs of B— Tracey (London: Printed for J. King, in Great Turnstile, Holborn, [1757]); ESTC: t118902.

[4] A History of the Human Heart; Or, The Adventures of a Young Gentleman (London: Printed for J. Freeman, 1749); ESTC: n17696.

* * * * *

Putting aside, for a moment, the question of whether [1] Modern Lovers and [2] Prostitutes of Quality are, in fact, "only part of The Memoirs of Utopia"—the other two works are certainly related to each other: [3] Memoirs of B— Tracey is "in fact is only a part of" [4] A History of the Human Heart—about two-thirds of the former being a word-for-word reprint of the latter (i.e., about 214 of 314 pages). Both titles appear in George Colman's imaginary "Catalogue of a Circulating Library," as nos. 142 and 89, which I posted here.

T. L. wasn’t the only person to comment on the thefts. The Monthly Review, notes Memoirs of B— Tracey is “All stolen from a wretched book, published about seven years ago, entitled, The History of the Human Heart; and now imposed upon the Public for a new Work.” And the reviewer at Annales typographiques comments on “Mémoires du baron Tracey,” that it is “Pillé d'un mauvais livre publié il y a sept ans, intitulé: The history of the human heart [Stolen from a wicked book published seven years ago, entitled: The history of the human heart].

* * * * *

As for [1] Modern Lovers and [2] Prostitutes of Quality (Coleman nos. 153 and 163): both are comprised exclusively of unauthorised reprints from Haywood’s Memoirs of a Certain Island Adjacent to the Kingdom of Utopia (1725–26), 2 vols. The eighteen chapters of Modern Lovers being very lightly revised, out-of-sequence excerpts from Memoirs of Utopia (1725), 61–71, 89–91, 103–25, 140–74, 177–94, 196–210, 260–74; the six stories in Prostitutes of Quality being even more lightly revised, out-of-sequence excerpts from Memoirs of Utopia (1725), 58–71, 72–120, 121–26, 126–56, 265–75 and Memoirs of Utopia, vol.2 (1726), 126–40.

The publisher of these two unautorised reprints, J. Cooke, appended the following to his first volume of stolen text:

I am but just commenced Author, and therefore cannot form any Judgment of my Ability to please or instruct the Public; but one Thing I can venture to promise, that if this Performance meets with a general Approbation, the Public shall hear again from their
      Most obedient Servant,

The publisher's misdirection continued in the Gazetteer and London Daily Advertiser, 10 November 1756, where Cooke notes "Great Enquiry having been made to discover the Author of this Performance; this is to assure the Public … that the Characters herein are all general, and not pointed at any particular Person, as hath been most falsely suggested.”

In 1756, the Monthly Review did not recognise Cooke desception, commenting only that Cupid “is here made to relate a number of silly, barren stories, each chapter being a distinct history," and noting that "At the end of the book, the public is threatned with a future visitation from the same quarter.” That "future visitation" was [2] Prostitutes of Quality.

With the publication of Prostitutes of Quality in 1757, both the Critical Review and Monthly Review recognised Cooke desception. The Critical Review is quoted at the start of this post—the Monthly Review adds that Prostitutes of Quality is “Cull’d from the lewd Eutopian romances that so much delighted the chamber-maids and ’prentices of the last age:—Surely, such wretched author-craft cannot fail of its reward!”

What is particularly interesting here is to see the reaction of reviewers when confronted with Haywood’s early work—after her death—work that was published before any of these journals, dedicated to reviewing literature, were established. The Monthly Review described the passages from Memoirs of Utopia as "silly, barren stories" in 1756, and “lewd” and “wretched” in 1757, but there is a back-handed complement, a grudging recognition, that the book “delighted … chamber-maids and ’prentices.” T. L., however, identifies all of the works he(?) mentions as “not fit to be read by the public.”

* * * * *

BTW: I am not really sure what "an absence book" is, unless absence is Latinate pun with ab- and sense: ab- being a prefix meaning "off, away, from" and, therefore, absence may be synonymous with something like "senseless." But this is a stretch. If there is an accepted meaning of this word/phrase, I am not familiar with, and neither are the editors of the OED.

Alternatively, "an absence book" may be a book in which absentees from Sunday School were noted, i.e., a naughty-book. The phrase is first recorded in the early nineteenth-century, but may be earlier. See, for instance, here in Hints for Conducting Sunday Schools (1811).

[NOTE: this is a revised and expanded version of a post I did almost six years ago.]

Wednesday 4 October 2017

Haywood's Distress'd Orphan — as a web comic!

Arden Powell has been inspired to adapt Eliza Haywood's The Distress'd Orphan; or, Love in a Madhouse (1726) into a web comic, under the title: Madhouse. (Madhouse doesn't have an exclamation mark, but I think it should be Madhouse!)

The first five pages will be posted today (Wednesday, 4 October 2017), with one new page every Wednesday thereafter until the complete novella is up.

According to Earla Wilputte, Arden hopes to build a large enough readership to pitch the project to publishers in the following year.

You can find "5 Reasons to Read Madhouse" here (one not mentioned is the lovely artwork), and a sample (The Garden Date) here. Enjoy!

