Lots of Anne Lister news

September 22, 2022 at 8:14 pm (books, diaries, entertainment, history, news) (, , , , )

Periodically looking for new books being published — especially with search terms women, biography, England — I recently found Jill Liddington’s As Good as a Marriage: The Anne Lister Diaries, 1836-38. Publication date is scheduled for May 2023 (Manchester University Press).

As Good as a Marriage joins the prior Liddington volumes:

  • Nature’s Domain: Anne Lister and the Landscape of Desire – which presents Lister’s 1832 journal entries
  • Female Fortune: The Anne Lister Diaries, 1833-36: Land, Gender, and Authority – which fits between the earlier book and the next volume of diaries

Of course Liddington’s publications build upon the Lister diaries published by Helena Whitbread:

  • I Know My Own Heart (aka: The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, volume 1) – featuring journal entries from 1816 to 1824
  • No Priest But Love (aka The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, volume 2) – the follow-up features Lister’s journals from Paris in 1824

All Lister fans are patiently awaiting Whitbread’s biography of Anne Lister.

At the very least, the paths of Mary Gosling & family and Anne Lister crossed via visits to the Ladies of Llangollen. Both visited Plas Newydd, the home of Sarah Ponsonby and Lady Eleanor Butler.

The next piece of news concerns the upcoming ANNA LISTER RESEARCH SUMMIT.

This is a three-day extravaganza features topics like “Shew us the archives”; an update on the Transcription Project; studies of Anne Lister’s Reading Habits; “The Lister Moves”; and “Mining Laughs”. Check out the ENTIRE schedule of offerings on the SUMMIT website – where you can also REGISTER for this FREE conference, which runs October 14-16, 2022 (with videos uploaded to YouTube for those sessions that you miss). They meet over ZOOM and are time-zone friendly.

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“First the Music”

September 13, 2022 at 3:04 pm (books, entertainment, history, jane austen, news) (, , )

In Italian, “Prima la musica, et poi le parole” means “First the music and then the words.” Its underlying meaning shouts the primacy of the composer over the librettist. The one-act opera by Antonio Salieri premiered on 7 February 1786, at Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, a commission from Emperor Josef II. Premiered the same evening and venue was  Mozart’s comedy in one act, Der Schauspieldirecktor (The Impresario).

It was from this evening’s rivalry – for, long ago (LP’s anyone??) I had purchased a recording of one of Mozart’s better-known operas, and the music from “The Impresario” took up the room on the last side of the set – that I took the title for a chapter in a forthcoming book on “Women and Music,” with a focus on Emma Austen’s eldest sister, Augusta Smith. Born in London in February 1799 – so just thirteen years after that night of music in Schönbrunn’s Orangery – Augusta Smith, to me, seems the epitome of The Accomplished Woman, especially when I focus on her musical skills. But: there were so MANY accomplished women in the Smiths’ circle of family and acquaintance. You meet MANY of the young ladies in the chapter, which is entitled, Prima la musica: Gentry Daughters at Play – Town, Country, and Continent, 1815-1825.

Emma Smith
(1820s silhouette)

see also the Carpenter (attributed) portrait at HRO.
See Smith of Suttons, pedigree 2.

Thanks in no small part to covid, the trail this chapter and the work of other contributors to the book, has been lengthy and circuitous. Yet, the publishers who first showed interest back in 2019 has just this past week given the green light to our project! Bucknell University Press will publish Woman and Music in the Age of Austen. I suspect the book will hit stores in time for Christmas 2023.

Watchers of this blog will notice a slight, and very recent, title change – from “Women and Music in Georgian Britain” to “Women and Music in the Age of Austen.The prior title will bring up several notices, especially by contributors (including me, through Two Teens in the Time of Austen).

In a next post about the forthcoming book, I’ll include a table of contents & contributors. to whet your appetite for more on Women and music in the age of Jane Austen, which “age” runs, of course, from the late 18th century into the 19th century – but Austen herself reached back into the past, before her birth, and her influence continues into our own decades of the 21st century.

The book runs to over 400 pages in manuscript. The hopes of the editors are to make the volume “affordable”.

Stay tuned!!

