Tag Archives: Literature

International Children’s Book Day

To mark International Children’s Book Day which is celebrated on Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday on April 2nd, we take a look at some of the children’s books in Special Collections.

Although children’s literature is not a focus of the collections at Southampton, examples of children’s books, both educational and recreational can be found amongst the Rare Books. There are schoolbooks belonging to Henry Robinson Hartley, to whom the University owes its existence, books of instruction in farm life in the Perkins Agricultural Library and in the Salisbury Collection, examples of ‘botanical dialogues’, which take the form of a series of questions and answers. In Maria Edgeworth’s Dialogues on Botany for the Use of Young Persons (London, 1819) the children, Fanny, Emma and Cecil “were so much interested in the structure and growth of vegetables that they seldom let a day pass without soliciting some instruction from their Aunt”.  There are also books on history and geography, and in Letters Written from London (London, 1807) the young visitor’s description of the street traders, their wares and their cries gives an insight into daily life in the capital.

Letters Written from London (London, 1807) Rare Books DA 678

Letters Written from London (London, 1807) Rare Books DA 678

As well as the educational books, there are also examples of the picture books or ‘toy books’ printed by Edmund Evans (1826-1905), the leading woodblock colour printer in London. Although early nineteenth-century children’s books often included illustrations, these were usually black and white engravings or woodblock prints, and if coloured, the quality was generally poor. Colourful picture books, recognisable to children of today, appeared only after the mechanization of printing and advances in colour printing techniques. These changes, coinciding with a growing market for well-produced children’s books amongst the middle and upper classes meant that picture books became a profitable line for many publishers.

Evans had perfected the technique of reproducing the colours of original illustrations by using as many as sixteen woodblocks and eight to twelve colours for a single illustration. In his toy books fewer blocks and colours were used, but the results were a vast improvement on existing coloured illustrations. Having printed a series of toy books for Routledge in the mid-1860s, Evans went on to set up his own business, commissioning illustrations from Walter Crane (1845-1915), Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886) and Kate Greenaway (1846-1901), now regarded as amongst the greatest children’s illustrators of the Victorian period.

The Baby’s Opera (London, 1877) Rare Books PZ 8.3 CRA

The Baby’s Opera (London, 1877) Rare Books PZ 8.3 CRA

Crane’s The Baby’s Opera (1877) was something of a deluxe toy book. It included the music as well as the words of nursery songs and demonstrated Crane’s approach to book illustration as a decorative art, encompassing the book as a whole, rather than focussing individual illustrations. A member of the Arts and Crafts Movement, he was influenced by his study of Japanese colour prints, emulating their sharp outlines and flat or very deep perspective in his own work.

The Baby’s Opera (London, 1877) Rare Books PZ 8.3 CRA

The Baby’s Opera (London, 1877) Rare Books PZ 8.3 CRA

Randolph Caldecott had already contributed illustrations to a range of publications, including Punch and the Illustrated London News before he was engaged by Evans in 1878 to illustrate two picture books each Christmas, an arrangement which continued until his early death in 1886. The books featured nursery rhymes or fairy tales and in Sing a Song for Sixpence (1880) Caldecott’s detailed yet vigorous drawings, show the appeal of his work to children. Caldecott also illustrated a number Juliana Horatia Ewing’s books for Evans, these being published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

Sing a Song for Sixpence (London, 1880) Rare Books PZ 8.3 CAL

Sing a Song for Sixpence (London, 1880) Rare Books PZ 8.3 CAL

In 1879 Evans engraved and printed Kate Greenaway‘s collection of poetry and drawings Under the Window, after which she rarely entrusted her work to anyone else. In Little Ann and Other Poems (1883) Greenaway illustrated the poems of the early nineteenth-century poet Jane Taylor, the children being dressed in her characteristic interpretation of the fashions of the early nineteenth century. Such was her popularity that Liberty’s of London introduced a line of children’s clothes, based on her drawings.

Little Ann and Other Poems (London, 1883) Rare Books PZ 8.3 TAY

Little Ann and Other Poems (London, 1883) Rare Books PZ 8.3 TAY

The picture books in Special Collections have come from a variety of sources, some having been donated and others having been part of the Library of La Sainte Union College of Education. As well as the original nineteenth-century publications, there are modern facsimiles of early children’s books in a selection of titles acquired for the School of Education from the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books at Toronto Public Library. More recent publications of classic children’s books can be found in the Children’s Fiction Collection on the open shelves of the Hartley Library.

