Friday, July 21, 2017

Faces of Aeneas


Detail showing Aeneas from Ogibly's edition
Ogilby's Aeneas
You don't really think of classical characters being altered by 17th-century political turmoil, but the face of Aeneas, Virgil's hero in the Aeneid, was transformed toward the end of the century based on the political leanings of two publishers: John Ogilby and Jacob Tonson.

At least one scholar has suggested that Ogilby’s Aeneid, printed in 1654, pays homage to Charles II in its representations of Aeneas, whose round face and black mustache bears a strong resemblance to the king in his youth. It is probably not a coincidence that Ogilby was tapped to participate in the planning of Charles’s coronation in 1660; that same year, he also published his translation of Homer’s Iliad, which he dedicated to Charles.

Detail showing Aeneas from Tonson's edition
Tonson's Aeneas
Tonson’s edition of the Aeneid is a more complex political creature than Ogilby’s for many reasons. As a founder of the Whig Kit-Cat Club, he would not have been an eager supporter of Charles II. However, Tonson purchased the original engraving plates from Ogilby’s Aeneid for use in Dryden’s translation of Virgil’s works, which meant potentially including images of Charles II in his 1697 edition. As a result, Tonson paid an anonymous engraver to alter the images of Aeneas that looked most like Charles II so that the monarch’s tell-tale mustache was eliminated or obscured.

Close up of Aeneas showing Charles II's nose and mustache
Charles II as Aeneas
Close up of Aeneas clean shaven with Willian III's hook nose
William III as Aeneas

Moreover, John Dryden was Catholic and a staunch supporter of the recently deposed James II, to the extent that he had openly refused to take the oaths of allegiance to William III and Mary II when they took the throne in 1689. As such, Dryden refused to dedicate his translation of the Aeneid to William. This introduced a potential problem for Tonson, whose ability to publish in England relied on the king’s explicit approval. As a solution, to counteract Dryden’s Jacobite leanings in the text, Tonson hired an anonymous engraver to alter further some of Ogilby’s original plates of Aeneas so that the Trojan hero would share William III’s distinctive Roman nose.

Both books are currently on display (through Labor Day) in the Class of 1965 Galleries in our exhibit, "Adorn'd with Sculptures." After that, you can request them by asking for Rare PA6807.A1D7 1697 for the Tonson edition. We are still cataloging the Ogilby--which we just acquired!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Rocks and a Hard Place

Broadside Verso: "Auction Sale Will be sold at PUBLIC AUCTION, on TUESDAY, the 30th day of MARCH inst., at 10 o'clock, A. M., the following property, viz.: The FARM on which I now live..."
Farming in New Hampshire has never been an easy proposition. Although the overwhelming number of boulders that fill the fields have been a great source of stone for house foundations and picturesque walls, they've also made clearing and planting particularly difficult. In addition, New Hampshire soil is acidic and thin, which makes growing anything a supremely challenging endeavor. It makes sense, then, that most traditional farms in New Hampshire in the 1800s were slowly abandoned by their owners, either for mill jobs in urban centers or for a new farming life in the west where rich soil abounded.

Broadside verso with four different family member letters and an address (the broadside must have been folded up and sealed as an envelope).At Rauner, we have a wonderful broadside that is a perfect illustration of how farming in New Hampshire became a dead end for all but a few hearty (and perhaps foolhardy) souls. In March of 1847, the Dow family of Hanover, New Hampshire, had had enough of the struggle. With plans to head west for better climes, they commissioned a broadside advertising the auction of their farm, including several fruit and maple trees, "one valuable mare," farming implements, and even books.

Our copy of this broadside has personal relevance for the Dow family beyond the sale of their property: on the back of the single sheet are numerous letters written to two of the Dow sisters who were currently working in the mills in Methuen, Massachusetts. Their sister Julia, mother Polly, father A. D. (Agrippa Dow) and brother Lewis all take some time and space to jot down messages to the girls, and their distinct personalities emerge from their words. Julia teases one of her sisters by asking if she wouldn't like to come home and help her with spinning now that she's been a "factory girl" for so long. Their mother says that she can't say much because it's washing day but frets that her daughters won't think much of the log cabin that the family will be living in after the move. The younger brother, Lewis, is happy that school is over. The patriarch of the family, Agrippa Dow, simply asks, "Will you go? Will you go?"

A close-up image of the father's text which reads "Will you go? Will you go? A.D."

To see the Dow family's group letter and auction poster, come to Rauner and ask for MSS 847214.

Friday, July 14, 2017

A Sitter for Little Liza

Letter text in body of psot
We were answering a reference question today out of Charles Jackson's papers and we stumbled on a sweet little moment. Jackson was friends with Judy Garland and Ira Gershwin, and in a letter dated April 15, [1946], Gershwin writes:
We went up to see Judy and the baby. The baby is lovely but Judy isn't recovering as well as she'd like. Nothing serious though as she and Vincente expect to come here for dinner during the week.
I guess little one-month-old Liza Minnelli had a baby sitter that week!

