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Blackwell’s old acquaintance, Florence Nightingale, writes to her in an apparently unpublished letter of 1871 of the difficulties of public health projects, which would involve: ‘going, for instance, into all the back slums of London & other towns –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 edition, rare, dedicated to René Ghil.more...
The first collection (and one of the most popular works) by American Symbolist poet Merrill, who wrote mainly in French and who had studied under Mallarmé (to whom the first poem here, ‘La Flûte’, is dedicated). Les Gammes received wide critical acclaim throughout Europe and was the work that launched his literary career..see full details
A collection of charming illustrations by Bianco (1906-1994) an English-born American child prodigy who came to light in the 1910s. In 1919, at the age of thirteen she exhibited work at a children’s show in Turin, then in London and New York. She later illustrated a children’s edition of Blake’s, Songs of Innocence in 1928 and her work appears in many American galleries and museums, including MoMA, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Carnegie Museum of Art. The accompanying verses are by René Chalupt..see full details
A calligraphic certificate by Julia Beck, being the copy of a letter of 8 June 1914 sent by a leader of the women’s movement in France, Isabelle Bogelot to Canadian feminist, Lady Aberdeen endorsing the new book by Indiana feminist, May Wright-Sewell, entitled Genesis of the International Council of Women (1914).more...
It was written on behalf of the Conseil National des femmes françaises.
Calligrapher Julia Beck was born in Stockholm in 1853 and moved to Paris in 1883. She became one of the first female artists from her country to make a living through art alone. She is best-known for her landscape paintings in the Impressionist style, which were highly regarded in France and abroad, but she supported herself partly through commercial calligraphy, at which she excelled. She was a committed advocate for women artists..see full details
First edition, large paper copy on vergé (and rare thus).more...
The scandalous memoirs of Philadelphia-born Harriet Ely Blackford, dubbed ‘Fanny Lear’, who conducted an affair with Grand Duke Nicholas Constantinovich, nephew of Czar Nicholas I between 1870 and 1874. In 1874 she was accused of stealing diamonds belonging to the imperial family and was banished from the court..see full details
Contemporary caricature portraits of the great American millionaires Carnegie, Pierpont-Morgan, Gordon-Bennett, Harjes, Frick and Depew.more...
The drawing was probably intended for reduction and publication in an (unidentified) journal. Rouveyre (1879-1962) was immensely prolific as a caricaturist and maintained friendships and correspondence with important figures such as Apollinaire and Matisse (having met the latter as joint students of the symbolist painter Gustave Moreau)..see full details
NORDENDORF, C.C. de. Attack Step Quickstep. Danville (Va.): Mrs E. L. Nordendorf, . Not found in OCLC.
2. SCHILLING, Fred[erick]. Brothers hasten on to Battle. Brooklyn: D.S. Holmes, . OCLC: Lincoln Presidential Library only.
3. DOANE, Howard. Bury me in the Valley. Cincinnati: John Church, [n.d.]. OCLC: Ohio State University only [possibly another edition].
4. MCNAUGHTON, J.H. The faded Coat of Blue or the nameless Grave. Ballad. Buffalo, Penn & Remington, . Stain to lower margins. OCLC: UC Santa Barbara and Library Company of Philadelphia.
5. CLARK, James C. Fremont’s Battle Hymn. Quartett. Rochester: Joseph P. Shaw, . Not found in OCLC.
6. PARKHURST, Mrs. E. A. Funeral March, to the Memory of Abraham Lincoln, the Martyr President of the United States of America. New York: Horace Waters, 1865. Advert on final page cropped (with some loss) at foot. Issue without vignette portrait.
7. MACK, E. General McClellan’s Grand March. Philadelphia, Lee & Walker . Issue without coloured lithograph plate. OCLC: Michigan, Duke, Pennsylvania and Brown Universities.
8. WINNER, Septimus. Give us back our old Commander. Philadelphia, Winner & Co, . OCLC: LC and Morgan.
9. EASTBURN, The hearty Welcome Home. Philadelphia: Smith, 1865. OCLC: no copies of Smith imprint but 2 of Auner: AAS and NYHS and one of Johnson imprint: NYHS.
10. BECKEL, J. C. Monody on the death of Abraham Lincoln. Sixteenth President of the United States. Born Feb. 12th, 1808, died by the hand of an assassin April 15th, 1865. Philadelphia: Marsh, 1865. OCLC: this issue Lincoln Museum only plus one copy of a Cincinnati imprint of same year at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.
11. WHEELOCK, O. Richmond Falls, the War is O’er: Philadelphia: March, 1865. No hard copy found in OCLC.
12. CASONELLA. A Song of Peace. New York, W. A. Pond, 1865. OCLC: UPenn, Ocean State, Brigham Young, AAS. .see full details
George Woodward, affectionately dubbed ‘Mustard George’ by his contemporaries, was one of the pioneers of English caricature.more...
Like his drinking-partner Thomas Rowlandson, Woodward absorbed high and low culture omnivorously and paid keen attention to contemporary politics.
A Political Fair is ‘a fantastic survey of the international situation’ in 1807 and is considered one of Woodward’s finest images, the print catalogue of the British Museum devoting two full pages to its complex allegories. At the heart of the fair is a large booth (‘The Best-Booth in the Fair’) representing Great Britain holding aloft on its platform images of Britannia, John Bull, together with an Irishman, Scotsman and Welsh harpist gathered convivially around a punchbowl, while a waiter sweeps into the chamber below with a vast joint of roast beef on his platter. All this was typical of Woodward’s patriotism and was intended to portray the essential unity of the nation amidst the host of clamouring figures in the neighbouring booths representing the other nations. Napoleon, in tricorn and feathers, rebuffs a disgruntled Dutchman complaining about his King with the words ‘I never change Mynheer after the goods are taken out of the Shop’. High up on the right, the American booth displays a placard advertising ‘Much ado about Nothing with the Deserter’, a reference to the friction between Britain and the United States over recent defections from British to American ships and the ban on armed British ships in American ports. The Danish booth on the left advertises ‘The English Fleet and The Devil to Pay’ in reference to the hideous bombardment of Copenhagen by the British fleet in September that year.
Musical and theatrical references abound, with many of the placards punning on the titles of plays and musical performances then showing in London: Much ado about Nothing, All’s well that ends well (Shakespeare), The Padlock (Bickerstaffe), The Deserter (Dibdin), The Double Dealer (on the Russian booth, by Congreve) and The English Fleet (Dibdin again)..see full details