Researching the life of Pamela Frankau

This week’s blog post looks at two literary figures who are the subject of a recently catalogued collection in Special Collections.

Pamela Frankau
Pamela Frankau was born on 3 January 1908. She was the younger of two daughters of the novelist Gilbert Frankau (1884-1952) and his first wife Dorothea Frances Drummond Black. After Gilbert left the family in 1919, Pamela and her sister, Ursula, were sent as boarders to Burgess Hill School for Girls in Sussex. While initially keen to pursue the stage, her gift for writing soon took over.

Photograph of Pamela Frankau [MS 412 A4104/3/1/3]

Photograph of Pamela Frankau [MS 412 A4104/3/1/3]

Pamela’s paternal grandmother, Julia Frankau (1859-1916), was also a successful novelist, writing under the name ‘Frank Danby’. According to Pamela’s cousin Diana Raymond, it was through her grandmother that she inherited a strong Jewish literary inheritance. Pamela published her first novel, Marriage of Harlequin (1927), at the age of nineteen at which time she was recognised as the “talented daughter of a famous father”. Over the years, however, her success would match that of her father and by the time she was thirty she had already written twenty novels.

In 1931 she met the poet Humbert Wolfe, with whom she had a long term relationship which lasted until his death in 1940. In the years following Wolfe’s death she spent much of her time in the States and didn’t publish another novel for almost a decade. It was during this time that she converted to Roman Catholicism. She married Marshall Dill (1916–2000), an American naval intelligence officer, in 1945 but the marriage foundered, and ended in divorce in 1951. She also had a number of intimate relationships with women throughout her life, including theatre director Margaret Webster, which began in the mid-1950s.

In 1949, she published her most successful novel, The Willow Cabin, which was partially based on her relationship with Wolfe. While many of her novels received high acclaim during her lifetime, A Wreath for the Enemy, first published in 1954, remains arguably her most enduring work. It tells the story of a young couple whose paths cross one summer on the French Riviera. However, Diana Raymond notes that Pamela’s favourite of her own works was The Bridge, published in 1957, which examines the imperatives of the Roman Catholic faith.

After a long struggle with cancer, Pamela Frankau died on 8 June 1967, at the age of fifty-nine.

Diana Raymond
Diana Raymond was Pamela’s cousin and the two women had a strong personal relationship. Born on 25 April 1916, Diana started writing at the age of sixteen. While her first novel, ‘The Lovely Travellers’, was turned down by publishers, Pamela encouraged her to continue writing. Her second novel, The Door Stood Open, was published when she was nineteen. During her long career, she wrote more than twenty novels, as well as an autobiography and the play John Keats Lived Here.

Photograph of Diana Raymond [MS 412 A4104/2/1/4]

Photograph of Diana Raymond [MS 412 A4104/2/1/4]

In 1940 she married the novelist Ernest Raymond. While initially overshowed by his reputation, over time she developed her own distinct voice with her obituary in the Independent describing her novels as being “infused with wit and metaphysics”. Her novels include Are You Travelling Alone, a political novel published in 1969; The Dark Journey, a haunting romance published in 1978; and her most popular novel, Lily’s Daughter, a social satire published in 1988. The latter novel tells the story of a young woman’s coming of age in 1930s England and contains many biographical elements.

After Pamela’s death in 1967, Diana completed and provided an introduction to her final novel Colonel Blessington, a thriller, published in 1968. Diana also provided the introduction for a reissue of Pamela’s novel The Winged Horse and, in 1988, was commissioned to write a biography titled ‘Pamela Frankau: A Life’. However, as her research progressed Pamela’s popularity was on the wane and the project was eventually abandoned.

The collection
The material in MS 412 primarily relates to Diana Raymond’s research for her biography of Pamela Frankau. In addition to research notes, the collection contains a range of correspondence. This includes correspondence between Diana and Timothy D’Arch Smith, the son of Pamela’s older sister Ursula. Timothy is a bibliographer, author and antiquarian bookseller. After her death, he became Pamela’s literary executor and was a strong supporter of Diana’s research. There is also a selection of earlier correspondence between Pamela, Diana and others, primarily concerning the publication of Pamela’s novels.

