Hockney’s Bigger Book – and a smaller one.

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This morning we took delivery of A Bigger Book, David Hockney’s retrospective collection of more than 450 works from throughout his career. Measuring 70 x 50 cm, it is a spectacular survey of more than 60 years of Hockney’s work, from his teenage days at the Bradford School of Art, Los Angeles swimming pools in the 1970s, and more recent portraits, iPad drawings and Yorkshire landscapes.

A Bigger Book comes with its own bookstand, designed by Marc Newson, and provides a colourful centrepiece to the Wren Library, where it will be on display next week, 9–13 Jan 2017 (the Library is open to the public Monday to Friday, 12–2).

This copy, no. 2101 from the limited edition signed by the artist, was presented to the College by Nicholas Kessler, whose remarkable collection of livres d’artistes is one of the newer highlights of the Wren’s holdings. Another recent addition to the Kessler collection is a group of twenty Hockney posters from the collection of the late Jonathan Silver, the Bradford entrepreneur who established Salt’s Mill and 1853 Gallery in Saltaire, which is home to one of the largest collections of David Hockney’s art.

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As well as Hockney’s Bigger Book, the Kessler collection includes what is probably Hockney’s smallest book, a miniature edition of Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm with 39 etchings by Hockney, printed by the Petersburg Press in 1970. This page shows Rapunzel letting down her hair.

Click here for a video interview with David Hockney on the making of A Bigger Book.

 

On the fifth day of Christmas …

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These five gold rings come from the Dolphin Inn Hoard discovered by workmen excavating beneath a Cambridge coal yard on the site of the former Dolphin Inn in 1817. They were found, along with coins and other pieces of jewellery, contained within a leather bag and buried in the former Inn’s cellars. At the time of their discovery, the finds were reported in local newspapers and the descriptions provided enable identification of the hoard of coins as belonging to the Long Cross coinage of the 31st year of the reign of Henry III (1246-7). This coinage was in regular use up until 1279 thereby enabling a dating of the contents of the hoard to the mid to late 13th century. Many of the items were removed by the workmen and other pieces subsequently went astray, but the rings were given to the Library by Alderman Elliot Smith in the late 19th century. By this time, their story had been embellished with the detail that they were discovered on the hands of a skeleton!

It is unusual for coin hoards also to contain jewellery, but in the medieval period such rings were common, low value items and not indicators of great wealth. The rings are gold and set with what are probably polished and uncut semi garnets, although at the time of their discovery they were described as containing a sapphire, two amethysts, a ruby and another unidentified gem.

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Whewell’s Court and the corner of All Saint’s Passage and Sidney Street

The coal yard was situated at the corner of All Saint’s Passage (formerly known as All Hallows in the Jewry and later as Dolphin Lane) and Sidney Street. This is now the site of Trinity’s Whewell’s Court. For a map dated 1798 showing the coal yard click here.

Who buried the hoard? In 1279 this messuage was recorded as belonging to one Richard Crocheman, a member of a prominent family of Cambridge merchants, but he is not known to have occupied the site. A number of jewellers and goldsmiths were also known to be working in this area in the medieval period, but it has also been suggested that the burial of the hoard may be linked to the persecution and expulsion of the local Jewish population (living and working around the Bridge Street area) in the second half of the 13th century.

This post is the first of our new series focusing on Library curios.

 

Further Reading: Cessford, C., Newman, R., Allen, M. and Hinton, D., ‘The Dolphin Inn Hoard: Re-examining the Early Nineteenth-Century Discovery of a Mid-Thirteenth-Century Hoard from Cambridge’, Archaeological Journal, 168:1 (2011), pp. 272-84

 

Wren Curios

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Currently we welcome around 100 people a day to the Wren Library. Tourists come to marvel at the architecture of the building, the stained glass, portraits and marble busts, and to view the special displays of manuscripts and printed books.

Visitors to the Wren Library during the 18th and 19th centuries, however, would have had a very different experience. In this period, it was not unusual for libraries to acquire items in addition to books including scientific instruments, natural history specimens and antiquities. These collections were intended to complement book-learning and had their origins in the ‘cabinets of curiosities’ which had been popularised during the 16th and 17th centuries.

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The English Globe by Joseph Moxton, 1679.
Image © the Whipple Museum (Wh.1466)

The accumulation of objects meant that the Library became, in many ways, also the city’s museum. Visitors may have seen, at various times, items as miscellaneous as a quiver of arrows allegedly used by Richard III at Bosworth, a rhinoceros’ horn, several globes and a speaking trumpet! Two more organised collections which came to the Library were those of coins from Beaupré Bell (1704–1741) and artefacts from the first voyage of Captain Cook between 1768 and 1771 given by Lord Sandwich. Scientific instruments including telescopes, dials and a barometer were transferred to an observatory established over Trinity’s Great Gate in the early 18th century.

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pavillionBecause the Library had been built to house books, items were fitted in wherever there was space. Old guide books refers to Roman inscriptions and sculpture (the Cotton Collection) in the vestibule at the bottom of the stairs; items from Cook’s Pacific voyage on the first landing; and, in the Library itself, collections of medals and coins, and Anglo-Saxon antiquities.  These were all displayed in addition to books and manuscripts.

An unusual feature of the above photograph of the Wren in the 19th century is the drapery which covered the Cipriani window on the south wall of the library. While the Victorians were happy to fill the Wren with antiquities, curiosities and other frivolities they disliked what they saw as the gaudiness of the 18th-century window in an otherwise austere building. Also, allegory was not to the Victorian taste and the window was covered for many years by large curtains which obscured, to their eyes, the slightly distasteful iconography of a partially-clad lady as the muse of the College.  This was one curiosity too many!

