LINKING KEY FIGURES IN THE NINETEENTH-CENTURY REFORM MOVEMENTS, THE THREE LETTERS HERE ARE ADDRESSED TO MEDICAL PIONEER ELIZABETH BLACKWELL, THE FIRST WOMAN TO RECEIVE A MEDICAL DEGREE IN AMERICA AND THE FIRST TO BE ENTERED ON THE BRITISH MEDICAL REGISTER.more...
Blackwell’s old acquaintance, Florence Nightingale, writes to her in an apparently unpublished letter of 1871 of the difficulties of public health projects, which would involve: ‘going, for instance, into all the back slums of London & other towns – practically learning & teaching there what constitutes the health of dwellings, the health of children, the health of populations, of occupations &c.’ Twelve years earlier (1859) her cousin George Eliot, signing herself in her assumed name of Marian Lewes, responds to an appeal by feminist pioneer Barbara Bodichon by forwarding her letter to Elizabeth Blackwell, while novelist Dinah Mulock thanks Blackwell for a ticket to one of her lectures.
The documents were collected by a Mrs Denniss, perhaps given to her by Blackwell herself as a memento and include three excellent photographic portraits, including a magisterial print by Elliott & Fry. Comprising:
1. NIGHTINGALE, Florence. Autograph letter, signed ‘Florence Nightingale’ to Miss [Elizabeth] Blackwell. [August 2], 1871. ‘Nothing that you do, independently of our being old friends, can fail to interest me’. She states the business of bringing everyone, ‘the little as well as the big’ to understand the ‘Laws of Life’ is the first business of everybody. However, she expresses doubt that it can be achieved in the way Blackwell has suggested is possible: ‘Sanitary work of this kind can only be done by going personal grappling with the evils by going personally among those for whom it is to be done – going, for instance, into all the back slums of London & other towns – practically learning & teaching there what constitutes the health of dwellings, the health of children, the health of populations, of occupations &c.’ Nightingale had known each other since 1850, though their medical careers took diverging paths, Nightingale achieving celebrity for her work in the Crimean war, while Blackwell established her medical practice (against considerable odds) in America. By 1871, she had been back in England over twenty years pursuing her campaign for women’s medicine, by which time Nightingale was largely confined to her bed through illness. Two-and-a-half pages on a bifolium (black edged, leaf size 205 × 130 mm), folded twice, envelope addressed in Nightingale’s hand to Blackwell in London [redirected to Cornwall], marked ‘Private’, penny stamp, postally marked at London, Matlock and Penzance.
2. LEWES, Marian. [Mary Ann EVANS, ‘George ELIOT’]. Autograph letter, signed, to Dr [Elizabeth] Blackwell. Holly Lodge, Wimbledon Park, Wandsworth, Ap[ril] 16, 1859. ‘Being unable myself to respond to Barbara [Bodichon]’s appeal in the enclosed letter [not present], I obey her wish by forwarding it to you’. This short letter was written in the year Adam Bede was published, and two months after Eliot had moved to Holly Lodge with her partner George Henry Lewes, already married with children. It refers to ‘Barbara’s appeal’ ? almost certainly Barbara Bodichon, a mutual friend of Eliot and Blackwell, then engaged in several campaigns for women’s health, employment and suffrage. One page (177 × 115 mm), two lateral folds.
3. MULOCK, Dinah Maria. [later Dinah CRAIK]. Autograph letter to Dr Elizabeth Blackwell. Wildwood, North End, Hampstead, 29 Feb[ruary], 1859. Presenting compliments and thanking her for the ticket for the lectures, which she must forgo on grounds of health, but will pass on to a young friend. Mulock’s best-known novel John Halifax, Gentleman had appeared in 1856, followed by A Woman’s Thoughts about Women (1857) and A Life for a Life (1857), the latter arguing for a single moral standard for both women and men, and for the equivalency of their strengths. One-and-a-half pages on a small bifolium (112 × 90 mm).
