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Friday, March 06, 2015

Missouri Compromise

For the past five years we have been remembering the 100th anniversary of the Civil War (check out Today in The Civil War to enjoy our holdings), but today marks the 195th anniversary of an important milestone in the long-term lead up to the war: the Missouri Compromise. On March 6, 1820, James Monroe signed bills agreeing to Maine's admission to the Union as a free state and Missouri as a slave state and establishing 36' 30 as the demarcation line between free and slave areas in the Louisiana Territory.

The Missouri Compromise was a critical attempt to resolve questions about the expansion of slavery, the balance of power between free and slave states, and the ability of the federal government to make laws concerning slavery.  With such contentious issues on the table, many were not satisfied with the outcome. Thomas Jefferson, who held that slavery was a question best reserved to the states, famously wrote that:

[T]his momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union. it is hushed indeed for the moment. but this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence. a geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and political, once concieved and held up to the angry passions of men, will never be obliterated; and every new irritation will mark it deeper and deeper.

Thomas Jefferson to John Holmes, April 22, 1820. Thomas Jefferson papers. Library of Congress.

If Jefferson represented a southern opinion, the Rosenbach has a document that speaks to northern concerns. Rufus King, who had been a member of the Constitutional Convention and was then a senator for New York, was a leader of northern anti-slavery opposition to the compromise. He believed that Congress could not only regulate slavery, but also that it should restrict it completely from the territories. The Rosenbach's collection includes a letter from the lawyer, diplomat, and Supreme Court reporter Henry Wheaton to his friend in New York politics, approving of King's efforts as the bills were debated.

Henry Wheaton to Gulian Verplanck. 16 February 1820.AMs  781/23. The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Mr. King made a noble speech in the Senate this morning upon the Missouri question.  The rudeness with which he his courageous avowal of the principle of the natural right of man to freedom was encountered in the Senate by those whose support of the diffusion of slavery, has gained friends to the cause of restriction.

Although many were dissatisfied, the Missouri Compromise, crafted by Henry Clay and enacted 195 years ago today, managed to hold the country together for thirty years. But, in the end, Jefferson's claim that it was only a reprieve proved true. The compromise fell apart in the tumultuous 1850s and opposition to its successor bill, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which provided for popular sovereignty, would be vehement and bloody and would provide a rallying cry for the new Republican party.

Kathy Haas is the Associate Curator at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia and the primary poster at the Rosen-blog.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Happy Year of the Sheep

In honor of the year of the sheep (a.k.a. the year of the goat), which began last week (February 19), we bring you G. Martin's Natural History Cards from the 1820s.

Natural History Cards. Beasts. London, G. Martin, [ca. 1825]. EL3 .A1n 825a. Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Natural History Cards. Beasts. London, G. Martin, [ca. 1825]. EL3 .A1n 825a. Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
We have two different sets of the Martin cards: beasts and birds (of which we have two copies with slightly different envelopes). The images for both are copper-plate engravings, which as their envelope states, are "beautifully coloured."

Natural History Cards. Beasts. London, G. Martin, [ca. 1825]. EL3 .A1n 825a. Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Natural History Cards. Birds. London, G. Martin, [ca. 1825]. EL3 .A1n 825b. Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
One of the Martin sets explains that the cards are for the instruction and entertainment of youth. They are as much moral lesson as natural history; each card contains four lines describing the character and behavior of the animal, followed by an explicit two line moral. Such kinds of educational toys had come into fashion in the late 18th and early 19th century; these particular cards are the same as those marketed by W. Tringham as far back as 1780. By 1814, Sir Walter Scott complained in the first Waverly novel that:

[A]n age in which children are taught the driest doctrines by the insinuating method of instructive games, has little reason to dread the consequences of study being rendered too serious or severe. The history of England is now reduced to a game at cards, the problems of mathematics to puzzles and riddles, and the doctrines of arithmetic may, we are assured, be sufficiently acquired by spending a few hours a-week at a new and complicated edition of the Royal Game of the Goose. There wants but one step further, and the Creed and Ten Commandments may be taught in the same manner, without the necessity of the grave face, deliberate tone of recital, and devout attention hitherto exacted from the well-governed childhood of this realm. It may, in the mean time, be subject of serious consideration, whether those who are accustomed only to acquire instruction through the medium of amusement, may not be brought to reject that which approaches under the aspect of study; whether those who learn history by the cards, may not be led to prefer the means to the end; and whether, were we to teach religion in the way of sport, our pupils might not thereby be gradually induced to make sport of their religion.

