Monthly Archives: May 2014

Exhibition: ‘The Early Modern Image: Patronage, Kings and Peoples’

earlymodernThe inspiration for this exhibition has come from a remarkable discovery in the collections of the University of Southampton Library of an album of 163 sketches by Francis Cleyn the elder (1582 – 1658). Cleyn was one of the dominant figures in the decorative arts in early Stuart England.

The exhibition focuses on the images of the early modern world as they were employed by kings and princes in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It looks at questions of patronage – supporting the artists who produced the finest creations was essentially the work of the elite, especially of monarchies and princely houses, including those of the Church – through the work of two artists. Those artists are Cleyn and Luca Cambiaso (1527 – 85), an Italian from Liguria, who went to Spain in 1567 and became court painter to Philip II – his works were collected by, among others, Charles I of England and Queen Christina of Sweden. The exhibition features works from the V&A, the British Library and the British Museum.

Images in the Level 4 Gallery will supplement the exhibition, showing reproductions of a selection of further drawings from the Archives and Manuscripts Collection of Cleyn’s drawings.

The exhibition runs from 2nd June – 27th July 2014. A private view and drinks reception will take place on Thursday, 5 June, 5pm – 7pm. All are welcome.

Venue: Special Collections Gallery and Level 4 Gallery, Level 4, Hartley Library, University Road, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ.

For campus map and parking see:
http://www.southampton.ac.uk/visitus/campuses/highfield.html

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Reflections on war and warfare: week 13 (26 May – 1 June 2014)

As of March 2014, we are posting weekly extracts of writings on war and warfare drawn from our manuscript and printed collections. Ranging from items on the Maratha wars to the Second World War, the extracts will reflect opinions both from the battle front and from those at home.

28 May 1940 Belgian surrender to Germany
The attack on Belgium and Holland began on 10 May 1940, with German air raids. These raids were followed by parachute drops and attacks by ground forces. The Germans also brought tank formations forward in preparation for their planned attack on France. The speed of the German advance and the brutality of the air raids gave them a huge psychological advantage; on 14 May the Dutch surrendered and Belgium followed on 28 May.

“I little thought as I had a bath at 5:30 a.m. that an hour before the whole Belgian army had been ordered to surrender by King Leopold.”

MS 168/36 Journal of Samuel Rich, 28 May 1940


28 May 1854 Attack on Silistria
A siege of Silistria, on the Danube, began at the end of April 1854. The Russians made their first assault on the 21 May, but were repulsed. At daybreak of the 27 May the Russians attacked again making three assaults, all of which were repulsed by the Turkish forces. A further assault on the 28 May resulted in Russian losses possibly as high as 2,000 men.

“The Russians we hear have made two attacks on Silistira which have been repulsed and the Turks it is also said have made a sortie and defeated a body of Russians.”

MS 63 A904/4/27 Letter from Major Edward Wellesley to his wife, Annot, 28 May 1854


30 May 1915 The effects of the shell crisis
In May British troops had launched another attack against Germans at Festubert, north of Neueve Chapelle. This involved a 60-hour artillery bombardment, resulting in the troops only managing to advance 1000 yards and suffering 16,000 casualties. Such long hours of artillery bombardment led to a shell crisis, leading to regiments having to fight on the frontline for longer with little support. This was a result of Britain relying heavily on heavy guns to control the battlefield, rather than viewing artillery as just a useful support for infantry attacks.

“On the 30th May, when most of us had already summoned virtually all our personal reserves of courage and endurance, we were told that our relief had been postponed! It seemed incredible that we were to stay on Front Line duty for another 24 hours! But we did our duty and did not relax, even though I was carrying on with a bandaged wrist and my right hand out of use.”

MS 116/8 AJ 253 p.44 Typescript of ‘Soldering of sorts’ – recounting experiences with the Royal Fusiliers, 1913-19 by Major H.D. Myer, 30 May 1915


31 May 1811 Disposal of goods taken from the enemy
The Military Secretary was responsibility for administrating the military business of the Commander in Chief of the Forces, including dealing with nearly all communications between the Commander in Chief and the War Office. In the below passage the military secretary clearly states the position regarding the disposal of goods taken from the enemy.

“…the Commander of the Forces begs, that it may be understood in future, that every thing captured by the troops is His Majesty’s; and that any disposal of anything, such as horses, horse furniture, baggage, etc for the benefit of the troops, is a favour done to them, but not founded on any wright’s of theirs.”

WP 9/2/1/1 Letter from Lieutenant Colonel Lord Fitzroy Somerset, Military Secretary to Viscount Wellington, Commander in Chief of the allied army in the peninsula, to Lieutenant Colonel Rooke, regarding the disposal of horses taken from the enemy, 31 May 1811

Manuscript Collections: Papers of Frank Templeton Prince

Prince workshop on Wednesday April 30th, 2014
Wednesday April 30th saw Special Collections hosting a poetry workshop based on the F.T. Prince Archive. The archive was gifted to the university by the poet and Milton scholar F.T. Prince, but embargoed until 2012. Prince helped found the university’s English department when he joined the university in 1946.

