Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2018 Issue

Women Who Dared: From Sappho to Suffrage at the Bodleian through February

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LADY PIRATES: Antique print of Mary Read and Anne Bonny, a pair of 18th century female pirates.

On the heels of its blockbuster Tolkien, the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England hosts another important exhibit titled WOMEN WHO DARED: FROM SAPPHO TO SUFFRAGE. The show runs through February 2019 in the Weston Library. Pirates and poets; suffragettes and explorers – this exhibition celebrates the achievements of women who dared to do the unexpected and showcases some of the Bodleian’s most remarkable and treasured items. Though your travels may not take you to the UK anytime soon, the highlights of this exhibit in digital display can be found at

treasures.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/treasures/

 

It’s really quite an impressive assortment of uppity women from many periods and all walks of life. Each one has an interesting visual or series of visuals and brief commentary. Given the #metoo era and the increasingly fierce gender wars in the US, this exhibit serves as a reminder that strong willed women have historically been a force to be reckoned with.

 

One of the most interesting items in the literary genre relates to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797–1851), creator of Frankenstein. “The inspiration for the story came to Mary in a ‘waking dream’ in 1816, leading to the creation of an immensely influential novel and enduring metaphor. Many critics believed Frankenstein had been written by a man, possibly her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and his involvement in her work has been debated since, often to the detriment of her own literary standing. This has undergone considerable reassessment in recent decades, and Mary Shelley has been recognized as a visionary and intellectually complex writer and thinker in her own right.”

 

This link will take you to an excerpt from Mary Shelley’s draft of Frankenstein, read by Christopher Adams and a short video introduction to a handwritten draft of Frankenstein with commentary by curator Stephen Hebron. Also featured are some of the manuscript pages in close up.

treasures.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/treasures/draft-of-frankenstein/

 

In the pushing the envelope department it’s hard to beat Mary Read and Anne Bonny, a pair of 18th century female pirates who lived deeply unconventional lives. According to the notes accompanying the exhibit, “Both were brought up as boys, married as women, dressed again in men’s clothing and ultimately became pirates. Extraordinarily, they met on board John Rackam’s pirate ship in the Bahamas in 1720 and soon became close friends. They were described by colleagues as ‘very profligate, cursing and swearing much and ready and willing to do anything on board’. Rackam and crew were imprisoned and hanged for robbery and piracy, but the women’s lives were spared because they were both found to be pregnant.” treasures.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/treasures/mary-read-anne-bonny/

 

Though there are many other individual women featured in the exhibit, the heart of the show displays a substantial number of items related to late 19th and early 20th century political action by women in England, specifically the right to vote..

 

The library notes: “Suffrage resistance took a variety of forms from tax refusal and boycotting the 1911 census to window breaking and arson. The Home Office recorded more than 1,300 arrests for suffrage activity between 1906 and 1914, with activists drawn from suffrage organizations including the Women’s Freedom League, the Irish Women’s Franchise League and the East London Federation of Suffragettes as well as the Women’s Social and Political Union.

 

“From 1909 suffragettes began to resist from within prison by hunger striking in protest against the government’s refusal to recognise them as political prisoners. The government responded by beginning to force feed prisoners, a brutal and life threatening procedure. It became especially dangerous after 1913 when the notorious Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill Health) Act or Cat and Mouse Act allowed ill hunger-striking suffragettes to be released in order to recover, before being re-arrested when they were well enough to complete their sentence.”

treasures.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/treasures/suffrage-resisting/

 

There are multiple other aspects of the suffrage movement on view including

Votes for women: treasures.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/treasures/votes-for-women/

 

Organizing: treasures.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/treasures/suffrage-organizing/

 

Galvanizing: treasures.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/treasures/suffrage-galvanizing/

 

Uniting: treasures.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/treasures/suffrage-uniting/

 

Marching: treasures.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/treasures/suffrage-marching/

 

Fundraising: treasures.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/treasures/suffrage-fundraising/

 

Annual reports of the women’s suffrage movement: treasures.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/treasures/suffrage-annual-reports/

 

After a long and bitter struggle Parliament passed an act granting the vote to English women in 1918. In America a constitutional amendment was passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920. The 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote.