Despite Scott's (and other's) concerns, instructional games in general and natural history cards in particular remained popular throughout the 19th century. An 1856 Sunday School Union publication advertised Natural History Cards "for infant-schools" at a price of 20 cents for eight cards, and in 1900 a newspaper from New Zealand advertised a set of "Holloway's Natural History cards" which both promoted Holloway's medicines and taught about birds and animals.

Youth's Penny Gazette. August 27, 1857. Google Books.

Tuapeka Times, 21 March 1900, Page 2. PapersPast

Going back to the Natural History Cards published by G. Martin, I will close with a few of my favorites from the birds and beasts sets:

Natural History Cards. Beasts. London, G. Martin, [ca. 1825]. EL3 .A1n 825a. Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Natural History Cards. Birds. London, G. Martin, [ca. 1825]. EL3 .A1n 825b. Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Natural History Cards. Beasts. London, G. Martin, [ca. 1825]. EL3 .A1n 825a. Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Natural History Cards. Beasts. London, G. Martin, [ca. 1825]. EL3 .A1n 825a. Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Natural History Cards. Birds. London, G. Martin, [ca. 1825]. EL3 .A1n 825b. Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Natural History Cards. Beasts. London, G. Martin, [ca. 1825]. EL3 .A1n 825a. Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Kathy Haas is the Associate Curator at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia and the primary poster at the Rosen-blog.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Feels Like This Today

William Ward after James Ward. Winter. London, 1795. 2005.108. The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia

It's warmed up to a balmy 11 degrees here in Philadelphia, but 14 mph winds are giving us a wind chill of -4, so I can sympathize with the girl in this print. She definitely seems underdressed, even for a mild British winter--where are her gloves?

This print was engraved by William Ward after a painting by his younger brother, James Ward. It was published on February 15, 1795, when James was 25 years old. He had already been appointed engraver to the Prince of Wales (in 1794) but his career was just beginning. He would eventually become known for his pictures of animals; in 1811 his contemporaries considered him “the first of English animal painters now living.”

"Winter" is a mezzotint, a type of print that tries to replicate the tonal qualities of paintings through the use of  tiny dots. The dots are created by rocking a spiked tool called a "rocker" over the surface of the engraving plate. Mezzotints are about tone rather than line and have a soft, rich quality about them. This particular mezzotint is part of a set; it had a companion "Summer" image of a girl in a low-cut blouse holding a basket of flowers.

If the winter weather outside makes you want to stay inside, you can always curl up with a good book. The author of Wilde in America is coming to speak here on March 11, so if you haven't read that you might enjoy it. Or, of course, Oscar Wilde's own novel The Picture of Dorian Grey (then you can come see the original printing in our exhibition). Or, if you need a more physical challenge, check out this video from Seattle Public Library of the world record book domino chain (no we do not do this withe our rare books at the Rosenbach). Maybe you could do them one better.

Have fun and stay warm!

Kathy Haas is the Associate Curator at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia and the primary poster at the Rosen-blog.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Eat Your Vitamins

The first Italian edition of Gerrit de Veer's diary of his arctic voyages (Tre Navigationi Fatte Dagli Olandesi e Zelandesi... Venice: Printed by Giovanni Battista Ciotti, 1599.  A 599t). 

 With a -2 degree windchill today seems like an appropriate day to consider a book about the arctic.  You may have heard of the Northwest Passage, the theoretical sea-route across arctic Canada and Alaska that many explorers sought over the centuries (and the remains of one of their ships has been in the news fairly recently).  Well, there's also a Northeast Passage across northern Siberia by which you could travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific, though it's not for the faint of heart.  The Dutch navigator Willem Barentsz attempted to find the passage on three voyages from 1594-7, and he died at sea during the last of these.  Fortunately, an officer on two of these expeditions, Gerrit de Veer, kept a journal (no doubt with frostbitten fingers), which was published upon his return to Amsterdam.  Ours is an Italian version from 1599 but an English edition was published in 1609. 

