Celebrating the Presidency of Princeton

The retirement of Shirley Tilghman as the19th President of Princeton University at the end of June 2013 provided an opportunity for the Friends of the Princeton University Library to celebrate the presidency of the University by making a gift to the Library in her honor. The Special Collections curators presented a wide range of possibilities to identify a suitable purchase. The choice: one of the extremely rare books that can be documented as having belonged to Jonathan Dickinson (1688-1747), the first President of the College of New Jersey.

At its modest beginning in 1746 in Dickinson’s parsonage in Elizabeth, the college consisted of the president, one tutor, and eight or ten students. Dickinson’s books were the college library. Tactica Sacra (Sacred Strategies), by John Arrowsmith, Puritan divine of Trinity College, Cambridge, is a manual for the spiritual warrior, part of the armament of clergyman Dickinson. A large quarto of 400 pages in its original 17th-century full calf binding, the book carries an inscription on its title page in Dickinson’s hand: “Jonathan Dickinson’s Book… .” The group of Friends who supported the acquisition are named on a bookplate added to the volume.

The University’s efforts to acquire books with a Princeton association started in earnest during the second half the 19th century. The extant books belonging to Jonathan Edwards were added, as well as some from other early presidents, including Samuel Finley. John Witherspoon’s books had been acquired in the first part of the 19th century due to the efforts of his son-in-law Samuel Stanhope Smith. These volumes were purchased not so much because they had belonged to Witherspoon but because, after the Nassau Hall fire of 1802, the college needed books. Recognition of the associational value of the Witherspoon books came to a climax during the librarianship of Julian Boyd. In the early 1940s Boyd instructed rare book librarian Julie Hudson to reassemble the Witherspoon library, which had been dispersed throughout the collections. The earliest survivors of the college library are on view in the Eighteenth-Century Room, just inside the entrance to the Main Exhibition Gallery in Firestone Library.

Tactica Sacra is the Library’s first book from Dickinson’s library with his statement of ownership. Given some years ago was a copy of Poole’s Annotations (2 vols.; London, 1683-1685), which has a record of Dickinson’s family and offspring in his hand on the verso of the last leaf of Malachi. However, these volumes lack the title pages, which presumably would have carried his signature and marking that the Poole was “his book.”

In addition to the Dickinson inscription, a hitherto unknown early American book label, “Samuelis Melyen liber,” is fixed to the front pastedown. The Reverend Samuel Melyen was the first minister of the nascent congregations in Elizabeth and environs. Jonathan Dickinson married Melyen’s sister Joanna in 1709, around the time that he began his ministerial work in the Elizabeth Town parish. Melyen died ca. 1711, and Dickinson emerged as the leading minister, a post he held until his death in 1747. Samuel Melyen was clearly the first owner of this book. Dickinson’s inscription in full states that it was a gift of one Mr. Tilley: “Jonathan Dickinson’s Book Ex dono D. Tilley.” The Tilley family and the Melyen family were related by marriage, but the precise identity of “D[ominus (i.e. Mister)]. Tilley” is not yet known. Dickinson apparently owned another book in which he inscribed “Jonathan Dickinson’s Book Ex dono D. Tilley.” It is a copy of Samuel Cradock, The Harmony of the Four Evangelists (London, 1668). The present whereabouts of this copy are unknown; it was last recorded in 1896. Further, recently come to light is a comparably inscribed book held at the Hougton Library: a London, 1688 edition of the Psalms [Details] [Image].

The Princeton association of the Tactica Sacra does not stop with Dickinson. Beneath Dickinson’s inscription is the following: “Jonathan Elmer His Book 1768.” Elmer (Yale 1747) was pastor at New Providence, New Jersey, from 1750 onward. A slip in the book states that after Jonathan Elmer it was owned by Philemon Elmer (1752-1827); then his daughter Catharine, who married Aaron Coe, Princeton 1797 (d. 1857); then by their son the Reverend Philemon Elmer Coe (Princeton 1834); then his sister Catherine Elmer Coe, who married Alfred Mills (Yale 1847); then by their children Edith, Alfred Elmer Mills (Princeton 1882), and Edward K. Mills (Princeton 1896).

