Friday, January 29, 2010

Is this Cricket?

An illustration of figures playing on a college lawn.The earliest known image of Dartmouth appeared in the February 1793 issue of Massachusetts Magazine, illustrating a brief article on the College. The artist was Josiah Dunham, Dartmouth Class of 1789, then a preceptor at Moor’s Indian Charity School, and later to become a local newspaper editor.

However, it is possible that the image has another claim to fame. Thirty years ago, the College Archives received a request for a copy of the Dunham engraving from the curator of the Marylebone Cricket Club in London, who believed it might one of the earliest depictions of cricket being played in the United States or former colonies. At that time, he was not aware of anything in his collection that predated it. According to subsequent correspondence with the C.C. Morris Cricket Library at Haverford College, the American cricket archives there contain nothing earlier either. Although the playing of cricket in what is now the United States is documented in histories and newspapers back to the 1730's, the Dunham engraving of Dartmouth College might be the first visual proof!

The College Archives would be delighted to learn of an earlier likeness of the campus, or an earlier image of cricket in the United States or the thirteen colonies.

To see it yourself, ask for Rauner Iconography 399.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to Enjoy James Joyce

A title page for "How to Enjoy James Joyce's Ulysses.In 1933, Random House challenged the obscenity ban on James Joyce's Ulysses. The controversial novel had been available since 1922 from Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare and Co. bookshop in Paris, but banned in the United States. The celebrated obscenity case was decided in December of 1933. Random House capitalized on the book's notoriety by issuing the first U.S. edition in January of 1934.

Fearful that readers would be intimidated by Joyce's "obscure" text, they provided booksellers with a handy flyer entitled "How to Enjoy James Joyce's Ulysses." It promised that the book's "thrilling" adventure would be neither "difficult to read" nor "harder to 'understand' than any other great classic." The advertising campaign combined with the book's salacious reputation to make Ulysses a best seller for Random House.

A guide for "How to Enjoy James Joyce's Ulysses."You can see the flyer by asking for Rare PR6019.O9U4 H6 1934.  For the 1922 Paris edition, with the original prospectus laid in, ask for Val 827 J853 X71.