Archive: "Literature" Category

When Sherlock Holmes Retired

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s final collection of Sherlock Holmes stories turns a century old this week! Published 22 October 1917, His Last Bow: Some Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes includes stories which appeared in The Strand magazine in the first decade of the 20th century, including “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” and “The Disappearance of …

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Rediscovered works by Whitman

A PhD candidate, Zachary Turpin, made headlines in 2016 and again this year when he announced the discovery of two long-forgotten works by Walt Whitman: a series of newspaper articles entitled “Manly Health and Training” and a short novel, The Life and Adventures of Jack Engle: an Auto-Biography. Both texts were recently published in the …

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Illustrating Wordsworth

Wordsworth’s poetry was rarely illustrated during his lifetime, but after his death, publishers began issuing collections of his poems accompanied by illustration. Some of Great Britain’s top painters and designers, like Albert Henry Warren, Miles Birket Foster and John McWhirter, provided illustrations for these deluxe editions. Here is a very brief sampling of illustrated Wordsworth …

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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 …

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The Victorian “Shilling Shocker”

The Victorian period saw a huge growth in literacy in the British Isles. In 1841, around 2/3 of adult men were literate and 1/2 of adult women were literate. By the end of the century, literacy was almost universal, with 97% of all adults able to read. As the lower classes joined the ranks of …

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Walking With Thoreau

Philosopher, naturalist, and writer Henry David Thoreau was born July 12, 1817. To celebrate the life of this influential American writer, Special Collections is displaying first editions of his work in our reference room, including copies of Walden and “Civil Disobedience.” The exhibit, “Walking With Thoreau: A 200th Anniversary Celebration,” is on display throughout the …

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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 …

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