Heinrich Glarean (1488-1563) and his Chronologia of the Ancient World

Detail from Glarean’s Chronologia with annotations in the hand of his student Gabriel Hummelberg II. This issue of the Chronologia was published as part of an edition of Livy’s history of Rome published by Michael Isengrin in Basel in 1540. Call number: (Ex) 2010—0227q. [Acquired by the Princeton University LIbrary in December 2007].

Anthony Grafton and Urs B. Leu have completed two studies of Princeton’s copy of the Chronologia:

Published in August: “Chronologia est unica historiae lux: how Glarean studied and taught the chronology of the ancient world” in Heinrich Glarean’s Books: The Intellectual World of a Sixteenth-Century Musical Humanist edited by Iain Fenlon and Inga Mai Groote (Cambridge University Press, 2013). See: http://www.cambridge.org/asia/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9781107022690

Forthcoming: Henricus Glareanus’s (1488-1563) Chronologia of the Ancient World. A Facsimile Edition of a Heavily Annotated Copy Held in Princeton University Library (Leiden: Brill). See: http://www.brill.com/products/book/henricus-glareanuss-1488-1563-chronologia-ancient-world

A full scan of this notable annotated humanistic book is available in the Princeton University Digital Library. See: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/s1784k81w

Authorship of The Great Gatsby epigraph revealed • Hollywood, 1939

Like the novel itself, the epigraph of The Great Gatsby has achieved mythic status.

Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her;
If you can bounce high, bounce for her too,
Till she cry “Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,
I must have you!”
– Thomas Parke D’Invilliers

Who was Thomas Parke D’Invilliers? First appearing in This Side of Paradise, he is the poet-companion of Amory Blaine and carried the epithet “that awful highbrow.” Here, on the title page of Fitzgerald’s third novel, D’Invilliers provides paratextual poetry. Custom expects real authors to provide epigraphs. His signed epigraph reverses what we understood him to be when we first met him.

According to the general editor of the Cambridge Fitzgerald Edition, Professor James L.W. West III
“… several times during his life, F. Scott Fitzgerald received queries from people who wanted to quote that epigraph. They wanted to know who T. P. D’Invilliers was, so they could seek permission. But I have never seen, am not aware of, any document in which Fitzgerald says that T.P. D’Invilliers is a fictional character, and that he wrote that epigraph himself.”

A recent gift of a presentation copy of The Great Gatsby provides documentary evidence of what has long been assumed regarding Fitzgerald’s authorship of the epigraph. Moreover, this copy has an added attraction. The presentation inscription is the autograph original of a Fitzgerald poem.

“From Scott Fitzgerald / (Of doom a herald) / To Horace McCoy / (no harbinger of joy)
Hollywood 1939”

Horace McCoy was a novelist and near contemporary of Fitzgerald. McCoy is best known for his novel They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1935).

The gift is a legacy to the Library from the Lawrence D. Stewart Living Trust. Prof. Stewart purchased the book in an California bookstore and published his findings in 1957 —- Lawrence D. Stewart, “Scott Fitzgerald D’Invilliers,” American Literature, XXIX (May 1957), 212-213. [Stable URL http://www.jstor.org/stable/2922109.] His article did not reproduce the signed title page nor the autograph presentation.

Paramours and Publishers: Newly acquired collection of the Memoirs of Harriette Wilson

La Côterie Débouché is a pun on Harriette Wilson’s birth family name of Dubochet. (Henry Heath, del.; Published February 21, 1825 by S.W.Fores, Piccadilly).

In 1825, London publisher John J. Stockdale issued the Memoirs of Harriette Wilson.

It was a sensation. Her story was how she worked her way as a courtesan from want to luxury.
When her fortunes declined, she told all, naming Dukes, Earls, and other well-born with whom she had liaisons.

Stockdale published the Memoirs in parts. The back wrapper of some parts listed the names of aristocrats slated for coverage in the next. For £200 one could purchase removal of his name.