 

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Adding Book Reviews to Academia.edu

July 25, 2022 at 11:43 am (books) (, , )

Anyone reading this blog, Two Teens in the Time of Austen, will know of my ABIDING OBSESSION with BOOKS. I’ve posted several book reviews, over the years, here – and there’s a plan for more. I do wish that JASNA would update their online book reviews; my latest reviews, quite favorably, Freya Johnston’s JANE AUSTEN: EARLY AND LATE. Of course, being written for the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA), it appears first in the society’s newsletter JASNA News, one of the publications members receive.

But I’ve looked at the online book reviews – nothing later than the Summer 2020 issue. Therefore, also left out is my double-review of Amelia Rauser, The Age of Undress: Art, Fashion and the Classical Idea of the 1790s and Kimberly S. Alexander, Treasures Afoot: Shoe Stories from the Georgian Era, which appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of JASNA News.

Amelia Rauser appeared at the JASNA AGM (Annual General Meeting) that took place in Chicago in the fall of 2021. Author Emma J. Clery, whose books include Jane Austen: The Banker’s Sister [which focuses on Austen’s brother HENRY AUSTEN], will be a plenary speaker at the 2022 AGM,

It dawns on me that, although I tag “reviews,” readers might more easily *find* all of them if they are listed in one place. So, look for TWO additions: a category on “Academia.edu” for (non-JASNA) Two Teens in the Time of Austen reviews (I’ll also include any on Amazon, too). As well, I’ll add a new page to Two Teens that lists just book reviews — although you will always be able to find links via “ABOUT THE AUTHOR” — scroll down!

Speaking of SCROLLING Down:

Academia.edu DOES allow for free, no-account-necessary, ONLINE reading of articles. BUT: it sure doesn’t LOOK that way when you first come to the landing page!

Most people would immediately CLICK on the “Download PDF” — and that WILL ask you to log in.

There’s now a significate section of other people’s “related” papers [links and titles] and — if you KEEP scrolling! — then, *finally* the online paper. I only wish the TOP of the page had “View PDF” (like the “related” papers section….). It doesn’t. Certainly, MY first thought last night was, people have to LOG IN? I wouldn’t wish to do so EITHER – until I’d seen, perhaps read or at least sampled, the paper in question.

In short, I’d dearly *love* to make book reviews as accessible as possible. Nine times out of ten, I have good things to say about a book. And reviewing books takes a great deal of time – and dedication – to stick with a book in order to “taste its flavor” and to form cogent thoughts on the writing, the format (I love notes and bibliographies; sometimes sadly missing or inadequate), the editing, the author’s general argument. And authors, I’m sure, would dearly love potential readers to find their work.

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“Quite as much of THAT going on in the country as in town”

April 2, 2022 at 3:10 pm (books, entertainment, history) (, , , )

Ah, dear Mrs. Bennet!
(Pride and Prejudice)

Long ago I purchased two novels by Anne Thackeray Ritchie: The Story of Elizabeth and Old Kensington – reprinted as part of the “Her Write His Name” series by THEOMMES. The life and work of ANY female writer, never mind one relating to Victorian England and carrying the well-known THACKERAY name, was/is of interest.

Anne Thackeray Ritchie comes up every once in a blue moon, even in connection with the Austen Leighs of this blog, Two Teens in the Time of Austen. As she did TODAY, when I was double-checking access to the Eton College (Manuscripts) Archives. Soon-to-close is a special exhibition at Eton, in the Tower Gallery: “A Victorian Legacy: Anne Thackeray Ritchie’s life and writings.”

Running from 14 October 2021 until 14 April 2022, (by appointment), “This exhibition, based on an extensive archive of over 1000 letters, family albums and other personal papers in Eton College Library is the first dedicated to her in her own right.”

Eton, it turns out, has Anne Thackeray Ritchie’s copy of JANE AUSTEN: HER LIFE AND LETTERS, A FAMILY RECORD (1913), by William Austen Leigh and his nephew Richard Arthur Austen Leigh. Dating to a few years later (1919) is a letter from RAAL to the Hester Ritchie, said to be “Regarding Anne Thackeray Ritchie and an article about her work.” But what REALLY caught my eye was notice of a publication by Anne Thackeray Ritchie, of A Book of Sibyls: Mrs Barbauld, Miss Edgeworth, Mrs Opie, Miss Austen.