Barentsz's mission wasn't the first--and wouldn't be the last--arctic expedition to suffer major setbacks.  Sea ice was a constant threat, even in the summer, and polar bears could be dangerous.  De Veer chronicled several run-ins with the large predators, none of which ended well for the bears.  During the group's third voyage in 1597, their ship reached the large island of Novaya Zemlya ("Nova Zembla" as they called it) but became trapped by ice.  Using wood from the ship, the crew constructed a lodge and used it to survive on the frozen tundra for 10 months before finally being able to take to the sea again.  After using up whatever provisions were on board the ship they took to trapping arctic foxes for food.  At one point, having shot a polar bear with their muskets, they used its blubber to light their lamps, and at another point they ate a bear's liver.  Since the liver of arctic mammals is exceedingly high in vitamin A, and polar bears eat lots of seals, de Veer ended up recording the first written instance of hypervitaminosis A: he and his crew experienced headaches and nausea, bone pain, and eventually widespread peeling of their skin.  The symptoms didn't linger too long but were a complication the stranded and freezing Dutchmen could have done without.  


The dangers of ice, hypothermia, and bears aside, de Veer did record observations on some wondrous people and phenomena encountered in the arctic.  On Barentsz's second voyage they met groups of Nenets, one of the indigenous peoples of Northern Russia (called "Samiuti" here, derived from the now outdated term "Samoyeds"), with whom they had good relations.  De Veer described their reindeer fur clothing and weapons in detail and the Dutchmen shared some of their ship's biscuit with the Nenets chief. 

 De Veer also recorded an atmospheric phenomenon now known as the Novaya Zemlya effect, a kind of mirage in which a sun that is actually below the horizon and shouldn't be visible has its rays reflected like a mirror by a thermal inversion (warm air on top of cold air).  What de Veer observed was a weirdly distorted sun, flattened out like a pancake and repeated, which the engraver of the volume in our collection rendered in this fanciful image of a dual-sun with a suggestion of rays emanating from the sides.  How's that for finding a silver lining on a frigid day? 

Patrick Rodgers is a curator at the Rosenbach Museum & Library. 

Friday, February 06, 2015

Do You Have Your Valentines Ready?

Valentine's Day is only about a week away, and if you are stuck for inspiration, the Rosenbach has your solution! We are running our popular "Love Letters" hands-on tour on Friday 2/13 and Saturday 2/14 so you can get up close and personal with some fabulous sentiments. Or for some less exalted (but quite amusing) Valentine's Day ideas you can turn to a "valentine writer." This genre of chapbooks was popular from the late 18th century until the middle of the 19th century and provided pre-fab verses suitable for a variety of situations. We have a couple of these in our collection; my favorite is a ca. 1820 British example called The School of Love.

The School of Love. London, ca. 1820. El3 .A1sc The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia

For the low price of  sixpence The School of Love, like many other valentine writers, offered verses suitable for different occupations; listed on the cover are trades and professions ranging from linen-draper to fish-monger to pastry cook. To give you a sense of the contents, I'll start with one described as "from a bookseller," which would be equally applicable coming from any lover of books.

From a bookseller

In vain I read what sages teach
Philosophy I cannot reach;
To read your charms is my delight,
An index of your mind so bright;
Consent to bind your fate with mine,
And I am blest, sweet valentine

Some of the verses have responses to go with them, such as this exchange between a blacksmith and his beloved:

From a blacksmith
Tho' mine is but a noisy trade,
I am a quiet man, sweet maid;
Never prone to make a strife,
But fond of a domestic life.
At the forge I labour hard,
And money, love, is my reward.
Shall we then in marriage join,
Say, my pretty valentine

No, blacksmith, no, it will not do,
I've not the last regard for you,
No chains I'll rivet , till I see
One with whom I can agree;
So your offer I decline,
Look out another valentine.

