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More poetry from Special Collections: Edna St. Vincent Millay

Another prominent book of poetry which is having a major anniversary in 2017 is Edna St. Vincent Millay’s collection Renascence and Other Poems. Millay (1892-1950) was a popular lyric poet of the first half of the 20th century, and this was her first book.

The title poem, “Renascence,” first appeared in 1912. Millay, aged 19, submitted the poem to a prize contest whose top entries would be published in an annual volume called The Lyric Year. Millay’s poem came in fourth place, but because contemporary critics saw “Renascence” as the strongest piece in the volume, losing the top prize actually brought her more attention than had she won. Millay would go on to attend Vassar College; Renascence and Other Poems was published the year she graduated, 1917. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the third woman to do so, in 1923.

Fun fact: BYU’s copy of Renascence and Other Poems was once presented as a gift by famed 20th century American lawyer Clarence Darrow.

Louisa May Alcott: Film Adaptations

Next year will be the 150th anniversary of the beloved novel Little Women, and if you’ve been following film and television news, you may know that several different production companies are planning on adapting the book for the screen! Alcott’s novels are no stranger to film and television; you may be a fan of one of the Little Women movie treatments, from the 1933 George Cukor version starring Katharine Hepburn to the 1994 film starring Susan Sarandon and Winona Ryder (not to mention the 1949 film version, the silent film versions, the anime version, or the various BBC and NBC miniseries produced over the years).

Of course with film and television adaptations of novels come the inevitable movie tie-in editions. Here are are few examples from the Louisa May Alcott Collection. All are available for research!

Two editions promoting the 1934 Mascot Picture production of Little Men:

Two editions promoting the 1949 MGM production of Little Women:

A bilingual version of the 1994 Columbia Pictures film script, intended for English-language learners:

More poetry from Special Collections: Matthew Arnold

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Matthew Arnold’s important collection New Poems (Macmillan, 1867). The collection contains some of Arnold’s best known poems, such as “Dover Beach,” “Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse,” and “Thyrsis.” It also reprints his long poem “Empedocles on Etna,” which Arnold first published in 1852 and then immediately withdrew the book from publication; Robert Browning helped persuade Arnold to reissue the poem.

Special Collections owns a number of first editions of Arnold’s works, including his poetry, essays, and literary criticism. They can be found by searching the library catalog or by searching the The David Magee Collection of Victorian Books.


It is an ancient Mariner . . . exhibit

This month’s Special Collections lobby exhibit, “The Willing Suspension of Disbelief,” is devoted to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” from its first appearance in the 1798 Lyrical Ballads (shown here) to modern illustrated editions. And, since it’s National Poetry Month, you’re invited to a dramatic reading of the poem by the exhibit curator, English Language and Literature Librarian Robert Means, on Wednesday, April 19th at 11 a.m. in the HBLL auditorium.

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.

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