Beyond the Brownings–Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894)

NPG P56; The Rossetti Family by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)© National Portrait Gallery, London

Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

Christina Georgina Rossetti shared the limelight with Elizabeth Barrett Browning as the greatest female poet of the nineteenth century. After Barrett Browning’s death in 1861, readers saw Rossetti as Barrett Browning’s rightful successor. She wrote a variety of devotional, romantic, and children’s poems, and is perhaps most well-known for the lyrics of the Christmas carol “In the Bleak Midwinter,” her long poem Goblin Market, and her love poem “Remember.”

Christina was the youngest child of an extraordinarily gifted family, Maria Francesca, Gabriel Charles Dante, William Michael, and Christina Georgina, all born between 1827 and 1830. Maria was distinguished by her study of Dante, Dante Gabriel by his poetry and painting, William Michael by his art and literary criticism, and Christina by her poetry.

The Armstrong Browning Library holds over thirty of Christina’s books and two letters.

Goblin-market-1862-3
Goblin-market-1862Goblin-Market-1862-2 Goblin-Marker-18624Goblin-Market-18625Christina Georgina Rossetti. Goblin Market and Other Poems. Cambridge, London: Macmillan and Co, 1862.

This volume is a first edition, advance proof copy sent to the Brownings. There are notes on the flyleaf and an attached postcard noting the provenance of the volume.

Goblin-Market-1902-1 Goblin-Markekt-1905-2Goblin-Market-1905-3Goblin-Market-1905-4Christina Georgina Rossetti. Goblin Market. London : New York: George Routledge and Sons, Limited ; E.P Dutton & Co, 1905. The Broadway Booklets.

This volume contains illustrations by Christina’s brother, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The volume also contains Robert Browning’s poem, “The Pied Piper of Hamelin.”

Speaking-LikenessesSpeaking-Likenesses-1Speakeing-Likenesses-2Christina Georgina Rossetti. Speaking Likenesses. Illustrated by Arthur Hughes. London: Macmillan and co, 1874.

Christina dedicated this volume:

 To my/ Dearest Mother,/ In Grateful Remembrance Of The/ Stories/ With Which She Used To Entertain Her/ Children. Christina-Rossetti-letterLetter from Christina G. Rossetti to an Unidentified Correspondent. 29 December 1884.

This brief letter to an Unidentified correspondent conveys wishes for a Happy New Year (1885).

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Beyond the Brownings–William Michael Rossetti (1829-1919)

NPG P56; The Rossetti Family by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)© National Portrait Gallery, London

Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

William Michael Rossetti, along with his brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of English painters, poets, and critics who intended to reform art by rejecting a mechanistic approach and embracing a return to abundant detail, intense colors and complex compositions. Although employed full-time as a civil servant, William Michael managed to produce criticism, biographies, editions, and articles for the Encyclopædia Britannica.

The Armstrong Browning Library holds seven letters written by William Michael Rossetti and over thirty books, some of them rare.

W.-Mwmr2wmr3wmr4wmr5wmr6

Letter from William Michael Rossetti to A. H. Dooley. 12 May 1876.

 In this letter William Michael Rossetti outlines his published works.

Colles-1Colles-2Letter from William Michael Rossetti to Mr. Colles. 28 August 1898.

In this letter, William Michael Rossetti discusses  a photograph of his brother taken by Downey.

PreRaph1PreRaph2PreRaph3PreRaph4PreRaph5PreRaph6William Michael Rossetti. Ruskin: Rossetti: Preraphaelitism; Papers 1854 to 1862. London: George Allen, 1899.

This volume bears the inscription: “Two hundred and fifty copies of this edition have been printed on hand-made paper for England and America, of which this is no. 176.”