Portrait of Frank Templeton Prince (1912-2003)

Portrait of Frank Templeton Prince (1912-2003)

The afternoon event was a chance for university alumni to see some of the archive’s treasures, including unpublished letters by T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, and E.M. Forster. It was also a chance to get to know Prince’s poetry: though many of the workshop participants had been taught by Prince, it was the first time they had been given a chance to discuss his work. Beatrice Clarke, who studied English under Prince in the 1960s called it ‘the best kind of keeping alive of a scholarly man’s work – respectful, but properly questioning and critical’. Another seminar participant, Michael Hinds, noted it was ‘the first time I had experienced working and talking around manuscript material’ and found it ‘very enjoyable and rewarding’. The session was led by Dr Will May, a Senior Lecturer in English at the University.


Papers of Frank Templeton Prince (1912-2003)

Prince was born in Kimberley, South Africa, the son of a Jewish diamond expert and a Scottish Presbyterian. He was educated at the Christian Brothers’ College, Kimberley, and then came to the UK to read English at Balliol College, Oxford. From 1940-6, Prince served in the Army Intelligence Corps. In 1946 he joined the English Department at the University of Southampton, where he was Professor 1957-74. Prince subsequently taught at the University of the West Indies, in the United States and in North Yemen. He delivered the Clark Lectures at Cambridge University in 1972-3.

Extract from a draft of The Swimmers

Extract from a draft of ‘The Swimmers’ from the collection MS 328 Papers of Professor Frank Templeton Prince

Prince was a poet of some renown. He is probably best remembered for his collection Soldiers Bathing (1954), the title poem of which is one of the most anthologised poems of the Second World War. Written in 1942, it presents soldiers relaxing by a river and culminates in a power evocation of the naked Christ on the cross. Initially championed by T.S.Eliot, Prince’s poetry was to quickly fall out of fashion. He was admired by and influenced the New York school, a group of writers that flourished in the 1960s, and was regard by John Ashbery, the group’s most famous poet, as one of the most significant poets of the twentieth century.

The Prince archive (MS 328) contains an important collection of Prince’s poetry and prose writings, as well as a range of correspondence with notable literary figures, including W.H.Auden, Stephen Spender, C.S.Lewis, E.M.Forster and T.S.Eliot who, as editor at Faber and Faber, was a supporter of Prince’s poetry.


New Prince related acquisitions

Over the last few months, the University of Southampton has acquired two further collections of papers relating to Frank Prince.

The first of these (MS 328 A4131) is a collection of papers of Professor Jacques Berthoud (1935- 2001). Berthoud was recruited by Prince to join the English Department at the University of Southampton and worked alongside Prince at the University until 1979 when he moved to the University of York. A native of Berne, Berthoud was educated in South Africa.

The second collection (MS 328 A4165) is that of the poet W.G. (Bill) Shepherd (1935-2012). Of particular significance here is a series of 35 letters from Prince to Shepherd, 1986-2000, in which they discuss poetry and the genesis of some of the Prince’s writing.

Reflections on war and warfare: week 12 (19 – 25 May 2014)

As of March 2014, we are posting weekly extracts of writings on war and warfare drawn from our manuscript and printed collections. Ranging from items on the Maratha wars to the Second World War, the extracts will reflect opinions both from the battle front and from those at home.

19 May 1939 Anti-Semitic propaganda
The persecution of the Jewish population in Germany had begun as early as 1933 with the boycott of Jewish businesses and shops. On 30 January that year Hitler gave a speech in the Reichstag, announcing that: “If the international Jewish financiers inside and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the outcome will not be the victory of Jewry, but rather the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!” By 1939, anti-Semitic propaganda had become so widely distributed and accessible, that it could also be viewed outside of Germany.

“I.I.M sent me ‘What are the Jews?’ to be published on Monday. I’ve read heartily 140 pages already. Clearly written – incisive – it should create quite a stir. The anti-Zionist polemic very powerful – he had M.L.P. in mind!”

MS 168 AJ 217/35 Journal of Samuel Rich, 19 May 1939


23 May 1917 The no annexations question
In 1917, Russia’s political and economic problems were augmented by the war. As warfare continued, Nicholas II abdicated and a provisional government led by liberals and moderate socialists was formed. These leaders wished to participate in the war more efficiently, resulting in them wanting to commit to a general peace minus annexations or indemnities. This was a plan that neither the Allies or Germany would accept.

“Something of an argument with Jeff on the question of ‘no annexations’. I think the allies ought to restate their terms in view of the entry of U.S.A. and of the Russian Revolution.”