To see the letter, ask for MS-1070, Box 1, Folder 45. There are also some letters between Judy Garland and Charles Jackson in the collection.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Camp Fire Girls

Wood display type poster for Camp Fire Girls Festival in 1912The Camp Fire Girls were founded just up the road from here in Thetford, Vermont, to give girls the same opportunities their bothers had in the Boy Scouts. We just acquired this poster from their 1912 festival with "The First Fire Maker" as the main performance. This complements correspondence between Percy MacKaye and Camp Fire Girls founders, and Luther and Charlotte Gulick. Percy, a multi-talented writer contributed to the first Camp Fire Girls songbook, and appears to have been a friend of the fledgling progressive organization.

The poster is a great example of local printing (the Vermonter Press) from wood display type. It simple layout combines with the rich red ink to make an immediate impact.

We are still cataloging this one, but we will add the call number when we have it (and here it is! Broadside 912640). To see the Gulick's letters to Percy MacKaye, ask for ML-5, Box 39, Folder 10.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer Vacation Battles

Willey House photograph ftramed with pen and ink sketch of rustic boardsIn July 1864, a group of wealthy women and one gentleman set off on an excursion "to rusticate a few weeks among the mountains." They brought along a camera and took pictures along the way. When they returned, they had a book privately printed, a copy for each member of the party, with photographic prints framed with hand done decorations.

Image of one of the tirp participants framed with pen and ink ivyIt is an exquisite book commemorating their travels, but one has to wonder about their sense of place and time. While they rusticated and admired the natural wonders of the White Mountains, the country was still in the midst of the Civil War, when battles were being waged across the South. At one point the author notes a parallel, but one that reflects a distance from reality:
From this point it had been our purpose, if possible, to make the ascent of Mt. Washington on horseback, a method more congenial to our taste than the usual, though less fatiguing, one in a carriage from the Glen. But the haze! that pertinacious foe, adopting Gen. Sherman's tactics, had constantly flanked us since we started from Bethel; now, with provoking tenacity, it seemed to be taking position in our front up the mountain, and concentrating to dispute our passage.
Eventually they made it to the top, but the "battlements" of a storm came upon them and they had a "council of war" in the hotel parlor to decide what to do. In despair, they settled on a retreat to the bowling alley for nine pins. The rhetoric of war is not surprising, but it is a bit shocking how they could compare their lack of a view with the horrors of Sherman's march. Perhaps these families were more insulated from the war than most.

photo of flowers fromed with pen and ink drawing of tree branchs
The book is a fascinating view into their lives, views of nature, and their sense of adventure in a time of national calamity. To see it, ask for White Mountains F41.32 A465.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Dissolution of a Confederacy


First page of two of Washington's letterThis Fourth of July, we celebrate the 241st Independence Day of the United States of America. However, despite the traditional association of this date with the birth of our nation, the battle for independence had begun more than a year before in April 1775 with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Soon after, fearing an invasion from the north, the Continental Congress authorized the invasion of Quebec. This campaign, which culminated in the Battle of Quebec on December 31st, 1775, was a disastrous failure and resulted in the death of American General Richard Montgomery and the wounding of Benedict Arnold. After many months of a protracted siege of the city, the Americans retreated in disarray in May 1776 amidst a smallpox outbreak within their ranks.

One of the major concerns of the Continental Congress which prompted the ill-advised invasion of Canada was the question of whether the Native American tribes in the region would choose to side with Great Britain or with the colonists. The Iroquois Confederacy, or the Six Nations as they were known then, was a particularly powerful regional alliance of the Mohawk, Onondega, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora tribes. The Iroquois weren't in a position to stay neutral for long, although they initially endeavored to do so; their lands were too close to the theaters of war and they were wary of further encroachment by either the British or their colonists should they stand by and do nothing.
Second page of two of Washington's letter
Aware of the importance of sustaining the Six Nations' neutrality for as long as possible, George Washington wrote a letter to them in February 1776, during the Continental Army's siege of Quebec. The letter is addressed to Joseph Johnson, a "missioner to the Six Nations," and asks him to communicate to the Iroquois that "we can withstand all the force, which those who want to rob us of our lands and our houses, can send against us." Washington further emphasizes that they can look upon him, "whom the Whole United Colonies have chosen to be their Chief Warrior," as their brother. He asks the Iroquois to stay neutral so that "the chain of friendship...should always remain bright between" them. However, despite Washington's hope, the Six Nations ultimately dissolved their confederacy, with some tribes siding with the colonists and the others taking up arms for the British.