4. BLACKWELL, Dr Elizabeth. Photographic portrait by Elliott & Fry, London, 1907. (147 × 98 mm), original publisher’s mount. Verso inscribed ‘To Mrs Denniss’ [not autograph] and in a later hand: ‘Dr Blackwell in August 1907 – 84 and a half years’.
5. ? Photographic print after the portrait drawing of 1859 by the Comtesse de Charnacée, a later reproduction of a photographic print by Swain, J. H. Blomfield, Hastings. (Oval 88 × 58 mm) publisher’s mount. Inscribed on verso: ‘…1859 the year Dr Blackwell was placed on the British Medical Register’.
6. ? Photographic print, reproduced from the portrait of 1888 and issued by W. A. Thomas, Hastings. (138 × 95 mm).
7. ? Photograph of Rock House, Hastings. (120 × 160), faded and creased.
8. ? Photogravure print of Blackwell’s grave and memorial at Kilamun, Holy Loch, Argyleshire. (200 × 138), soon after 1907. Frayed at head..see full details
First and only edition, issued the year after the Easter Rising, showing hundreds of Dublin businesses seeking exports all over the world.more...
Among the many listings and advertisements for brewers, distillers, foundries, printers, publishers, linen manufacturers, shipyards, engineers and so on, are found two one-third page adverts for the Yeats sisters’ Cuala Industries and the Dun Emer Guild. The two firms had been founded under the Dun Emer name by Elizabeth and Lily Yeats in 1902 producing Arts and Crafts printing, embroidery, rugs and tapestry, before dividing in 1904. The Cuala advert shows the Yeats’s Churchtown bungalow and reads: ‘Embroidery—Lily Yeats. Hand Press—Elizabeth C. Yeats. Editor of the Press—W.B. Yeats.’ The Dun Emer advert shows a woman working at a loom and offers ‘Hand-woven Carpets & Tapestries, Embroideries, Enamels, Bookbinding’.
There are also historical and topographical accounts of the city. This was the first appearance of the Dublin Year Book and it was apparently not reprinted..see full details
First edition, copy number 4 of 20 on japon, inscribed by the author ‘Au poète Émile Cottinet à l’artiste que j’admire et à l’ami qui j’aime.more...
..’ with his signature and initials. This is Rieu’s early collection of essays with a homoerotic theme, one of which is dedicated to Jacques Fersen, author of the notorious gay novel about Oscar Wilde, Messes noires. Lord Lyllian (1905). The striking cover design is by J.M. Boulan..see full details
Jane de la Vaudère was the pen name of Jeanne Scrive; she was a prolific author of exotic and decadent novels and short stories, such as Les Androgynes (1903), Les Demi-Sexes (1897), and Les Sataniques (1897). La Cité des sourires, a rather salacious piece japonisant fantasy, illustrated by Raphael Kirchner, is very scarce indeed..see full details
First edition, presentation copy inscribed by Lorrain to author Guido [Diaz] de Soria.more...
Ellen, one of Lorrain’s last substantial works tells the story of the final tragic months of a young English aristocrat, Ellen Horneby, sent to the Riviera with her mother to recuperate from a mysterious illness. A love triangle ensues, in which Ellen is cruelly misunderstood. She presents the manuscript of an allegorical tale she has written to one of her suitors (her cousin) who fails to understand it and dismisses her with a kiss on the forehead. Devastated, Ellen throws herself to her death from her balcony. It is one of Lorrain’s least outlandish and most stylish creations, surely worthy of revival.
Appended to the edition are three further short stories: Trains de Luxe, Monte-Carlo, Choses de Là-Bas et La Conquête de Paris.see full details
A complete course teaching stenography, or the art of writing ‘aussi vite que la parole’, finely written with numerous thumbnail drawings.more...
