They Asked For A Paper–An Incendiary Jacket

Borrowing its title from a collection of essays by C. S. Lewis, this series, They Asked For A Paper,”  highlights interesting items from the Armstrong Browning Library’s collection and suggests topics for further research.

By Melinda Creech
Manuscripts Specialist, Armstrong Browning Library

I have been transcribing a set of letters collected by Mr. and Mrs. Higford Burr. Daniel Higford Davall Burr (1811-1885) was a Member of Parliament, Justice of the Peace, and High Sheriff of Berkshire. He and Anna-Margaretta, like the Brownings, were married at St. Marylebone Parish Church. Anna-Margaretta Higford Burr (1817-1892) was an English water-colorist. She traveled extensively and entertained often at the family’s estate, Aldermaston. When her husband died, she moved to Venice where she died in 1892. Many of the letters from this album are correspondence with artists and musicians from the nineteenth century. Although the Burrs had much in common with the Brownings (art, acquaintances, Venice), only two letters of their correspondence are noted, both from the summer of 1864, and both unlocated. Robert does record going to Mrs. Higford Burr’s house to meet the Layards in a letter to  Pen on 23 March 1889, the year of his death. He reports another engagement with Mrs. Burr and the Layards on 4 July 1889.

Although she does not appear in the Brownings’ correspondence, Lady Lucie Duff-Gordon (1821-1869) seems like someone they might have liked to have known.

Lucie Austin, by a school friend, aged 15.

Having become fluent in German while on a trip to Germany with her parents, John and Sarah Austin, she became a proficient translator.

Lucie Duff-Gordon, sketch by Frederick Watts, ca. 1848.

She married Lord Duff-Gordon in 1840 and their home attracted a remarkable circle of friends and acquaintances. Lady Lucie was known for her progressive and tolerant views. In 1861 she contracted tuberculosis, and moved to South Africa and later Egypt in search of a better climate.

Lucie Duff-Gordon, by Henry W. Phillips, ca. 1851.

She is most well known for  her Letters from Egypt, 1863–1865 (1865) and Last Letters from Egypt (1875), written to her family while she was living in Egypt. She returned to England for visits in 1863 and 1865.

This undated letter  from Lady Lucie Duff-Gordon to Mr. Burr, written from The Gordon House, Esher, in Surrey, thanks him for his gift of an “incendiary jacket.” She says that she had just received the gift that morning and had already made use of the jacket and “put a bit into my pipe and smoked it.” Oddly, she was reported to have smoked cigars when she went riding, because “they suppressed the racking coughs caused by consumption,” not a treatment that would have been recommended today.

Letter from Lady Lucie Duff-Gordon to Mr. Higford Burr. Undated. Page 1.

Letter from Lady Lucie Duff-Gordon to Mr. Higford Burr. Undated. Pages 2 and 3.

They Asked For a Paper–Chinese Manuscripts at the ABL

Borrowing its title from a collection of essays by C. S. Lewis, this series, They Asked For A Paper,”  highlights interesting items from the Armstrong Browning Library’s collection and suggests topics for further research.

By Melinda Creech
Manuscripts Specialist, Armstrong Browning Library

In preparing the Victorian Letters and Manuscripts of the Armstrong Browning Library for digitization, I came across these five Chinese manuscripts, which according to the note on the items, were donated by Dryden Linsley Phelps, nephew of William Lyon Phelps. William Lyon Phelps was Emeritus Professor of English Literature at Harvard University and a distinguished Browning scholar. The Fano Club was begun by Phelps. The club is a group of people who have traveled to Fano, Italy, viewed the guardian angel painting, L’Angelo Custode, (1640) by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, in the Civic Museum, and sent back to the Armstrong Browning Library a postcard from Fano. The club meets for dinner on Robert Browning’s birthday, May 7, and for a reading of Browning’s poem, “The Guardian Angel,” performed by the youngest member of the club. Phelps commissioned and donated a copy of the painting of “The Guardian Angel” to the ABL. Robert Browning’s desk chair, a gift to Phelps from his students, has also been on loan to the ABL since 1989.

William Lyon Phelps’s nephew, Dryden Linsley Phelps, was a Baptist missionary to China at the West China University, Chen-tse, Szechuan, China, a translator, and a mountain climber. Dryden Linsley Phelps’s son was also named William Lyons Phelps II, in honor of his distinguished uncle.