Of course I scrambled to find an online copy:

A Book of Sibyls: Mrs Barbauld, Miss Edgeworth, Mrs Opie, Miss Austen

The chapter on Jane Austen begins on page 197, and opens with a page-length quote of dialogue from Pride and Prejudice, which includes Mrs. Bennet’s “complete victory” over the dreaded Mr. Darcy with the observation that “titles” this post.

The book itself opens with this delightful mise-en-scene:

Not long ago, a party of friends were sitting at luncheon in a suburb of London, when one of them happened to make some reference to Maple Grove and Selina, and to ask in what county of England Maple Grove was situated. Everybody immediately had a theory. Only one of the company (a French gentleman, not well acquainted with English) did not recognise the allusion. A lady sitting by the master of the house (she will, I hope, forgive me for quoting her words, for no one else has a better right to speak them) said, ‘What a curious sign it is of Jane Austen’s increasing popularity! Here are five out of six people sitting round a table, nearly a hundred years after her death, who all recognise at once a chance allusion to an obscure character in one of her books.‘”

Alas what county each opined for Maple Grove is not mentioned.

It is easy to speculate if the “Lady” seated beside the “master of the house” wasn’t an Austen Leigh by marriage….

I leave it to you to discover this publication for yourself, and veer off to books on the Thackeray family:

Anne Thackeray Ritchie’s Wikipedia entry mentions the 2-volume set of “biography” by John Aplin; and also his five-volume edition of their “Correspondence and Journals” The latter is tremendously pricey; I may look into the former, especially as, being two volumes, one can buy one and then the other. There are also the biographies focused on the daughter by Winifred Gérin (1981), which one critic thanks for making “rediscovery” of the writer possible. And Anny: The Life of Anny Thackerary Ritchie, by Henrietta Garnett (2004; 2006). For a review of this last, by biographer Hermoine Lee (Virginia Woolf), read The Guardian. I especially appreciate Lee’s closing thoughts on “how obscure, unrecorded lives can speak to us.”

 

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Fanny Palmer Austen aboard HMS Namur

June 2, 2021 at 12:02 pm (books, entertainment, history, jane austen) (, , , , )

Author Sheila Johnson Kindred announces a fascinating new exhibit at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent (England): HIDDEN HEROINES: The Untold Stories of Women of the Dockyard. The exhibit runs 29 May 2021 through 31 October 2021.

With covid concerns, Hidden Heroines will also have an online component. Listen to curator Alexandra Curson’s remarks on the importance of uncovering remarkable ladies who lived in the past. (Embedded in the main website page, or via Youtube.)

“Naval history, in general, tends to focus a lot on the male roles, and the women get sort of sidelined – but, the female roles were just as important, if not more important in some respects.”

— Leanne Clark, Master Ropemaker

Areas of study include, Woman at the Dockyard; Women in the Home; Women at Sea; Women in War; Women in Military Service; Post War Women; Women of Today. You will also find “asides” which highlight Louisa Good (1842-1924); Elizabeth Proby (1777-1811); Lady Poore (1859-1941); Fanny Palmer Austen (1789-1814); and Hannah Snell (1723-1792), known as James Gray, who spent more than four years in the marines. The others I will leave YOU to discover.

You will readily recognize Fanny Austen (upper right), if know the cover image of Sheila Johnson Kindred’s book, Jane Austen’s Transatlantic Sister: The Life and Letters of Fanny Palmer Austen. Sheila’s book came out in 2017 (McGill-Queen’s UP), and is now available also in paperback and eBook. See a sample on books.google.

Join Sheila Johnson Kindred, on 23 June 2021, for a “Zoom” event at 7 PM BST (British Summer Time is five hours ahead of US’s EDT), when she discusses, “Fanny Palmer Austen: Challenges and Achievements in Making a Family Home onboard the HMS Namur ” (reserve space for this free event – donations accepted! – through the main Chatham website).

In the meanwhile, you can read writings on the Austens – links included through Sheila’s website.

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Browse Books @ Toadstool Bookshops

May 2, 2021 at 6:14 pm (books, entertainment) (, , )

I am in *LOVE* with the website (how is I’ve never found it before) for Toadstool Bookshops — three shops, in Keene, Nashua, and Peterborough, New Hampshire. For readers outside of New England – there is the online cart. They also offer eBooks from Kobo and downloadable audio books from Libro.