Tuesday 11 July 2017

Macmillan's New Cranford Series and Illustrated Standard Novels in Dust Jackets

In 2011, I posted images of the dust jacket of my 1896 copy of Thomas Love Peacock's Gryll Grange here and here; that copy has now been donated to the Monash Library, as a part of my Thomas Love Peacock collection, but is yet to be catalogued.

Before I gave up my Peacock collection last year, I had been keeping an eye open for any more Peacock volumes from Macmillan's New Cranford Series and Illustrated Standard Novels in dust jackets or wrappers, but without any luck. I did, however, occasionally find other volumes from Macmillan’s New Cranford Series (1890–96) in dust jackets, so I thought I should do a post on them, add any images to that post which I might find in future.

Here today are the two jackets that I collected images of (two titles, two copies of the first), plus a few pictures of my old copy of Gryll Grange. The prices being asked for Cranford are eye-watering (approaching two thousand pounds), so it is not surprising that the books remain available two years after I spotted them! But the copy of Coridon’s Song is only a USD245—a bargain—I don't understand why nobody has snapped it up!

UPDATED 6 July and 28 September 2018: I have now been sent images of four more volumes from this series in their dust jackets, by a reader of this blog, so I am posting these pictures here (no.4–7 below). If any other readers of this blog care to donate more or better images, and descriptions, I'll post them too.

* * * * *

[1] Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford, With a Preface by Anne Thackeray Ritchie, illus. Hugh Thomson (London: Macmillan, 1891), large paper copy, ltd. to 300 copies; in plain red publisher's cloth with paper spine label.

[2] Austin Dobson, Coridon’s Song and Other Verses from Various Sources, Introduction by Austen Dobson, illus. By Hugh Thomson (London: Macmillan, 1894), pictorial black cloth with titles and illustration stamped in gilt, a.e.g.

[3] Thomas Love Peacock, Gryll Grange, Introduction by George Sainsbury, illus. F. H. Townsend (London: Macmillan, 1896), red cloth.

[4] Mary Russell Mitford, Our Village, illus. by Hugh Thomson (London: Macmillan, 1893).

[5] Floria Anne Steel, Tales of the Punjab, illus. Lockwood Kipling (London: Macmillan, 1894).

[6] Joseph Addison et al., Days with Sir Roger de Coverley, illus. by Hugh Thomson (London: Macmillan, 1892).

[7] Oliver Goldsmith, Vicar of Wakefield, Preface by Austen Dobson, illus. Hugh Thompson (London: Macmillan, 1890).

[8] Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Introduction by Austen Dobson, illus. Charles E. Brock (London: Macmillan, 1895), plain binding under illustrated dust wrapper, printed with an enlarged image of the headpiece on page 243. (Illustration from Jarndyce Catalogue, no. 234 (Winter 2018-19), item no. 21, priced at £1800.)

[Updated 13 December 2018]

Wednesday 5 July 2017

The Scale of Female Literary Merit, 1792

On 4 June 2014, Dr Jennie Batchelor did a Tweet (here) about a 1792 "Scale of Female Literary Merit" that appeared in The Lady’s Magazine; and on 15 December 2014, she did a Blog post (here) about it. The Tweet provided the year (only), the blog entry, the name of the journal plus the year and month (only). The Blog was an improvement on the Tweet, but — since the list looks useful — I wanted to know little more. So here is the "Scale" and a little more information.

The full reference for this is: "The Scale of Female Literary Merit," The Lady’s Magazine, 23 (June 1792): 290; online here. (NB: the caption in Batchelor's blog entry provides the wrong volume number.)

Batchelor's tweet seems to have prompted Melissa Sodeman to post this February 2015 blog entry titled "Measuring Up: On the vexing history of assessing women’s literary achievements", which cites an earlier newspaper article —itself a response to a yet-earlier "Scale of Genius" that had ranked male writers (full citatation: "Scale of the Female Genius of this Country in the Year MDCCXCII”, The Star (2 April 1792); not online). In fact, Sodeman had cited and reproduced The Star "Scale" in her Sentimental Memorials: Women and the Novel in Literary History (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014), 125–26, which was published in November 2014, so she appears to have been mining her own book in response to Batchelor.

Although Batchelor undoubtedly located this "Scale" herself, as her Tweet claims, the Lady’s Magazine "Scale" was cited by Monica Cristina Soare in the same year in The Female Gothic Connoisseur: Reading, Subjectivity, and the Feminist Uses of Gothic Fiction (PhD, thesis, UC Berkeley, [Northern] Spring 2014), 136; and had been reproduced eight years earlier in the facsimile collection Women and Romanticism, 1790–1830, ed. Roxanne Eberle, 5 vols. (London: Routledge, 2006), 3.18.

So, unless I can find an even-older reference, the credit for the re-discovery and earliest mention of the "Scale" goes to Roxanne Eberle, Associate Professor at the University of Georgia.

Monday 3 July 2017

Tell me, O! Eliza Haywood!