Fragment of back wrapper of part 3 naming those appearing or about to appear in the Memoirs

Stockdale claimed that, within a year, he had published more than 30 editions. Ink machined onto paper begat money.

He, however, was sued in court, more than once. His rivals ripped him off with pirate editions. Meanwhile, Harriette Wilson became rich and famous.

Readers were enthralled or incensed. Sir Walter Scott said “H.W. beats [the memoirs] of Con Philips and Anne Bellamy and all former demi-reps out and out.” “Push any man into the streets in his dressing gown and nightcap and he will be laughed at,” said the London Magazine (1825). The Duke of Wellington, who refused to pay, famously said “publish and be damned.”

Words describing Harriette seem today to be arcane and recherché : ci-devant, semptress, demi-mondaine, demi-rep (abbrev. for demy-reputation), hataera, cocotte, créature, dame de compagnie, femme entretenue, … the list goes on. It was a strain for others to express her liminal world.

Yet her narrative is direct and beguiling. She begins:

‘I will not say how, or why, at the age of fifteen, I became the mistress of the Earl of Craven. Whether it was love, or the severity of my father, the depravity of my own heart, or the winning arts of the noble lord, which induced me to leave my paternal roof and place myself under his protection, does not now much signify ; or, if it does, I am not in the humour to gratify curiosity in this matter.”

In the end, though, we are left with many questions: Is her narrative credible? If it is not credible, then what is it? What prompted her to break the rules and openly name those who could be considered ‘the profligate of the aristocracy’? Is the book libelous?* Could it be protected by copyright?* (*These questions were subjects of court cases at the time.) Was it a promoter of vice? Could it be regarded as prophylactic against vice? Was it just plain blackmail? Or, as one critic has asked recently, can it be regarded as the end of the epistolary novel? These are only a sampling of queries.

During the spring of 2012, Princeton acquired a Harriette Wilson collection, which does answer some questions concretely and may provide answers for many others. It is a collection of virtually all the editions of her Memoirs published during her lifetime (she died in 1845). Among other questions, these will allow us to answer the question as to what authentic editions looked like and how piracies appeared physically. Added to these editions are translations as well as some wonderful popular broadside précises of her Memoirs, together with a number of contemporary illustrations both serious and in the classic British satiric tradition, some companion works (e.g. Confessions … Written … in Contradiction to the Fables of Harriette Wilson by Julia Johnstone, also a courtesan, part rival, and niece of Harriette), and, finally, editions of Harriette’s novels published after the Memoirs. The novels include London Tigers and Paris Lions. (1825), Clara Gazul, Or, Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense (1830), and Lies (1830) (only copy recorded; more later on that.)

The collection was put together by Stephen Weissman (Ximenes Rare Books, Kempsford, Gloucestershire). The books are rare in the market; it took him several decades to assemble the collection. A list of the holdings of the collection is available. The list includes Mr Weissman’s bibliographical descriptions of the various editions issued by Stockdale and his rivals, William Benbow, Edward Thomas, Thomas Douglas, Edward Duncombe, and others.

As of March 15, 2013, all books have been catalogued and are accessible via the
main catalog.
The prints are in the process of being catalogued.

1785: The English Tea Trade at Work

A recent acquisition, this catalog describes the East India Company’s tea sales in March of 1785 – a year of great changes for the British tea trade. This sale was among the first to follow the Commutation Act of 1784. For years, and specifically over the last decade to help finance the war against America, taxes on tea had been continuously raised until they reached an exorbitant 119%. As a result, the high tax fostered widespread tea smuggling as well as unreliable quality. Introduced by William Pitt the Younger, the Commutation Act reduced the tax on tea to 12.5% thereby effectively ending the tea smuggling and establishing a monopoly on tea importing for the struggling East India Company.

Catalogs were produced before the quarterly sales for buyers to review the available tea and its condition. This catalog from the second March sale of 1785 features Hyson and Souchong tea. A key in the front of the catalog decodes the symbols next to the tea lots from various ships that had returned from China. Quality ranges from “musty and mouldy” to “superfine”. Additional symbols noted the leaf size, smells and other conditions such as “woody” or “smoakey”. Space was available on the right side of the lot listings to be filled in with manuscript annotations detailing the ultimate price and buyer. (Princeton’s copy is completely filled in, presumably by “J. Williams” whose signature is on the back cover and whose initials are on the front cover.)

