Category Archives: AD

Newly Discovered Association Copies

Curatorial intern Brian Flota has been searching the Library’s modern British literature holdings in order to track down items from the Tom Turner collection of British literature, purchased by Gordon Ray in the 1950s. In the process, Brian discovered many previously unknown association copies and a number of fine press poetry chapbooks. In this post, he picks ten of the items to share with the readers of Non Solus.

(1) Stanley J. Weyman. The Great House. London: John Murray, 1919. (823 W54gr 1919)

Stanley Weyman (1855-1928) is best known for his French historical romances, which were compared to Alexandre Dumas at the time of their publication. This late novel, The Great House, is about the anti-corn law movement. The library’s copy features an inscription from Weyman to Leonard Huxley (1860-1933), thanking him for his “kindly encouragement and oversight.” Leonard Huxley was the editor of the Cornhill Magazine, in which this work was originally serialized. He was also the father of the great English novelist Aldous Huxley (1894-1963).

(2) Ouida. “Held in Bondage,” or, Granville de Vigne: A Tale of the Day. London: Tinsley, Brothers, 1863. (823 D374he)

Ouida was the nom de plume of Maria Louise Ramé (1839-1908), a prolific English writer known primarily for her popular adventures and historical novels. Held in Bondage was her first novel, published in three volumes. The Library’s copy includes a four-page letter, handwritten and signed by Ouida, tipped-in the first volume. Ouida lived a tempestuous life filled with extravagances paid for by her best-selling novels, but died in poverty in Italy, surrounded by the many stray dogs she had adopted.

(3) Caroline Sheridan Norton. The Dream and Other Poems. London: Henry Colburn, 1840. (821 N82d)

The Dream was the sixth book of poetry published by Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton (1808-1877). A woman of high society, her life, especially during the time of the publication of The Dream, was fraught with public scandal. On the front fly-leaf of the Library’s copy, Norton has inscribed what appears to be an original, twenty-line poem, beginning, “The God that gave, reclaimed his gift; –.”

(4) Israel Zangwill. The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes. London: William Heinemann, 1903. (823 Z1gr)

Israel Zangwill (1864-1926) was a notable Jewish writer from England and an important member of the Zionist movement. Zangwill is most remembered today for his 1908 play The Melting Pot, which served to popularize the term and concept. Our copy of his earlier collection of short stories, The Grey Wig, features an inscription to “Mrs. Chaplin,” a relative of his wife, Edith Ayrton Zangwill. Edith Ayrton’s mother, Matilda Charlotte Chaplin Ayrton (1846-1883), was a member of the “Edinburgh Seven” – a group of women who fought unsuccessfully to earn medical degrees from Edinburgh University in the early 1870s.

(5) M.P. Shiel. The Yellow Danger. London: Grant Richards, 1900. (823 Sh59y 1900)

M.P. Shiel (1865-1947), the English popular adventure and science fiction novelist, first published The Yellow Danger in 1898. This xenophobic novel of racial conflict was apparently an influence on Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu character. The library’s copy is inscribed by Shiel on the title page. Shiel’s popularity has waned greatly since his death, but his post-apocalyptic novel The Purple Cloud (1901) was recently republished by the University of Nebraska Press in their “Bison Frontiers of Imagination” series.

(6) Four Grant Richards Items:

Grant Richards. Caviare. London: Grant Richards, 1912. (823 R392c)

Grant Richards. Valentine. London: Grant Richards, 1913. (823 R392v)

Grant Richards. Bittersweet. London: Grant Richards, 1915. (823 R392b)

William Watson. Lachrymae Musarum and Other Poems. London: Macmillan, 1892. (821 W33ℓ)