To see this letter, and other letters by George Washington, come to Rauner and ask for the George Washington Collection (MS-1033), Box 1.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Sachem Howl

First page of the transcript.
 We've blogged before about our amazing first City Lights edition of Allen Ginsberg's Howl, published in 1956, as well as the unique mimeograph of the poem that Ginsberg sent to the poet Richard Eberhart, complete with manuscript corrections in Ginsberg's own hand. Recently, while answering a reference question about the Sachem Oration, we discovered a Dartmouth alum's homage to Ginsberg's groundbreaking work. Previously, many speakers had delivered their traditionally humorous oration in a false old-timey accent meant to harken back to Eleazar Wheelock and the foundation of the college. H. Dutton Foster, member of the class of 1961 and the chosen Sachem Orator for his cohort, decided instead to take a more modern approach to the honor.

Second page of the transcript."I saw the second-best minds of my generation filed alphabetically in Parkhurst Hall," the speech begins, "Leaving their owners empty-headed, facing alone the dreadful I.B.M., / My brothers of sixty-one, Campion-clad, waiting for the sheepskin key to the magic forest of crisp green dollar bills, / Who trundled into Hanover, four years ago, from America's highschools and prepschools [sic] and  reform schools." Foster continues with such choice lines as, "I'm with you, sixty-one, / taking a Herb West course, and telling him that your mother wants you to get an A," or "I'm with you at Dick's House, / putting the thermometer under your armpit because you have an hour exam coming up." In conclusion, Foster says, "Goodbye, Dartmouth! It wasn't as bad as I make it look: we love you, even if we are critical! It's your own fault for lighting candles in our minds!"

To read the entire transcript of the 1961 Sachem Oration, or those from many other years, come to Rauner and ask for the "Sachem Oration 1947-1969" folder in Box 7443 from the Upper Class Deans Records (DA-673).

Friday, June 23, 2017

Posh Pooh

Picture showing the box, cover, and glassine covered book jacket for the deluxe editionWhen Winnie-the-Pooh came out in 1926, the English publisher issued an inexpensive copy for mass sales while the American publisher tried to make a splash with a boxed, signed limited edition copy for the discerning connoisseur of children's literature. We are lucky enough to have fairly pristine copies of each edition.

It is hard to imagine what the buyers of the deluxe copies were thinking. Obviously, they didn't have kids--a glassine cover would last about 30 seconds in the hands of any self-respecting six-year-old, and few children would be impressed by Milne and Shepard's signatures on the limitation page.
Map of "100 Aker Wood" that appears on the endpapers of the first English edition
But more to the point, it lacks the awesome endpaper maps of the "100 AKER WOOD" that serve to remind readers of each of the stories while allowing them to mentally traipse around the trees "WHERE THE WOOZLE WASNT" with a frightened Pooh and Piglet. We will grant that the illustrations in the deluxe edition are better printed but they hardly seem worth the forbidding preciousness of the book and the absence of the maps. Give us a good tattered Pooh that we can thump down the stairs, not one that has to be handled with kid gloves.

To see them, ask for Rare PZ7.M64 W12 and PZ7.M64 W12 1926.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Wild Flowers

Cover and original envelope to Wild Flowers of the White MountainsTwo weeks ago we blogged an herbarium lovingly constructed by a 19th-century missionary. This week, we have a similar object, but one assembled by a clever entrepreneur rather than a passionate collector. Wild Flowers of the White Mountains, published by the Chisholm Brothers in the 1890s, is a selection of wild flower specimens "gathered from Points of Interest in the White Mountains." This particular copy was sold for 50 cents and was a gift to "Margaret" in September of 1891. At that point, many of the flowers in the book would not have been in bloom, so we know the tourist that gave this to Margaret was not the collector. He or she bought this as a souvenir to send to a loved one.

Specimen of wild columbine collection on Mt. Washington
We have a second copy of Wild Flowers of the White Mountains. It must have been assembled at a different date because the specimens it contains are different. On days like today when "Full many a flower is born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air," we are thankful for these relics of the 1890s.

To see our copies of Chisholm's Wild Flowers, ask for White Mountains SB439.C44.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

International Archives Day

French passport for Marcelle RobertLast week, we joined archives and archivists all over the world in celebrating International Archives Day 2017. The theme of this year’s IAD was “Archives, Citizenship and Interculturalism,” which gave us the perfect reason to mine our collections for a good immigration story.

Signed statement of Marcelle Robert's marital status
Marcelle Robert was born in Angoulême, France, in 1902. When she met and married American Chester Dwight Perry in 1925 and planned her move to the United States, it was at a time of increasingly stringent regulations on immigration. Congress had passed the Immigration Act of 1924 only a year earlier, imposing strict nationality quotas on immigrants from European countries and barring Asian immigrants entirely. But as an affidavit prepared by the American Consular Service in La Rochelle, France, shows, Marcelle breezed through the immigration process thanks to her marriage to an American. She was granted “non-quota immigrant” status, exempting her from the hurdles that other immigrants faced and even allowing her to bypass Ellis Island upon arrival in the United States. Marcelle had only to offer up her French passport under her unmarried name to prove her identity, and she was essentially on her way. She settled with Chester in New York and gained her citizenship in 1928.