Letter from Dryden Linsley Phelps to Dr. A. J. Armstrong. 1 August 1946.

In this letter to Dr. A. J. Armstrong, Dryden Phelps thanks Armstrong for a Browning Christmas card and shares that he intends to pass the card along to the Chinese bishop who had “done considerable study of Browning.”

Thank you most heartily for the Browning Christmas Cards. I am tremendously happy to have these. I am taking them to China, and shall use them out there. One of them next Christmas will surely go to Bishop Dong Ch’eng-chih, in my first Chinese Browning Class, who has done considerable study of  Browning.

These Chinese manuscripts were a gift to the ABL from Dryden Phelps, the Baptist missionary to China.

Chinese Hymn based on Isaiah 43: 5-7

This hymn is based on the text from Isaiah 43: 5-7.

Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;

I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;

 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.  (KJV)

Chinese Hymn, “Then Welcome Each Rebuff.”

Translation of Chinese Hymn, “Then Welcome Each Rebuff.”

This handwritten hymn is based on Robert Browning’s poem, “Rabbi Ben Ezra.”

Then, welcome each rebuff
That turns earth’s smoothness rough,
Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go!
Be our joys three-parts pain!
Strive, and hold cheap the strain;
Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe! (31-36)

The next three manuscripts are translations of Alfred Tennyson’s poem, “Flower in a Crannied Wall.”

Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower—but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.

Alfred Tennyson, “Flower in a Crannied Wall.” Translated into Chinese.

Alfred Tennyson, “Flower in a Crannied Wall.” Translated into Chinese. Verso.

Alfred Tennyson, “Flower in a Crannied Wall.” Translated into Chinese.

Alfred Tennyson, “Flower in a Crannied Wall.” Translated into Chinese.

The Armstrong Browning Library would be grateful for translations of any of these manuscripts? Does anyone recognize the signatures on the two translations of “Flower in a Crannied Wall?” Are there other Chinese Hymns that are based on texts of Robert Browning’s poems? Does anyone know when these manuscripts came to be gifted to the Armstrong Browning Library? Could anyone suggest a date for any of these manuscripts?

They Asked For A Paper–Charlotte Yonge Letters at the ABL

Borrowing its title from a collection of essays by C. S. Lewis, this series, They Asked For A Paper,”  highlights interesting items from the Armstrong Browning Library’s collection and suggests topics for further research.

By Melinda Creech
Manuscripts Specialist, Armstrong Browning Library

Charlotte Mary Yonge

The Armstrong Browning Library owns three letters from English novelist Charlotte Yonge. The first is from Yonge to Anna Butler, written from Otterbourne, September 19, [1856].

Letter from C. M. Yonge to [Anna] Butler. 19 September [1856]. Page 1.

Letter from C. M. Yonge to [Anna] Butler. 19 September [1856]. Pages 2 and 3.

My dear Miss Butler

Your note came as I was meditating enquiries of Glympton on your whereabouts, and just in time for the enclosed, which I hope you will be able to send on to Derby at once as we
[Page 2]
are rather behindhand this month. I am glad your trip was successful, we have made a little one to Sidmouth, a grand affair for us. There was a lame grey haired lady with two foreign looking young ones whom we always called Mde Bronevska and her grand daughters
[Page 3]
making their English visit

Charlotte Mitchell, Senior Honorary Lecturer at University College London and editor of The Letters of Charlotte Mary Yonge (1823-1901), points out that the letter, although undated, is likely from 1856. The lame woman mentioned in the letter, Madame de Bronevska, and her granddaughters are characters in Butler’s story called “Likes and Dislikes,” serialized in Monthly Packet, of which Charlotte Yonge was the first editor, July 1855-Nov 1856. They first appear in the issue of September 1856. Mitchell also points out that Anna Butler’s brother, the Very Rev. William John Butler, was Vicar of Wantage and Dean of Lincoln, quite a well-known Victorian Tractarian clergyman & founder of the Anglican nunnery at Wantage.

A second letter, written on April 5, 1876, has an unknown recipient.

Letter from C. M. Yonge to [Unknown]. 5 April 1876. Page 1.

Letter from C. M. Yonge to [Unknown]. 5 April 1876. Pages 2 and 3.