Grant Richards (1872-1948) was one of England’s most prominent publishers in the early 20th Century. As a publisher, he is perhaps most famous for publishing, after a decade-long delay, James Joyce’s first short story collection, Dubliners (1914). Richards was also a novelist. The library has three of his novels inscribed in a miniscule hand to journalist and bibliophile Holbrook Jackson (1874-1948). And the library also owns a book inscribed to Grant Richards: a slim hardbound volume of poetry by William Watson (1858-1935) that is inscribed to Richards from “his sincere friend.” If you are interested in Grant Richards’s writings or in his work as a publisher, the Rare Book & Manuscript Library holds a collection of his correspondence, literary manuscripts, and business papers. Additional collections of Grant Richards materials are housed at Georgetown University, the Library of Congress, the National Library of Ireland, and Princeton University.

(7) Edgar Jepson. The Passion for Romance. London: H. Henry & Co., 1896. (823 J46pa)

Edgar Jepson (1863-1938) inscribed this copy of The Passion for Romance to his sometime literary collaborator John Gawsworth (1912-1970), later known in his own right as a poet and a publisher. Gawsworth was also M.P. Shiel’s bibliographer and literary executor. In the inscription in the Library’s copy, Jepson provides some advice for Gawsworth: “Patience: and shuffle the cards.”

(8) Captain J.A. Kemble. Creeds: A World-Embracing Poem. [Calcutta, India: s.n., 1909?]. (821 K232c)

Not much is known about J.A. Keble, but this copy of his poem Creeds is an interesting artifact of Great Britain’s colonization of India. The poem is inscribed to one “General Edward Hastings Ripley” from Capt. Keble’s station in Darjeeling. A publisher’s advertisement affixed to the verso of the author’s portrait notes he is also the author of Darjeeling Ditties and Other Poems.

(9) Thom Gunn. The Garden of the Gods. Cambridge, Mass.: Pym-Randall Press, 1968. (821 G956ga)

Thom Gunn (1929-2004) was part of the British school of writers that produced Philip Larkin, Kingsley Amis, and Ted Hughes. Interestingly, he relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1954 and was present for the emergence of the Beat Movement there. This chapbook of his poem “The Garden of the Gods” is signed and numbered by the author.

(10) Thomas Adolphus Trollope. A Peep Behind the Scenes at Rome. London: Chatto and Windus, 1877. (823 T746p)

Unlike the other items discussed in the post, A Peep Behind the Scenes at Rome is not signed by its author, who in this case happens to be Thomas Adolphus Trollope (1810-1892). Thomas Adolphus Trollope was a noted travel writer and older brother to the Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope. What makes the copy noteworthy is Anthony Trollope’s armorial bookplate on the front paste-down. This copy was subsequently passed down to Anthony’s granddaughter, Muriel Trollope. The Rare Book & Manuscript Library holds a small collection of the letters, journals, unpublished literary works of Anthony Trollope and other members of the Trollope family, including some of Thomas Adolphus Trollope’s letters and journals. BF, AD


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Poem in Sir John Franklin’s Narrative Identified

Martyn Beardsley, author of Deadly Winter: The Life of Sir John Franklin, has brought to my attention that the poem written in the University of Illinois’s copy of Franklin’s Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea is in fact by Franklin’s first wife, Eleanor Porden.  In his research, Beardsley examined unpublished letters from Porden and Franklin in the Derbyshire Public Record Office.  This poem, originally appearing in a December 1822 letter to Franklin, was written by Porden in response to Franklin’s letters to her about the difficulty of writing his Narrative (Beardsley 101).  Beardsley includes this poem and several others by Eleanor Porden in an appendix to his Franklin biography.

Eleanor Porden (1795-1825) was a published poet.  Her collection of poetry, The Veil; or the Triumph of Constancy, was published to some praise in 1815.  Coeur de Lion, or, The Third Crusade followed in 1822.  She and Franklin were married on 6 August 1823.  Eleanor tragically died of tuberculosis in 1825 while Franklin was away on his second overland expedition to the Canadian Arctic.