For more information, see: The Management of Monopoly by Hoh-cheung Mui and Lorna H. Mui (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1984). “William Pitt and the Enforcement of the Commutation Act, 1784-1788” by Hoh-cheung Mui and Lorna H. Mui (The English Historical Review, Vol. 76, No. 300 (Jul., 1961), pp. 447-465).

East India Company’s Reserve of Hyson and Souchong Tea. Second March Sale 1785. (London: 1785). Call number: (Ex) Item 6538574. Purchased as part of a collection of 45 early English cookery books assembled by
James Stevens Cox.
See [full text] for a listing of this cookery collection acquired during 2012.

— Jen Meyer, Assistant to the Curator of Rare Books, Princeton University Library.

Anatomia Statuae Danielis ❧ 1586

“A monumental historical and genealogical work presented to John George (1525-1598), Elector of Brandenburg, a member of the House of Hohenzollern, and Augustus I (1526-1586), Elector of Saxony, of the House of Wettin. The work relates the genealogy of Christ and the Judean kings, and the union of Monarchy and Christianity in general, with the understanding of monarchy as seen in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament. As such the major empires of known history is envisioned as elements of a statue, cf. Daniel´s interpretation of Nebuchadnessar´s dream, in which he sees a statue made of gold, silver, copper, iron and clay, illustrating the four empires. The main texts of these chapters are accompanied by genealogical lists of virtually every ruler, by then known, of the empires in question, and forms a more or less complete historical line from biblical Nimrod up till the then contemporary emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Rudolph II (1576-1612). It also contains a brief chapter on the Ottoman empire and its genealogy, since the Holy Roman Empire, of which Brandenburg and Saxony formed and important part, was on the brink of war with the Ottoman Empire at the time. The last part of the book is concerned with the genealogy of the Saxon Electorate, and its relation to the Kings of France, the Dukes of Savoy and the Margraviate of Montferrat. In full, the book forms a both religious and historical masterly treatment of monarchy and the monarchical ruler and its association with divine power, based on the before mentioned imagery of the Book of Daniel. In addition, it can be seen as a rethinking of the position and power of the German Electors to whom it is presented, since the Reformation, in which an older relative of Augustus I, Frederick III The Wise (1463-1525), played an important role, had taken place less than 70 years earlier” (Text supplied by Kaabers Antikvariat [København])

Loren Faust. Anatomia Statuae Danielis. Kurtze und eigentliche erklerung der grossen Bildnis des Propheten Danielis, Darin ein historischerausszug der vier Monarchien / und aller ihrer HeuptRegenten / auff die glieder des Bildnis / ober eines menschlichen leibes gerichtet / und sonderlich vom angang und fortpflantzung des Reichs Jesu Christi / ordentlich mit gemisser jahr rechnung bereichnet. Beneben Christlicher erinnerung und erklerung der Genealogien, und Fürstlichen Stammbaums der hochlöblichen Herzogen zu Sachsen etc. Als zu einem Extract und Memorial solcher ganzen historien / neben etlichen zugerichten Tafeln / mit lust und nuss zugebrauchen. Aus allen fürnembsten und bewertisten Chronicis und gelerter leut schriften mit trememsleis zusammen gezogen – Durch – Laurentium Faustum, Pfarrern unter der Meisnichen Thumbpropstey / zu Schirmenitz. Anno Christi M.D. LXXXVI (1586).
Colophon: Leipzig / Bey Johann Steinmann M.D. LXXXV (1585). 8°. [28]+404+[8] pages. With four folded plates. Call number: 2009-1746N. Digital scans of the other plates listed at http://goo.gl/U9zzH

A Comment on Bookplates: Militar. Collection of the Hon. Lt. Gen.l G.L. Parker

Standard categories for bookplates, such as armorial, pictorial and others are commonly found in Franks. One norm of the vast majority of plates is that they declare ownership simply by stating the name of the owner. Sometimes added to the name may be the title of honor, honorific, and / or name and location of his estate.

