Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2016 Issue

Old Books / New Editions. Part II.

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Welcome to this second installment in my three-part essay series on new editions of 17th-century women writers. This second essay discusses Alice Eardley's edition (2014) of an unusual, uncanonical literary manuscript attributed to Lady Hester Pulter of Broadfield Hall, Hertfordshire. The Pulter manuscript is a bound book (8" x 5") of 168 inscribed folios ~ poetry, "emblemes" (emblem poems), and an unfinished prose narrative on sexual violence. The book was acquired by Leeds University Library in 1975 at Christie's sale of the property of Sir Gilbert Inglefield, architect and Lord Mayor of London (1967-1968). But due to a cataloguing error, the book languished, unused and unappreciated, for two decades; it was saved from obscurity by an alert scholar in 1996. Since its recent discovery, Pulter's book has excited much attention from book historians and literary specialists. Calling herself "the nobel Hadassas" (Hebrew, "Esther"; variant, "Hester"), Pulter writes in a domestic vein as a mother of fifteen children; she also writes as an ardent Stuart royalist. But the best of her work exists in a wholly different dimension, as when she explores the astral plane of comets, planets, and (yes) extraterrestrials ("Mee thinks I play at football withe the stars"). It was this thrilling attachment to other worlds and meta-realities (the New Astronomy) which evidently saved Hester Pulter from debilitating depression. This essay will also discuss Eardley's editorial methodology and challenges as she transferred a dedicated body of writings from the manuscript medium into quite another: print. A Gallery of Images is included. Displayed here, alongside the top board of Pulter's book, is a contemporary woodcut of the curious Su creature of Patagonia, praised in Pulter's ["Poem 57"]. < Click here for essay. >  


Posted On: 2016-11-08 16:14
User Name: alice185

Many thanks for this essay; it's both moving and incisive. Moving, in its account of a woman who imagined playing at football with the stars while burying thirteen of her fifteen children, and incisive in its thoughts on the editorial challenges of work with this text and on possible avenues for further research on Pulter. Mulvihill's thoughts on editorial method are broadly applicable, and could provide guidance for work on many kinds of text. And, as always, a fine selection of well-annotated images. This is a fascinating series.


Posted On: 2016-11-08 18:07
User Name: mairin111

Posting for Seth Sherman, Collector.
Los Angeles, CA. / Tel Aviv, Israel.
__

Hello, everyone, and thanks for posting this (am traveling, out of patience with Sign-ins).
So this is an immersive treatment of the Hester Pulter subject (an ordinary woman with extraordinary gifts); and I really like the exquisite information on the physical properties of her 17th-c. book in Leeds UK. Maureen, thank you very much for all the care -- you went the distance. And the artistic design, the taste & aesthetics of the piece, are impressive. The images + your notes on each one -- wonderful. The section on scholarly editing (the steps) blew me away; talk about concision! The whole approach in this piece is fair & balanced, not overly critical or severe; the short-list of negatives is gently managed & useful. This series has inspired me to create a dedicated section on Women Writers in my bookstore, opening in Tel Aviv, Spring 2017, if the financials work out. So big thanks here to Mr McKinney, Rare Book Hub, and to M. Mulvehill for all they're giving us. Be well, my friends, Seth Sherman, L.A. / Tel Aviv. 8th Nov 2016.
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Posted On: 2016-11-10 19:17
User Name: mairin111

Posting for Rachel Weisberg,
Via Skype, Berkeley, CA. 10th November 2016.
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Thanks, Rare Book Hub, for putting up my words here. Am not a member of this community, but Seth Sherman in L.A., who posted, below, mentioned this piece to me. Maureen, thanks for this essay (amazing to me!). It is quite specialized, out of my field entirely, but I admire all that you did, especially the information on that 17thCentury rare book in Leeds, England, and all the (dazzling) images. The birthing chamber image gave me new ideas, new directions for a project i'm working on. And those 2 emblems you included (the unicorn and that adorable Su critter) -- how enchanting. An inspired piece of work! Grateful to know about this Guest Series, hope to see more treatments like this from your Princeton and Rare Book Hub colleagues. All the best, R. Weisberg, Berkeley, 10 November 2016.
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Posted On: 2016-11-15 15:38
User Name: mairin111

Posting for Dr Lorna Clark
Editor, The Burney Letter (The Frances Burney Society)
Carleton University, Ottawa
< https://carleton.ca/english/people/clark-lorna/ >
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This is an excellent Guest Series. Part II, “The Book of Hester: Editing an Uncanonical Text”, gives a useful introduction to Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter (2014), a modernized print edition of Pulter’s writings, consisting of some 120 poems and an unfinished prose narrative. Preserved in a bound book of manuscripts that was recently acquired by Leeds University Library, they were “rediscovered” in 1996. Dr Mulvihill gives the background to the edition and a fascinating summary of Pulter’s life. Her section on 'Editing an Uncanonical Literary Manuscript' would be useful as a stand-alone short guide to the entire process of editing. An evaluation of the strengths and omissions of the edition is deftly done. “A Gallery of images” enriches the essay and makes some of the main points more vividly. We look forward to reading more essays in this Guest Series and we stand to learn much from them. Submitted to Rare Book Hub by Dr Lorna Clark, 15th November 2016. (Thank you for posting.)
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Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.

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