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New acquisitions: literature by women

For Women’s History month, today’s post features some of our newest literary acquisitions by women authors, across several genres, from Victorian sensation fiction to the how-to book.


Harriet Rakes, The Marriage Contract. London, 1849. Call number: Victorian Collection PR 5205 .R68 M3 1849

Elizabeth Missing Sewell, Ivors, or The Two Cousins. London, 1856. Call number: Victorian Collection PR 5349 .S5 I96 1856

Mrs. Henry (Ellen) Wood, Mildred Arkell. London, 1865. Presentation copy. Call number: Victorian Collection PR 5842 .W8 M54 1865




Helen Dawes Brown, Little Miss Phoebe Gay. Boston, 1895. Call number: Alcott Collection PS 1139 .B33 L58 1895

Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden. London, 1911 (first edition). Call number: Rare Book Collection PS 1214 .S42 1911b




Isabella Beeton, How to Manage House and Servants. London, 1867. Call number: Victorian Collection TX 331. B41 1867

Acheta Domestica (L. M. Budgen), May Flowers. London, 1855. Call number: Victorian Collection QH 50 .B8 1855

Frances Power Cobbe, Essays on the Pursuits of Women. London, 1863. Call number: Victorian Collection HQ 1596 .C65 1863

It’s poetry season in Special Collections!

If you’re a poetry fan, you’ll want to stop by Special Collections in March and April to view our new lobby exhibits! This month, we’re displaying “Songs and Flowers of the Wasatch,” a Woman’s History Month exhibit which features lyrics and poems by 19th century Utah women. And next month — National Poetry Month, of course — we’ll be installing another exhibit featuring some fantastic items from our rare literature collections.

New acquisitions: William Wordsworth and British Romanticism

New additions to the Edward M. Rowe Collection of William Wordsworth include editions of Wordsworth’s poems as well as recently-published critical works and other secondary sources on Romantic literature and Wordsworth’s work. These include:

The Prelude: 1805, ed. James Engell (2016). Call number: Rowe Collection PR 5864 .A2 E54 2016.




 Mark Offord, Wordsworth and the Art of Philosophical Travel (Cambridge UP, 2016). Call number: Rowe Collection PR 5892 .T73 O34 2016




 Timothy Michael, British Romanticism and the critique of political reason (Johns Hopkins UP, 2016). Call number: Rowe Collection PR 448.P5 M53 2016




Robert Ryan, Charles Darwin & the Church of Wordsworth (Oxford UP, 2016). Call number: Rowe Collection PR 5892 .N2 R93 2016

Robert Burns Day 2017

In honor of Robert Burns’ birthday (Jan. 25, 1759) celebrations across the globe, check out these new additions to the Burns Collection!


Bàrdachd Raibeirt Burns ann an Gàidhlig: eadar-theangachaidhean na 19mh is na 20mh linn (The poetry of Robert Burns in Scots Gaelic: translations of the 19th and 20th centuries). Call number: Burns Collection PR 4304 .G34 B38 2016.




Jerry Brannigan and John McShane. Robert Burns in Edinburgh: an illustrated guide to Burns’ time in Edinburgh. Call number: Burns Collection PR 4338 .B485 2015.




John Cairney, The tycoon and the bard: Andrew Carnegie and Robert Burns. Call number: Burns Collection PR 4333 .C35 2016

Maria Edgeworth

New Year’s Day marked the anniversary of the birth of Anglo-Irish author Maria Edgeworth (1767 or 1768-1849). Edgeworth was one of the most prolific and successful novelists of the early 19th century.

edgeworth-novelsEdgeworth’s earliest publications were children’s stories and treatises on education, but in 1800, she burst on the scene as a novelist with Castle Rackrent, a satire of the English landowner class in Ireland. Edgeworth’s fiction deals with moral, political, and social issues of the early 19th century. Her novels were both popular and influential; Sir Walter Scott acknowledged the influence of Edgeworth’s historical novels on his own best-selling fiction, and Jane Austen mentions the novel Belinda in her own Northanger Abbey. Some scholars believe that Austen’s spirited heroines were inspired by Belinda and other Edgeworth characters.

Special Collections owns a number of examples of Edgeworth’s work, including the second edition of her early treatise Practical Education and first editions of her novels Leonora (1806) and Harrington (1817). Another important Edgeworth holding in Special Collections, the children’s book Harry and Lucy Concluded (1825), was inscribed by the author to two of her siblings and features her personal corrections.

Christmas with Dorothy and Louisa

Two recent additions to the literary authors collections are perfect for the upcoming Christmas season!


First: A Merry Christmas, and Other Stories (Penguin, 2014) anthologizes Louisa May Alcott’s holiday-themed short fiction and passages from novels like Little Women. There are numerous compilations of Alcott’s Christmas tales in the Alcott Collection, including picture books. Call number: Alcott Collection PS 1016 2014



Second: Scotland’s poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy transports readers to the Lake District on Christmas Eve, 1799, in Dorothy Wordsworth’s Christmas Birthday, a poem illustrated by Tom Duxbury (Picador, 2014). Call number: Rowe Collection PR 6054 .U38 D67 2014.

Jack London

100 years ago today, Jack London, American author and activist, died at age 40 in California. London is best known for his tales of the Klondike Gold Rush, including the novel The Call of the Wild and the oft-anthologized short story “To Build a Fire.” He was a prolific writer who wrote nearly two dozen novels, numerous poems, essays, and pieces of journalism, and even a couple of plays.


Special Collections owns a good number of first editions of London’s novels and books and pamphlets on socialism and labor activism, as well as first printings of stories in magazines like McClure’s. This photo depicts just a small sampling of the holdings in our vaults!

Jack London has a minor Mormon connection: at age 10, he met Ina Coolbrith, who was a librarian at the Oakland public library. Coolbrith, a niece of the prophet Joseph Smith who would later become California’s poet laureate, took young Jack under her wing and encouraged his reading and writing. He would later remember her as a sort of “literary godmother.”

Romantic Poetry in Special Collections

christabel tpL. Tom Perry Special Collections has acquired extensive collections of Romantic-era authors Robert Burns and William Wordsworth, but there are many other examples of Romantic literature to be found in our vaults. Special Collections Fall 2016 intern Rachel Rackham has put together a guide listing our earliest editions of major Romantic poets like Byron, Coleridge, and Keats. It is accessible here on Special Collections’ “Book History Guides and Bibliographies” page.


Comics & Rare Literary Authors

The library’s current Comics & Mormons exhibit features original artwork and published comics and graphic novels from Special Collections’ America Collection.  You may be surprised to learn that graphic novels, comic books, and even anime are hiding in other collections as well!

index-aspxBack in 2010, this blog featured some graphic novel treatments of Herman Meville’s Moby Dick. We’ve acquired several more since then, including versions of the novel illustrated by artists Chabouté, Rod Espinosa, and Penko Gelev. While Melville’s novel is definitely the most frequently adapted book in the Rare Literary Author collections, the Robert Burns, Walt Whitman, and Louisa May Alcott collections also contain graphic novel treatments of those author’s lives and works and the Alcott Collection even features an anime version of Little Women!

You can find these items by searching the library catalog with the genre terms “graphic novels” or “comic books.”

H.G. Wells

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of novelist Herbert George Wells. Best known for his science fiction, Wells’ first career was as a science teacher. His first forays at publishing were educational articles and even a science textbook (pictured at the left)!


Special Collections’ Victorian and Edwardian Collection is home to numerous first editions of Wells’ “scientific romances,” including The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1897). The collection also houses many of Wells’ political works and speeches.



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