MS 168 AJ 217/13 Journal of Samuel Rich, 23 May 1917


23 May 1854 The destruction of HMS Tiger
HMS Tiger had been part of the allied squadron that had been involved in the bombardment of Odessa. It was part of a squadron that was detached on 11 May to cruise off Odessa but was quickly separated from the others due to fog. It was fired on by the Russians from shore and was damaged. A number of crew members were seriously injured, including Captain Henry Giffard, who later died of wounds. The crew were well treated by the Russians, to whom they surrendered, but the Tiger was blown up when the Russians reopened fire on the vessel.

“The Russians have totally destroyed the ‘Tiger’ which vessel ran on shore in a fog near Odessa and the Captain Giffard after being wounded was taken prisoner with all his men.”

MS 63 A904/4/25 Letter from Major Edward Wellesley to his wife, Annot, 23 May 1854


25 May 1811 Report by the Secretary at War on the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro
Lord Palmerston held the position of Secretary at War from 1809 to 1828. The Secretary at War was responsible for running the War Office which oversaw the administration and organisation of the Army. In the extract below Palmerston reports on the Allied success at the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro where French forces failed to relieve the besieged city of Almeida.

“Dispatches have been received from [Lord] Wellington […] by which it appears that the enemy’s whole army, consisting of the 2nd, 6th and 8th Corps and all the cavalry which could be collection in Castile and Leon including 900 of the Imperial Guard together with some battalions of the 9th Corps […] made two desperate attacks on the British army for the purpose of relieving Almeida.

The contest though very severe, especially on the 5th, terminated in the complete repulse of enemy, and the allied army continued to hold its position.”

MS 62 PP/WO/1 Report by Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, Secretary at War, on the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro, 25 May 1811

Reflections on war and warfare: week 11 (12 – 18 May 2014)

As of March 2014, we are posting weekly extracts of writings on war and warfare drawn from our manuscript and printed collections. Ranging from items on the Maratha wars to the Second World War, the extracts will reflect opinions both from the battle front and from those at home.

12 May 1809 Second Battle of Porto / Battle of the Douro
The Second Battle of Porto took place on 12 May 1809 resulting in a decisive Anglo-Portuguese victory and ending the second French invasion of Portugal. In the below passage Wellesley details the destruction left behind in the wake of Marshal Soult’s retreat.

“The enemy commenced this retreat as I have informed your Lordship by destroying a great proportion of his guns and ammunition. He afterwards destroyed the remainder of both, and a great proportion of his baggage, and kept nothing excepting what the soldiers or a few mules could carry. He has left behind him his sick and wounded; and the road from Penafiel to Monte Alegre is strewed with the carcases of horses and mule; and of French soldiers who were put to death by the peasantry before our advanced guard could save them.

This last circumstance is the natural effect of the species of warfare which the enemy have carried on in this country. Their soldiers have plundered and murdered the peasantry at their pleasure; and I have seen many persons hanging in the trees by the sides of the road; executed for no reason that I could learn excepting that they have not been friendly to the French invasion and usurpation of the government of their country; and the route of their column on their retreat could be traced by the smoke of the villages to which they set fire.”

WP1/263/4 Letter from Lieutenant General Arthur Wellesley, Monte Algere, to Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, detailing the operations of the army from the 13th to the 18th May and giving an account of the affair with the enemy’s rear guard on the 16th near Salamonde, 18 May 1809


13 May 1915 Submarine attack leads to internment and repatriation of Germans

During the second year of the First World War, submarine warfare became a major threat to Britain. On 7 May 1915, the Cunard ocean liner RMS Lusitania was torpedoed by the German U-boat U-20 during its voyage from New York to Liverpool. This resulted in the ocean liner sinking in eighteen minutes, and 1,198 out of the 1,959 civilian passengers being killed. In response to this tragic event, Asquith announced to the House of Commons that all German males of military age were to be subjected to internment, and females to be repatriated. This led to 32440 internees (including Austrians) being gained by November 1915.

“Owing to Lusitania crime Asquith today announced that all Germans of military age will be inferred/interned and all over that age repatriated. So old Soldier, Uncle August and Mr Marx will be sent to Germany!”

MS 168 AJ 217/11 Journal of Samuel Rich, 13 May 1915


14 May 1854 Criticism of the British army in Crimea
After forty years of peace, the British Army was ill prepared to engage with a numerically superior army in a hostile territory three thousand miles from home. The greatest danger would come not from the enemy but from the army’s own lack of structure and organisation. Criticisms of the army appeared in the press even before Lord Raglan landed with an army of 28,000 men at Varna on 29 May 1854.

“I see in The Times many abusive articles about our army at Gallipoli and other places, most of them untrue, but in one point they are right which is that the French have more organisation than ourselves.”