I am in the midst of perusing the “shelf” for History/ Europe/ Great Britain/ Georgian Era (1714-1837). I rather like my “history” on the scholarly side – and Toadstool is introducing me to several titles that are due out in the next few months, and a couple that are new but “out”.

Sample a few that caught my eye:

  • Maggie Kilbey, Music-making in the Hertfordshire Parish, 1760-1870 “Maggie Kilbey explores attempts to improve parochial music-making over the following century and the factors that played a part in their success or failure. Using Hertfordshire as a basis, original research by this respected author and historian uses a wide range of documentary evidence to reveal a complicated picture of influence and interaction between the gentry, clergymen, and their parishioners.” [256 pp]
  • Julienne Gehrer (intro), Martha Lloyd’s Household Book: The Original Manuscript from Jane Austen’s Kitchen. “Martha Lloyd’s Household Book is a remarkable artifact, a manuscript cookbook featuring recipes and remedies handwritten over thirty years. Austen fans will spot the many connections between Martha’s book and Jane Austen’s writing, including dishes such as white soup from Pride and Prejudice.” [312 pp; August 2021].
  • Jeremy Smilg, The Jews of England and The Revolutionary Era: 1789-1815. “Drawing on a rich range of sources, the book examines the extent of anti-Jewish sentiment in England. It breaks new ground by using government archives to demonstrate that these negative representations only had a very limited impact on the implementation of the Alien Act of 1793. This book understands the fears of the communal elite but also argues that the controversial views of some Jewish dissidents were more widely held than previously considered.” [260 pp; June 2021]
  • Susan Sloman, Gainsborough in London. “Thomas Gainsborough’s (1727–88) London years, from 1774 to 1788, were the pinnacle and conclusion of his career. They coincided with the establishment of the Royal Academy, of which Gainsborough was a founding member, and the city’s ascendance as a center for the arts. This is a meticulously researched and readable account of how Gainsborough designed his home and studio and maintained a growing schedule of influential patrons, making a place for himself in the art world of late-18th-century London. New material about Gainsborough’s technique is based on examinations of his pictures and firsthand accounts by studio visitors.” [412 pp]
  • Pat Rogers, The Poet and the Publishers: The Case of Alexander Pope, Esq., of Twickenham versus Edmund Curll, Bookseller in Grub Street. “The quarrel between the poet Alexander Pope and the publisher Edmund Curll has long been a notorious episode in the history of the book, when two remarkable figures with a gift for comedy and an immoderate dislike of each other clashed publicly and without restraint. However, it has never, until now, been chronicled in full. Ripe with the sights and smells of Hanoverian London,The Poet and Publisher details their vitriolic exchanges, drawing on previously unearthed pamphlets, newspaper articles, and advertisements, court and government records, and personal letters.” [448 pp; June 2021]
  • Michael D. Hattem, Past and Prologue: Politics and Memory in the American Revolution. “Between the 1760s and 1800s, Americans stopped thinking of the British past as their own history and created a new historical tradition that would form the foundation for what subsequent generations would think of as “American history.” This change was a crucial part of the cultural transformation at the heart of the Revolution by which colonists went from thinking of themselves as British subjects to thinking of themselves as American citizens.” [320 pp]

At Toadstool Books you will find books you NEVER KNEW you wanted!

NB: In truth, I came across the ‘categories’ when I landed on Jeremy Smilg’s book; you might have to do the same – categories broaden out, but I can’t figure out how to “browse books” to start you off…  This is the best I can do:

Check out the lower LEFT corner (on a computer; not sure about other internet devices) for the “tree” of categories. This might be the BEST to change categories:

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In my mailbox from University Presses, part 2

February 19, 2021 at 8:44 pm (books, entertainment, history) (, , , )

Two days ago, I “published” the first three in a list of five new books, recently received in the mail. Today I continue with two more *finds*, all (curiously!) from University Presses.