The following quote is from the long-forgotten Richard Savage, edited, with occasional notes by Charles Whitehead, Illustrated by John Leech, Bentley’s Miscellany, vol. 8–10 (London: Richard Bentley, 1842), 9.38–39 (here):

I was silent. To say the truth, I managed that scene — for, after all, it must be so called — very awkwardly. And yet the case itself was scenic; and upon a little reflection it will be admitted that the manner of performance ought to have very little to do with the question. Tell me, O Eliza Haywood !* thou great genius of modern fiction! thou, who knowest, or sayest thou dost know, all the passions and feelings that work or play in the bosom of mankind, (would that thou wouldst depict them better!), tell me what ought to have been done upon that occasion, and how?
  I was silent, I have said; but at length I answered …

* Eliza Haywood, although now nearly forgotten, attained during her life-time to an enviable celebrity. Pope, in his Dunciad, has heaped terrible infamy upon her head. Her plays I have not seen; but I have looked into her novels — of which ‘The History of Betsy Thoughtless’ and ‘Jenny and Jemmy Jessamy’ are the most considerable. They possess no common degree of merit, but are altogether unfit for modern perusal.

Whitehead's serialised novel, the Introduction to which claimed that is was an "autobiographical memoir" (8.20), was reprinted in Bentley's Standard Novels, without notes, re-written and with the ending changed (!—according to Royal Gettmann here), as Richard Savage. A Romance of Real Life, 3 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1842), with the quote at 2.63–64 (here); it was reprinted, again without notes, and with further edits, including the removal of the paragraph mentioning Haywood, Richard Savage. A Romance of Real Life, A New Edition, with an introduction by Harvey Orrinsmith (London: Richard Bentley, 1896), with the relevant section on page 185 (here).

In a biography of 1884 (in the title of which he was already being described as "A Forgotten Genius"), H. T. Mackenzie Bell describes Richard Savage as "unquestionably Whitehead's greatest work" and repeats the claim of one "Miss Hogarth … that she had often heard Dickens speak with 'great admiration' of the novel Richard Savage" (H. T. Mackenzie Bell, A Forgotten Genius: Charles Whitehead: A Critical Monograph (London 1884; 2nd ed., with some additional material, 1894), 24; online here).

Charles Whitehead was born 4 September 1804, left for Australia 1857 and died in Melbourne Hospital, 5 July 1862. Since this makes Whitehead an honourary Australian, a Melbournian in fact, the Australian Dictionary of Biography contains an entry for him (here), but the National Library of Australia contains only one, incomplete poem of his in manuscript (an attack on H. F. Watts, editor of the Melbourne Argus, sent to Bell by James Smith, editor of the Australasian) and copies of his "greatest work" are scarce in Australian libraries (only three copies of each of the 1842 and 1896 editions). According to the ADB, Whitehead was an alcoholic, impoverished and sometimes homeless; his wife was "mentally deranged" and had died in 1860, he "was picked up exhausted in the street," died (at aged 58) and "was buried in a pauper's grave."

Whitehead's romantic biography of Savage is one of many fictionalised accounts of the writer but—as far as I know—the only one which mentions Haywood, even in passing. Although Whitehead was probably right that, in 1842, Haywood was "now nearly forgotten"—it is nevertheless amusing that he refers to her as such, since even the great John Leech and the justly celebrated Bentley's Standard Novels have not kept his own work from being even more forgotten than Haywood's works were at the time. Likewise, although it is nice to have a record of a Haywood reader from this period ("I have looked into her novels … They possess no common degree of merit"), his peroration (that they are "altogether unfit for modern perusal") is what has landed him a place on my Wall of Shame.

Sunday 2 July 2017

Books I never considered indecent, 1836

On 24 October 1836, Selim Cohen was again indicted for stealing at least a dozen books from William Holmes. During his cross-examination, Holmes (who been a bookseller for twenty-six years, and had two shops) reveals his thoughts concerning books which he considered indecent, or not: mostly not.

It seems that Holmes was familiar with a great many books that were usually concidered obscene at the time, and had twice been imprisoned for seditious libels, which may be why Cohen was found not guilty, though it is clear that he stole the books. Since each dash indicates an omitted question, it is quite difficult to understand exactly what was going on in the Old Bailey Proceedings, and how deep a hole Holmes was digging for himself by lying about his past, his activites, being corrected in questioning etc. But I am guessing that, in the same that the copyright laws at the time would not protect you from piracy, if the work concerned was judged to be obscene (which is what happened with Byron's Cain), property laws did not protect you from theft of books judged to be obscene, and the judge may have let Cohen off for this reason.

* * * * *

Testimony of WILLIAM HOLMES: The house I live in and rent is in Holywell-street—the other shop is in Princess-street … memorandum-books are sold in the shop in Princess-street, but no indecent publications—there are not more than one or two engravings there [Princess-street]—in the Holywell-street shop there are some engravings, decent ones, such as may be shown in any window with perfect safety to the morals of the community—that I swear—I dare say the Adventures of an Irish Smock has been sold—I do not know whether I have it for sale—there may be books in that shop that I do not know of—I know a book called Fanny Hill—I believe there is a copy of it in the shop—I have seen a more indecent publication than that, it is a book called Frisky Songs—I bought a copy of that from the prisoner for 1s., to sell again—I cannot mention a more indecent book, and that I sold, but it was not in the shop—it was in my pocket, and not in the shop—I have sold about two or three dozen copies of Fanny Hill—the one I sell is not the most indecent book next to the one I mentioned—I sold the Frisky Songs because I did not with to keep it—I bought it to sell to another bookseller—I know a book called the Female Husband—it is not an immoral book—it is a woman who personated a man, and married several woman—a narrative of what she did is given in it—I should call it her amours—I do not think they are indecent—I do not consider that or the Fanny Hill I sell, are indecent works—I sell Aristotle's Masterpiece—that is considered a medical book—I never considered it indecent—it treats of the differences of the sexes, and of the operations in the womb—I think it does not treat of the operation of getting children—I have read it—I do not think it more indecent than any other medical book—I sell a work called The Poet—I think there are some in the shop—I think it is not an indecent book—it treats of the amours of a Frenchman and woman—there is a frontispiece to the Female Husband—it is a male and female in bed, covered up, and person entering the room.