The immigration landscape has grown undeniably more complicated since Marcelle’s journey of nearly a century ago, but the role of archives in documenting human migration around the globe remains the same. The debates, the laws, the stories of individual immigrants — you’ll find them all in the archives.

For more on Marcelle, ask for the Marcelle R. Perry papers, MS-1067.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Preparing for War: Commencement, 1917

line of students at commencement, some wearing military uniformsThe 1917 Commencement was a far different affair than what we will celebrate this year. One hundred years ago, the United States had just entered the first World War and the campus was becoming part liberal arts college, part military training camp. Dartmouth students were already well represented at the front in the ambulance corps, but members of the graduating class of 1917 were gearing up for active battle by drilling on the Green. For many, military uniforms replaced the traditional cap and gown at Commencement.

Students performing military drills in front of Webster HallThe most dramatic display of military preparedness on campus, though, was on the athletic fields. In the Spring of 1917, the War Department’s Students Army Training Corp Program at Dartmouth dug an intricate system of trenches on the fields under the leadership of Captain Louis Keene of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Photos of campus make it look like an active war zone rather than a bucolic small town in New England.
Students digging trenches on campus

The campus photos from World War I are among the last batch being scanned and put online from our Archival Photofiles. You will be able to see them all online soon!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Dutiful Penmanship

First page of Nelson's letterAt a glance, this letter might seem like an off-putting mess of illegible scrawl, but you’d have to forgive the author; by the time he wrote it, he'd lost his dominant arm (and one of his eyes) to naval engagements during the Napoleonic Wars. Its humble appearance perhaps also belies the truly illustrious nature of its composer. Addressed to Admiral Sir John Knight requesting additional frigates for the British fleet and stressing the importance of maintaining good relations with North Africa, it was penned by the greatest British naval commander of all time, Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson.

The letter is dated to September 30, 1805, and was dispatched from HMS Victory, Nelson’s flagship, from which he commanded the British fleet. Less than a month later, Nelson would be dead, shot on the deck of the Victory at the legendary Battle of Trafalgar against Napoleon’s French and Spanish forces. Trafalgar was an astonishingly decisive victory for the British, affirming their dominance of the sea and crippling Napoleon’s navy - and his dreams of an invasion of Britain - permanently. While the strategy Nelson chose to employ against his enemy was not entirely novel, it was the combination of his decisive action, boldness, and willingness to trust in the effectiveness and discipline of his captains that defined his virtuosity of command.

However, the win was to come at a heavy price. A little over an hour after he raised the famous signal
Second page of Nelson letter which includes his signature."ENGLAND EXPECTS THAT EVERY MAN WILL DO HIS DUTY" and opened the engagement, Nelson was shot by a French sniper. He died three hours later, long enough to hear of his victory over the French.

It's almost difficult to wrap your head around just how popular Nelson was at the time of his death (even Churchill after WWII doesn’t match him) and how keenly his loss was felt. Considered by many to be the embodiment of the fundamentally British nature, coupled with a life packed with adventure, heroism and scandal, it may come as no surprise that Britain went Nelson-crazy after the death of the admiral. Taken in context, this letter becomes more than a nest of scribbles, more even than a request for frigates and food. As a part of the material culture surrounding the life of Britain’s greatest naval commander, it joins the ranks of the "Cult of Nelson", giving the viewer a tangible link to the essence of what it means to be British, and to be a hero.

To examine Nelson's penmanship for yourself, come to Rauner and ask for Ticknor 805530.1.

Posted for Whitney Martin '17.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

So Pretty!

We don't have much to say about this item, except we can't believe how pretty it is. It has been kicking around in the collections for a long time in our uncataloged realia collection. We have been sorting through boxes of stuff this past year to see what treasures might be hidden away. Mainly we are finding things that people once thought were really important relics, but that have since become a little less than inspiring. We are also we are finding some gems and cataloging them.

Definitely jumping up toward the top of the list of awesome finds, is this herbarium of plants from Syria lovingly assembled by William Bird, a missionary from the Class of 1844. He had a decorative flair and wasn't afraid to make a statement with his samples.


It is cataloged and on the shelf now, so you can see it by asking for Codex MS 003273. It is well worth your time.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Survival

Inscription by A. Greely in his copy of "Arctic Voyages"We have a lot of books and manuscripts that are remarkable survivals. How they managed to make it through time and space and land safely in a library is a wonder in and of itself, but we just acquired a new item that endured an arctic expedition that only a handful of people lived through.

The Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, 1881-1884, (also known at the Greely Expedition) set out to establish a scientific observation station. It all started out smoothly enough, and they even established a new "farthest North." But things fell apart when relief ships were unable to reach the station and they had to flee to the south in hopes of rescue. Stranded with only minimal provisions at "Camp Clay," they slowly starved to death, and some resorted to cannibalism. Only six of the crew lasted long enough to be rescued.