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The ABL Marks the 190th Birthday of George MacDonald with Eight Newly Acquired Letters

By Cynthia A. Burgess, Librarian/Curator of Books & Printed Materials, Armstrong Browning Library

George MacDonald

George MacDonald in 1872. Photograph by Sarony. From an extra-illustrated copy of The Poetical Works of George MacDonald (1893) in the Armstrong Browning Library’s George MacDonald Collection.

December 10th, 2014 is the 190th birthday of George MacDonald (1824-1905), Scottish fantasy writer, novelist, poet, and lecturer, whose works had a profound influence on such writers as C. S. Lewis, W. H. Auden, and J. R. R. Tolkien.  Although ordained as a Congregational minister at Arundel, Sussex in 1850, his unorthodox views caused conflict with his parishioners which brought about his resignation in 1853.  As his publications became successful, he used his books as his pulpit instead.  He is well known for his children’s books, such as At the Back of the North Wind (1871) and The Princess and Curdie (1888), but also wrote compelling adult novels, among them Phantastes (1858), David Elginbrod (1863), Robert Falconer (1868), and Lilith (1895).

The Armstrong Browning Library is happy to mark George MacDonald’s 190th birthday by announcing the recent acquisition of eight letters written by MacDonald between 1861 and 1890; two of the letters are undated.  They are shown here in chronological order:

1861 October 30

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Hepburn. 30 October 1861.

Writing on the embossed stationery of Alexander Strahan, Publisher, MacDonald notes that he is “pushed for time,” and asks that a guinea be sent to him.

*****

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Hunter. 9 August 1865.

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Hunter. 9 August 1865.

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Hunter. 9 August 1865.

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Hunter. 9 August 1865.

In this letter MacDonald addresses a slight acquaintance, stating that he wants “to try my chance for the chair of Rhetoric,” asking for Hunter to “say a word for me,” and closing with, “Possibly your influence is already bespoken; but if not, & you conscientiously can, I believe you will.”

*****

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Osgood. 23 May 1873.

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Osgood. 23 May 1873.

Writing possibly to a book dealer, MacDonald sends a check and reminds his correspondent, “And do not forget to send me the missing vol. of Emerson – twice over, as I have two sets of that.”

*****

Letter from George MacDonald to Sally [last name unknown]. 13 September 1882.

Letter from George MacDonald to Sally [last name unknown]. 13 September 1882.

Letter from George MacDonald to Sally [last name unknown]. 13 September 1882.

Letter from George MacDonald to Sally [last name unknown]. 13 September 1882.

Letter from George MacDonald to Sally [last name unknown]. 13 September 1882.

Letter from George MacDonald to Sally [last name unknown]. 13 September 1882.

Letter from George MacDonald to Sally [last name unknown]. 13 September 1882.

Letter from George MacDonald to Sally [last name unknown]. 13 September 1882.

At the age of 58, MacDonald writes to a woman who appears to be a close friend, noting, “We are all getting old – and are perhaps ready to think both too much and too little of it.  You need not mind it, for you have spent your life for others.  The master is young and will make us all young by and by.”

*****

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Watkinson.  26 September 1883.

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Watkinson. 26 September 1883.

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Watkinson.  26 September 1883.

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Watkinson. 26 September 1883.

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Watkinson.  26 September 1883.

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Watkinson. 26 September 1883.

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Watkinson.  26 September 1883.

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Watkinson. 26 September 1883.

MacDonald begins this letter with, “I am sorry you are not able to count our visit to you a success.”  Responding to an apparent request to lecture the following year, he writes, “I am not anxious to lecture out of London.”  And he closes with, “In any case I would not pledge myself a year beforehand. So you must excuse me. Our movements are far too uncertain for it. I take what lectures come conveniently in my way – only those.”

*****

Letter from George MacDonald to [Mr.] Hutchinson. 1 January 1890.

Letter from George MacDonald to [Mr.] Hutchinson. 1 January 1890.