Dear Sir

I am afraid I cannot boast of much if any fact for the foundation of the Heir of Redclyffe. I had the scenery of Clovelly in my eye when describing Redclyffe bay
[Page 2]
and Malvern with St. Mildred’s, but all the rest is imaginary. The print is Albert Durer’s Knight of Death — There are many photographs of it — and “Sintram” translated from the German is published both
[Page 3]
by Master’s & Warne.

In this letter Yonge answers questions about the “foundation” of her novel The Heir of Redclyffe and the origin of a print in the book. The letter is part of an album of letters collected by John Rooker, possibly the vicar of Coldharbour, Surrey.

A third undated letter is written to Miss Fitzgerald, probably Mabel Purefoy Fitzgerald, from Elderfield. Yonge lived at Elderfield from 1862 until her death in 1897.

Letters from C. M. Yonge to [Mabel Purefoy] Fitzgerald. 28 March [ny]. Page 1.

Letters from C. M. Yonge to [Mabel Purefoy] Fitzgerald. 28 March [ny]. Pages 2 and 3.


My dear Miss Fitzgerald

I know of plenty of dialogues for boys, but those for girls are more uncommon. –
One that would do with a little adapting is the story of the geese that ate the brandy cherries, seemed to die, were plucked
[Page 2]
and came to life again
It is in the G F S book Stories for Our Girls but is told in narrative and would require arranging
Miss Marshead is coming to spend the day with me tomorrow and if she knows of anything better, I will write –
We had some [wax] [works] last
[Page 3]
night, which did famously with a clever exhibition.

In this letter Yonge suggests some “dialogues for girls” and mentions a wax works exhibition that they had attended.

The Armstrong Browning Library  has an 1857 copy of Yonge’s The Heir of Redclyffe with this inscription: “Mary Fitzgerald on her 16th birthday / from her Mother/ 17 July 1859 / London,” possibly in the hand of Elizabeth Purefoy Fitzgerald.

The book also contains a latter inscription: “Never to be/lent or taken/M.P.FG.”

It is very likely that the inscription above belongs to Mabel Purefoy Fitzgerald.

These letters pose a number of questions: Who was the recipient of the second letter? Does this information about The Heir of Redclyffe offer any new perspectives? Why was Albert Durer’s print chosen? What is the date of the third letter? Is the recipient of the third letter really Mabel Purefoy Fitzgerald? What is the story of the geese that ate the brandied cherries? Who is Miss Marshead? What became of the “dialogues for girls”? What was the wax works exhibition? Is “Mary Fitzgerald” in the inscription Mabel’s sister? If so, was she born on January 17, 1843, and is the inscription in her mother’s hand or her grandmother’s hand?

They Asked For A Paper–Irish Poets at the ABL

Borrowing its title from a collection of essays by C. S. Lewis, this series, They Asked For A Paper,”  highlights interesting items from the Armstrong Browning Library’s collection and suggests topics for further research.

By Melinda Creech
Manuscripts Specialist, Armstrong Browning Library

March 15-17, 2017, Baylor will be hosting the 23rd Annual Beall Poetry Festival, featuring Catriona O’Reilly, Margaret Mills Harper, Adrian Rice, Micheal O’Siadhail, and a poetry panel, moderated by Chloe Honum. The festival this year has a decidedly Irish tenor, featuring three Irish poets and an American Yeats scholar, who teaches at the University of Limerick, as the festival’s guests. The festival will also end on St. Patrick’s Day.

However, visits by poets to the Baylor campus were not exclusive to the twenty-first century. Dr. A. J. Armstrong, head of the English Department at Baylor for 40 years, from 1912-1952, made a conscious effort to invite famous literary men and women to speak at Baylor, including many poets, such as Robert Frost, Vachel Lindsay, Amy Lowell, Carl Sandburg, and William Butler Yeats.

The Beall Poetry Festival has invited Irish poets in the past, most notably Seamus Heaney, who spoke here in 2013, shortly before his death. Dr. Armstrong, early in the twentieth century also invited Irish poets to speak at Baylor University.

Padraic Colum

Padraic Colum (1881-1972), Irish poet, novelist, dramatist, biographer, playwright, children’s author and collector of folklore, was one of the leading figures of the Irish Literary Revival. He visited Baylor University on January 23, 1929, giving a lecture on the musical, oral quality of poetry and leaving a manuscript copy of lines from his poem, “An Old Woman of the Roads.”