We have a rich cache of materials related to their ordeal including David Brainard's diary from the last months of the expedition. The newly added item is Adolphus Greely's copy of The Arctic Voyages of A.E. Nordenskiöld, 1858-1879 (London: Macmillan and Co., 1879) that he brought along on the journey. That it was carried safely home is astounding. As Greely notes:
This volume... was one of the few books in our library at Camp Clay, Grinnell Land, during the winter of 1883-1884. It shows marks of usage in keeping with the vicissitudes experienced by the loyal soldiers of the American army, and the faithful Eskimos of Greenland, who formed my command.
There is some marginalia, and the front cover is detached, but, all in all, the book did well. To see it, ask for Stef G625.L477 1879.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Monetary Policy for Dummies

Cartoon description of Tarrifs and their impact on economyIn his 1657 Lettres Provinciales, French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal quipped: “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” This pithy expression captures the genius behind The Story of Bretton Woods (a topic we covered ourselves less graphically a few weeks ago). Equipped with 20 illustrated pages and simple vocabulary, this WWII-era pamphlet informed American children about the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference. The conference’s express purpose was to create a stable financial order for the postwar world. Explaining these ideas at any length is notable, but this pamphlet’s concision sets it apart.

cartoon depiction of economic warfare
For five cents per copy, parents could educate their children about “the kind of world we make for them now.” Yet, we suspect The Story of Bretton Woods had an ulterior motive. Stocked with the twin virtues of brevity and clarity, it could effectively mobilize the voting age population to support the conference’s legislation. We are uncertain whether the pamphlet targeted adults, but its educational value is clear 70 years later.

"Cover to Bretton Woods is no Mystery" depicting a baby reading a newspaperTo see The Story of Bretton Woods, ask for ML-3, box 108, folder 6. As bonus there is another example of Bretton Woods simply explained for lay people, Bretton Woods is no Mystery.

Posted for Drew Leonard '19

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bursting the Dartmouth Bubble

Image of title "A Dialogue written for commencement. D. College August 22, 1804. By Stephen Farley& Avery Williams."When Dartmouth was a young institution and still situated in a "wilderness" without easy access to Boston, New York, or even Lebanon (let alone radio, television, movies, or the internet), you could image the "Dartmouth bubble" would have been a lot worse than it is today. When you came to campus in 1800, there really wasn't much of anything you could do outside of the tiny town of Hanover. But, we have an amazing bit of evidence from 1804 that the students were looking outwardly and applying their education to the broader world. That year two graduating seniors wrote and performed, as part of their commencement ceremony, a blank verse work entitled "A Dialogue on the Revolution in St. Domingo between Toussaint and Dessalines."

Page one of the hand-written "Dialogue" from 1804.
What? Two guys in the boonies of New Hampshire portraying Haitian revolutionaries just as Haiti is establishing its independence? What? They hadn't been to Haiti on an FSP and didn't even have the internet to help them with their research? Such a very cool bursting of the Dartmouth bubble!

You can see the original by asking for DA-43, Box 3112. We also have an easier-to-read transcription prepared by Errol Hill in 1989 at DC Hist F1923.F35.