Apparently Mr. Hutchinson sent MacDonald some of his written work, asking for assistance in getting it published in a magazine.  MacDonald responds, “I cannot do what you ask me, for, as I think I told you before, Mr. Nicol is the only man I have acquaintance with among the magazines. I know nothing whatever about the editors of the Sunday at Home and the Leisure Hour.”

*****

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Erskine. Monday, [no date].

Letter from George MacDonald to Mr. Erskine. Monday, [no date].

In this social note, MacDonald says he must put off a visit “till another time” and “return to London where I have much to do.”  Following his signature, MacDonald adds this intriguing postscript, “My friends have hopes of my success, but we really know nothing about it.”

*****

Letter from George MacDonald to an Unknown Correspondent. 6 February [no year].

Letter from George MacDonald to an Unknown Correspondent. 6 February [no year].

This brief note, written “in haste” in Edinburgh, seems to set an appointment with the unknown correspondent for the following month.

A Request for Information Regarding the Letters

As these letters are new acquisitions, they have not yet been thoroughly researched.  The ABL welcomes any information regarding correspondents, circumstances, or relationships that these letters bring to light.

I am closing this post with an image of the house in which George MacDonald was born 190 years ago today.

The house in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where George MacDonald was born. From an extra-illustrated copy of The Poetical Works of George MacDonald (1893) in the Armstrong Browning Library’s George MacDonald Collection.

The house in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where George MacDonald was born. From an extra-illustrated copy of The Poetical Works of George MacDonald (1893) in the Armstrong Browning Library’s George MacDonald Collection.

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Beyond the Brownings–Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

NPG P56; The Rossetti Family by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)© National Portrait Gallery, London

Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the second born child in the Rossetti family. Dante Gabriel was a poet, illustrator, painter, translator, and founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Sensuality and Medieval revivalism characterized his art. According to John Ruskin and Walter Pater, Dante Gabriel Rossetti was the most important and original artistic force in the second half of the nineteenth century in Great Britain.

 The Armstrong Browning Library holds six of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s letters and over forty of his books, some of them rare.

D.-G.-Rossetti-to-Mama-1D.-G.-Rossetti-to-Mama-2

Letter from Dante Gabriel Rossetti to [Frances Mary Lavinia Polidori Rossetti]. [ca. 4 February 1864].

Dante Gabriel invites his mother, Maria, Christina, and William to tea on Saturday. He says in a postscript that he is also asking Browning. He also lets her know that

 I have a little picture just finished which will be leaving me for Gambait on Monday morning.

Early-ItalEarly-Ital.-2Early-Ital-3Early-Ital.-4Early-Ital-5Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Dante Alighieri, eds. The Early Italian Poets from Ciullo d’Alcamo to Dante Alighieri (1100-1200-1300): In the Original Metres, Together with Dante’s Vita Nuova. London: Smith, Elder and Co, 1861.

This volume is Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s first regularly published book, said to have been financed by John Ruskin.  This volume is the same edition that was given by Dante Gabriel Rossetti to Robert Browning as a Christmas gift in 1861.

 DCR-poemsDGR-Poems-2DGR-Poems-3DGR-Poems4Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Poems. London: F. S. Ellis, 1870.

This volume is one of twenty-five copies printed on large paper for private circulation only. This is John Ruskin’s copy with his bookplate.

 

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Armstrong’s Stars: Carl Sandburg

“Armstrong’s Stars” is a collaboration between the Armstrong Browning Library and Baylor’s Texas Collection. Once a month we feature a story about a celebrity that Dr. A.J. Armstrong brought to Baylor. These stories highlight an interesting part of Baylor’s history and include collection materials housed in both the Armstrong Browning Library and the Texas Collection.

This month’s story was contributed by Ph.D. candidate Jeremy Land. 

In 1920 Baylor University celebrated its Diamond Jubilee with help from the English department’s Dr. A.J. Armstrong. The university used the occasion to invite some of the most important names in American letters to speak at Baylor. A year later Baylor was developing a reputation as a place where not only poets were welcomed, but a place where they could find a receptive student body.