The collection also contains a number of works by Pamela Frankau. These include scripts for Ask Me No More, The Duchess and the Smugs, Time to be Going and To The Moment of Triumph. Stories include ‘The Giant-Killer’, ‘Shakes the Stars’, and ‘Marriage of Minds’, alongside a number of pieces written by Pamela’s sister Ursula, including ‘The Clausewitz Report’, an unfinished novel.

Other collections relating to Pamela Frankau can be found at the BBC Written Archives Centre, Boston College, and the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

Israel Zangwill: the “Dickens of the Ghetto”

Today marks the 90th anniversary of the death of Israel Zangwill. He was a British author at the forefront of cultural Zionism during the nineteenth century. Born in London in 1864 to Jewish immigrants, Zangwill was educated at the Jews’ Free School where he later became a teacher. He produced numerous poems, plays and novels including The Children of the Ghetto: a Study of a Peculiar People (1892) and The King of Schnorrers (1894). His play, The Melting Pot (1908) about a Russian-Jewish immigrant family, popularised this metaphor used to describe American absorption of immigrants and his work earned him the nickname the “Dickens of the Ghetto”.

Israel Zangwill

Israel Zangwill [MS 295 A1018/5]

Correspondence from the collection MS 116/52 Papers relating to Israel Zangwill indicated the circles Zangwill moved in. For example, in January 1894 he wrote to the author and poet Richard Le Gallienne:

I have hesitated to ask you to come up all this way but have decided to give you the option. To-morrow night (Tuesday) from 8.30 interesting men will be dropping in to smoke and talk. The notice is short because the thing is informal. There will be several “Waterloo” men.   [MS 116/52 AJ208/1]

In 1898, he corresponded with Walter Bliss of the American Publishing Company to thank him for sending a copy of Mark Twain’s book: “I hope it will be a big success. Mark is a fine old fellow.”  [MS 116/52 AJ209/5]

Zangwillpostcard

Postcard from Israel Zangwill, Florence, to his mother, Ellen Hannah Zangwill, St John’s Wood, 7 May 1901 [MS 295 A1018/1/2]

We also hold a collection of postcards [part of MS 295 Papers of Louis and Israel Zangwill], many sent by Israel and his brother Louis to their mother while they were on a tour of Europe. Israel was 37 and already a successful author and lecturer.  The text, difficult to decipher in the image, recounts how Zangwill has inadvertently switched hats following a haircut:

I have just discovered I changed hats with somebody in Rome: as good or better but of different shape. I didn’t notice it, perhaps through having my hair cut, so I expected to look different. They wanted 1 franc for Mark’s shampoo, so I had a row and wouldn’t pay it. They always give in. [MS 295 A1018/1/2]

Harry Ward, secretary to the Golders Green Synagogue, was a founding member and honorary secretary of the Israel Zangwill Fellowship. He spent 60 years collecting a vast library of Zangwilliana, now in the University’s Special Collections [MS 294]. Collected over Ward’s lifetime, the material includes Zangwill correspondence – for example with his lecture agent, Gerald Christy, 1895-1906 – as well as Ward’s own correspondence and research papers.  Ward’s comprehensive collection of books by Zangwill, or in which he is mentioned, was added to the Parkes Library.

Israel Zangwill

Israel Zangwill

Zangwill was a founder of the Jewish Territorial Organisation (ITO).  This group of Zionists wanted to find an alternative to Israel for the creation of a Jewish homeland.  In 1906, Zangwill wrote to Carl Stettaeur seeking support for the organisation. Stettauer had visited Russia the previous year to arrange relief work following the pogroms:

At most you can say that your desire to identify yourself with other causes prevents you identifying yourself with the practical work of our Organisation, but what prevents you from paying 1/- a year as a passive member to produce an effect, however distant, that cannot possibly be other than beneficial?   [MS 128 AJ22/F4]

Another smaller collection of papers is that of Ruth Phillips, secretary to Lucien Wolf and Israel Zangwill [MS 116/5].

Zangwill died in 1926 in Midhurst, West Sussex.  In celebration of his life, the Jewish Museum, London has created Zangwill’s Spitalfields, an audio-visual walking tour of the historic Spitalfields area of London’s East End.