Contrasting with these straightforwardly ‘nominative’ bookplates, there is a small minority that label the collection to which the book belongs rather than simply stating the owner’s name.

It is easy to provide 20th century examples of this sort of ‘collection‘ bookplate. See, for example, that for, Ellis Ames Ballard Kipling Collection, http://goo.gl/pO3dP

Franks gives a 19th century example, being that for the Bewick collection of the Rev. Thomas Hugo, F.S.A. (1820-1876).

However, when I recently came upon the bookplate illustrated at right I began to wonder: could this be the earliest example of a ‘collection‘ bookplate? The instance I came upon was that for the Militar[y] Collection of the Hon[orable] L[ieutenan]t Gen[era]l G[eorge] L[ane] Parker. [Bibliographical details in note 1 at end.]

Many books with this bookplate have been on the market in recent years because they all trace back to the library of the Earls of Macclesfield, the first portion of which was auctioned in 2004 and continued to 12 parts in all, the last being in 2008.

Edward Edwards in his 1864 description of the Macclesfield library states that Gen. G. L. Parker was the second son of the 2nd Earl and upon his death his collection of military books was added to the main Macclesfield stock in Shirburn Castle (ca. 1791). (Cf. Libraries and founders of libraries, Chap. X, p. 325 ff).

What are we to make of this bookplate, so unlike the normal ‘nominative‘ plate? If Gen. G. L. Parker added this plate to his books then his practice was perhaps indicative not only of the newly emerging trend in specialized collecting but it was also perhaps avant garde in his providing plates marking his collecting practice rather than just stating his name as possessor. I think this later hypothetical is a bit of a stretch.

An alternative possibility is that the plates were added to the books after their receipt at Shirburn Castle as a means of marking them out from the rest of the collection. I don’t know if this possibility has been noted before. I lean toward this later explanation for the following reasons.

Conventions about how a proper 18th century bookplate should look were fairly rigid. The norm was a two part arrangement: if armorial, then achievement of arms at center with name of owner set off below. This plate does not conform to this convention.

The visual convention of this bookplate is more that of the cartouche of an 18th map or the trade label of an 18th century craftsman. The title or name is worked into the overall baroque design. This style is the customary for naming what an object is, or what an artisan does, rather than just signalling a possessor.

Moreover, there was a antecedent at Shirburn for the “Militar.” case. Consider the case of another Macclesfield bookplate — that with the caption “Of the Collection of W. Jones, Esq.”

Arthur J. Jewers in his article on the Macclesfield bookplates says that the 2nd Earl had this bookplate “specially engraved for a valuable collection of books bequeathed to him by W. Jones, Esq., who died in 1749, thus giving us very nearly the date at which the plate was cut.” My conclusion is that the Jones bookplate is a model for the “Militar.” plate. (Cf. “Parker Bookplates” Journal of the Ex Libris Society (London, 1898-99), vol. viii, p. 180 ff. and vol. 9, p. 9 ff.) [See illustration at right.]

• A further particular about the copy in which this “Militar.” plate appears • Apart from the curious character of this “Militar.” bookplate, the Parker “Militar.” plate had been pasted completely over that of the book’s first owner, Alexander Dury.

When the book was first encountered, the Dury plate was partially visible as showthrough. Only the last few letters of Dury’s name were originally visible underneath the Parker plate. What’s more, stamped on the spine was an heraldic crest. No crest was listed in British Armorial Bindings as belong to the Earls of Macclesfield, so the question became “Whose crest is this?” Once the Parker plate was partially lifted by a conservator, then all was relieved: full name of the first owner, a display of his achievement of arms, including his crest, a demi-lion rampant.