In sum:

  • Frisky Songs—"I cannot mention a more indecent book"; it is "more indecent" than Fanny Hill
  • Fanny Hill—"I do not think [it is] indecent"
  • Female Husband—"not an immoral book"; "I do not think [it is] indecent"
  • Aristotle's Masterpiece—"I never considered it indecent", no more "indecent than any other medical book"
  • The Poet—"I think it is not an indecent book"
  • Adventures of an Irish Smock—[not characterised]

  • A few notes: Fanny Hill requires no explanation; The Female Husband is Henry Fielding's account of a notorious 18th-century case of lesbian cross-dressing; Aristotle's Masterpiece is a popular sex manual and midwifery book; I am not familiar with The Poet, and it is the sort of title that defies Google-searching!

    Frisky Songs could be any one of a number of similarly-titled (and now, mostly lost) songsters of the variety included in my Bawdy Songbooks of the Romantic Period (2011). The closest title-match is one we did not include: Wilson's frisky songster: the most spicy collections of all the new double entendre, flash and spreeish songs, now singing at the cidar cellars, Coal Hole, Evans's, and all convivial parties (London: John Wilson, n.d. [ca.1830]), which is held in the library at Bateman's, a 17th-century house in East Sussex where Rudyard Kipling lived, and which was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1939.

    Adventures of an Irish Smock (1782) is a mysterious erotic work, which I have recently located a copy of in an obscure German library. The full title given in the following advertisement gives a better idea of its contents:

    The Adventures of an Irish Smock. Interspersed with ludicrous Anecdotes of a Nankeen Pair of Breeches. Containing, among a great variety of curious connections between the most celebrated Demi-reps and Beaux Garçons upon the Ton. private Intrigues of Lady W—y and Mrs. N—n, never before published; with the whimsical Frolicks of Boarding School Misses, and the Christmas and other Gambols of Maids of Honour. Being a proper companion, particularly at this season, for all men of taste and gallantry, and all females of spirit and intrigue.

    And this is what the reviewers had to say:

    The Critical Review: One of those pernicious incentives to vice that are a scandal to decency. A common pander, who confines his infamous occupation to the service of the stews, is less injurious to society than such prostituted miscreants as devote their time and attention to corrupt the imaginations of youth. The most ignominious punishment prescribed by our laws is infinitely too slight for offences of so heinous a nature; The English Review: The volume is an indecent and impure farrago; and it would be of service to the community, could a summary method be invented to suppress publications calculated to inflame the youth of both sexes and encourage vice, sensuality, and licentiousness; The Monthly Review: This publication is equally remarkable for its stupidity and obscenity.

    It is enough to make you want to read the book, no?

    * * * * *

    The following section of testimony provides some details of Holmes's scrapes with the law; if you want to read more, see here for the full Old Bailey Proceedings.

    Testimony of WILLIAM HOLMES: I have not been all that time [23yrs] in London—I travel in the country—I go to Lincoln sometimes … I have always lived in my own house, or my mother's or my master's, at Lincoln—I was once taken, and slept in jail, but a thing may slip one's memory—that slipped my memory—it was so trifling—I was in jail about a fortnight, till I could procure a sum of money—I was sent there for deserting my wife—I was in jail in town for publishing seditious libels—the first was a letter to Lord Castlereagh, published by Griffiths, in Holborn—I went to jail for six months for that—the second was a letter to the Reformers of England, published by Carlile—I staid in jail two years for that—I think there is no other time—I will swear I have never been in any other jail, or on any other charges than those you have mentioned—nor taken up for any thing else—I am not one of Mr. Carlile's disciples—I believe the Scriptures, and read them in jail the first time I was there—I got into jail again for selling in Mr. Carlile's shop—I always said it was my wife's fault that I got into jail the first time—the Magistrates were kind enough not to commit me, but not gave me time to raise the money—they sent me to Lincoln jail—I did pay the money—because I was too poor—I know perfectly well my wife could procure nutriment from my friends at Lincoln.

    In sum: Holmes was in gaol for

  • "about a fortnight" six months in Lincoln gaol for "for deserting my wife" publishing "a letter to Lord Castlereagh, published by Griffiths, in Holborn"
  • two years for selling, in Mr. Carlile's shop, "a letter to the Reformers of England, published by Carlile"
  • Tuesday 9 May 2017

    Eliza Haywood Unpopular in the UK

    It pains me to say this, but Eliza Haywood appears to be unpopular in the UK.

    Early one Saturday morning, shortly after I did my most recent update of this page (which lists Haywood scholarship online), it occurred to me that most of the major Haywood critics seem to be based in the US. Since it was cold, and daylight was still hours away, I started flicking through my mental card file to identify anyone from the UK who has made a name for themselves in the last century or so, by writing about Haywood, or editing her works.