Sandburg letter to AJA

Letter from Carl Sandburg to A.J. Armstrong, dated 11 May 1921 (Armstrong Browning Library)

One of the first and most important writers to travel to Baylor was the noted poet, journalist, historian, and folk musician Carl Sandburg. By the time Dr. Armstrong persuaded Sandburg to visit and read his work at Baylor in the spring of 1921, the poet had already won the first of his eventual three Pulitzer prizes—Sandburg won the Pulitzer Prize for his books Cornhuskers (1918), Abraham Lincoln: The War Years (1939), and Complete Poems (1951). In the early 1920s Sandburg was building a reputation as a first rate poet of the American people. His early poetry drew inspiration from his time as a hobo traveling across the west, his years working as a journalist in Chicago, and the lives of ordinary Americans. His first major volume Chicago Poems established him as an innovative and powerful new voice in American poetry. It was this reputation that prompted Baylor’s student newspaper The Daily Lariat to describe Sandburg as a “man’s poet” as early as 1925, and perhaps attracted so many young Baylor Bears to Sandburg’s readings (“Carl Sandburg, Noted Poet, Coming Here for Reading on April 3” 1).

Sandburg sketch

A sketch of Carl Sandburg’s 1925 reading by Baylor undergraduate Henry Cecil Spencer, class of 1929 (Carroll Science Building)

The poet apparently enjoyed his time at Baylor and made great efforts to ingratiate himself to the students while he was here. He even went so far as to visit a sick Baylor undergraduate in the hospital and give him a private recitation of his work when he discovered that the young fan could not make his reading.  Ultimately, Sandburg was so impressed with the Baylor students he met that he cited them to his fellow poet and friend Robert Frost as a reason to journey to Texas (Douglas 129-135).

Over the next thirty years, Sandburg would make an additional three visits to Baylor. Each time his stays were heralded as the coming of a great poet, and each time he offered his audience something new and innovative. By his third visit in 1932 Sandburg’s critically successful collection of American folk music, American Songbag (1927), was fully integrated into his performance and, in addition to reading poetry, he would sing from his collection to Baylor students during chapel (“Carl Sandburg Will Speak Here Friday” 1).

Sandburg tickets

Tickets to Carl Sandburg’s March 10, 1952 reading at Waco Hall (Armstrong Browning Library)

By his fourth visit in 1952, Sandburg had achieved an elder statesman status among American writers. During his final trip to Baylor, Sandburg used his last time before the student body to discuss the value of going into the world and experiencing life first hand as opposed to vicariously living through pop culture, going so far as to critique one student who claimed to have sat through over 200 episodes of “The Jack Benny Show” (“Poet Slams TV, Movies, Radio” 1). As anarchistic as Sandburg’s criticism sounds to modern readers, his intent illustrates Dr. Armstrong’s ultimate goal in bringing writers like Sandburg to Baylor. Dr. Armstrong’s programs routinely brought Baylor’s students great writers from across the world. His intent was always to “give students an opportunity to come into contact with world forces and world geniuses” (Douglas 173). Sandburg’s time at Baylor surely exposed the students who came to see him to one of the greater geniuses and challenged them to see their lives in a new light.

Sandburg with Guitar and AJA

A.J. Armstrong (left) and Carl Sandburg (right) before Sandburg’s 1952 reading at Waco Hall (Texas Collection)

Works Cited

“Carl Sandburg, Noted Poet, Coming Here for Reading on April 3.” The Daily Lariat 23 March 1925: 1. Web. 1 Dec. 2014

“Carl Sandburg Will Speak Here Friday.” The Daily Lariat 2 February 1932: 1. Web. 1 Dec. 2014

Douglas, Lois Smith. Through Heaven’s Back Door: A Biography of A. Joseph Armstrong.  Waco, TX:  Baylor UP, 1951. Print.