MS 63 A904/4/22 Letter from Edward Wellesley to his wife, Annot, 14 May 1854 


18 May 1940 A respite from air raids
A number of key events occurred from 12-16 of May 1940. The allies had what was regarded as their first significant air raid against a civilian population, with the RAF attacking Mönchengladbach, Germany. Across the Channel, Rotterdam capitulated following a heavy German bombing campaign which devastated the city. The Netherlands government fled and the British RAF suffered its greatest defeat to date whilst attacking German troop positions in France. The Nazi campaign in the Netherlands ended with the Dutch army’s surrender.

London enjoyed a brief respite from air raids whilst Germany’s focus was directed towards France and the Netherlands affording the civilian population the opportunity to enjoy the relative peace whilst it lasted, as Samuel Rich notes in his diary.

“Another day’s respite from terror: bright, sunny, scented, though it was not possible to forget war, – it was possible to extract a modified pleasure from the day”

MS 168 AJ 217/36 Journal of Samuel Rich, 18 May 1940

Reflections on war and warfare: week 10 (5 – 11 May 2014)

As of March 2014, we are posting weekly extracts of writings on war and warfare drawn from our manuscript and printed collections. Ranging from items on the Maratha wars to the Second World War, the extracts will reflect opinions both from the battle front and from those at home.

6 May 1810 Standoff across the Portuguese frontier
The Second Battle of Porto, in May 1809, put an end to the second French invasion of Portugal. Further victory followed in July when a combined allied force, under General Wellesley and General Cuesta, repulsed French attacks at Talavera in Spain. However, friction with their Spanish allies, combined with a lack of supplies and the threat of French reinforcement, led to the British deciding to retreat into Portugal. During 1810 Wellington held a defensive position, waiting until the French crossed the Portuguese border and reached terrain advantageous to his forces. In the following passage General Henry Fane writes to Lieutenant Colonel Denis Pack reporting on the current position of the Anglo-Portuguese force in anticipation of the French advance.

“…the British and Portuguese army are all upon the frontier. We moved up in consequence of an apparent intention on the part of the enemy to attack Ciudad Rodrigo or Almaida [Almeida], and in either case I believe it is the determination of our commander to fight him, provided it can be done under tolerable circumstances. Upon our advancing however the French have halted, between Salimanca [Salamanca] and Ciudad Rodrigo, and we are therefore halted also. Head quarters are at Celorico. I don’t expect we shall have any tilting at present, for we have too many old foxes to deal with for me to entertain any hopes they will allow us an opportunity of assailing them with advantage; and unless it is to evident advantage, I don’t suppose Lord W[ellington] will venture upon offensive war. Here we are however, ready.”

MS 296/1 Letter from General Henry Fane, Viseu, to Lieutenant Colonel Denis Pack, regarding the current position of the Anglo-Portuguese army, 6 May 1810


7 May 1918 Hopes for peace
On 7 May 1918, the Treaty of Bucharest was signed: a peace treaty between Romania on the one side and Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany and the Ottoman Empire on the other. This followed the standstill after the campaign of 1916 to 1917 and Romania’s isolation following Russia’s departure from the war.

“We get many rumours of peace here, but none of them seem to turn out to be true. But we all live hopes, a soldier living without hope, may as well shoot himself for he is no use to his comrades, he worries and naturally makes other worry.”

MS 124 AJ 15/2 Letters of Private Paul Epstein to parents, Aby and Frieda, 7 May 1918


8 May 1854 The bombardment of Odessa
On 22 April 1854, the Anglo-French squadron arrived at Odessa and began a bombardment of Russian position. A shot on the Imperial Mole, which exploded, caused great damage and about 24 Russian ships in the military port were set on fire. Major Edward Wellesley writes to his wife of the devastation the bombardment caused to the town.

“My first opinion of the attack on Odessa by the navy is confirmed and in trying to destroy the Mole and forts the shots and shells set fire to the suburb of the town.”

MS 63 A904/4/20 Letter from Major Edward Wellesley to his wife, Annot, 8 May 1854


8 May 1945 VE day
On 8 May 1945 the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, officially announced the end of the war with Germany. Tens of thousands arrived outside the gates of Buckingham Palace whilst the King’s speech was broadcast by loudspeaker to those who had gathered in Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square. Many remained to catch a glimpse of the King, Queen and two Princesses on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

Newspapers commemorated the end of the war in Europe, as extracts from these, collected and kept by L.A.Burgess, demonstrate.

The Daily Telegraph and Morning Post:
“Germany capitulates! Today is VE Day: Complete and Crushing Victory.”
“After a heroic fight of almost six years of incomparable hardness, Germany has succumbed to the overwhelming power of her enemies. To continue the war would only mean senseless bloodshed and a futile disintegration.”

MS 73 A643 Papers of L.A.Burgess, May 1945