Other period books, such as Cupid's Annual Charter, offer both positive and negative responses, but those in The School of Love seem to all be negative. A few of the verses are written from the female perspective, such as this one to a miller:

To a Miller
Whene'er I come unto the mill,
My beating heart will not lie still;
For love it has caused such a wound,
That like your sails my heart goes round;
To pity may your heart incline,
And take me for your valentine

It turns out that these valentine writers were very popular. The earliest examples were British, but they began appearing in America in the 1840s. According to Barry Shank's book A Token of My Affections, in 1847 the New York valentine purveyor T.W. Strong offered retailers pre-packaged valentine merchandise containing from 14 to 40 valentine writers. In Consumer Rites, Leigh Eric Schmidt documents examples of valentine writers that have clearly seen use, such as a copy of Strong's St Valentine's Budget at the American Antiquarian Society which has check marks next to various verses, as well as notations for verses to be used for "Jack" and "Willie."

In honor of my own cheese-loving Valentine, I'll close with this wonderful verse "From a Cheese-Monger" (with a little design help from

Friday, January 30, 2015

Amaze Your Friends with the Mystic Oracle

A few months ago I ran across a historic magic trick in our collection: the Mystic Oracle, ca. 1825.

Mystic Oracle. EL3 .A1my The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia
As the package states, the trick consists of a set of cards which allow you to guess a person's age, or any other number they choose.  You ask them to think of their age or to pick a number between one and sixty. You then offer them the following set of six cards.

Mystic Oracle. EL3 .A1my The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia
You ask them to hand you all the cards which contain their number. You then triumphantly announce their number to your astounded audience. How did you do it? You just add the numbers in the upper right corner of the cards they give you and that will be their number. As the instructions in the set point out, if they give you the correct cards, then the method is foolproof. If you'd like to try it for yourself, you can print out a PDF of the cards and give it a shot.

The mathmaniacs website explains that the reason the trick works has to do with binary numbers and powers of two--note that the number in each of the upper right corners is a power of two. Dr. Mike's Math Games for Kids extends the trick with a set of cards that work for numbers up to 1000. Interestingly, nearly two hundred years after the Mystic Oracle, commercial versions of the trick are still popular today--check out the boards at the lower right of this Melissa and Doug magic set on Amazon.

I guess a good trick has a long shelf life.

Kathy Haas is the Associate Curator at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia and the primary poster at the Rosen-blog.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Decay of Lying

This week we are lucky to have a guest post from Rebecca N. Mitchell, an Oscar Wilde scholar who visited the Rosenbach recently to do research in the records of the Rosenbach Company.

As libraries begin to digitize print catalogues and finding aids, it is no wonder that archival materials long thought to be missing are brought into the spotlight anew: while these works were certainly never lost to their archivists and librarians, the sheer volume of material held in collections worldwide means it is relatively easy for the works of even well-known figures to sit “undiscovered” by scholars in university archives and special collections. Such is the case of three manuscripts by Oscar Wilde, held in the Free Library of Philadelphia and brought once again to public attention in the Rosenbach's current exhibition, “Everything is Going On Brilliantly: Oscar Wilde and Philadelphia.”

Another of Wilde’s important manuscripts also sat unnoticed for decades, hidden in plain sight in the Special Collections Library at the University of Akron: the fair copy of Wilde’s “The Decay of Lying,” which he called in De Profundis the “first and best of all [his] dialogues.”1
Cover of fair copy manuscript of Oscar Wilde's "The Decay of Lying"; PR5818.D43 1889, Special Collections, University of Akron Library. Reproduced with permission.

The manuscript was given to the library in 1962 as part of the collection of patron Herman Muehlstein, a rubber magnate with extensive ties to the school.2 It remained there undisturbed, while scholars thought it was “destroyed or (more likely)…in private hands.”3

Herman Muehlstein's bookplate in fair copy manuscript of Oscar Wilde's "The Decay of Lying"; PR5818.D43 1889, Special Collections, University of Akron Library. Reproduced with permission.

Prior to reaching its stable home in Akron, the manuscript had a rollicking history that tells us much about the vast fluctuations of the bookseller’s market—and Wilde’s relative position within the literary marketplace—in the first half of the twentieth century. In this tale, Dr. A. S. W. Rosenbach played a key role, with the manuscript coming into his possession a number of times, and sales records at the Rosenbach proved instrumental in illuminating part of this document’s fascinating provenance.

Folio 1 of fair copy manuscript of Oscar Wilde's "The Decay of Lying"; PR5818.D43 1889, Special Collections, University of Akron Library. Thanks to Merlin Holland for permission to reproduce this image.