A View from Abroad:
The Story of John and Abigail Adams in Europe”

Jeanne E. Abrams
New York University Press, 2021
(vi + 288 pages)

Many moons ago (2010), when composing my JASNA lecture “Austen/Adams: Journeys with Jane and Abigail,” I read the Letters of Abigail Adams in an old copy from the UVM library. What I had wanted to focus on were those letters written during her travels abroad – the sailing ship; the carriage travel in England; the lengthy period in France. I have never forgotten her fleet way with words. “No Bean, and No Queen” was her succinct phrase to deal with daughter, Nabby’s hunt for the elusive “bean,” part of a French traditional celebration, which Mrs. Adams wrote about in a letter to Lucy Cranch, 5 Jan 1785:

“I will relate to you a custom of this country. You must know that the religion of this country requires abundance of feasting and fasting, and each person has his particular saint, as well as each calling and occupation. To-morrow is to be celebrated, le jour des rois. The day before this feast it is customary to make a large paste pie, into which one bean is put. Each person at table cuts his slice, and the one who is so lucky as to obtain the bean, is dubbed king or queen. Accordingly, to-day, when I went in to dinner, I found one upon our table. Your cousin Abby began by taking the first slice; but alas! poor girl, no bean, and no queen. In the next place, your cousin John seconded her by taking a larger cut, and . . . bisected his paste with mathematical circumspection; but to him it pertained not. By this time, I was ready for my part; but first I declared that I had no cravings for royalty. I accordingly separated my piece with much firmness, nowise disappointed that it fell not to me. Your uncle, who was all this time picking his chicken bone, saw us divert ourselves without saying any thing; but presently he seized the remaining half, and to crumbs went the poor paste, cut here and slash there; when, behold the bean! “And thus,” said he, “are kingdoms obtained;” but the servant, who stood by and saw the havoc, declared solemnly that he could not retain the title, as the laws decreed it to chance, and not to force.”

I always *cheer* the servant’s coup de grâce! (and the scenario made me loathe gauche John Adams…)

David McCullough, author of the hefty biography JOHN ADAMS, once indicated that he could have written a whole book just on Abigail’s time abroad. Now Jeanne Abrams has published on this very topic, though included the trips John Adams accomplished on his own too. This is a newly-released book – and just arrived in my mailbox three days ago (Feb 2021). Abrams is also the author of First Ladies of the Republic: Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, and the Creation of an Iconic American Role.

Dear Catharine, Dear Taylor:
The Civil War Letters of a Union Soldier and His Wife

edited by Richard L. Kiper
letters transcribed by Donna B. Vaughn
University Press of Kansas, 2002
(xii + 448 pages)

I found this book searching . . . for something else.

I had a book (upstairs) that was a Civil War correspondence between husband and wife. Those words were what I searched for. You can see other “finds” by reading this post at Isadore Albee’s Civil War Diaries website. Bad weather has kept this book longer in the mail – last seen in Nashua, New Hampshire! so I expect that it’s closed in and will deliver soon.

Taylor Peirce was 40-years-old when he enlisted. The letters are described by the publisher, specifically Catharine Peirce’s half of the correspondence, as “a rich trove of letters from the homefront.” THAT was all I needed to see in order to hunt down a copy of the book. The book describes both halves of the correspondence, but, again, it’s Catharine’s plight that intrigues: “Catharine, for her part, reported on family and relatives, the demands of being a single mother with three young children, business affairs, household concerns, weather and crops, events in Des Moines, and national politics, filling gaps in our knowledge of Northern life during the war. Most of all, her letters convey her frustration and aching loneliness in Taylor’s absence, as well as her fears for his life, even as other women were becoming widowed by the war.”

Bad (snow) weather delayed its delivery by several days once the mail hit southern New Hampshire. It finally arrived yesterday. On first perusal – a slight disappointment that of 178 letters, only 51 are by Catharine Peirce. Footnotes attached to early letters by Taylor indicate “letter not found” whenever the husband thanked the wife for a letter. Ah, such a loss! I can imagine that some catastrophe happened, and Taylor’s carefully preserved stash of early letters went missing or got destroyed. A horrible loss to him no doubt. Taylor’s first letter is dated 20 August 1862; Catharine’s first surviving letter is dated January 1863.

*

The Websters: Letters of an American Army Family
in Peace & in War, 1836-1853

edited by Van R. Baker
The Kent State University Press, 2000
(xiv + 327 pages)

As a ‘bonus’ – the book I was trying to find through the online search — instead of going upstairs to pluck this book off the shelf — which resulted in finding Dear Catharine. I had remembered this as a book that included husband & wife letters AND had a Vermont connection. Indeed Lucien Bonaparte Webster had been born in Hartland, Vermont. His future wife, Frances Smith, was perhaps born in her grandfather’s Litchfield, Connecticut home. It fits this series of books because – surprisingly – it’s another University Press publication.

