Lustige Geschichten, or “Der Struwwelpeter”

A classic among children’s books, who hasn’t heard of or seen images of “Struwwelpeter” (or “Shockheaded Peter” as he’s called in English)? Peter refuses to wash, comb his hair or cut his nails and is therefore not the most popular of boys, the moral being of course that if you look after yourself, people will like you. Continue reading

Bookplates (4): Nathaniel Curzon 1st Baron Scarsdale

nc-bookplateThis week’s post about bookplates owes much to the research James Fishwick undertook when he was cataloguing the main library at Kedleston for the National Trust a few years ago. My own interest developed out of research into Kedleston’s library in its wider architectural context, as part of my MSc dissertation. Continue reading

At the sea side (Erddig)

 

Working at Sudbury’s Museum of Childhood has reminded me of other children’s literature I’ve come across over the years. One of the great features of country house libraries is the presence of books aimed at children that have survived the vigorous reading practices of the very young (not quite like the model child on the left, in other words). Continue reading

James Stephens’ Theme and Variations at Mount Stewart

Bird's eye view of Lady Londonderry's sitting room

Bird’s eye view of Lady Londonderry’s Sitting Room at Mount Stewart looking north. This room is part of a private suite which also included a Breakfast Room and Lord Londonderry’s sitting room.

 

 

A couple of months ago, I posted some images of a proof copy I found at Erddig. Recently at Mount Stewart (Northern Ireland), I found another one. This time, it was a gift from the poet and novelist James Stephens (1880-1950) to Edith, 7th Marchioness of Londonderry (1878-1959), whose collection I’d started to catalogue.

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Bookplates (3): William A. H. Bass, Bart. (1879-1952)

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In provenance research – the study of evidence of previous ownership of items – bookplates and other ex-libri can be a great resource. Taking into account that these plates could sometimes be recycled or added considerable time after a book had entered a collection, the identification of the individuals behind the bookplates can nevertheless be really rewarding. This is especially the case when plates turn up unexpectedly in unrelated collections or when we know for certain that the owner’s collection was dispersed. Continue reading

Tips for tricyclists (Erddig)

Front cover of Tips for tricyclists by Professor Hoffmann

Front cover of Professor Hoffmann’s Tips for tricyclists. In publisher’s pictorial paper boards.

 

With summer (kind of) upon us and the Tour de France starting in about a fortnight, this week’s post features a wonderful little book from Erddig.

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Bookplates (2): Charles Pinfold (1709-1788) and Calke Abbey Library

In provenance research – the study of evidence of previous ownership of items – bookplates and other ex-libri can be a great resource. Taking into account that these plates could sometimes be recycled or added considerable time after a book had entered a collection, the identification of the individuals behind the bookplates can nevertheless be really rewarding. This is especially the case when plates turn up unexpectedly in unrelated collections or when we know for certain that the owner’s collection was dispersed.

This week, the bookplate of Charles Pinfold, a governor of Barbados in the mid-eighteenth century, which I found in an edition of Suetonius’ works printed in Leeuwarden (Netherlands) in 1714-15. The two volumes were at Calke Abbey by the nineteenth-century, when a small die-sinker style shield bookplate was pasted underneath Pinfold’s armorial plate.

Title page of Suetonius' works (1714-15)

Title page of the 2-vol. works of Suetonius, printed in Leeuwarden (Friesland, The Netherlands). This image is from the copy held at Universidad Complutense de Madrid via Hathi Trust Digital Library.


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Wear & tear… (1)

old_booksA number of factors play a role in causing damage to books. From insects to UV-light, from dust to smoke, from handling or bad shelving, to simply suboptimal manufacturing processes. In this strand of posts, I’ll be sharing images of what this damage looks like.

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Unusual workspaces (1)

Lady Londonderry's Sitting Room, Mount Stewart. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Mystery library space? ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

No brownie points or cake for anyone guessing where this might be (sorry!), apart from it being my upcoming workplace for a few weeks… This is therefore also a segue into more regular blog posts, which I realise is something that has slipped off my radar rather dramatically over the past few months.

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