Franklin’s second wife, Lady Jane Franklin (1792-1875), is well known for her exhaustive efforts in the search for Sir John Franklin’s expedition and is certainly the most famous wife of an Arctic explorer.  Because of Eleanor’s early death and Lady Jane Franklin’s fame, Eleanor Porden is relatively forgotten today.  A single biography by a family member, Edith Mary Gell, was published in 1930.  Eleanor was an interesting and complex woman whose life and achievements deserve to be explored in greater depth today.

As mentioned in the previous post, the University of Illinois copy is inscribed by John Franklin to John Richardson’s first wife, Mary Stiven (1795-1831).  This may provide some clue as to why Eleanor’s poem is written in the book.  Perhaps Eleanor Porden had some hand in John Franklin’s presentation of the book to Mary Richardson.  A presentation copy involving the wives of two of the most renowned nineteenth-century Arctic explorers is certainly something of interest to Arctic historians.  Although the poem does not provide direct autobiographical insight into John Franklin’s character, it certainly does tell us more about his mindset upon his return to England, his attitude toward writing, and his relationship with his first wife.

Thanks again to Martyn Beardsley for his help in identifying this poem. AD

Further Reading on Eleanor Porden and Sir John Franklin:

Beardsley, Martin. Deadly Winter: The Life of Sir John Franklin. London: Chatham Publishing, 2002.

Gell, E.M. John Franklin’s Wife, Eleanor Anne Porden. London: John Murray, 1930.

Sutherland, Kathryn. ‘Porden , Eleanor Anne (1795–1825)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [, accessed 18 May 2012]

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Unpublished Poem by Sir John Franklin on the Difficulties of Writing (Q. 919.8 F85n)

John Franklin. Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea, in the Years 1819, 20, 21, and 22. London: John Murray, 1823.

In 1966, the University of Illinois purchased a significant group of manuscripts and books from the personal collection of Sir John Richardson (1787-1855).  Richardson was a naturalist and surgeon who accompanied Sir John Franklin on his overland Arctic expeditions of 1819-22 and 1825-27.  When it became apparent that something had gone wrong with Franklin’s final Arctic voyage, Richardson and John Rae led an unsuccessful search expedition in 1848-49.  The Rare Book & Manuscript Library holds the manuscript account book of this expedition (Post-1650 MS 51)

One book that was acquired from Richardson’s library is a presentation copy of Franklin’s account of his first Arctic expedition.  This presentation copy is inscribed by Franklin to Mrs. Richardson on the half-title page.  Additionally, there is an added frontispiece, consisting of an engraving entitled: “Capt[ai]n Franklin, R.N., F.R.S., commander of the Land Arctic Expedition with Fort Enterprise in the background,” which was drawn by G.B. Lewis, engraved by F.C. Lewis, and published for G. Lewis, by Hurst & Robinson on 1 January 1824.  This engraving is also signed by John Franklin and dated 23 January 1824.

Both of these aspects of the book make it an interesting and important association copy, but there is a further feature which makes it a significant document in the history of Arctic exploration.  In a single sentence of a 1969 bibliography of Sir John Richardson’s printed works that appeared in The Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History, Richardson’s biographer and University of Illinois physiology professor Robert Eugene Johnson briefly mentions a poem written by Franklin in this book.  This poem, which appears to be otherwise unrecorded and unpublished, consists of 10 stanzas of humorous verse that describe Franklin’s difficulty in writing and fear of critics.  Although certainly no work of poetic genius, the poem serves to add depth to the character of Sir John Franklin.










This book and other highlights from the Rare Book & Manuscript Library’s collections will be displayed in April 2013, when an exhibition on polar exploration will be held to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the Crocker Land Expedition (1913-17), an Arctic expedition sponsored in part by the University of Illinois.  Until then, here are photographs of the book and a transcription of the poem. My thanks to Richard Noble for his help with the transcription. AD

Heiy ho! alack and well a day!