The manuscript, which served as the copy text for the essay’s original 1889 publication in the Nineteenth Century and bears the typesetters’ marks from the journal, was originally given by Wilde to Frank Richardson, a novelist who met his own untimely death. In 1910, Sotheby, Wilkinson, and Hodge included the manuscript in a sale of “books and manuscripts,” where it was purchased by London bookseller J. Hornstein for £111. It next appears on the auction block at the 1920 sale of John B. Stetson, Jr.’s extensive collection of Wilde’s works. The Anderson Galleries’ catalogue for Stetson’s collection contains noteworthy details about the manuscript, including a description of the binding: “Written on 55 pp folio, and mounted with inner guards in book form, full blue morocco covers, and preserved in a lined cloth case.”4

At the sale, Dr. Rosenbach paid $1525 to purchase the “Decay of Lying,” along with an array of letters and other manuscripts.5 Many of these items—fifty-one of Rosenbach’s purchases at the auction, in fact—were destined for Colonel H. D. Hughes, as is clear from the extensive listing in Rosenbach’s sales records (RCo VIId:15, p. 162-63 [23 April 1920]). Hughes, a collector from Pennsylvania, curiously paid off his sizable balance primarily through daily installments of $100.00.

The sale of the “Decay” manuscript to Col. Hughes was not the last time that Rosenbach would handle the work. Just four years after the Stetson sale, the document again appeared on the auction block when, following the Colonel’s death, much of his collection was sold by the Anderson Galleries. Still bound in blue morocco, the manuscript is also noted as retaining the bookplate “from the J. B. Stetson, Jr. collection.”6 At the auction, Rosenbach purchased the manuscript for $625, quite the bargain compared to its previous price. (The New York Times recorded an erroneous sales figure of $525, though they noted correctly that the manuscript was purchased by the Rosenbach Company.7) Dr. Rosenbach would make a tidy sum on the resale: in 1930, he sold the fair copy of “Decay” to Comte Alain de Suzannet, a collector of British manuscripts with a particular passion for Dickens, for $4850 (Rosenbach Library VIId:22, p. 141).

Suzannet maintained a lively correspondence with Rosenbach, and the firm routinely offered him choice works by Dickens and Thackery, among other writers. The good humor that underscored their relationship was called upon when in 1933, Wilde’s “Decay of Lying” manuscript (which Suzannet already owned) appeared in the Rosenbach catalogue for sale at $3400.8 Including price information seems to have been a rare move for the bookseller, which—according to the New York Times—was regarded “with a little awe, as being something too immaculate and refined to descend to the vulgar level of mentioning money.”9

Suzannet did not fail to notice the presence of the manuscript or its price when Rosenbach sent him a copy of the catalogue; he wrote to Rosenbach salesman Harry Hymes in response that the catalogue presented “a feast spread out for hungry (but poor) men, who can only enjoy these good things through a plate-glass window!” (ALS 20 March 1933, RCo I:167:10). Suzannet asked to purchase a few items by Kipling at a discount before noting, “that 338 [Wilde’s “Decay of Lying” manuscript] is priced $3400. As I had the pleasure of purchasing this same ms. from you three years ago for $4750, are you crediting my account with the balance? In that case I would not bargain for the Kipling items.” (Suzannet underestimated the actual price he paid by $100.)

Comte Alain de Suzannet, autograph letter signed to Harry Hymes.20 March 1933. RCo I:167:10, Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia

Dr. Rosenbach was apparently concerned enough to respond to Suzannet directly: “I wish to apologize to you personally for the error relative to Oscar Wilde’s ‘Decay of Lying.’ By mistake it was included in the catalogue and, of course, the mark-down was on that as well as all the books and manuscripts in stock” (ALS 4 April 1933, RCo I:167:10). Perhaps as a consolation, Suzannet did receive a small discount on his Kipling order.