    George Frisbie Whicher? No.
    Mary Anne Schofield? No.
    Christine Blouch? No.
    Toni Bowers? No.
    Patricia Meyer Spacks? No.
    Kirsten T. Saxton? No.
    Juliette Merritt? No.
    Jerry C. Beasley? No.
    Deborah Nestor? No.
    Alexander Pettit? No.
    Kathryn R. King? No.
    Margaret Case Croskery? No.
    Tiffany Potter? No.
    Me! No.

    The only Haywood scholar from the UK that I could think of, off the top of my head, was Kim Simpson. I wish Kim enormous success, but I am sure she would agree that she is still establishing herself in the field. Which got me thinking: how would you quantify, empirically, the extent to which other UK (or British) scholars have contributed to the field. As soon as I had worked something out, I jumped up and set to work.

    It took all day—from dark to dark—but I managed to establish to my own satisfaction that British scholars have made no significant impact on recent Haywood studies. I set out my reasoning and results below, and the limit I set myself concerning how to define "recent" and "impact", but the searches that I conducted which go beyond the limits I set reinforce the impression of those results. That is, British scholars have not made a significant impact on Haywood studies generally.

    Another impression I have is that many (perhaps "most") of the scholars, who have made an impact on Haywood studies, are not from top-ranked universities. University rankings are an unhealthy obsession of administrators, but the fact that I had not heard of a very large number of the institutions in question cannot be dismissed solely on the basis that I am an antipodean. I visited every library in the States with more than ten Haywood items in their collection: west-coast, mid-west, north-east and east coast. If I find myself with another day on my hands I might correlate scholars with original editions of her works. I suspect the relation is an inverse proportion.

    It is quite likely that my revelation is no revelation to US-based scholars, who regularly attend conferences, and see few outlanders. If any such are reading this, I hope you enjoy finding that the evidence below supports your general impression, that Haywood studies are unpopular in the UK. If you have any theories concerning why that may be the case, I'd love to hear them.

    * * * * *

    I decided to use citation statistics to establish which essays are most frequently cited. I also decided to omit monograph books because there are very few of them, and none that I could think of had UK authors (Whicher, Schofield, Merritt, me, King). The best citation-indexing of literary Studies is by Google scholar (GS), so I used it, and compared Google to its competitors, focusing on citations from 2000 onwards.

    Since I was primarly interested in literary studies scholars who had contributed to the study of Haywood's works as literature, I excluded biographical essays like Blouch's “Eliza Haywood and the romance of obscurity" [48 citations on GS], Backscheider's “The shadow of an author: Eliza Haywood” [27] and King's “Eliza Haywood, Savage Love, and Biographical Uncertainty” [13]. I also excluded comparative essays like H. Thompson, “Plotting materialism: W. Charleton's The Ephesian Matron, E. Haywood's Fantomina, and feminine consistency” [15] and M. N. Powell, “Parroting and the Periodical: Women's Speech, Haywood's Parrot, and Its Antecedents” [14].

    The citation-indexing by MLA is less complete than GS, but the coverage is very good: all of the top eleven GS articles are indexed by MLA, but the total citations are 80 versus 161 citations on GS (i.e., it records around half the citations).

    The citation-indexing by Web of Science [WoS] is, in general, pitiful: no article about Haywood has more than eight citations on WoS, and none of the six essays with more than five citations are among the eleven with the highest citations on GS. Likewise, only six of the top eleven Google-listed articles appear on WoS, and these listings capture less than fifteen percent of the total citations for the same articles, as recorded by GS (18 versus 125 citations).

    The citation-indexing of by Scopus is only slightly better than WoS: no article has more than eight citations on Scopus, and only three of the essays with more than five citations are among the dozen with the highest citations on GS. Likewise, while nine of the top eleven Google-listed articles appear on Scopus, these listings capture only about one quarter of the total citations for the same articles, as recorded by GS (44 versus 161 citations).

    With these limits in mind, I was able to establish a list of the top eleven essays—eleven, because there was a tie for tenth place! These essays, with their citation statistics, are:

    Lubey, K., “Eliza Haywood’s amatory aesthetic” (2006) [30; 13 on MLA; 8 on Scopus; 3 on WoS] ¶ focus on Lasselia
    Anderson, E. H., “Performing the Passions in Eliza Haywood’s Fantomina and Miss Betsy Thoughtless” (2005) [24; 12 on MLA; 6 on Scopus; 2 of WoS]
    Kvande, M., “The Outsider Narrator in Eliza Haywood’s Political Novels” (2003) [22; 12 on MLA; 5 on Scopus] ¶ focus on Memoirs of Utopia
    Stuart, S., “Subversive Didacticism in Eliza Haywood’s Betsy Thoughtless” (2002) [19; 7 on MLA; 5 on Scopus; 4 on WoS]
    Drury, J., “Haywood’s thinking machines” (2008) [14; 4 on MLA; 4 on Scopus; 0 on WoS] ¶ focus on Love in Excess
    Girten, K. M., “Unsexed Souls: Natural Philosophy as Transformation in Eliza Haywood’s Female Spectator” (2009) [14; 6 on MLA; 3 on Scopus; 2 on WoS]
    Mowry, M. M., “Eliza Haywood’s Defense of London’s Body Politic” (2003) [14; 7 on MLA; 4 on Scopus; 0 on WoS] ¶ focus on Fantomina (1725) and The City Jilt (1726)
    Pettit, A., “Adventures in pornographic places: Eliza Haywood’s Tea-Table and the decentering of moral argument” (2002) [13; 1 on MLA; 7 on Scopus; 5 on WoS]
    Black, S., “Trading Sex for Secrets in Haywood’s Love in Excess” (2003) [12; 6 on MLA; 0 on Scopus; 0 on WoS]
    Potter, T., “The language of feminised sexuality: gendered voice in Eliza Haywood’s Love in Excess and Fantomina” (2003) [11; 6 on MLA; 0 on Scopus; 0 on WoS]
    Hultquist, A., “Haywood’s Re-Appropriation of the Amatory Heroine in Betsy Thoughtless” (2006) [11; 6 on MLA; 2 on Scopus; 2 on WoS]