Was ever wight like me distressed

What shall I write? What can I say

Will this or that way read the best?


Oh! that my foe a book had written

So spake the wisest of mankind

Alas! his curse my head has smitten

And write I must tho ill enclined.


I’ve faced the battle o’er and o’er

From steel or fire I did not shrink

Not ocean in its wildest roar,

Could fright me like that drop of ink


A field of snow’s but one blank page

Bears, Icebergs, Buffaloes together

I’d rather all their might engage

Than touch that one poor Goose’s feather


I’m in the tread-mill all the day

No rest is mine and in my dreams

Gaunt imps of darkness round me play

With ghastly papers filed in reams


And there oh! there such lines are traced

Like flints in chalk! uncounted strata!

And last one long dire list, prefaced

With that tremendous word “errata”.


Bright Phoebus now thy help bestow

Tho fear from thine my course has laid

Where faint and wan thy summers glow

Where winter frowns in endless shade


Give me thy smile for once, but how

There wayward power ‘tis worse and worse

I ask thee but for prose but now

My thoughts are jingling into verse


My mind unwanted numbers haunt

I’m clean bewitched! I’m in a flurry

Avaunt! ye crew of rhymes avaunt

Why what will Barrow say or Murray


Oh! God of scribblers guide my course

Assist me (tho the phrase be evil)

To turn my offspring out of doors

And give it fairly to the Devil.

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“Among my various possessions in old books there is none which I more proudly write my name”: Gilbert R. Redgrave’s copy of Petrus Comestor’s Historia scholastica (Incunabula F. 220 P44h 1473)

Petrus Comestor. Historia scholastica. Augsburg: Günther Zainer, 1473.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library’s copy of Petrus Comester’s Historia scholastica (1473) is one of several books the Library owns from the private collection of Gilbert R. Redgrave.  Gilbert Richard Redgrave (1844-1941) is known primarily to the book world as the editor, with A.W. Pollard, of A Short Title Catalogue of English Books, 1475-1640, also referred to as the STC. However, Redgrave was a man with many varied interests and talents.  As the son of painter Richard Redgrave, Gilbert was also interested in art and published several monographs on the subject.  He was an architect as well as an engineer and published a well-regarded technical study of cement. Redgrave served as an important administrator in the technical education system in Great Britain for many years.  For a more detailed account of Redgrave’s life and achievements see his obituary in The Times of 17 June 1941, p.9.

It was common for Redgrave to write long, learned bibliographical notes on the front fly-leaves of books in his library and this book is no exception.  In his note, Redgrave calls attention to this copy’s excellent state of preservation and the craftsmanship of its printer, Günther Zainer. Redgrave remarks that, “among my various possessions in old books there is none which I more proudly write my name.” Below is a full transcription of his note:

This magnificent work by Günther Zainer of Reuthingen, who was the first printer at Augsburg, and worked there as early as 1468, has, I think, scarcely received its due share of attention at the hands of book-lovers. It would seem from Panzer to have been the third work printed in Germany in Roman type*. Zainer having produced the 1st and 2nd works in the previous year (1472) to the publication of the present volume.

This work is in matchless condition, absolutely perfect, and in the matter both of typography and choice of paper would be hard to rival at the present day.  It is, I think the first work of the German press with wood-cut capitals throughout. The larger capitals are very fair (see particularly the S on the reverse of p XXX which has escaped the attention of the illuminator).

It is a very early example of a book paged throughout with Roman numerals on both sides of the pages.

Panzer makes no mention of the two blanks at the end of the volume and is in error as to the number of pages (he says 224) but he is corrected by Brunet (220). This copy has 222 ff.

There was an edition in 1472 of the New Testament portion of this work at Utrecht by N. Ketelaer and G. de Leempt, the earliest work with a date from that press, but this would appear to be the 1st edition of Comestor’s History. The work was often reprinted before the close of the XV century and it was alas translated into French as a “bible”!