Suzannet’s collecting turned increasingly to Dickens’s writing,10 and in March 1934 he offered a number of (non-Dickensian) works from his collection at a Sotheby’s auction; there, the “Decay of Lying” manuscript sold for the astonishingly low price of £45.11 In 1935, the price of the manuscript was again on the rise, advertised by Maggs’s Brothers for £250.11Back to auction it went in 1937, when the “Decay” manuscript—now rebound in “full russia by Sangorski & Sutcliffe”—was purchased by Retz & Storm for $975.13 The manuscript remains in this russia binding today, preserved in excellent condition in Akron, apparently never again reaching the high prices it saw under Rosenbach’s care.

1 Wilde, ‘To Lord Alfred Douglas’, [January-March 1897], in The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde, ed. Merlin Holland and Rupert Hart-Davis (London: Fourth Estate, 2000), 688.
2 For additional details, see Joseph Bristow and Rebecca N. Mitchell, “Fair Copy Manuscript of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Decay of Lying: A Dialogue,’” Notes & Queries 61, no. 4 (November 2014). doi: 10.1093/notesj/gju129. Thanks to Head Archivist S. Victor Fleischer and The Herman Muehlstein Collection at The University of Akron for assistance with this project.
3 Josephine M. Guy, ‘Introduction’, in Criticism: Historical Criticism, Intentions, The Soul of Man, The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde (Oxford, 2007), p.xl.
4 Anderson Galleries, The Oscar Wilde Collection of John B. Stetson, Jr., Elkins Park, PA. Sale #1484, April 1920 (New York: American Art Association, 1920), p. 14.
5 “Oscar Wilde Collection of J. B. Stetson Sold,” New York Times 24 April 1920, p. 9.
6 American Art Association, Fine Books and Manuscripts of the Greatest Rarity and Interest including the Further Property of a Prominent Pennsylvania Collector (New York: American Art Association, 1924), n.p., lot 365.
7 “Book Sale Closes,” New York Times, 3 Dec 1924, p. 9.
8Rosenbach Company, A Catalogue of Original Manuscripts Presentation Copies First Editions and Autograph Letters of Modern Authors (Philadelphia and New York: The Rosenbach Company, 1933) p. 44, no. 338.
9 “Notes on Rare Books,” New York Times 9 April 1922, p.BR20. The New York Times noted that “Only the barest details” of the books were described, and thought that “the question as to whether high-priced manuscripts can be sold by means of a check-list such as this is highly speculative.”
10 See Michael Slater, “Introduction” in The Catalogue of the Suzannet Charles Dickens Collection (London: Sotheby Parke Bernet Publications, 1975), ix-xvi.
11Sotheby’s, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters and Printed Books Forming part of the Library of the Comte de Suzannet, La Petite Chardière, Lausanne, March 1934 (London: Sotheby’s, 1934), p. 39, lot #256. The Grolier Club’s copy indicates the ms. was purchased by “Mayes.” The auction catalogue includes a reproduction of the final page of the manuscript, which confirms that this version is the same sold by Rosenbach in 1933; the binding is still listed as “blue leather.” The sales price of £45 is confirmed in the Times Literary Supplement (“Notes on Sales,” 5 April 1934, p. 248) and British Books/The Publisher’s Circular (1934, p. 539).
12 English Literature of the 19th & 20th Centuries, being a selection of First and Early Editions of the works of Esteemed Authors & Book Illustrators, together with Autograph Letters & Original Manuscripts; also Books on Sports and Pastimes (London: Maggs Bros. 1935), p. 174.
13Books and Autographs including Library sets in fine bindings from the collection of Mrs. Peter W. Rouss, Colored plates and Sporting Books from the Collection of Reginald Burbank, M.D.; Two Superb autograph letters by George Washington; Coaching and Sporting Prints; First Editions (American Art Association; Anderson Galleries, 1937), p. 234, lot #578; “$2,500 for a Work on Old New York,” New York Times 15 Jan 1937, p. 18. The price is confirmed in “Notes on Sales,” Times Literary Supplement 27 February 1937, p. 156.

Many thanks to Lauren Wayne for her excellent post on creating footnotes in Blogger.

Dr. Mitchell is Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Birmingham (UK). Her most recent book, Oscar Wilde’s Chatterton: Literary History, Romanticism, and the Art of Forgery, co-authored with Joseph Bristow, is forthcoming from Yale University Press. She and Professor Bristow are presently at work on a longer piece on Wilde’s “The Decay of Lying.”