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In my mailbox from University Presses

February 16, 2021 at 2:03 pm (books, entertainment, history) (, , , )

Ever find that a depressed mood gets lightened by the arrival of *new books*??

I do.

Between several projects, including the Isadore Albee Civil War era diaries (a brand new project), and old interests, a NUMBER of books have been coming to the door. Interestingly, these last have one thing in common: they’re all published by UNIVERSITY presses! So I will toss out their existence in one blog post. Three are brand new; two are in the “used books” category.

In order of receipt (yes, all have been mail ordered), here is what I’m thrilled about lately =>

Josie Underwood’s Civil War Diary

edited by Nancy Disher Baird
University Press of Kentucky, 2009
(xviii + 262 pages)

This is my current read. I’ve been REALLY impressed with the narrative. Josie Underwood is a young woman (with oh-so-many-proposals during the opening months of the war) in Kentucky. Her father, despite a dislike of President Lincoln’s politics, is a firm Union-man. So is his wife (southern born, but with convictions as firm as her husband’s, in memory of the men who fought hard for the unification of the United States in the past). Josie is hard-pressed to keep her Union sentiments quiet-ish while seeing childhood friends, relations, and potential lovers sign-up for the Confederacy. (Kentucky was taking a neutral stance.) I’ve blogged a little bit more in my Georgian Gems, Regency Reads, Victorian Voices blog. Highly recommended for its freshness – in writing, in subject matter – and the tale it tells.

I believe the press is poised to come out with a reissue (paperback, I presume), but this book is worth tracking down its original hardcover version (unless the reprint is updated). It’s a keeper.

A Georgetown Life: The Reminiscences of
Britannia Wellington Peter Kennon
of Tudor Place

edited by Grant S. Quertermous
Georgetown University Press, 2020
(xi + 250 pages)

I think A Georgetown Life turned up in a search. I might have been looking specifically for new books. (I look for women’s history, biography, diaries, letters; though usually in Great Britain.) It wasn’t that long ago, but I don’t remember how I spotted it! Once I did, though, I knew I had to have it.

In the Fall of 2019, JASNA (the Jane Austen Society of North America) had its Annual General Meeting (or AGM) in delightful Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. I brought my father and aunt with me (we drove down). I gave a paper on Cassandra and Jane Austen (in a very stuffed-to-the-rafters small room; apologies to those who couldn’t fit in, or hear due to the constantly opening/closing door). We had temperatures in the 90s for at least two days… My father and aunt were happy just to hang out at the hotel; I saw the sites of Williamsburg on my own. BUT: I got both of them to join me in two “house tours” — Mount Vernon, the estate of George and Martha Washington (which I had wanted to visit ever since seeing a sign to it when driving from the 2009 AGM in Philadelphia!) and Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s remarkable mountain-top estate. I wish, back then, I had known about Tudor Place!

Britannia Wellington Peter – along with sisters Columbia and America – descended from Martha Parke Custis, Martha Washington’s grand-daughter. You will therefore see the interest! All dovetails back to Mount Vernon and Washington D.C. It was Thomas and Martha (Parke Custis) Peter who acquired Tudor Place.

Britannia Kennon’s memories are vivid, astounding, and astonishing. She saw so much. I will let the editor, Grant Quertermous, speak about what you will find inside the book, for there are several quite decent youtube videos on the project and publication, including from the (US) National Archives (55.55 minutes long; recorded 4 Dec 2020) and Georgetown University Press’s presentation (44.50 minutes; recorded 5 Oct 2020).

This book is packed with illustrations. The introductory essay, along with the illustrations, give a real sense of “who” everyone is. Highly recommended, too.

She Being Dead Yet Speaketh:
The Franklin Family Papers

edited by Vera S. Camden
University of Chicago Press, 2020
(349 pages)

Part of the series “The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe,” She being dead yet speaketh presents the writings of Mary Franklin and her grand-daughter Hannah Burton. This was a birthday gift from two dear friends in England. It being quite new to me, I have only “dipped into it”. But my friends know me well – authentic women’s voices are always a draw. Mary Franklin’s writings are 17th century; Hannah Burton’s words date to 1782. Both women used the same notebook to record their thoughts! The Franklins were Dissenters – so the women’s writings offer a unique look at the period. As the wife of a Presbyterian Minister, Robert Franklin, who was one of two thousand dissenting ministers “ejected from their pulpits,” Mary Franklin was well-positioned to mark the religious persecutions of her time. Hannah Burton’s journal describes life as “an impoverished widow, barely surviving the economic revolutions of 18th Century London.” The table of contents is illustrative of… the book’s contents!