The Nation and The Bard: celebrating William Shakespeare 1564-1616

William Shakespeare died on 23rd April 1616. As the celebrations for his quarter-centenary reach their peak this month, there can be little doubt of his status as our ‘national poet’ or his central place in English cultural life. While his exact date of birth is unknown, it is usually given as 23rd April – St. George’s day – so we commemorate England’s patron saint and Shakespeare’s birth and death on the same day each year.

Image of William Shakespeare [MB2/H3]

Image of William Shakespeare [MB2/H3]

This centenary continues a long tradition of celebrating Shakespeare’s life and work down the ages. The image shown here is taken from one of Wilfred Ashley’s photo albums in the Broadlands archives and dates to around 1863. A precursor of the tourist postcards we buy today, this was a collectible item at the time and shows a popular image of the Bard and a copy of his signature underneath. Its presence in the album may be explained by the fact that 1864 was the tercentenary of Shakespeare’s birth – perhaps Wilfred attended one of the rival events which took place in Stratford and London that year. By this date, cheaper editions and penny issues were making Shakespeare more accessible, even to the working classes, although most people came to know Shakespeare by seeing his plays performed on the stage.

The following items form part of MS 98, the W.Gillam theatre collection, which includes theatre and opera programmes and related papers for the period 1887-1949. The archive demonstrates Shakespeare’s enduring popularity in this period.

Front cover of a programme for The Merchant of Venice at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, 19 May 1887 [MS98 A14/2] together with a photograph of Henry Irving [MS 98 A14/67]

Front cover of a programme for The Merchant of Venice at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, 19 May 1887 [MS98 A14/2] together with a photograph of Henry Irving [MS 98 A14/67]

Henry Irving was the famous actor manager at The Lyceum Theatre, London, from 1878-1901. He presented twelve of Shakespeare’s plays and is credited with restoring the fifth act of The Merchant of Venice. In the programme for this performance on 19 May 1887 Irving took the role of Shylock and the famous Ellen Terry that of Portia. According to her biographer Terry achieved her greatest distinction in Shakespeare, especially in Shakespearian comedy, and she played memorably in seven of Shakespeare’s greatest women’s roles. *

Front cover of a programme for Anthony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare Birthday Festival, 17 April 1931 [MS98 A14/38]

Front cover of a programme for Anthony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare Birthday Festival, 17 April 1931 [MS98 A14/38]

This programme was printed for a performance of Anthony and Cleopatra at the Shakespeare Birthday Festival at Stratford upon Avon in April 1931. A handwritten note on the cover states: “The performances in the 1931 festival were given in a cinema while the new theatre was being built after the fire which destroyed the old one.” The festival that year promoted the international movement to rebuild and endow the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre.

As we mark 400 years since Shakespeare’s death it is clear that his plays still resonate with the present. This year’s Ian and Mildred Karten Memorial Lecture has a Shakespearian theme: “Imagining the Jewish Past: writing The Wolf in the Water, a play about Jessica, Shylock’s daughter?”, given by Naomi Alderman, takes place on 10 May 2016.

*DNB for Sir Henry Irving and Dame Ellen Alice Terry

“Napoleon’s Farewell” by Lord Byron

The Special Collections holds a manuscript copy, in the hand of Jane Austen, of Lord Byron’s poem “Napoleon’s Farewell”, c.1815: a dramatic monologue in three stanzas in the character of Bonaparte.

Byron’s poem, likely written on 25 July, was first published in The Examiner on 30 July 1815 and subsequently appeared in his Poems (1816) where it formed part of a group of poems “From the French” which ranged between condemning Napoleon and praising his bravery.

Extract from Byron's poem "Napoleon's Farewell" in the hand of Jane Austen, c.1815 (MS 8)

Extract from Byron’s poem “Napoleon’s Farewell” in the hand of Jane Austen, c.1815 (MS 8)

For Byron, Napoleon was the epitome of the Romantic hero, the persecuted, lonely, and flawed genius and it is believed he considered Napoleon a foil for his own complex personality.  Jane Austen shared a fascination with Napoleon and even contemplated writing his history. In the spring of 1816 Byron left England in a cloud of scandal and debt, never to return. As he journeyed to Switzerland he visited the field of Waterloo as a tourist. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Byron saw the outcome of the battle as a tragedy rather than a victory and it was to have a significant influence on the third canto of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.