“Poet Slams TV, Movies, Radio.” The Daily Lariat 12 March 1952: 1. Web. 1 Dec. 2014

 

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Beyond the Brownings–John Ruskin (1819-1900)

Quote

NPG x13293; John Ruskin by Elliott & FryCourtesy of the Armstrong Browning Library

Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

John Ruskin, the leading art critic of the nineteenth century, was also an art patron,  a draughtsman, a watercolorist, a prominent social thinker, and a philanthropist. Modern Painters (1843), an extended essay that argued for “truth to nature,” won him widespread appeal. He supported the Pre-Raphaelites and championed social and political causes. Ruskin’s influence has become global, influencing artists, architects, writers, social planners, educators, politicians, and economists.

The Armstrong Browning Library holds seventeen letters written by John Ruskin and over one hundred books, some of them rare.

Ruskin-to-W.-M.-RossettiLetter from John Ruskin to Dante Gabriel Rossetti. [1855].

Ruskin tells Rossetti that he likes his picture and wants him to order the frame and

 Try any experiment you like on it thoroughly.

Ruskin-to-FudgeLetter from [John Ruskin] to [Fudge]. [1871].

David Fudge was the Ruskins’ coachman for nearly fifty years, often taking Mr. Ruskin to out of the way places and waiting while Ruskin went for walks or sketched scenes. In this heavily worn, fragment of a letter, Ruskin  assures his driver, Mr. David Fudge, that he should receive orders from Mrs. Severn just as he would from Mr. Ruskin and assures him that

 Neither she nor I will ever treat you with injustice….You can always appeal to me.

to-David-Rudge-1to-David-Rudge-2Letter from Joan R. Severn to David [Fudge]. [ca. 1898].

Mrs. Severn acknowledges the “pretty Christmas card” sent to her and to Mr. Ruskin and informs David that she has sent a “little Xmas box” to him.

Ruskins-Mornings-in-Florence-1Ruskins-Mornings-in-Florence-2Ruskins-Mornings-in-Florence-3 John Ruskin. Mornings in Florence: Being Simple Studies of Christian Art for English Travellers. Copyright ed. Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1907.

This volume was intended to be used as a travel guide for persons viewing the art in Florence. The text gives Ruskin’s notes relating to Santa Croce, The Golden Gate, Before the Soldan, The Vaulted Book, The Straight Gate, and the Shepherd’s Tower.

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Beyond the Brownings– J.M. (James Matthew) Barrie (1860-1937)

 NPG x228; J.M. Barrie by George Charles Beresford© National Portrait Gallery, London

 Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

J.M. Barrie, a Scottish author and dramatist, is best known today as the author of Peter Pan. The ABL owns two letters from Barrie and four books, including a copy of a book owned by Sarianna Browning, a biography of Barrie’s mother’s life, Margaret Ogilvy (1896). The library also owns a rare book entitled The New Amphion (1886).

Barrie-to-Thompson-1webBarrie-to-Thompson-2webBarrie-to-Thompson-3webLetter from Sir J. M. Barrie to [Theodora] Thompson. 13 May 1905.

This letter allows Miss Theodora Thompson to include J. M. Barrie’s quotations in her book, Underneath the Bough: A Posie of Other Men’s Writings ([1905]). Quotations from Barrie occur on pages 167, 181, 247, 250, and 277. The volume also contains quotations from Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning.

The-New-Amphion-1 The-New-Amphion-2The-New-Amphion-3The-New-Amphion-4Amphion-Barrie

University of Edinburgh. The New Amphion; Being the Book of the Edinburgh University Union Fancy Fair, in Which Are Contained Sundry artistick, Instructive, and Diverting Matters, All Now Made Publick for the First Time. Edinburgh: Imprinted at the University press by T. & A. Constable, 1886.