Friday, May 19, 2017

One Genius Too Many

Title Page of Book, reading "An Historical, Physiological and Theological Treatise of Spirits, Apparitions, Witchcrafts, and other Magical Practices. CONTAINING An Account of the Genii or Familiar Spirits, both Good and Bad, that are said to attend Men in this Life; and what sensible Perceptions some Persons have had of them: (particularly the Author's own Experience for many Years.) Also of Appearances of Spirits after Death; Divine Dreams, Divinations, Second Sighted Persons, &c. Likewise the Power of Witches, and the reality of other Magical Operations, clearly asserted. With a  Refutation of Dr. Bekker's World Bewitch'd; and other Authors that have opposed the Belief of them. By Jonh Beaumont, Gent. Praestat aliqua probabiliter nosse de rebus superioribus & Caelestibus, quam de rebus inferioribus multa demonstrare. Arist. Moral. 9. London: Printed for D. Browne, at the Black Swan without Temple-Bar; J. Taylor, at the Ship in St. Paul's Church-Yard; R. Smith at the Angel without Temple-Bar; F. Coggan, in the Inner-Temple Lane; and T. Browne without Temple-Bar, 1705.
We've recently acquired an interesting text that was authored by an equally interesting individual. John Beaumont was an English physician and geologist who was an early member of the Royal Society, a learned society for science that was founded in 1660 and is still in existence today. Beaumont lived in a small town in southwestern England called Ston Easton, within the county of Somerset. Many of his geologic interests centered around the exploration of limestone caves near his home, and he wrote several letters to the Royal Society that provided information about his discoveries. Robert Hooke, the Society's Curator of Experiments and the author of Micrographia, encouraged Beaumont to pursue further study of the natural history of Somerset.
an engraving that shows An Evil Genius on the left, who looks like a bearded man wrapped in an animal skin; and "2 Good Genii" on the right, both holding what appear to be cornucopia and wearing laurel garlands. The left-most of the two appears to be a young child while the right-most is a bearded man.However, despite his interest in rocks and stones, Beaumont's true fascination was focused upon more ethereal subjects. In 1705, at the age of fifty-five, Beaumont published An Historical, Physiological, and Theological Treatise of Spirits, Apparitions, Withcrafts, and other Magical Practices. In particular, Beaumont was interested in discussing what he calls genii, or familiar spirits. Distinct from our modern understanding of jinn or genies, which have their origins in Arabian and Islamic mythology, Beaumont's concept of genii is more in keeping with ancient Roman religion. For ancient Romans, a genius was a sort of guardian angel or spirit that served as a personal protector for every individual. Our current use of the term to indicate someone of exceptional ability or talent derives from the early Romans' attribution of the accomplishments of great individuals to their extraordinarily powerful genius, or guiding spirit. 
An engraving captioned "Jews going out in the Moonshine to know their Fortune". The image is of four men holding palm fronds and gesticulating at a shining moon that is half-hidden behind some clouds.For Beaumont, the existence of genii was more than an abstract theoretical notion; in his book, he identifies himself as someone who had the dubious gift of "second sight," whereby he was able to see a vast multitude of spirits all around him at all times. Beaumont states that "this gift is very troublesome to those that have it, and they would gladly be rid of it; for if the object be a thing that is terrible, they are seen to sweat and tremble, and screek at the Apparition." Over a three-month period, Beaumont claims that he was attended night and day by two spirits, who spoke with each other and a number of other spirits who came calling at his bedroom door. The spirits were dressed in "Womens Habit, they being of a Brown Complexion, and about Three Foot in Stature; they had both black, loose Network Gowns, tyed with a black sash about their Middles, and within the Network appear'd a Gown of a Golden Colour, with somewhat of a Light striking thro' it; their Heads were not drest with Topknots but they had white Linnen Caps on, with Lace on them, about three Fingers breadth, and over it they had a Black loose Network Hood."
Beaumont's experience with these genii naturally caused him some consternation, given his predisposition towards natural science, and so he attempts towards the end of his text to provide rational hypotheses for the existence of these spirits as well as providing examples from Judeo-Christian theology. Ultimately, you'll have to be the judge of whether he makes a convincing argument or not. Come to Rauner and ask for Rare BF1445 .B4 1705.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Theater of Cruelty

Engraving depicting a scene of violence. A monk is shown being hung while a fire is built to burn bodies.The Reformation spurred a lot of books decrying the evils of Catholicism. Our collections are full of diatribes against Popish forces along with plenty of graphic illustrations of Protestant martyrs. The propaganda on both sides ran freely, but our collections seem to revel in the anti-Catholic. That's why we were pleased to pick up a counter reformation depiction of atrocities committed against Catholics--specifically focused on the plight of English Catholics as Great Britain flip-flopped between Protestant and Catholic power in the 16th century.

Richard Verstegan's Theatrum crudelitatum haereticorum nostri temporis (Antverpiae: Apud Adrianum Huberti, 1592), does to English Protestants what Foxe did to the Catholics. Together they will shake your faith in humanity, if not your faith. Come in and take a look by asking for Rare BR1600.V4 1592. For the other side, check out Foxe's Book of Martyrs by asking for Presses D334f.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Cocaine and Cuckoldry

An image of the front cover of David Garnett's first published book Dope Darling (written as Leda Burke). The image is of a young woman staring blankly out at the reader.
While answering a reference question for a researcher who couldn't visit us in person, we had the good fortune to encounter this little gem hiding among the other and seemingly more respectable volumes on our shelves. Although the author's name is Leda Burke, this little book was actually the first published novel of author David Garnett, who went on to write dozens of books including the prize-winning Lady Into Fox in 1922 and Aspects of Love in 1955. Garnett was a late addition to the Bloomsbury Group, a collective of English writers, intellectuals, philosophers, and artists that were especially active during the first half of the 20th century. The set's list of impressive members included Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, and E. M. Forster, among others. Most of the male members of the group knew one another from their time in university; they either attended Trinity or King's College while at Cambridge, and a significant number of them were members of the Cambridge Apostles, an exclusive intellectual society that was originally founded in 1820 by a student who went on to become the Bishop of Gibraltar.

The title page of Lady Into Fox" "Lady into Fox / By/ David Garnett / Illustrated with wood engravings by / R. A. Garnett / London / Chatto & Windus / 1922." There is a small woodcut of a man leading a woman by the hand as they go through a gate.
Garnett's entry point into the Bloomsbury Group was Duncan Grant, the cousin and sometime lover of Lytton Strachey, himself one of the founders of the Group. The two men met at a Christmas party hosted by Strachey in 1914; they soon became lovers and ran off to work a fruit farm together as conscientious objectors during World War One. In a scandalous but very Bloomsburian twist, Garnett would later go on to marry Grant's daughter Angelica, whose infant baptism he had attended as a young man of twenty-six. Angelica herself was a product of an affair between Grant and Vanessa Bell, the nominal wife of Bloomsbury artist Clive Bell and the sister of Virginia Woolf. Keeping track of it all tends to make one's head spin.