Note 1: This bookplate is on the front pastedown of Voltaire, 1694-1778. Le siècle de Louis XIV : publié par m. de Francheville …Londres : chez R. Dodsley, 1752. Call number (Ex) Item 6357495q

Moscow reads New York (addendum)

British antiquarian bookseller Simon Beattie recently posted:

« Moscow reads New York »

« 1927 saw two Russian translations of The Color of a Great City (1923), Dreiser’s classic memoir of early twentieth-century New York: this one (Gosizdat’s), by Pyotr Okhrimenko, and one for “Mysl’” (Kraski N’iu-Iorka) by V. P. Steletsky. What was particularly nice about this copy was that it still had its original dust-jacket:

Pyotr Okhrimenko (1888-1975), a translator for the Komintern, produced numerous translations of American literature in the 1920s and ’30s: Jack London, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Upton Sinclair, Sherwood Anderson. A staunch Tolstoyan, he had decided to emigrate to America after the 1905 Revolution. But he was unable to find work, so he asked Tolstoy himself for help and was provided with a letter of recommendation to Thomas Edison, who took him on in one of his factories. He returned to Russia in 1911.

Dreiser, alongside Mark Twain, was to become the most popular American author in Russia, hailed by Soviet reference works and critics as the foremost ‘progressive’ American writer of all time. In 1950, when Goslitizdat announced a twelve-volume edition of Dreiser’s collected works was to be published, in a staggering 900,000 copies, subscriptions sold out within days.»

❧ This copy is now in the collections of the Library:

Author: Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945.
Uniform title: [Color of a great city. Russian]
Title: Nʹi︠u︡-Ĭork / Teodor Dreĭzer ; perevod s angliĭskogo P. Okhrimenko.
Published/Created: Moskva : Gos. Izd-vo, 1927.
Physical description: 125 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: Item 6211357

1872 • Printers’ Sheet of Miscellaneous Trade Receipts

Ever wonder how 19th century collectors had writing ink cleaned from book pages?
(“Be gone you pesky old annotations!”)

Might you be curious as to how they had their maps varnished? Or prints cleaned? Or books preserved? Here’s some answers:

For a transcription, go to this link


Call number for:
Crisp, William Finch.
The Printers’ Sheet of Miscellaneous Trade Receipts. Great Yarmouth, [England], 1 is
(Ex) Broadside 390.

For other “trade receipts” and “how-to” advice from W. F. Crisp, see the
Internet Archive.

New acquistion: Vesalius

Special funds available at the end of the fiscal year made possible two major acquisitions: the first and second editions of De humani corporis fabrica by Andreas Vesalius, published 1543 and 1555 respectively. This towering monument in the history of science has long been lacking in the Library’s collections. If Princeton had a medical school, there might have been an early organizational imperative to obtain this work marking the beginning of modern anatomical studies, but the University has no medical school. Growing campus interest in the history of science during the past several decades has involved classroom presentations of original editions of important landmarks of science already held by the Library, such as the De revolutionibus of Copernicus (1543). Those presentations well demonstrated our wealth of such key books in the mathematical and physical sciences, but they also showed up that we lacked the some equally revolutionary work in medicine. These two new acquisitions unquestionably strengthen our ability to bring into the classroom virtually all the monumental works marking the beginning of the modern science during the Renaissance.

Andreas Vesalius, De humani corporis fabrica(Basle, 1543) [Call number: (Ex) QM21 .V418 1543f]. Some notable aspects of this copy: 1) Leaf M3 (“Venarum, arteriarum, nervorumque omnium integra delineatio”) has eight contemporarily-colored figures of organs mounted on recto and verso, providing a three-dimensional perspective of the human anatomical figure. And, 2) bound in contemporary German calf over wooden boards; spine in six compartments; covers show seven vertical rows with alternating motifs of married couple and of lamp flanked by chalices; outer border shows rosettes and floral motifs; vestiges of catches and clasps at fore-edge.

Andreas Vesalius, De humani corporis fabrica(Basle, 1555) [Call number: (Ex) QM21 .V418 1555f]. Bound in 17th century Dutch paneled vellum. Armorial bookplate of Sir William Sterling-Maxwell (1818-1878) on front pastedown; his “Arts of Design” bookplate on back pastedown.