The New Amphion, which also contained an epistolary farce written by J. M. Barrie, entitled “The Scotch Student’s Dream,” also contained the first appearance of Robert Browning’s “Spring Song.” The New Amphion, an anthology contributed to by authors including Robert Browning, Andrew Lang, Margaret Oliphant, and Robert Louis Stevenson, was published as a student fundraising campaign at the University of Edinburgh. Proceeds from the sale helped to fund Teviot Row House, the oldest purpose-built student union in the world.

Barrie-Margaret-Ogilvy-1Barrie-Margaret-Ogilvy-2Barrie, J. M. Margaret Ogilvy. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1896.

This volume is a biographical account of his mother’s life. She was distraught by the death of her son, Barrie’s older brother, and was comforted by believing her dead son would remain a boy forever, never to grow up and leave her, which became the premise for Barrie’s Peter Pan. Sarianna Browning, Robert’s sister owned a copy of this book that is the same edition as this.

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Beyond the Brownings–George MacDonald (1824-1905)

MacDonald at ABLCourtesy of the Armstrong Browning Library

Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

George MacDonald, Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister, was a leading figure in the field of fantasy writing for children, influencing many other authors such including W. H. Auden, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Walter de la Mare, E. Nesbit, and Madeleine L’Engle. MacDonald is best-known for his fantasy novels,  Phantastes, The Princess and the Goblin, At the Back of the North Wind, and Lilith, and his fairy tales, “The Light Princess”, “The Golden Key”, and “The Wise Woman.” He mentored Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). Carroll was encouraged by the enthusiastic reception of the Alice stories by MacDonald’s eleven children.

The Armstrong Browning Library holds five letters written by George MacDonald, one manuscript, and over fifty books, eleven volumes from MacDonald’s personal library, three presentation volumes, and many first editions.

MacDonald-to-Paton-2-1webMacDonald-to-Paton-2-2webLetter from George MacDonald to Joseph Noel Paton. 31 December 1867.

MacDonald makes an appointment with Paton, assuring him of the importance of the meeting by saying

Let the 16th be as a law of Medes and Persians which altereth not. No lecture shall be permitted to intrude upon the consecrated hours.

MacDonald-to-Paton-1web MacDonald-to-Paton-2webLetter from George MacDonald to Joseph Noel Paton. [January 1868].

MacDonald consoles Paton at the loss of a friend, reminding him that his

 …friend was of more value than the sparrow that cannot fall to the ground without our Father. Macdonald-to-Rooker-1webMacdonald-to-Rooker-2webLetter from George MacDonald to John Rooker. 21 July 1895.

MacDonald makes an appointment with Rooker, reminding him that

We—that is the old ones of us—are too tired, by not of life, now to make what you call a long day of it. But we shall have time for something of a talk.

George-MacDonald-in-Whittier-Albumcroppedweb

George MacDonald. 29 October 1872. “The lightning & thunder. They go and they come;” In the Whittier Autograph Album.

This album, once the property of Elizabeth Whittier Pickard, niece of John Greenleaf Whittier, contains letters, autographs, and inscriptions from Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Julia Ward Howe, J.T. Fields, Phoebe Cary, U.S. Grant, Emily Faithfull, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry W. Longfellow, Daniel Webster, William Cullen Bryant, P.T. Barnum, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and others, and includes this inscription by George MacDonald  and an autograph by Louisa MacDonald. George MacDonald’s inscription is from a poem called “A Baby-Sermon,” published in The Poetical Works of George Macdonald. London: Chatto & Windus, 1893.

The lightning & thunder

         They go and they come;

But the stars and the stillness

         Are always at home.

 MacDonald-The-Vicar's-Daughter-1web MacDonald-The-Vicar's-Daughter-2webGeorge MacDonald. The Vicar’s Daughter. An Autobiographical Story. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1881.

 This presentation copy is inscribed by the author to his son-in-law.