The title page of Nonesuch Press's "Love Poems of John Donne": Love Poems / of /John Donne / With some account of his / life taken from the writings / in 1639 of Izaak Walton / Soho / The Nonesuch Press / 30 Gerrard Street / 1923"For the book lover among us, though, we have reason to appreciate Garnett for more than his skill with a pen. He also ran a bookshop with Francis Birrell, unsurprisingly named "Birrell & Garnett," near the British Museum on Gerrard Street. It was in the basement of the bookshop that Garnett and his friends Francis Meynell and Vera Mendel founded the Nonesuch Press. The Press's first book was a volume of John Donne's Love Poems, printed in 1923. The Nonesuch Press was prolific for the next few decades and eventually came under the control of George Macy, founder and owner of the Limited Editions Club, before shuttering its windows for good in the 1960s.

Any blogpost that involves the Bloomsbury Group is liable to run on at length, given the myriad fascinating individuals who were a part of its heyday. We will restrain ourselves for now, but we encourage you to come in and and see our first edition of Dope Darling, also known as Val 827 G187 P5, which was given to us by the Friends of the Dartmouth Library. You can also look at our first edition of Lady Into Fox, which is Rare PR6013.A66 L3. To see the first Nonesuch Press printing of John Donne's Love Poems, also here at Rauner, ask for Presses N731do.

Friday, May 5, 2017

A Starry Messenger

Frontispiece to Galileo's Dialogo showing three characters in 17th century Italian robes in heated discussion Italian mathematician, astronomer, engineer, and philosopher Galileo Galilei played an incredibly vital role in the scientific revolution of the 17th century, especially through the publication of Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo (Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems). This work rigorously examines the astronomical observations of Copernicus and Ptolemy and seeks to answer the question of the true position of Earth amongst other celestial bodies in the universe – fixed at the center, or orbiting elliptically around the sun.

Although we take for granted that the latter has become established as the best-supported astronomical model for our solar system today, Galileo’s defense of heliocentric theory during the Roman Inquisition was met by enormous opposition from the Catholic Church and the papal administration. Found “vehemently suspect of heresy” for his Dialogue critiquing the geocentric view held by the Church via literal interpretation of the Holy Scripture, Galileo was forced to recant his support for heliocentric theory and condemned to house arrest for the remainder of his life.

However, his trial catalyzed an enormous scientific movement, which grew to champion empirical observation and experimentation in the pursuit of new knowledge, abandoning blind faith in the philosophies and idealizations of Greek and Roman antiquity.

The dialogue features an impassioned debate between three fictionalized characters as they critically analyze the merits and shortcomings of both hypotheses, providing diagrams, calculations, marginal notes, and an enormous wealth of conversational rhetoric to support their respective views.

Join the Dialogue by coming to Rauner to thumb through Galileo’s prose! Ask for Val 520 G133d.

Posted for Jerrel Catlett '18.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Case Study in a Fully Functioning Government

Situated remotely in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, the Mount Washington Hotel opened its doors in July, 1902, boasting that it could accommodate "a family of eight hundred." Families could travel by rail or motor roadway to spend their summers in the White Mountains, “an ideal environment” that boasted weather “cool enough to enjoy outdoor exercise practically every day throughout the season.” Yet only three decades later, the Mount Washington Hotel experienced severe financial difficulties brought on by the Great Depression. Then, shortly after the United States entered the World War II, the hotel closed for several years. It reopened in 1944 under new ownership, but its future was uncertain.

It was in this context that an unusual group requested rooms for some 730 guests in the summer of 1944. But unlike most visitors, “mountain interests” were not of “first importance” to this group. Rather, these were delegates of 44 Allied nations gathering at Bretton Woods for the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference. The express purpose was to construct the post-war international monetary system. In the words of New Hampshire Senator Charles Tobey, “We lived together for a little over three weeks, as we hammered out the Bretton Woods Agreements into shape. There before us was the world in miniature…”

As a delegate of the United States to the Bretton Woods conference, Senator Tobey was determined that international cooperation would serve two purposes in the post-war world. First, immediate financial assistance and lowered trade barriers would “create conditions in which” people living in war-torn communities across the world could “be secure, and prosperous and free.” The financial difficulties during the interwar period, brought on by the Great Depression and compounded by protectionist trade barriers, obstructed economic security. People whose basic needs were not met looked inward toward leaders who would protect national interest at the expense of global peace. Multilateral institutions could achieve this end. The World Bank lent money to nations afflicted by war and poverty for reconstruction, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) set stable exchange rates for member states to coordinate monetary policies and prevent “economic war [from engulfing] the world.” Second, international cooperation and American engagement would underwrite global security for future generations. Along with other multilateral institutions such as the United Nations and North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Bretton Woods system gave teeth to the lofty idea of “permanent world peace.”