Among my various possessions in old books there is none which I more proudly write my name, Anno Domini 1886.

Gilbert R. Redgrave


*Nb – The fourth. See Hain *107.

But for a few trifling worm-holes, this work is as perfect as the day it was printed 413 years ago. G.R.R.

On the verso of the last blank folio is a statement that it was to be given, after the owner’s death, to a “Library”? This paraphrase of the Holy Scriptures by Peter the Glutton, was widely regarded in the Dark Ages as the actual bible. G.R.

I think the interlacing I on fol. I is printed from a block.

Redgrave also pasted in a notice he wrote about the book for The British Bookmaker, October 1890, p. 8:

Following in the footsteps of Schoeffer, and taking for his models the usual types of illuminated capitals, came Günther Zainer of Reutlingen, who was the earliest printer of Augsburg, where he set up his press in 1468. He used at first a very beautiful and large gothic type, somewhat resembling that of Gutenberg, but as early as 1472 he supplied himself with Roman characters and printed two works by Isidorus, which are stated by Panzer to be the first books printed in Germany in Roman type. In the following year he issued a complete edition of Comestor’s “Historia Scholastica,” a sort of paraphrase of the bible, and this work is enriched with some hundreds of woodcut, or, as some have thought soft metal, initial letters, evidently intended to be hand-coloured. The initials are in two different sizes, the larger ones, at the beginning of each book, are eight lines in depth, and the smaller ones are three lines deep. There are many different varieties of each letter, and even the large capitals, of which there are twenty-one, are all different. We have reproduced one of these initials, the S on the verso of page 30, which, in our copy of the History, has escaped the notice of the illuminator. It will serve to show how entirely the designer has been guided by the work of the missal-painter, whose art his outlines are intended only to supplement.

The initial “S” mentioned in this notice is reproduced below, as well as Redgrave’s distinctive bookplate from the front paste-down, and the book’s first leaf, showing the distinct woodcut “I”. AD


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A copy of Rolevinck’s Fasciculus Temporum from the Pillone Library (Incunabula Q. 902 R64f 1484)

Rolevinck, Werner. Fasciculus temporum omnes antiquorum chronicas complectens incipit feliciter. Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 28 May 1484.

This copy of Rolevinck’s Fasciculus temporum is one of 172 volumes with fore-edge paintings originating from the Pillone Library. The Pillone Library was started in Renaissance Italy by Antonio Pillone (d. 1533) and was added to by his descendants throughout the sixteenth century.  The library survived complete in its original location near Belluno, Italy well into the nineteenth century, when it was sold to Paolo Maresio Bazolle, a Venetian antiques dealer, in 1874.  The English book collector and antiquarian Sir Thomas Brooke (1830-1908) purchased all the Pillone Library books that featured fore-edge paintings. Brooke’s descendant sold the books to the Paris dealer Pierre Berès (1913-2008) in 1957.  Berès subsequently issued a catalog of the 168 Pillone Library books still extant and then the books were sold and further dispersed. This copy was sold to the University of Illinois Rare Book & Manuscript Library by the Los Angeles firm of Zeitlin & Ver Brugge in 1966.  17 volumes of Pillone Library books were recently offered for sale at Christie’s in Summer 2011. Only a single volume met the reserve price and was sold.

The fore-edge paintings of the Pillone Library were executed by Cesare Vecellio (1521-1601), a cousin of Titian and a member of his workshop. These paintings often depict some aspect of the work on which they appear.  The Illinois copy of the Fasciculus temporum has a fore-edge painting depicting Adam and three richly-dressed men.  Rolevinck’s work is a history of the world from Creation to the fifteenth century and so the painting may be seen as representing man from Adam to the present day.