    The affiliations of these scholars are:

    Kathleen Lubey, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, NY
    Emily Hodgson Anderson, University of Southern California's Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, CA
    Marta Kvande, Texas Tech University, TX
    Shea Stuart, Gardner-Webb University, Boiling Springs NC
    Joseph Drury, Villanova University, English Department, Villanova, PA
    Kristin M. Girten, University of Nebraska, NE
    Melissa M. Mowry, St. John's University, Staten Island NY
    Alex Pettit, University of North Texas, TX
    Scott Black, University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
    Tiffany Potter, University of British Columbia, Canada
    Aleksondra Hultquist, Stockton University, Galloway, NJ

    So, there you have it: ten American-based scholars, and one Canadian-based scholar. So, why is Eliza Haywood Unpopular in the UK?

    [UPDATED 2 July 2017]

    Sunday 7 May 2017

    Private Case items not on ECCO

    While reviewing Patrick Kearney’s two bibliographies of the British Library’s Private Case holdings—his Private Case (1981), which lists items now in the Private Case, and his Supplement (2016), which lists items known to have once been in it—it occurred to me that I could use the data he provides to see whether the Private Case holdings continue to be systematically withheld from ECCO.

    I have been curious concerning the presence of Private Case items on ECCO for a while. In my 2011 article “‘The New Machine’: Discovering the limits of ECCO” I mentioned that little of the Private Case material was on ECCO and that the material that had been included at the time of writing had only recently been added (ibid., 441). The main evidence I had to go on was that no Private Case items appear in the first eight thousand reels of the Eighteenth Century microfilm series (the basis of ECCO), and few had appeared thereafter (ibid., 451–52n37). (The first one appears to have been Thomas Stretser's New Description of Merryland, 4th ed. (1741); ESTC: t139065, which appeared on reel 8284 in 1986.)

    I recently updated all the information in my Bibliography of Eliza Haywood about items on the Eighteenth Century microfilm series for a forthcoming essay (“The availability of Haywood’s works, editing and issues of bibliography”). And I have also now updated my Checklist of Eighteenth-Century Erotica, using the information from Kearney. I used the updated information about the Haywood corpus as a benchmark for the eighteenth-century works in English either in, or previously in, the Private Case.

    My (long) experience using ECCO suggests that Haywood is pretty representative of British Library holdings in general: i.e., that close to three-quarters of all Haywood items on ECCO are sourced from the British Library, and almost everything at the British Library is on ECCO. These proportions seem to be true generally of British Library holdings on ESTC and ECCO.

    As I explain below, when I compared the British Library’s holdings of Haywood items with past and present Private Case items, I discovered that, while a similar percentage of Haywood items are on ESTC as are, or were, in the Private Case, it is still the case that, whereas 95% of all Haywood items held in the British Library are on ECCO, less than half of all material that is or was in the Private Case has now been reproduced on ECCO.

    That there is little difference between the presence on ECCO of items presently in, versus those once in, the Private Case, suggests that items are not being withheld from ECCO due to access restrictions on the Private Case pressmark. I doubt very much that the material once or now in the Private Case is in significantly worse condition that the many heavily-worn Haywood items I have examined. Consequently, it would seem that the previous and present Private Case items are only being withheld because of the nature of their contents; i.e., because they are works of erotica.

    * * * * *

    Of the 149 eighteenth-century works in English, recorded by Kearney as being, or having been, held in the British Library’s Private Case, ten are not recorded on ESTC at all (6.7%), a dozen more are not listed as holdings in the relevant ESTC entry (15%), a further forty-nine that are on ESTC, are not reproduced on ECCO and another eleven, which are on ECCO, reproduce copies other than that in the Private Case. Of the seventy-eight items on ECCO (52%), thirty-four are definitely, and thirty-three are probably, sourced from the British Library (45%); “probably” because these items are not identifiable on ECCO by visible pressmarks.

    Looking just at the fifty-four eighteenth-century works in English presently in the British Library’s Private Case, three are not recorded on ESTC at all (5.6%), twenty-five that are on ESTC are not reproduced on ECCO (46%) and another four, which are on ECCO, reproduce copies other than that in the Private Case. Of the twenty-nine items on ECCO (54%), seventeen are definitely, and eight are probably, sourced from the British Library.