Padraic Colum. Lines from “An Old Woman of the Roads.” Autograph manuscript signed.

Och! but I’m weary of mist and dark,
And roads where there’s never a house nor bush,
And tired I am of bog and road,
And the crying wind and the lonesome hush!

 

Lennox Robinson

Esmé Stuart Lennox Robinson (1886-1958), an Irish dramatist, poet and theatre producer and director who was involved with the Abbey Theatre, visited Baylor February 11, 1932. The Abbey Irish Players performed at Baylor on February 20, 1932. These telegrams from the Robinsons’s agent accept the engagement and inform of their arrival:

Telegram from M. C. Turner to Dr. A. J. Armstrong, accepting an invitation to speak at Baylor University.

Telegram from M. C. Turner to Dr. A. J. Armstrong, informing him of the Robinsons’s arrival the following day via the Texas Special train.

 

George William Russell (AE)

George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935), an Irish writer, editor, critic, poet, artistic painter and Irish nationalist, spoke at Baylor on December 11, 1930. A manuscript copy of his poem, “Outcast,” is now in the collection at the Armstrong Browning Library.

George William Russell. “Outcast.” Autograph manuscript signed.

Sometimes when alone
at the dark close of day
Men meet an outlawed majesty
and hurry away.

They come to the lighted house,
They talk to their dear,
They crucify the mystery
with words of good cheer

When love and life are over
And light at an end
on the outcast majesty
They lean as a friend.

 

William Butler Yeats, holding a volume of William Blake’s Poetical Sketches. Yeats edited an edition of Blake’s collected works in 1893.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), one of the greatest poets in the twentieth century, was the first Irishman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923.

Yeats lectured and read his poetry at Baylor on April 16, 1920. The Lariat, Baylor’s student newspaper, reports that he recounted several literary men who had influenced his life, remarking that “A number of those friends were slaves to intoxicants and their best poems … were written while they were somewhat in the state of sadness or dissipation. Yeats stated that he did not believe men had to lead a dissipated life to be great, but that it had somewhat of an influence over him.”

Letter from George Yeats to Mrs. A. J. Armstrong, 21 April 1920.

This is a transcription of a letter from George Yeats, William Butler Yeats’s wife, to Mrs. A. J. Armstrong. In the letter  George Yeats describes how much she and Willy enjoyed their visit to Baylor. The letter was probably transcribed by Lois Smith Douglas in preparation for her biography of Dr. A. J. Armstrong, Through Heaven’s Back Door. The whereabouts of the original letter is unknown.

The Armstrong Browning Library also has letters, archives, manuscripts, and books from many Irish poets from the nineteenth century, including George Darley, Aubrey de Vere, William Allingham, Lady Jane Wilde, Katharine Tynan, Richard D’Alton Williams, and Lizzie Mary Little.

They Asked For A Paper–Letter Fragment from the Captain of the HMS Terror

Borrowing its title from a collection of essays by C. S. Lewis, this series, They Asked For A Paper,”  highlights interesting items from the Armstrong Browning Library’s collection and suggests topics for further research.

By Melinda Creech
Manuscripts Specialist, Armstrong Browning Library

Francis Rawdon Moira Crozier (16 August 1796 – after 1848?)

On September 12, 2016 the wreck of the HMS Terror was discovered in Terror Bay, King William Island, in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

The HMS Terror had began her career as a bomb vessel, engaged in the War of 1812. In fact, it was the vision of the HMS Terror bombarding Fort McHenry that inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star Spangled Banner.” In 1836, the ship was refurbished for exploration, making trips to the Arctic (1836) and to the Antarctic (1839). After her trip to the Antarctic, she was again refurbished at Woolwich for a trip to the Arctic through the Northwest Passage.

HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, the two ships used by Sir John Franklin on his 1845 ill-fated search for the Northwest Passage. The ships became trapped in ice at King William Sound (Victoria Strait) for three years, leading to the deaths of all 135 men.

She set sail on May 19, 1845, but never returned. A message, dated April 22, 1848, and signed by Captains Crozier and Fitzjames, was found at point Victory stating that they were abandoning both the Terror and the Erebus. Mystery enveloped the fate of the ship and her crew until the discovery last year. Visit the Royal Museum Greenwich to find out more about the discovery of the HMS Terror.

