Archive: "Victorian and Edwardian Literature" Category

A Christmas Welcome to the Saviour Guest

Special Collections’ latest exhibit features Christmas tales and poems from the 19th century. It brings together items from across our major collecting areas: the Americana, Victorian, Rare American Literature, Fine Press, and Literary Manuscripts collections. This is a great chance to see the breadth of our literature collections—from a first edition of A Christmas Carol …

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Victorian Leisure: Sports

Before the Victorian period, leisure time (and the means to pursue recreation) was largely something only the upper classes could afford. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, the middle class was able to pursue recreation — and as a group, they wanted their leisure activities to be moral, respectable, and productive. The Victorian middle class was …

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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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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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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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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. VICTORIAN NOVELS 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. …

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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’s earliest publications were children’s stories and treatises on education, but in 1800, she burst on the scene as a novelist with Castle …

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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 …

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