Austen’s version of “Napoleon’s Farewell”, which differs from Byron’s original, seems to have been written from memory, and was produced in 1815 or 1816 while she was writing Persuasion.  References to contemporary literature in Persuasion include those to the poetry of Byron.

Some changes are small, for example, she switches “name” and “fame” at the ends of the second and fourth lines.  Interestingly, in Byron’s original, Napoleon bids farewell to the land where, not the “bloom”, as penned by Austen, but the “gloom” of his glory rose.

The third stanza contains the most differences.  Napoleon asks to be remembered again in France when “Liberty” – rather than victory – rallies and he does not “vanquish the foes” but rather “baffle[s] the hosts” that surround them.  The most significant difference is the third line from the end:  the line in Byron’s original is “And yet may thy heart leap awake to my voice”.

1.
Farewell to the land, where the bloom of my glory
Arose, & o’ershadowed the Earth with her fame
She abandons me now, but the page of her story
The brightest or blackest is filled with my name.
I have warred with a world which vanquish’d me only
When the meteor of conquest allured me too far,
I have coped with the Nations which dread me thus lonely
The last single captive, to millions in war.

2.
Farewell to thee France! When thy Diadem crown’d me
I made thee the gem & the wonder of Earth,
Thy weakness decrees I should leave as I found thee
Decayed in thy glory and sunk in thy worth.
O! for the veteran hearts which were wasted
In strife with the storm, when their battles were won,
Then the Eagle whose gaze in that moment was blasted
Had still soared with eyes fix’d on Victory’s sun

3.
Farewell to thee France! But when victory rallies
Once more in thy regions, remember me then;
The violet grows in the depth of thy valleys,
Tho wither’d – thy tears will unfold it again.
Once more I may vanquish the foes that surround us,
Once more shall they heartless awake to my voice.
There are links that must break in the chain that has bound us,
Then turn thee and call on the chief of thy choice.

[MS 8 AO174]

Rare Books Collection: Between the Boards

Today’s post marks the first in a series focusing items from the Rare Books Collection. Further posts in the series will appear over the coming months.

There are certain things which you expect to find when you open a rare book – text and illustrations being obvious examples. But books can be full of surprises, not only in their published content but also in the materials and markings that they accumulate over the years.

The Rare Books Collection at Southampton includes examples of early books in such good condition that they could have been printed yesterday, but many bear, all too clearly, the evidence of their age and use. This is seen in the condition of the bindings and in annotations and bookplates, additions which have sometimes been seen as detracting from their value. With the increasing availability of early texts online, there is renewed interest in this copy specific information, now more easily traced through online catalogues and databases. Such features can provide an insight into the history of an individual book, in terms of its ownership and use, and also contribute to the study of both the history of books as cultural objects and the history of reading.

Signature of Elizabeth Cumberland

Signature of Elizabeth Cumberland
The Book of Common Prayer (Oxford, 1700)
Rare Books BX 5145.A2 (in box)

Ownership might be indicated by an owner simply writing his or her name in a prominent place and possibly recording how much the book cost and where and when it was acquired. Bookplates were often pasted inside the front cover, whilst wealthy owners also had the option of including a coat of arms on their personally commissioned bindings.  As well as recording ownership by individuals, books can also bear the labels of long defunct libraries and reading societies, some of which even list the borrowers’ names.

Annotations by Sir Frederic Madden

Annotations by Sir Frederic Madden
Lake Allen The History of Portsmouth (London, 1817)
Rare Books Cope POR 92

Evidence of use can be seen in the critical annotations made by former owners, often in a book’s margins whilst blank pages at the beginning and end of the text were used for a variety of purposes. These included unrelated lists and handwriting practice, as well as the records of family births, marriages and deaths which are often found in Bibles. Books could also be personalised with the addition of illustrations and cuttings related to the text or meaningful to the owner in some other way.

Advert for a Daimler car re-used in binding

Advert for a Daimler car re-used in binding
W.G. Johnstone The Nature-Printed British Sea-weeds v.4 (London, 1859-60)
Rare Books QK 466

The structure of the book can also be revealing. The fact that a binding is in poor condition or that a book has been rebound suggests that it has been well-used and valued, whilst a book with uncut pages tells a different story. Even damaged bindings are useful in exposing the practises of book-binders. Printers’ waste and discarded manuscripts were commonly re-used in bindings and only become apparent when damage has occurred.