Letter from Captain F. R. M. Crozier to Sir Thomas, 28 March [1842]. Page 1

Letter from Captain F. R. M. Crozier to Sir Thomas, 28 March [1842]. Page 2.

We at the Armstrong Browning Library have also re-discovered in our collection a fragment of a letter probably written in 1842, shortly before Captain Crozier began his fateful voyage. The letter states:

My dear Sir Thomas,

Thanks for yours of 26th which I received this day on my return from Ireland. I was before perfectly satisfied, and believe me my confidence has not been in the least shaken by Commander Beadons test, and very strange…

 

…write him so soon as I get a little of my bustle over.

It is possible that Sir Thomas was Sir Thomas Hamilton, 9th Earl of Haddington, who was the First Lord of the Admiralty at the time. Commander Beadon was conducting tests of lifebuoy in February and March of 1842 (Transactions of the Society, Instituted at London, for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce Royal Society of Arts Great Britain, Vol 54 (1843), 121). However, part of the letter is missing.

There is another interesting inscription in pencil at the bottom of the page:

Capt. Crozier —who commanded the same ship as Sir John Franklin’s expedition & was lost with him in 1843-6 . My brother was lost with him.

This letter was found with other letters removed  from an album of letters and autographs collected by Mr. Lewis R. Lucas. However, no one with the surname Lucas was found among the crew lists of either the Terror or the Erebus.

Mystery still shrouds the letter fragment. Who was Sir Thomas? Can we date the letter by Commander Beadon’s lifebuoy tests? What was very strange? What was Captain Crozier’s bustle? Who has the rest of the letter? Whose brother was lost in the expedition of the Terror?

 

They Asked For a Letter–An Unpublished Letter from Sir Walter Scott

Borrowing its title from a collection of essays by C. S. Lewis, this series, They Asked For A Paper,”  highlights interesting items from the Armstrong Browning Library’s collection and suggests topics for further research.

By Melinda Creech
Manuscripts Specialist, Armstrong Browning Library

Henry Raeburn [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In the DeCastro Album, on the same page as the Leigh Hunt letter, is an unpublished letter from Sir Walter Scott, Scottish historical novelist, playwright and poet, to Samuel Shepherd, a British barrister, judge and politician who served as Attorney General for England and Wales and Lord Chief Baron of the Scottish Court of Exchequer, dated 4 October, 1825.

Letter from Sir Walter Scott to [Samuel Shepherd], 4 October 1825, page 1.

Letter from Sir Walter Scott to [Samuel Shepherd], 4 October 1825, page 2.

Letter from Sir Walter Scott to [Samuel Shepherd], 4 October 1825, intergral address.

Letter from Sir Walter Scott to [Samuel Shepherd], 4 October 1825, integral address

The letter reads:

My dear [Lord]

Lady Shepherd & Miss Runnington as well as your Lordship gave us hopes that you would look in upon Conundrum Castle this year The season promises still a few fine days rather a bonus upon these we have had already which have for Scotland been an ample dividend. New Lord & Lady Gifford [under] the Solicitors pilotage propose us the honour of a visit on [friday] 7th and as they are I believe Friends of Lady Shepherds & yours Lady Scott & I would be much flattered by your meeting them under this roof and I hope Miss Runnington will do us the honor to accompany you Should you agree to this proposal your Lordship had better write a note on Thursday to secure horses

What a melancholy conclusion to our poor friend the Chief Commissioners final hopes and expectations I am sure your Lordship would feel it [surrely] [sic] He is I understand in general correspondence resigned though his firmness is broken occasionally—as who can wonder—with bouts of acute distress.

 

[Page 2]

Lady Scott & Ann give our respectful compliments to Lady Shepherd & Miss Runnington and am always my dear Lord

Most truly & respectfully yours

Walter Scott

Abbotsford Melrose

4 October

 

[Envelope]

OCT

5

1825

 

MELROSE

 

Right Honorable

The Lord Chief Baron

&c &c &d

Edinh

[Edinburgh]

In fact, Lord and Lady Shepherd did visit Scott in October of 1825, along with ” a large houseful” of others. (Scott, Walter et al. The Letters of Sir Walter Scott. Vol. 9. New York: AMS Press, 1971, 233-4.)