Divided into four parts (introduction, pronunciation, punctuation and an atlas) with an errata, a table of contents and two sheets of stenographic examples or exercises.
In the atlas dedicated to the description of the stenographic signs in 13 charts, the last 13 gather 51 finelyy drawn vignettes giving the figurative equivalent of the stenographic signs and their pronunciation: the links of a chain for an open ‘a’ (as in anneaux), a radiating halo for an ‘o’ (as in oréole), a drunkard for the ‘i’ (ivrogne), a gallows for the ‘p’ (potence), a cat for the ‘ch’ (chat), and so on, including a funnel, lyre, clock, umbrella, falls, arrow and gondola, the morphology of the signs given an ideogrammatic cue as a mnemonic. The whole represents a complete teaching system aimed at the aspiring stenographer, .see full details
First edition, regular copy on Lafuma (after 25 on Japon and 50 on Hollande, total edition 1330).more...
A brilliant literary jeu d’esprit presenting contemporary French authors as shopkeepers: François Mauriac presides over a butcher’s, La Chair et la sang, Macorlan, a fishmonger’s, Les Poissons morts, Max Jacob, a photographer’s studio, Le Cabinet noir, Colette sells travel goods from La Vagabonde, Carco presides over a brothel, Rien q’une Femme, Gide sells gorceries at Nourritures terrestres, while Jean Cocteau presents a crazy sideshow booth, La Noce massacrée..see full details
A very rare publisher’s advert for children’s books, issued on behalf of Amable Rigaud (a pseudonym of children’s author and publisher Charles de Ribelle), publisher at 50 rue Sainte Anne, Paris.more...
Rigaud was prolific from around 1859 to 1880 and this fine lithograph appears to date from the early part of this period. It lists 15 different title all published around 1859-61 including Histoire des siècles. Des Découvertes et inventions, Livre des jeunes personnes vertueuses, Le grand Alphabet pittoresque de la jeunesse, Le Monde et se merveilles and Histoire des animaux célèbres. Born in 1810 Ribelle had also founded a juvenile magazine Journal des enfants..see full details
First edition in French of Mrs Ross’s gothic Minerva Press novel, The Balance of Comfort; or the Old Maid and Married Woman (1817).more...
At least 13 novels have been attributed to Ross, published between 1811 and 1825, mostly by the Minerva press. This set is bound in distinctive crimson bindings, with the crown and ‘ML’ monogram of Marie Louise, Empress of France, later Duchess of Parma, the second wife of Napoleon. Her library was sold in the 1930s..see full details
A fine calligraphic manuscript bound in fishskin, an excerpt from the first book of the Compleat Angler: Walton’s ever-prescient paean to the element of water: ‘The water is the eldest daughter of the Creation, the element upon which the Spirit of God did first move, the element which God commanded to bring forth living creatures abundantly; and without which, those that inhabit the land, even all creatures that have breath in their nostrils, must suddenly return to putrefaction.more...
It is the work of artist and educator Thomas Swindlehurst for the Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society for the Florence exhibition of 1952. Swindlehurst (1900-1965) studied calligraphy and lettering at the Royal College of Art under Edward Johnston, 1924-1927. He taught at Cheltenham College of Art and Leeds School of Art from ca. 1931-1959. (’Tom Swindlehurst remembered’. The Scribe, no. 35, winter 1985). Several of his manuscripts are preserved in the National Art Library at V&A).see full details
An illustrated collection of epithets on love and the relationships between men and women, a witty reflection of the sexual politics of fin-de-siècle Paris. The conceit of the title, and the charming accompanying vignette, involves communication (or perhaps miscommunication) via headphones and a phonographic machine operated by Cupid. It is a nice example of the contemporary fascination with the potential of electronic communications, with echoes of the science-fiction fantasy La Fin des livres by Albert Robida published in the same year, in which a new world of literature was a network of wires and headphones and of the Theatrophone apparatus recently exhibited at the Paris exhibitions..see full details