Bazaar Literature

Special Collections’ newest major exhibit, Welcome to Our Charity Bazaar, features an interesting subgenre of Victorian literature: poems, stories, and books produced for sale at fundraising fairs throughout the 19th century in Great Britain and the United States. Many famous authors of the period contributed pieces which were printed either as standalone items or anthologized in souvenir keepsake volumes, which were then sold to raise money for a charitable cause. Authors featured in the exhibit include novelists Robert Louis Stevenson and Harriet Martineau and poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Martineau’s novel, Dawn Island (shown here), was written for the benefit of a political organization, the Anti-Corn Law League, and its 1845 bazaar.

Come see this work, along with many other items produced for and about the Victorian charity bazaar! The exhibit will be open through Spring 2018.


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