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Friday, January 29, 2016

Dodgson Trivia

In honor of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson's birthday this week (January 27), I've pulled together a quick quiz of Charles Dodgson/Alice in Wonderland trivia. Answers to come next week. Enjoy!

1) Which of the following words was NOT invented by Dodgson:
  • Chortle
  • Snark 
  • Galumph
  • Telarian

2) Which of the animals in the caucus race of Alice in Wonderland is a reference to Dodgson himself?

John Tenniel, "Sit down, all of you, and listen to me." 1954.183. Collection of the Rosenbach

3) Dodgson is famously associated with Christ Church College, Oxford, where he attended university and then became a mathematics lecturer. But which Public School did he attend before entering Oxford?

4) The Rosenbach owns Dodgson's passport, which he used on his one and only trip outside of Britain. Where did he travel?

Charles Dodgson's passport. 1867. EL3 .D645 MS3. Collection of the Rosenbach

 5) When Alice recites "How doth the Little Crocodile," in Chapter 2 of Alice in Wonderland, she is parodying which famous poem by Isaac Watts?

6) Which of these is a pamphlet written by Charles Dodgson? 
  • On the Means of Improving the Quality and Increasing the Quantity of Food
  • Lawn Tennis Tournaments, The True Method of Assigning Prizes with a Proof of the Fallacy of the Present Method
  • Logic and Utility : The Tests of Truth and Falsehood, and of Right and Wrong; Being an Outline of Logic, the Science of Reasoning, and of the Utilitarian or Happiness Theory of Morals 
  • The Type Printing Instrument : Descriptions and Opinions of the Press

7) At the mad tea party in Alice in Wonderland the Dormouse tells the tale of Elsie, Tillie, and Lacie, who live in this unusual location.

8) Dodgson first used the pen name "Lewis Carroll" when he published this poem in 1856.

9)  Unlike the Cheshire Cat, Alice's own cat never physically appears in Alice in Wonderland, although it is referred to several times. What is her cat's name?

10) Much of Dodgson's handwritten material is in this unusual color ink, which he began using in 1870.

Kathy Haas is the Associate Curator at the Rosenbach and the primary poster at the Rosen-Blog.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Nightingale's Notes on Nursing

One book which I was delighted, and a bit surprised, to discover on our shelves while doing shelf-reading, is Florence Nightingale's Notes on Nursing: What it is and What it is Not. Notes on Nursing was published in 1859, after Nightingale had become a celebrity for her nursing reforms during the Crimean War. (If anyone watched the first episode of the new PBS series "Mercy Street" last Sunday you'll remember the rather strident nurse who had served under Nightingale). Our first edition is in a study, practical cover.

Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing. London: Harrison, [1860?]. EL3. N687n. Collection of the Rosenbach.

Although Nightingale would become famous for promoting nursing as a profession, and one suitable for women, she claimed in her preface that Notes on Nursing was not intended for professionals, but for the many women who needed to nurse at home:

The following notes are by no means intended as a rule of thought by which nurses can teach themselves to nurse, still less as a manual to teach nurses to nurse. They are meant simply to give hints for thought to women who have personal charge of the health of others. Every woman, or at least almost every woman, in England has, at one time or another of her life, charge of the personal health of somebody, whether child or invalid,–in other words, every woman is a nurse. Every day sanitary knowledge, or the knowledge of nursing, or in other words, of how to put the constitution in such a state as that it will have no disease, or that it can recover from disease, takes a higher place. It is recognized as the knowledge which every one ought to have–distinct from medical knowledge, which only a profession can have.

Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing. London: Harrison, [1860?]. EL3. N687n. Collection of the Rosenbach.

Nonetheless, the book was used at the Nightingale School of Nursing, founded in 1860, and within the text itself Nightingale includes statistics on the number of  servant and non-servant nurses in Britain and her plea for nursing as an art (found in the conclusion) specifically references nurses in hospital wards:
(3.) It seems a commonly received idea among men and even among women themselves that it requires nothing but a disappointment in love, the want of an object, a general disgust, or incapacity for other things, to turn a woman into a good nurse.

This reminds one of the parish where a stupid old man was set to be schoolmaster because he was "past keeping the pigs."

Apply the above receipt for making a good nurse to making a good servant. And the receipt will be found to fail. Yet popular novelists of recent days have invented ladies disappointed in love or fresh out of the drawing-room turning into the war-hospitals to find their wounded lovers, and when found, forthwith abandoning their sick-ward for their lover, as might be expected. Yet in the estimation of the authors, these ladies were none the worse for that, but on the contrary were heroines of nursing.
What cruel mistakes are sometimes made by benevolent men and women in matters of business about which they can know nothing and think they know a great deal.
The everyday management of a large ward, let alone of a hospital—the knowing what are the laws of life and death for men, and what the laws of health for wards—(and wards are healthy or unhealthy, mainly according to the knowledge or ignorance of the nurse)—are not these matters of sufficient importance and difficulty to require learning by experience and careful inquiry, just as much as any other art? They do not come by inspiration to the lady disappointed in love, nor to the poor workhouse drudge hard up for a livelihood.
Nightingale's primary focus was hygiene: cleanliness and fresh air. At the time she wrote Notes on Nursing, she did not yet embrace the germ theory of disease, believing, like many Victorians, that miasmas from filth caused disease, but her instructions on creating sanitary conditions would have been of practical benefit nonetheless. She also offered many other types of advice, from introducing variety (flowers, changing prints) into the sickroom to prevent the invalid from going stir-crazy to directions about rest and food.