 

The Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford is the largest university library system in the United Kingdom. It includes the principal University library – the Bodleian Library – which has been a legal deposit library for 400 years; as well as 30 libraries across Oxford including major research libraries and faculty, department and institute libraries. Together, the Libraries hold more than 13 million printed items, over 80,000 e-journals and outstanding special collections including rare books and manuscripts, classical papyri, maps, music, art and printed ephemera.

 

The Weston Library, where this exhibit is on view, provides a new home for the Bodleian’s special collections. Members of the public can explore the collections via an online image portal at digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk or by visiting the exhibition galleries in the Bodleian’s Weston Library. For more information, visit www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

 

To see other online exhibits from the Bodleian collection go to the home page, click the What’s On? tab and select Exhibitions Online from the pull down menu.

 

A few of the many prior exhibits include:

 

The Romance of the Middle Ages: medievalromance.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/romance-explore

 

Shelley’s Ghost: Reshaping the image of a literary family: shelleysghost.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/

 

Citizen Milton: www.cems.ox.ac.uk/citizenmilton/

 

Manifold Greatness: The Creation of the King James Bible (with Folger library): folgerpedia.folger.edu/Manifold_Greatness:_The_Creation_and_Afterlife_of_the_King_James_Bible

 

Makers of Middle Earth - some original drawings from the Tolkien exhibit just completed: tolkien.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/about-the-exhibition/


Posted On: 2018-11-02 21:45
User Name: mairin

Our thanks to Susan Halas for an enjoyable piece, with strong historical context & a perfectly captivating antique print of those two 18thC women pirates: Anne Bonny and Mary Read. (And let us not forget the famous 16thC Irish pirate queen, Grace O'Malley [Irish, "Ni Mhaille"], who, as lore has it, had a brief, even cordial, public audience with Queen Elizabeth I ; they negotiated terms in Latin. For a credible redaction of this historic meeting, from the Anthologia Hibernica, 1793, vol. 11, with illustration, view
< https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_O%27Malley>.)

Thank you, Susan, and I'm also interested in the show's attention to Sappho, mother of women writers,

Maureen E. Mulvihill, PhD. / Scholar & Collector.
Rare Book Hub Member & Guest Writer