Later posts will highlight examples of different copy specific features found in items from the Rare Books Collection, as well as books which on their publication contained unusual materials, quite literally in the case of the Repository of Arts, with its tiny samples of early 19th century fabrics.

Manuscript Collections: Papers on Demonology

The 31 of October marks the celebration of All Hallows’ Eve, more commonly known as Halloween.  It takes place on the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day (also known as All Saints’ Day). While the history of Halloween remains unclear, it is widely believed that many of the traditions associated with the holiday have their origins in pagan harvest festivals such as Samhain, a Celtic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. Traditionally it was believed to be a time of year when spirits from the Otherworld could more easily come into our world and the dead could mingle with the living. The festival was later Christianised by the early church which absorbed many of the traditional practices, transforming them to reflect Christian attitudes towards the honouring of the dead.

Image from ‘The life and horrible adventures of the celebrated Dr Faustus relating to his first introduction to Lucifer, and connection with infernal spirits; his method of raising the devil and his final dismissal to the tremendous abyss of hell’ from the collection MS 268

Image from ‘The life and horrible adventures of the celebrated Dr Faustus relating to his first introduction to Lucifer, and connection with infernal spirits; his method of raising the devil and his final dismissal to the tremendous abyss of hell’ from the collection MS 268

Today, the celebration of Halloween draws on a wide range of traditions and influences with a particular focus on the supernatural and the macabre. As such, it provides the perfect opportunity to highlight one of the more obscure collections held by the University’s Special Collections Division. The collection MS 268 Papers on demonology contains an array of material focusing on demonology and witchcraft in Great Britain, Ireland and continental Europe.

Among the collection are various notes, press cuttings, correspondence, photographs and postcards concerning customs and practices, art, folk lore and legends, persons, places, and plants with relation to the devil from the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth century. These include The devil at Montmartre, The devil passing into the body of the dead, Michael Scot, the wizard, and The devil according to the tradition and popular beliefs of Sicily.

The collection also contains a manuscript titled The Incubus and Succubus. The volume, complete with sketches and verse, begins with an examination of the counterpart demons Incubus and Succubus before exploring a broad range of topics relating to demonology. These include sections on nightmares, vampires, werewolves, devils, sorcery, and magical transformations. A large portion of the volume is dedicated to the examination of witches and witchcraft, providing historic accounts, such as that of Lady Kyteler of Kilkenny, as well as discussing subjects such as witch finders, tests and torture of witches, charms and spells against witches, and potions, philtres and witches spells.

The final part of the collections consists of cuttings and articles from periodicals dating from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century. These include copies of Giambattista Basile, 15 Sep and 15 Oct 1885; a programme for The tempter, Theatre Royal, Haymarket, 1898; lists of occult literature, 1897; a flyer for The book of black magic and of pacts; The devil’s funeral sermon preached before a congregation of free thinkers (London, 1735); The heart of man: the temple of the Lord or the devil’s workshop, in Armenian, (Calcutta, 1839); The ballad of the wind, the devil and Lincoln Minster by Arnold Frost (Lincoln, 1898); Concerning the devil by Saladin [William Stewart Ross] (London); Notices relative to the idolatry and devil worship of Ceylon by Robert Newstead (London, 1838); Tradicoes populares Portuguezas by Z.Consiglieri Pedroso (Oporto, 1882); and sections from publications on demonology including `Legendes, chansons, contes’, `Xylographische Werke’ (1835), `Le diable a Leipzig (c.1869), `Der Teufel’, `Il diavolo nelle tradizioni e credenze popolari Siciliane’, and `Sagen aus Westpreussen’.

China’s National Day and Golden Week

China’s National Day is celebrated every year on 1 October to commemorate the formation of the People’s Republic of China. It marks the beginning of National Day Golden Week and is celebrated throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Photograph of a pagoda near Shanghai, circa 1880-2, from the collection MB2/A20

Photograph of a pagoda near Shanghai, circa 1880-2, from the collection MB2/A20

A number of collections held by the University of Southampton contain records focusing on the relationship between Britain and China in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Selections of these materials were displayed in the exhibition Britain and the Far East, 1800-1950 in 2006. These included materials from the Palmerston and Wellington papers focusing on trade and colonial aspiration in the 18th century, as well as materials from the Mountbatten Papers focusing on the British relationship with the Chinese Kuomintang forces in the South-East Asian Theatre during the Second World War.