As someone interested in food history, one passage I found interesting was where she argued against the common idea that beef tea and gelatin were the most nutritive food for the sick, asking her reader to evaporate the water out of  beef tea to see how little nutriment it actually contained and to consider that gelatin was mostly water and that bulk doesn't equal nourishment. It turns out that Nightingale still thought beef tea was still useful in the sickroom because it had a certain"certain reparative quality" that she couldn't explain, but gelatin was right out, since it "has a tendency to produce diarrhoea,–and to trust to it to repair the waste of a diseased constitution is simply to starve the sick under the guise of feeding them."

An earlier owner of our copy (possibly the J. D. Ridout who wrote her(?) name on the inside of the cover) made light pencil marks next to some of the suggestions that she presumably found significant, such as managing a patient's cup and what kinds of foods to prepare.

Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing. London: Harrison, [1860?]. EL3. N687n. Collection of the Rosenbach.
Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing. London: Harrison, [1860?]. EL3. N687n. Collection of the Rosenbach.

So while Notes on Nursing might not be what one would first expect to find in our British Literature collection, I've certainly enjoyed exploring our copy.

Kathy Haas is the Associate Curator at the Rosenbach and the primary poster at the Rosen-Blog.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Happy Hat Day

The internet tells me it's "National Hat Day" today, January 15. I'm not really sure where this supposed holiday comes from, but it is a good excuse to show off some some of the fabulous hat-wearers in our collection.

Here's Ben Franklin in his classic fur hat.
""Dr. Benjn. Franklin, Engraved for the Select Portrait Gallery in the Guide to Knowledge" 1965.779. Collection of the Rosenbach

And Napoleon in his trademark chapeau.
David Edwin, "Napoleon Buonaparté." Philadelphia: C. and A. Conrad & Co., 1809. 1954.1178. Collection of the Rosenbach

 Tam O'Shanter is wearing his name-sake headgear in this picture.
George Bryan Campion, "Tam O'Shanter & Souter Johnny".1954.573. Collection of the Rosenbach.

There are many great hats, for both ladies and gents, in this 18th-century image of "The Promenade at Carlisle House."
John Raphael Smith, The Promenade at Carlisle House. 1781. 1954.623.Collection of the Rosenbach.

The unknown lady in this miniature is sporting a lovely feathered design.
Unknown lady., claled Mrs. Coswap. 1954.630.272.Collection of the Rosenbach

As is the infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia, in her own miniature.
School fo Alonso Sanchez Coelho, Isabella Clara Eugenia. 1954.0630.046.Collection of the Rosenbach

His Excellency Mirza Aboo al Hassan, the envoy of the king of Persia, might win for height.
David Edwin, His Excellency Mirza Aboo al Hassan. Philadelphia : Hopkins and Earle, 1809 or 10. 1954.1159.  Collection of the Rosenbach

While this gentleman might win for sheer size.
Robert Nanteuil," Le Bassin".[S.l. : s.n., between 1645 and 1678] 1954.269.91.Collection of the Rosenbach

Finally, we couldn't possibly leave out Marianne Moore, two of whose famous tricorn hats are in our collection. This Henri Bendel version was a gift from her friend Hildegarde Watson in 1958.

Henri Bendel, tricorn hat. 1958. 2006.2582. Collection of the Rosenbach
Happy Hat Day!

Kathy Haas is the Associate Curator at the Rosenbach and the primary poster at the Rosen-Blog.

Friday, January 08, 2016

A Sextet of Jabberwocky

Our recent Facebook post of Benedict Cumberbatch reading Lewis Carroll's classic "Jabberwocky" made me wonder what other fabulous renditions there might be out there. Here are a few I turned up. I will also keep track of how many versions pronounce "borogoves" incorrectly--it is a very common slip to insert and extra "r" to make "borogroves" (Cumberbatch made this mistake).

Neil Gaiman agreed to read something for his fans if they donated money to Worldbuilders, a charity he supports. Those who donated got to vote on what they wanted to hear and Jabberwocky won. Gaiman actually can recite it from memory (although he does fail the borogove test) and the recitation starts around 45 seconds into the video.

Back in 2010, Christopher Lee, who voiced the Jabberwock in the Tim Burton film, read the poem sonorously at a British Library event.

I really enjoy this musical version, composed by Sam Pottle, who is better known for composing the theme song to the Muppet Show.

Lewis Carroll puts in an appearance in the video game Assassins Creed Syndicate, set in 1868 London, but even he can't pronounce "borogoves" correctly.

This is a demo of a sung version intended for the Disney movie of Alice in Wonderland. It didn't make it into the final movie, although the Cheshire Cat does quote from the poem.  The unfortunate "borogroves" put in an appearance.

Finally, my personal favorite: The Muppet Show. Just wait for the Jabberwock head--it's worth it.

So those are my six, with a 50% "borogroves" rate. Which is your favorite?

Kathy Haas is the Associate Curator at the Rosenbach and the primary poster at the Rosen-Blog.