Friday, February 14, 2020

Be Mine

1880s valentine showing a woman and cupid
Happy Valentine's Day! Rooting around in the collections we found an awesome batch of very frilly Valentine cards from the 1880s and 1890s that once belonged to Mary Fletcher of Hanover. They show the maturation of the genre--cheap color printing had come to America not long before these cards were produced, and that offered the opportunity to commodify the holiday. Wait, this isn't about commerce, this is about true love!

1880s valentine with excessive lacework1880s valentine showing young smiling boy

Come in and decide for yourself by asking for the Vertical file, "Christmas Cards and Greeting Cards: Valentines."

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Good Lord, Alfred

Frontispiece showing Tennyson
Good Lord, Tennyson! We were just looking up a poem from Tennyson published in 1851, and stumbled on this frontispiece for the American edition of Poems published by Ticknor and Fields. Such a daring and romantic gentleman--the flowing locks, the aristocratic nose, the handsome, brooding look. I say, "now that's a poet if I ever saw one!"

Frontispiece showing Whitman
It is fun to contrast it with the famous frontispiece for Walt Whitman's 1855 Leaves of Grass. The worker, man of the people, looking you in the eye daring you to read his poems. The democratic ideal with his open shirt front versus Queen Victoria's poet Laureate sporting his gentleman's collar.

Come read the poems--the differences are more than skin deep. You can see the Tennyson by asking for Ticknor LE T25p, and the Whitman by requesting Val 816 W59 S8.