The Special Collections Division is also home to the collection MS 13 which contains four manuscript translations of Chinese poems by the renowned English sinologist Arthur Waley (1889-1966). Waley achieved much acclaim for his influential translations of Chinese and Japanese literary classics into English. Among his Chinese translations are A Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems (1918); the Analects of Confucius (1938); The Way and its Power: A Study of the Tao Te Ching and its Place in Chinese Thought (1934), a commentary on the Tao Te Ching including a full translation; and Monkey (1942), an abridged translation of Wu Cheng’en’s Journey to the West.

Extract from a translation of Ta'o Ch'ien’s ‘Shady, Shady’ by Arthur Waley from the collection MS 13

Extract from a translation of Ta’o Ch’ien’s ‘Shady, Shady’ by Arthur Waley from the collection MS 13

The poems in the manuscript collection are “Drinking wine number 9”, “Shady, shady, the wood in front of the hall” and “A long time ago I went on a journey” by Ta’o Ch’ien, and “The pedlar of spells” by Lu Yu. They appear in a revised form in Arthur Waley Chinese poems (London, 1946, reprinted 1948) and Arthur Waley Translations from the Chinese (New York, 1919 and 1941).

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

On Thursday 5 June was the private view for the University of Southampton Special Collections current exhibition: ‘The Early Modern Image: Patronage, Kings and Peoples’. Upon visiting the exhibition visitors are greeted with an arrangement of composition drawings on the level 4 gallery, for a set of tapestries of ‘Love and Folly’. Such drawings showcase ‘Folly putting out Cupid’s eyes’ and ‘Folly guiding Cupid to the Garden of Love’. In contrast, the other side of the level 4 gallery displays figure and drapery studies from the album of tapestry designer Francis Cleyn, which feature coloured and tinted drawings focusing on different parts of the human body, and on different species such as fish.

Page 6 of Francis Cleyn's album of sketches, figure and drapery studies  MS 292

Page 6 of Francis Cleyn’s album of sketches, figure and drapery studies
MS 292

As I entered the exhibition gallery, I had already heard comments relating to the intricate detail of tapestry fragments and drawings, enticing me in further. The first object that greets the visitor is the album of Cleyn. Displaying two figures from a tapestry design, the album presents potential links to the Bible: the drawing of an old crone is suggested by art historian Professor David Howarth to be a study for the figure of Falsehood seen on the tapestry St Paul Preaching in Athens.

As well as featuring prints and drawings, tapestry fragments are also displayed so that visitors can see the designs of Cleyn in their final form. Such fragments include parts of the reproduction of the finished Perseus and Andromeda tapestry from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. This fragment has been kindly loaned from the Victoria Albert Museum. Other drawings relating to classical literature include a grey wash brush drawing of ‘The Council of the Gods’, which is from Virgil’s Aeneid, Book 10. Another part of the exhibition focuses on the works of Luca Cambiaso, which are mostly of a religious theme. An example includes a drawing depicting four evangelists each reading his gospel.

To complete the exhibition, a series of engravings and rare books are displayed. As well as depicting biblical images, such as the Holy Spirit descending as a dove to the Virgin Mary, other images take on a warfare theme. One example is the engraving by Giovanni Jacopo Caraglion titled ‘Battle scene with a shield on a lance’. Possibly dating from around 1537, the item catalogue suggests that the engraving may have been a rejected idea for Raphael’s Battle for the Milvian Bridge. The rare books largely include works by Dante Alighieri, which again take on a religious theme. Intricate illustrations are displayed on the pages, depicting the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Knowledge, and Dante being guided through Hell by Virgil.

My favourite item was the image displayed by the rarebook Comento di Christophoro Landino fiorentino sopra la Comedia di Dante Alighieri poeta fiorentino by Dante Alighieri. The image depicts souls being drawn out of Purgatory on carts pulled by griffins.

Page 32 of Francis Cleyn's album of sketches, figure and drapery studies MS 292

Page 32 of Francis Cleyn’s album of sketches, figure and drapery studies
MS 292

The exhibition is on display Monday-Friday 10am to 4pm until Friday 27th July, on level 4 of the Hartley Library.

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