With this post getting long, I’m going to divide it into two parts. Look for “In My Mailbox from University Presses, Part 2“.

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Explore Barbara Johnson’s Fashions

December 27, 2020 at 10:44 am (books, diaries, entertainment, fashion, history) (, , , , , , )

Serena Dyer has posted her article, “Barbara Johnson’s Album: Material Literacy and Consumer Practice, 1746-1823,” from Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies (2019) on her Academia account. This will give readers a taste of her current (edited) volume, Material Literacy in Eighteenth-Century Britain: A National of Makers (co-edited by Chloe Wigston Smith), as well as her upcoming Material Lives: Women Makers and Consumer Culture in the 18th Century.

Barbara Johnson’s book, called in its publication A Lady of Fashion: Barbara Johnson’s Album of Styles and Fabrics, is a title – photographed when it was being conserved – I had long been on the lookout for – but it’s a title that can be harder to find (and pricey). Natalie Rothstein‘s introductory chapters are fascinating. Dyer builds upon this foundation.

According to blog posts, it took me about four years to finally take the plunge and purchase it (2008 to 2012). I see I first blogged about the Album on 27 December 2008 – a prior year’s “today”!

Sewing clothes, but never one who ever looked into the construction of 18th- or 19th-century fashion, I still haven’t delved into this book in a way some friends have done. It’s size is tremendous – analogous to its beginnings as an accounts ledger – and presented as “life-size.” This past summer, when shifting around some tables, chairs, books, it found a new home on the second floor of the house – a bit more accessible, but still put to one side.

Dyer’s reintroduction makes me think to pull the Album off the shelf once again. And I’m waiting for February 2021, and Dyer’s new book (sorry, but the current book is out of my price range).

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Jane Austen Society: Reports

December 21, 2020 at 12:04 pm (books, entertainment, history, jane austen, jasna, people) (, , , , )

If you are unfamiliar with Persuasions / Persuasions On-line, the journal of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA), (see blog post, “Jane Austen’s Birthday publication“), you may not realize the extent to which Austen Societies in other countries publish Austenian research.

The Jane Austen Society (JAS) in the U.K. publishes an “Annual Report,” and has even collected them into “omnibus” editions over the decades. These editions have been reprinted; and (of course!) are sometimes found in used book stores (and on their websites). I found a decently-priced copy, in Germany if I remember correctly, of the Collected Reports, 1986-1995. It was about that time that I started thinking about “fleshing out” my collection.

For the longest time JAS, unlike JASNA, did not have online availability of the contents of their oldest issues. All that has changed!

JAS Reports have been consistent in providing nuggets of Austen family history, which I of course relish.

Just yesterday, in beginning to read E.J. Clery’s Jane Austen, The Banker’s Sister (which has for too long been in my To Be Read pile), I had reason to find the JAS Annual Report for 2007 – Clery cites an article in that issue on Papermaking (for the Bank of England) and the Portal family, written by Helen Lefroy.

I knew where to look – for I had long ago found the *STASH* of JAS Reports, uploaded to Internet Archive.org. But I never told you, dear Readers, about this *find,* did I?

Internet Archive is the site that also hosts the Austen Family Music books, where you can gaze and study the music copied by various members of the family, including Jane Austen.

Currently, Jane Austen Society Annual Reports include:

  • Collected Reports, 1949-1965
  • Collected Reports, 1966-1975
  • Collected Reports, 1976-1985
  • Collected Reports, 1986-1995
  • Collected Reports, 1996-2000 [includes Index, 1949-2000]
  • Collected Reports, 2001-2005

Then follows the single JAS Annual Report for the years, 2006 through 2018.

I recognize the cover for the 2017 Report – and it reminds me of another piece of (old) Austen “news” that I don’t think I mentioned yet to Readers of Two Teens in the Time of Austen. I’ll put that on my “To Be Blogged” pile. The curious may click on the picture to be brought to Internet Archive (which should sort the titles by year, so scroll down for later Reports).

 

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