MacDonald-A-Threefold-Cord-1webMacDonald-A-Threefold-Cord-2webMacDonald-A-Threefold-Cord-3webGeorge MacDonald. A Threefold Cord: Poems by Three Friends. London: Mr. W. Hughes, 1883.

This volume contains the author’s signature. The dedication to his son, Greville Matheson MacDonald, reads: “…I give this book,/ In which a friend’s and brother’s verses blend/ With mine.” The poems in the volume were written by George MacDonald, John MacDonald, and Greville Matheson.

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Beyond the Brownings–Prince Consort Albert, Consort of Victoria, Queen of Great Britain (1819-1861)

Quote

Prince of Wales ABLCourtesy of the Armstrong Browning Library

Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

Prince Consort Albert, consort of Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, married his first cousin at the age of twenty. They had nine children. He was eventually involved in many public causes and running the household, estate, and office of the Queen. He died early at the age of forty-two. The Queen mourned deeply for him the rest of her life, another thirty-nine years.

The Armstrong Browning Library owns a letter from Prince Albert to Lord Palmerston dated 28 June 1859, shortly after the Queen had asked Lord Palmerston to become Prime Minister of England.

Prince-Albert-to-Palmerston-1webPrince-Albert-to-Palmerston-2webLetter from Prince Consort Albert, consort of Victoria, Queen of Great Britain to Henry John Temple Palmerston, Viscount. 28 June 1859.

This letter discusses the Queen’s appointment of Sir William Dunbar as a Lord of the Treasury and the particulars surrounding his swearing in ceremony.

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Beyond the Brownings–Victoria, Queen of Great Britain (1819-1901)

NPG P1700(31a); Queen Victoria by Gunn & Stuart© National Portrait Gallery, London

Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, ruled the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death, a reign of sixty-three years and seven months, longer than that of any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history.

Victoria, the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, her German-born mother Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, came to the throne at the age of eighteen, after her father’s three elder brothers had all died, leaving no legitimate, surviving children. Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, her first cousin in 1840. They had nine children who all were married into royal and noble families across the continent.

The Armstrong Browning Library owns two letters from Queen Victoria. Both letters are addressed to Henrietta Montalba. Henrietta was a British sculptor. She studied at the Royal College of art with Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria. In 1882 Princess Louise painted Henrietta Montalba’s portrait. Montalba corresponded with Robert Browning, and the ABL owns seven letters from Robert Browning  to Henrietta Montalba. She also sculpted a bust of Browning in 1883.

Queen-Victoria-1-Sept-1886-1web Queen-Victoria-1-Sept-1886-2webQueen-Victoria-1-Sept-1886-3webQueen-Victoria-1-Sept-1886-4webLetter from Queen Victoria to Henrietta Montalba. 01 September 1886.

In this letter the Queen thanks Henrietta Montalba for the bust she has sculpted of Dr. Mezger, a memento of the time she spent in Amsterdam. Dr. Mezger was a Dutch physician who attended to the Queen’s health with a regimen of massage.

The intertwined letters of Victoria’s name embossed in gold on her stationery is particularly beautiful.

Queen-Victoria-1-Sept-1886-4-logo

Queen-Victoria-20-October-1886-1web

Queen-Victoria-20-October-1886-2web

Queen-Victoria-20-October-1886-3webQueen-Victoria-20-October-1886-4webLetter from Queen Victoria to Henrietta Montalba. 20 October 1886.

Queen Victoria sends Henrietta a photograph as a souvenir of their meeting at Gothenburg, Sweden.

Montalba-to-Queen-1webMontalba-to-Queen-2webMontalba-to-Queen-3web Letter from Henrietta Montalba to Queen Victoria. 28 October 1886.

The Armstrong Browning Library also owns a return letter from Henrietta Montalba to Queen Victoria, thanking her for

Your kind letter and most charming portrait which I have just received. It occupies no corner in my room, but a most prominent place where my eyes constantly fall on it.

 

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