____


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> EARLY AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE. Chronicling 20th century aviation from the earliest Wright Brothers images through commercial and military applications. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> SPUTNIK-1 EMC/EMI LAB MODEL, 1957. Full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, Moscow, [February, 1957]. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> FIRST TELEPHONE CALL TO THE MOON. Partial transcription signed by Apollo 11 astronauts and President Nixon. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> Apollo 11 Beta cloth crew emblem, SIGNED BY THE ENTIRE APOLLO 11 CREW. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> GEMINI 1/8 SCALE MODEL. Rarely seen large-scale contractor's model. $3,000 to $5,000
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Dubliners,</i> first edition, signed presentation inscription from the author, 1914. £100,000 to £150,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> The Beatles.- Baker (Geoffrey.) 3 Autograph Letters and 1 Autograph Card signed to Ann Gosnell, addtionally sgn’d by George Harrison, John Lennon, Cynthia Lennon and others, 1968. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Pilgrim Press.- Dod (John). <i>A plaine and familiar exposition of the tenne commandements ...,</i> [Leiden], [William Brewster], 1617. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Automaton Chess Player & Mechanical Illusion.- Reynell (H., printer). “The Famous Chess-Player, No.14, St.James's-Street, next Brooks's,” broadside advertisement for "The famous Automaton", [1784]. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Clemens (Samuel Langhorne). <i>Life on the Mississippi,</i> first English edition, signed presentation inscription from the author, 1883. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Arctic Sledge Flag.- Fulford (Reginald Baldwin). Sledge flag... HMS Discovery, 1875. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> first edition, first printing, 1997. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Piranesi (Giovanni Battista). <i>Le Antichità Romane,</i> 4 vol., 1756. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal, called). <i>Urbis Venetiarum Prospectus Celebriores,</i> 3 parts in 1, Richard Ford's copy, Venice, Giovanni Battista Pasquali, 1751. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Atlases.- Speed (John). <i>A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World,</i> bound with <i>The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine,</i> 1631-27. £12,000 to £18,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Anatomical illustration.- Aselli (Gaspare). <i>De lactibus sive lacteis venis... dissertatio,</i> first edition, Milan, Giovanni Battista Bidelli, 1627. £20,000 to £30,000
  • <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> FIRST EDITION, first issue, 8vo, 1997. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Bible, Italian.- Malermi Bible, woodcut illustrations, folio, Lazaro de Soardi & Bernardino Benali, Venice,1517. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Germany.- Homann (Johann Baptist). <i>Atlas von Deutschland,</i> engraved half title, hand coloured, 87 double page engraved maps, [folio, Erben, Nuremberg, 1753]. £8,000 to £10,000
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> [Mirk (John)].- <i>Liber festivalis et Quatuor sermons</i> [bound with], [Le Roy (Pierre)] <i>A Pleasant Satyre or Poesie,</i> first edition in English, Widdow Orwin for Thomas Man, 1595, 8vo. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Antoninus Florentinus (Saint Archbishop of Florence). <i>Confessionale: Defecerunt…,</i> 8vo, Pietro Quarengi, Venice, 15 February 1499. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Jesuit Letters.- [Froes (Father Luigi) & et al.)] Avvisi del Giapone de gli anni 1582, 1583, 1584…, 1586 [bound with] Avvisi della Cina et Giapone…, FIRST EDITIONS, Rome. £1,000 to £1,500
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Plutarch & Probus (Aemilius). <i>Plutarchi Cheronei et Aemilii Probi Illustrium,</i> folio, Nicolas de Pratis for Jean-Petit, Paris, 1521. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Bible.- English. <i>The Byble in Englyshe of the Largest and Greatest volume,</i> elaborate woodcut border, text vignettes, folio, 1541. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Fore-edge Painting.- Lord George Byron, The Giaour, a Fragment of a Turkish Tale, bound with 10 other titles, 4 plates marked 'Proof.', 1813. £800 to £1,200
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Manson (John). Twelve by Sixteen Papers of John Mason, a collection of 50 sheets of paper, some watermarked, 12 x 16”, c.1978. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Fleming (Ian). <i>Dr. No,</i> FIRST EDITION, original boards, dust-jacket, 8vo, 1958. £700 to £900
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Eliot (T.S.) <i>Four Quartets,</i> NUMBER 121 of 290 COPIES, signed by author, 1960. £400 to £600
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Eric Carle, <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar,</i> hand-painted collage. Sold for a record $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Couple passing a giant bird house,</i> watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1948. Sold for $16,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Miriam Troop, <i>Rain on Laundry Day,</i> oil on canvas, cover for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1940. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Rockwell Kent, <i>To All Fascists,</i> ink broadside for The League of American Writers, circa 1937. Sold for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Jo Mielziner, <i>Pet Shop Drop,</i> backdrop design for <i>Pal Joey</i> on Broadway, 1940. Sold for a record $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Lee Brown Coye, acrylic cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of <i>Weird Tales,</i> 1944. Sold for $18,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Virgil Finlay, <i>The Outsider & Others,</i> pen & ink dust jacket illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's book, 1939. Sold for $5,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Al Hirschfeld, <i>Paul Robeson as Othello,</i> illustration for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1942. Sold for $68,750
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Frederic Remington, pen & ink illustration for <i>A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers</i> in <i>The Century</i> magazine, 1889. Sold for $17,500.

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