At the conference, Senator Tobey and the architects of the Bretton Woods system were trying to avoid the mistakes of the First World War that failed to prevent the current global conflict. American leaders believed they could not “withdraw within" as they had after World War One. A new era of global politics would require American engagement rather than immediate retrenchment. Also, Senator Charles Tobey and other delegates to the Bretton Woods conference remembered when the United States Senate did not ratify the League of Nations charter nearly three decades earlier. American leaders recognized that President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, signed the charter’s death warrant in excluding Republicans from the negotiating process. In reaching out to leadership from across the aisle, President Franklin Roosevelt hoped to avoid this fate. Senator Tobey, a long time Republican, was instrumental in achieving his party’s approval of the Bretton Woods system. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau confirmed this view when he wrote to Senator Tobey before the bill went before the Senate floor: “I know that your enthusiastic support of the Bretton Woods proposals will serve to promote non-partisan consideration… I fully appreciate the enormous efforts that you have made to keep this legislation from becoming a party issue.” Senator Tobey indicated his ready cooperation toward this achievement when he proclaimed, “The battle for the future of our whole generation is being fought in the Senate of the United States - the battle against both political and economic isolation.”

To learn more, ask for ML-3, Box 108. And for more goodies from Tobey's papers, see our blog post on Crackpots and Cranks.

Posted for Drew Leonard '19

Friday, April 28, 2017

Your Next Travel Dictionary: The All-in-One Guide for the "Speedy Learning of the Italian Tongue"

Frontispiece to Florio's Queen Anna's New World of Words. Floio is depicted in Elizabethan clothing in an oval frameIf you’ve ever wondered how to say “mouthful” in Italian, you might want to consult John Florio’s Queen Anna’s New World of Words, a hefty Italian-English dictionary written in 1611. There you’d be delighted to find that the 17th century Italians called it a “boccata,” which Florio translates as:
A mouthful, a mouthing. Also a word used when one is about to tell a thing and knows not what it is, or that a scholar would feign read his lesson and cannot, and we by some sign or voice would let him know that is out, and says he wots not what, we use to say Boccata, as in English, Tush, yea in my other hose, jump as Germans lips, and such other phrases.
What a mouthful! In defense of Florio’s verbosity, this definition is a significant improvement from the 1598 edition, which includes “you are as wise as a Waltam’s calf” as an acceptable alternative to “mouthful.” I hesitate to recommend the 1598 edition in fear that, if you did in fact call someone as wise as a Waltam’s calf, you might be accused of being behind the times. To avoid the unpardonable blunder of outmoded usage, the updated 1611 edition is the only way to go—and, what’s more, it comes with a complete guide to Italian grammar, which Florio borrowed (plagiarized) from his father! If it’s good enough for Queen Anne and the English cosmopolitan élite, it’s good enough for you. If you weren’t wondering how to say mouthful in Italian, Queen Anna’s New World of Words has 74,000 other fascinating Italian words, translated into beautiful, albeit long-winded, English.

John Florio, son of a Protestant Italian émigré during the Roman Inquisition, was a linguaphile, polyglot, translator, and high-profile language instructor who lived in London. His English translations of Montaigne’s Essays and Boccaccio’s Decameron from French and Italian are canonical, and his groundbreaking bilingual dictionaries confirmed his status as cultural mediator. He considered himself an Italian, though he never set foot on what today would be considered Italian soil. He snobbishly turned his nose up at English culture (not recommended for beginning travelers), which he considered barbaric and uncouth. Italian, in Florio’s day, was a sort of lingua franca, an all-access-pass to European culture and courtesy. Florio penned two dictionaries, two language pedagogy books (also recommended), and numerous translations, marking the beginnings of Italian language acquisition as a symbol of status and refinement in England. His dictionary is said to have influenced Shakespeare, who set many of his plays in Italy. Some scholars even suggest that Florio was Shakespeare’s ghostwriter—a rumor I encourage you to spread. Within the 700 pages of Florio’s tome (pocket-size edition not currently available), you’ll find risqué words collected from the Index of Forbidden Books, curse words, insults, numerous words to talk about dogs, food words (buon appetito!), idioms, and cultural insights: everything you need to keep your Italian hip… in a Baroque way. So the next time you need to say “mouthful” in Italian, check out Florio’s Queen Anna’s New World of Words, or just point and gesture like all the other tourists.

Quote from "To All Readers" section of the preface. "To be a Reader, requies understanding; to be a Critike, judgement. A Dictionarie gives armes to that, adn takes no harme of this, if it mistake not. I with thee both, but feare neitehr; for I stil rest Resolute. John Florio"
Ask for Rare PC1640.A2 F6 1611.

Posted for Joseph Waring '18