What was the “melancholy conclusion” to the “final hopes and expectations” of Scott’s “poor friend the Chief Commissioner”?

Does this letter add any names to the list of Scott’s acquaintances?

What is the story behind the “Castle Conundrum”?

Are there additions or corrections to the transcription?

They Asked For A Paper–“My Dear Child”–Leigh Hunt’s letter to his daughter

Quote

Borrowing its title from a collection of essays by C. S. Lewis, this series, They Asked For A Paper,”  highlights interesting items from the Armstrong Browning Library’s collection and suggests topics for further research.

By Melinda Creech
Manuscripts Specialist, Armstrong Browning Library

James Henry Leigh Hunt by Samuel Laurence [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Leigh Hunt to Julia Trelawney Hunt, 18 August 1857, p. 1.

Leigh Hunt to Julia Trelawney Hunt, 18 August 1857, pp. 2 & 3.

Leigh Hunt to Julia Trelawney Hunt, 18 August 1857, p. 4.

Among the items in the Armstrong Browning Library’s collection is a tender letter from Leigh Hunt to his daughter, Julia Trelawney. She is staying on the Isle of Guernsey with George Godfrey. Although the letter is published in The Correspondence of Leigh Hunt (Smith, Elder and Company, 1862, page 281) parts of the letter were elided, including the delightful line at the beginning of the postscript:

Many thanks for the newspapers with which I mean to make myself thoroughly and Guernsically acquainted.

A transcript of the letter is provided below; the unpublished parts are in bold.

Hammersmith — Augt. 18

My dear Child,

We were very glad to hear from you so soon again, — the more so, inasmuch as you will have been glad yourself at having written. And you very properly fill your letter with as many particulars about the place, and your movements in it, and way of life, as you can; for it is
[Page 2]
this that absent friends are enabled to find themselves still together, as much as is possible.
I should certainly exclaim as you say I should, in threading your “beautiful” lanes; and I should think the kindness which every body shews you still more beautiful; for charming as inanimate nature ^is,^ there is nothing so charming, after all, as the expression of kindness in the human countenance.
[Page 3]
Pray look at the “house to let” by all means, and at any other house to let, provided it does ^would^ not tax ^my^ old limbs to get up to it. And be particular as to their rents and their gardens. I rejoice in what you tell me of your sitting at the piano. Walter has not yet come; but we saw Mr. & Mrs. Hooper here again on Thursday evening. Mr. Ollier and Edmund spent the greater part of Saturday evening with us; and simultaneous with their appearance was that of Mary Sayer, whom Jacintha
[Page 4]
entertained at tea in the back parlour while we took ours in the front, but all with open doors and in good fellowship; only Mr. Ollier’s health, I am sorry to say, continuing to be much tried, and strangers trying it more, we remained as I describe. She is coming to tea again on Wednesday evening to play us some Beethoven, and repeat some verses of mine in a kind of recitative, occasionally touching the instruments. We are still looking anxiously for Mr. Lee; and the moment he comes I will let you know. I tell you of Wednesday evening in order that you may imagine yourself with us: [so] [now] you know ^as much of^ us, past and future, as we know ourselves.
Your ever loving father
L. H.
[Written on top of Page]
P. S. Many thanks for the newspapers with which I mean to make myself thoroughly and Guernsically acquainted. Jacintha’a love, and she will write tomorrow, in order that you may have two days’ accounts of us, instead of one. All the pictures you send us, are beautiful. I read in today’s paper, that the queen is at sea and is expected to touch at the Channel Islands. If you see her, I expect that you will shake half a dozen handkerchiefs at her, instead of one. I have re-opened the letter, on purpose to say so.

[Envelope]
Postmark:
LONDON
AU 18
57
Miss Hunt —
Care of Geo: Godfrey Esqre
Claremont House,
Rohais,
Guernsey.
Channel Islands
L. H.

The tiny letter (3.5″ x 4.5″) is tucked into an envelope mounted on the same page as a letter from Sir Walter Scott to Right Honorable The Lord Chief Baron &c &c Edward.

Page from the Henry DeCastro Autograph Album

The letters are collected into an album which belonged to “Henry De Castro / Cramlington Villa — Putney.”