    The data I have on Haywood items is not in a form that facilitates detailed comparison. However, fifteen of the 273 eighteenth-century works in English, which I record in my Bibliography of Eliza Haywood, are not recorded on ESTC at all (5.5%); and of the 180 Haywood items that are reproduced on ECCO, 128 (or 71%) are sourced from the British Library. Fifty-two Haywood items on ECCO are sourced from other libraries (29%), but in only seven of these cases does the British Library also hold the item concerned (5%).

    What this means is that a similar percentage of either present (5.6%), or present and previous, Private Case items (6.7%), than Haywood items (5.5%), are missing from ESTC completely; a somewhat lower percentage of present and previous (45%), or present Private Case items (54%), that Haywood items (66%) are on ECCO; but a hugely-higher percentage of either present (54%), or present and previous, Private Case (55%), than Haywood items (5%), which are held by the British Library, are not on ECCO. An item once in, or presently in, the Private Case is over ten times as likely to not appear on ECCO, as a Haywood item.

    * * * * *

    I will save my data on Kearney for another time, but regarding the Haywood items on the Eighteenth Century microfilm series—and, therefore, on ECCO—128 items are British Library copies. The remaining are from the following libraries: the Bodleian (16), Houghton (9), Huntington (6), National Library of Ireland (6), Clark (5), Boston Public (4), Cambridge (3), and one each from the National Library of Wales, National Library of Scotland, and the Spencer Library.

    Thursday 13 April 2017

    Foxcroft Lecure on Private Case Collections

    My 2016 Foxcroft lecture on private case collections has finally appeared on YouTube (here). I mentioned the lecture in passing here, but more details about the event at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne are now online here.

    The year-long delay in appearance was caused by my heavy use of slides, which the in-house video editors at the State Library struggled with a little. After much discussion back-and-forward I asked them to post it online as it is, though there are still a few mis-matches, rather than delay posting it any longer.

    Although it is always a little weird to see yourself on video, it is nice that it the lecture is finally available. In the second half of this year I will write up the presentation formal as a formal essay, which will be published by the Ancora Press at Monash University in association with the State Library. Until then, comments, corrections, hints etc. are all welcome!

    * * * * *

    [UPDATE 2018.12.20: To buy a copy of the (short) book that I based on this lecture, published by the Ancora Press in 2018 in an edition of one hundred copies, contact Kay Craddock - Antiquarian Bookseller.]

    Thursday 30 March 2017

    Eliza Haywood in the Early Novels Database (END)

    The Early Novels Database (END) is hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Library (PU), and under development by staff and students at the library, Swarthmore College and the University of Pennsylvania. The project has a stated aim of restoring metadata lost in digitisation projects. If this were actually the case then the six-year old project would have to be considered a failure, even in its "Under Construction" form. It is clear, however, that the actual aim of END is to involve undergraduate students in the collection of detailed paratextual information, annotation, marginalia etc. from the "extensive collection of fiction in English published between 1660 and 1830" available at PU. (A 2011 overview of the project is here.)

    I am not sure how I have managed to not hear about the project, given that I am interested in annotation, marginalia etc., particularly that in works by Haywood. But once I did hear about it I realised that it was very likely that END included information about works by Haywood, since PU has a large number of books by Haywood. (With 45 items, it has the fifth largest Haywood collection in the States: larger than that at Yale, Princeton, the Clark.) Unfortunately, it is presently impossible to search END for works by Haywood. On the splash page, a visitor is given the choice of sorting results by title or year (not author), or to "narrow results" by browsing "Narrative form," "Author claim type," "Author gender claim" (by which they seem to mean "Author sex claim"), "Person" etc. Since there was no way to narrow results by author, I did what I have had to do so many times, I simply searched through every single title to identify those by Haywood. It is a tedious way of searching, and would have been largely unnecessary if the metadata in the PU library catalogue had been carried over, but it is effective. Below is the list of titles, arranged chronologically.

    The busy-body (1742) *
    Memoirs of an unfortunate young nobleman (1743) *
    Secret histories, novels, and poems (1745)
    The fortunate foundlings (Dublin, 1745)
    The adventures of Natura (1748)
    Dalinda: or, the double mariage [sic] (1749) *
    The busy body (Dublin 1770)
    The distressed orphan (1770) *
    The female spectator (1771) *
    The invisibe [sic] spy (1773) †
    The female spectator (1775)
    Epistles for ladies (1776) †
    The Sopha (1781) †
    The history of Miss Betsy Thoughtless (1783)

    There appear to be many cases where there are multiple entries for the one work, and there are three records that are empty—links that lead to a blank page (marked † above). Also, only five of the fourteen entries record marginalia or inscriptions (marked * above) of any kind, and most of these provide few useful details. In almost all cases Haywood listed as a “Person” in the primary record, but no linking is provided to her as a Person. The only case where you can navigate from one Haywood work to another is Secret histories, novels, and poems (1745) which links to The female spectator (1771).

    Since I examined all of these books late in July 1997, I am not relying on END for my knowledge of the PU colection. But there are a lot of smaller libraries that I did not visit and it would be helpful if projects like this were more common. Involving undergraduates in cataloguing weird and interesting copy-specific information is a great idea. It is a shame that the basic database structure is not better adapted to searching by author since the vast majority of interest in marginalia is focussed on the annotator (as author) or on the annotations (as a response to an author): i.e., it is ultimately a biographical interest.