The contemporary binding is also representative of other Pillone Library copies. It is quarter leather over exposed wooden boards and has three clasps: one at each edge of the book.  The book also retains the vellum wrapper, which now serves as an endpaper to the bound book; this feature is typical of the Pillone Library. AD


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Heber Copy of Plato’s Works (Incunabula Q. 881 P5.Lf 1491)

Plato. Works. Translated into Latin and edited by Marsilio Ficino. Venice: Bernardo de’ Chori and Simone da Luere for Andreas Torresanus de Asula, 1491.

This 1491 edition of Plato’s works was translated and edited by Marsilio Ficino and published in Venice.  The book has an interesting provenance and contains beautiful hand decoration.  Two identifiable modern owners of the volume were the English book collector Richard Heber and the American government official Joseph C. G. Kennedy.   Two early owners remain unidentified.  We are looking for help from anyone who can identify the intricate coat of arms of an early owner at the foot of the fifth leaf recto, as well as the institution referred to as “Con[ven]tus S[an]cti Dominici Casilensis” in inscriptions on the first and fifth leaves.

 Richard Heber (1774-1833) is one of the greatest book collectors of the nineteenth century and indeed, of all time.  He was a classical scholar and studied at Brasenose College, Oxford.  Heber later served as the MP for Oxford University from 1821-25.  Heber’s library was immense and is estimated to have contained upwards of 150,000 printed volumes housed in at least eight locations at the time of his death.  For more information on Richard Heber, see Arthur Sherbo’s biography (Arthur Sherbo, ‘Heber, Richard (1774–1833)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2005 [, accessed 23 Sept 2011])

Joseph Camp Griffith Kennedy (1813-1887) redesigned and oversaw the U.S. Census in 1850 and 1860.  He rose to prominence as a political figure in Pennsylvania and later lived and worked in Washington DC, where he was fatally stabbed over a business dispute on July 13, 1887. Kennedy’s interest in book collecting is unknown, but his inscription in this volume indicates he purchased it in 1855.

If anyone recognizes the coat of arms which adorns the foot of the fifth leaf recto or has more information about the institution referred to in an ownership inscription as the “Con[ven]tus S[an]cti Dominici Casilensis,” please leave a comment using the icon which appears at the bottom of this entry.  Your help is appreciated! AD


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Roxburghe Copy of the Comedies of Aristophanes (Incunabula Q. 881 A7 1498)

Aristophanous Kōmōdiai ennea = Aristophanis Comoediae novem. Venetiis: Apud Aldum, MIID Idibus Quintillis [1498]

This is the editio princeps, or first printed edition, of the Greek text of Aristophanes’ comedies. The work includes nine comedies, but not Lysistrata and Thesmophoriazusae, the texts of which were yet to be discovered.  It was printed in 1498 by Aldus Manutius (1449-1515). This noted Italian humanist and printer was also responsible for the first printings of the Greek writers Aristotle (1495-8), Euripides (1503), Pindar (1513), Plato (1513), and Lycophron (1513). Aldus was later known for his small-format editions of the classics, but this copy of Aristophanes is a folio.  This volume of Aristophanes is edited by Marcus Musurus (c.1470-1517), a Greek scholar who was born in Crete and an important figure in the production of the Aldine editions of several Greek classics.

This copy is notable for its nineteenth-century red morocco binding with gilt-stamped arms of the book collector John Ker, third duke of Roxburghe (1740-1804). Ker had a library of 30,000 volumes, of which approximately 120 were incunabula. His collection was sold at three auctions – the first in London on 18 May 1812 and lasting 42 days, the second also in London on 13 July 1812 and lasting four days, and the third in Kelso on 16 September 1813. He is the namesake of the famous Roxburghe Club, an exclusive bibliographical society formed in 1812. For more information, see ‘Ker, John, third duke of Roxburghe (1740-1804)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 []

The library’s copy also contains a nineteenth-century gift inscription on front fly-leaf: “Glynn Earle Welby from his coz: Sir Mountague Cholmeley Bar[one]t 1824.” AD

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