Why is Leigh Hunt’s daughter on Guernsey? Who are the people she is staying with? Who are the other people mentioned in the letter? How did this letter get into Henry DeCastro’s collection? What are the “houses to let” he mentions? Why is the letter written on mourning paper? Is there a copy of the newspaper with which Hunt “Guernsically acquainted” himself?

They Asked For A Paper–Notes in Hartley Coleridge’s Poems

Borrowing its title from a collection of essays by C. S. Lewis, this series, They Asked For A Paper,”  highlights interesting items from the Armstrong Browning Library’s collection and suggests topics for further research.

By Melinda Creech
Manuscripts Specialist, Armstrong Browning Library

Poems by Hartley Coleridge With a Memoir of His Life by his Brother, 2 Vols. London: Edward Moxon, 1851.

These two volumes of the poems of Hartley Coleridge, the eldest son of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and a biography written by Derwent Coleridge, the third child of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, also contain markings on many passages and several notes apparently written by an acquaintance of the Coleridges.

“Add – A copy of [Barnes] Works & Such we found in the kitchen of the Nab – with pencil annotations during summer of 1850 R. S. (ccxiv)

Mrs. Richardson told me in 1851 that Hartley often thought many of Wordsworth’s pieces “too [poetic]”. 1857. Was it so? (19)

No such thing as Annihilation in Nature! R. S. 1857. (59)

I had this once to translate into Latin at Rugby, but did not know then it was H. C.’s. (65)

I think this [Elizabeth] was the daughter of Sir R. Fleming I had the pleasure of dancing with at the [Sunblinde] Ball in summer of 1850. R. S. (98)

Mrs. Richardson spoke to me of this as very beautiful. H. C. had read it to her. (114)

Cf: Tennyson’s “In Memoriam,” Sonnet –

The volumes bear a bookplate of William John Robertson, a translator of French poems of the nineteenth century.

Who is this R. S. and how did he know the Coleridges?

They Asked For A Paper

Borrowing its title from a collection of essays by C. S. Lewis, this series, They Asked For A Paper,”  highlights interesting items from the Armstrong Browning Library’s collection and suggests topics for further research.

By Melinda Creech
Manuscripts Specialist, Armstrong Browning Library

In 1962 C. S. Lewis published a collection of twelve essays simply entitled They Asked For A Paper. It would be his last publication. He died the following year. I have borrowed Lewis’s title for this blog series which will suggest research topics for scholars interested in mining the treasures of the Armstrong Browning Library.

As we have processed the books, letters, and manuscripts here at the ABL, provocative questions and fascinating details have come to light. The faculty and staff are often heard repeating, “Somebody should write a paper about that.” Because that task has proved monumental for our small staff, we are inviting you to tackle some of the questions that have been unearthed.

Over the next few months I will be offering suggestions for research projects based on the holdings at the ABL. Please feel free to contact us for more details, or, better yet, come and visit us at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and have a hands-on experience with the books, letters, and manuscripts in our archives. The topics will include not only the Brownings, but also many other figures from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Be sure to “SUBSCRIBE!” to the blog on the right-hand side of the screen to keep up with all the possibilities.

So, since you asked…

 

Making Connections: Literary Networks in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries

In fall 2016, students in Dr. Kristen Pond’s upper-level English course, “Literary Networks in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries,” explored the relationships between writers of the Romantic, Victorian, and Modernist Periods and the influences they had on each other’s works. “Authors did not, in fact, work alone,” Dr. Pond argued, “but often collaborated, either directly by each person contributing something to the final piece or indirectly through the influence of conversations, interactions, or from reading one another’s works.” Utilizing the letters, manuscripts, rare books, and other collection materials at the Armstrong Browning Library, the students ended their semester by curating an exhibition that uncovered connections between one particular literary figure and Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning—the centers of the literary network for the course—or another significant literary figure.

The exhibition Making Connections: Literary Networks in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries is on display in the Hankamer Treasure Room, Armstrong Browning Library, until April 21, 2017.

The Armstrong Browning Library would like to thank Dr. Kristen Pond and the students who made this exhibition possible:

Marcus Appleyard, Rebecca Causey, Victoria Corley, Annie Dang, Taylor Ferguson, Casey Froehlich, Madelynn Lee, Mollie Mallory, Anne McCausland, Emily Ober, Shannon Ristedt, Chris Solis, Alexander Stough, Alex Ueckert, Baylee Versteeg, and Jonathan White.