    The only blog entry (on the END blog) concerning marginalia is this one from 2013. In her reflections on Marginalia, Christina Aruffo explains why "marginalia cataloguing can be sporadic"—even in a project such as this—because cataloguing it can be time consuming, cataloguers have their own "accepted and internalized definition of what marginalia actually is"—meaning doodles and library markings ("library marginalia") get less attention than text, as does anything else that cannot be easily related to the text as text.

    For student projects based on END data and texts, see here; for papers, see this (including one by Andrew Piper and Ehsan Arabnejad which "draws on a taxonomy of eighteenth-century novels’ footnotes to advance a simple but consequential argument: despite the claims of almost all scholarship on the subject, footnotes in novels were common and referential rather than exceptional and self-referential, meta-fictional, or “postmodern” avant la letter." Nice.)

    A simple measure of media focus or bias?

    A linguist made an observation to me last year concerning media focus, which has been at the back of my mind of late. Responding to a student project on media focus and bias, they wondered whether another way of measuring media bias might be to count how often different media outlets use the phrase "far right" versus "far left"—since these are, at least in part, terms of abuse: ways of labeling political views or actions as extreme.

    The linguist reasoned that, if there is a fairly-even distribution of votes for centre-left and centre-right parties, there are probably as many far-left as far-right voters too. And if the left is just as active as the right, you would expect an unbiased media to label as many ideas or actions as far or extreme left as right.

    It did occur to me at the time that, if "far left" activists spend their weekends knitting, while "far right" activists are burning down refugee centres, the media would have good reasons to refer to "far right" more than "far left". Or, reporters might fill newpapers with glowing reports about "far right" fascists and attacks on "far laft" Marxists, so the number of references might be equal but a bias still be present.

    Still, as I said, the question got me thinking. There did seem to be a lot more discussion of the "far right" than "far left" in the media. So, when an acquaintance decried the right-wing drift of the ABC, I started thinking about this "test" again. And every time since, when I have read an accusation of left-wing bias at the ABC, I have thought that I should have a go at this test and see what the results are.

    Since I'd really rather think about something else, and it was obvious that the only way I could stop thinking about this was to take to Google to do a series of site-searches, I decided to do this, post the results here, and return to my Haywood research. I looked at all the major local newspapers and a few famous US papers for comparison. I have sorted them according to how many more times the site refers to "far right" than "far left" (the multiple).

    As you can see, on this measure: The Daily Mail is, improbably, the least biased of all media outlets in its labeling of political ideas or actions as "far" (50:50 split in references to "far left" and "far right" on its site [multiple equals one]). Brietbart—the only site to refer to "far left" more than "far right"—is about as focussed on left-wing extremism as The Australian is on the right-wing extremism (!?!; with three times as many references to either "far left" or "far right" [the multiples being one-third and three]).

    The Age is obsessively-focussed on right-wing extremism (with six times as many references to "far right" as "far left" [multiple of six]), while the SBS is almost twice as obsessed as the obsessively-focussed Age (making them "madly-" or "insanely-focussed"? [multiple of eleven]). The ABC is so far beyond "insanely-focussed" on the right, by this measure, that superlatives fail me: a multiple of seventeen! I.e., seventeen times as many references to "far right" as "far left"—94 percent of all reference to "far-[anything]" being "far right." The numbers are amazing too: the ABC has a few more references to "far left" than The Australian, but more than six times as many references to the "far right"!

    Obviously, there are lots of problems with this as a measure of focus, and even more with translating focus to bias in labeling people, ideas, actions etc. as extreme: it may be that all forty-thousand ABC references to the "far right" are objectively-speaking, unbiased and even-handed, with no suggestion that the "far right" are extreme in any way. It may be that, every other news outlet is massively under-reporting "far right" activity. And, as I said, it is unclear whether this is actually right-wing bias: with innumerable glowing reports about fascists mixed with a small number of attacks on Marxists (or even an uneven number of references to people sitting in the "far left" of pubs, clubs and stadiums).

    However, if Brietbart is itself usually described as a "far right" media outlet—because of its obsession with, and attacks on, what it calls the "far left"—that does suggest that The Australian is "far left," since its references to extreme left and right activity are the statistical mirror-image of Brietbart. And this suggests that the ABC would have to be described as far-far-far-far-far left (i.e., more than five times as far "far left" as Brietbart is "far right"?). It seems unlikely that the ABC is five times as biased as Brietbart, but the fact that the ABC has almost three times as many references to "far right" as Brietbart has references to "far left" does suggests—at the least—something about the usage of these terms.

    A general Google search does bring up twice as many references to "far right" as "far left" so, perhaps, the Daily Telegraph is closer to the centre than the Daily Mail, SBS is only as biased as Brietbart (the former have six times more references to the "far right" than the internet average, the later roughly one sixth), and the ABC is only eight or nine times as focussed on the "far right" as the rest of the world combined (as represented on the internet), or only 1.5 times as far to the left of the internet-average as Brietbart is to the right. Perhaps.

    Anyway, as should be clear, linguistics and media/communications are not really my forte. I couldn't work out how to get Excel to establish a multiple based on the internet average of 2:1 for far right:left. And I haven't done enough maths to confidently discuss any of the above in relation to standard deviation, which I suspect I should. But I have pretty-much satisfied my own curiosity, so I am quite happy to let the subject go.