May 16, 2013 by Maggie Kopp
250 years ago today, a chance meeting in a London parlor introduced one of England’s greatest literary heavyweights to his biggest fan. On May 16, 1763, 22 year old James Boswell met the middle-aged author Samuel Johnson. Though Johnson famously snubbed young Boswell for his Scottish origins (Boswell: “Mr. Johnson, I do indeed come from Scotland, but I cannot help it.” Johnson: “That, Sir, I find, is what a very great many of your countrymen cannot help.”), the two became friends. Boswell later achieved literary fame as Johnson’s biographer. Boswell’s book Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1785) recounts his travels with Johnson in the highlands and western islands of Scotland in the 1773 and was published shortly after Johnson’s death. The work stands as a sort of prequel to Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson (1791), which has been hailed as one of the best biographies in the English language. Boswell based both books on his personal journal as well as secondary sources and Johnson’s own writings.
Special Collections has several early editions of works by both Boswell and Johnson, including a 2nd edition of The Life of Samuel Johnson and a first edition of Johnson’s dictionary!
April 19, 2013 by Maggie Kopp
A brief sampling of literary works by women authors that have recently been added to Special Collections’ holdings:
Victorian and Edwardian Literature
Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out, first British edition (Vault 823 W88vo 1915)
Elizabeth Gaskell, Sylvia’s Lovers (Victorian 823 G212sy 1863)
Amelia B. Edwards, My Brother’s Wife (Victorian 821 Ed955my 1855)
American Rare Literature
Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Redwood: A Tale (Rare PS 2798 .R4 1850) and Hope Leslie (Rare PS 2798 .H63 1827)
March 22, 2013 by Maggie Kopp
The Lee Library’s newest exhibit features poet William Wordsworth and his impact on American nature writing and environmentalism. Visit the Level 3 Gallery to see rare editions of authors like Wordsworth, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, and the father of America’s national parks, John Muir — all from L. Tom Perry Special Collections. The exhibit is open now through September 2013.
March 11, 2013 by Maggie Kopp
Here are some of the newest additions of critical works to the Rowe Collection of William Wordsworth. And check out the new LibGuide for the Rowe Collection at http://guides.lib.byu.edu/speccoll/wordsworth.
Rowan Boyson, Wordsworth and the Enlightenment Idea of Pleasure. Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Laura Dabundo, The Marriage of Faith: Christianity in Jane Austen and William Wordsworth. Mercer University Press, 2012.
Mary Jacobus, Romantic Things: A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud. University of Chicago Press, 2012.
Adam Potkay, Wordsworth’s Ethics. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.
February 19, 2013 by Maggie Kopp
Some new biographical works on Alcott and her family:
Eve LaPlante, Marmee and Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother. Free Press, 2012.
Lisa Stepanski, The Home Schooling of Louisa May Alcott. Edwin Mellen Press, 2011.
Some new literary works based on Alcott and her characters:
Gabrielle Donnelly, The Little Women Letters. Simon & Schuster, 2011.
Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Little Women and Me. Bloomsbury, 2011.
February 7, 2013 by Maggie Kopp
Part II: Anthony Hope
British author Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins (pseud. Anthony Hope) was born 150 years ago on February 9, 1863. A lawyer by trade, Hawkins began publishing short stories and novels in his late twenties. He is best known for the runaway bestseller The Prisoner of Zenda, published in April 1894. The novel, set in a fictional kingdom called Ruritania, is a tale of romance and political intrigue. When the heir to the Ruritanian throne is kidnapped, his identical cousin, a young Englishman, must impersonate the king until he can be rescued. The Prisoner of Zenda has been adapted for stage and screen numerous times, most famously by David O. Selznick in 1937.
Hawkins continued writing well into the 20th century. Though his popularity as a novelist declined, he was knighted in 1918 for his services to British propaganda efforts during the First World War. Another interesting fact about Hawkins: he was the cousin of Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows.
Special Collections has numerous items related to Hawkins and The Prisoner of Zenda, including a collection of Hawkins’ correspondence (call number: Vault MSS 226) and first editions of Hawkins’ novels (several signed or inscribed by the author).
January 23, 2013 by Maggie Kopp
Darcymania officially began to afflict readers two hundred years ago when an anonymous lady author published her second novel in January 1813. Since then, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has enchanted generations of readers, with a number of high-profile television and film adaptations winning over modern fans and introducing the novel to new devotees. Janeites’ zeal for Pride and Prejudice has also spawned multiple book sequels and series based on the Bennet and Darcy families over the last decade or so. But adaptations and continuations of Austen novels are not a purely contemporary phenomenon, as illustrated by this 1930′s dramatization of Pride and Prejudice for stage by A. A. Milne of Winnie-the-Pooh fame (Call number: Rare Book Collection PR 6025 .I65 M45 1936):
January 7, 2013 by Maggie Kopp
The Harold B. Lee Library has recently subscribed to a number of electronic resources related to 19th century American and British literature. Here is a short list, with links. These resources can also be found using the A to Z database finder on the library’s homepage.
- Queen Victoria’s Journals: scanned versions of the Queen’s surviving journals, from 1832 to 1901.
- The Lily: A Temperance and Feminist Newspaper, 1849-1856: America’s first newspaper for women, edited by Amelia Bloomer.
- Victorian Popular Culture: Scanned books, objects, and documents pertaining to Victorian and Edwardian popular entertainment, including optical entertainment, the theatre and music halls, circuses and sideshows, spiritualism, and magic.
December 7, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
Giving the gift of books this Christmas? You’re a part of a centuries-long tradition. Publishers have been marketing books especially for Christmas shopping and giving for centuries – anthologies of poetry and short stories were especially popular gift books in the 18th and 19th centuries. One of Special Collections’ earliest examples of a Christmas gift book is The Christmas Treat, printed in Dublin, Ireland in 1767. It is a compendium of poetic epigrams. The examples range from translations of pieces by Greek and Roman poets to excerpts from contemporary writers like Pope, Dryden, and Swift.
November 19, 2012 by Maggie Kopp
Planning your Thanksgiving feast? You might want to get inspiration for dishes from one of your favorite authors.
One of Special Collections’ newest acquisitions for the literary collections is Peter Brears’ Cooking and Dining with the Wordsworths (Rowe Collection TX 717 .B7289 2011), which shares recipes and menus used in William Wordsworth’s household. If English poets aren’t your style, you could also peruse the Louisa May Alcott Cookbook (Alcott Collection TX 715.A5663 1985). Alcott and her novels have inspired a number of cookery books, including ones inspired by Little Women and a collection of recipes and home remedies compiled by Louisa’s mother, Abba.
Just search the library catalog for the subjects “cooking” or “cookbooks.” Special Collections owns a wealth of themed cookbooks, all relating to different collecting areas: Utah and Mormonism, the Victorian era, and even Yellowstone Park!