In the 20th century, the decision was taken to loan many of the objects to other museums which had by now been established in Cambridge. The coins, for example, went to the Fitzwilliam Museum, scientific instruments to the Whipple Museum and the Pacific artefacts to the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. A few curios, however, remain here at Trinity and we will be highlighting some of them on the blog over the course of the next year. Look out for the first one on 29th December!

Further Reading:

McKitterick, D (ed.), The Making of the Wren Library (Cambridge, 1995), chapter 3.

The Crewe Collection

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Yesterday we officially announced the arrival at Trinity of the Crewe bequest of over 7500 books. It is described by the Librarian, Dr Nicolas Bell, as ‘an extraordinary library – one of the most important private collections in Britain’ and is one of the largest bequests in the Library’s history. The collection includes major works of English and French literature, rare political pamphlets and several unpublished literary manuscripts, as well as first editions inscribed by Byron, Shelly, Wordsworth and Tennyson.

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Richard Monkton-Milnes

The books were bequeathed by Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe who died in 2014 and whose father, Robert Crewe-Milnes, and grandfather, Richard Monckton Milnes, both studied at Trinity before embarking on important political careers. The collection was built up between the 1830s and the early twentieth century. Many of the books were presented by their authors to Monckton Milnes, later Lord Houghton, who was a leading Liberal in Victorian politics as well as a writer and poet. At the time of the bequest the collection was kept at West Horsley Place, the Surrey house bought by Crewe-Milnes in 1931.

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Over the past year the collection has been transported to the Wren Library and the long process of sorting, classifying, cleaning and conserving the books has begun. The first few hundred volumes have been added to the Library’s online catalogue, selected volumes are on display during public opening hours and, by appointment, all of the books are available to researchers for consultation. A small first selection of books has been added to the Wren Digital Library.

You can read more about the collection here and here. For a family tree, click here.

 

 

Photograph of the Month

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Female Collier from Rose Bridge Pits, Wigan, 1869

Our final photograph for this year is taken from the Munby Collection. This major 19th-century collection of photographs and diaries, put together by Arthur J Munby (1828-1910), came to Trinity in the early 20th century and was opened, after an interval under the terms of the bequest, in 1950.

The collection’s significance lies in the interest Munby showed in the lives of working women. He kept diaries, made notes and sketches, and amassed a major collection of photographs including those of pit brow girls, female colliers, fisher girls, milk women, acrobats and domestic servants. The Sub-Librarian, Sandy Paul, discusses his interest in the collection here.

The entire collection will eventually be accessible via Adam Matthew Publications. In the meantime a few images are reproduced below:

Further Reading:

Hiley, M., Victorian Working Women: Portraits from Life (London, 1979)

Recent Additions to the Wren Digital Library (III)

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Recent additions to the Wren Digital Library include a volume from the Benedictine Cathedral Priory in Canterbury (Christ Church), a 15th century volume of sermons on the Gospels, a book of alchemy once owned by Dr Dee, several Greek texts and a beautifully ornamented theological text.

B.3.32, Augustini et Aliorum Sermones

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B.3.32, f.4r

This manuscript is written in a script identified by Dr Teresa Webber of Trinity as the ‘Christ Church style’ and indicates that the training of scribes that took place within the community of the Priory. Other examples include B.3.5 and B.5.28. In a period of considerable production (1090-1120) these scribes worked alongside those who had been trained elsewhere – for example in manuscript O.4.34 – and those who employed a combination of styles (for example in R.15.22).

B.2.17, Sermons on the Gospels in English

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B.2.17, f.37v

This volume contains a number of Wycliffite sermons. It was given to the Library by Thomas Nevile, but prior to that belonged to William Chark, a puritan preacher, religious controversialist and ejected fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge.

O.7.35, Alchemica

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O.7.35, f33v

This volume is from the library of the Tudor physician, Dr John Dee. He owned one of the greatest private libraries of 16th century England which he claimed comprised over 3000 books and 1000 manuscripts. Dee’s library catalogue is also at Trinity College (O.4.20). The featured page of this Book of Alchemy has a diagram of a furnace.

O.2.34, Fragmenta Graeca, etc

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There are over forty medieval Greek manuscripts in the Wren Library, many of which have now been digitised. They can be found by searching the online catalogue using the search term ‘language’ and selecting ‘Greek’. The featured volume was formerly bound with O.8.33 and also contains a page of astrological text in English (f. i).

O.5.5, Vigilius Thapsensis etc

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O.5.5, f.83v

This manuscript was produced, probably in northern France, during the 14th century. As well as beautiful ornamented borders, it also contains several larger illuminations. M. R. James commented ‘It is unusual to find so sumptuous a copy of comparatively uncommon patristic tracts’.

Sources, Further Reading and Useful Links:

Webber, T., ‘Script and Manuscript Production at Christ Church’ in Canterbury and the Norman Conquest: Churches, Saints and Scholars 1066-1109, Eales, R. and Sharpe, R. (eds), London (1995), pp. 145-158.

The Pinakes website for Greek manuscripts.

The Pethick-Lawrences: A Radical Partnership

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Visitors to the Wren Library during the next few weeks will be able to see a special display case containing items from the Pethick-Lawrence collection. For those unable to visit, we have devised an online exhibition (click on the top left box labelled Prologue to begin):

 

 

For those who would prefer to examine the exhibits in more detail see below (click on the images to open the document viewer).

PROLOGUE

Emmeline Pethick and Frederick Lawrence, both from middle-class backgrounds, met in 1900 through their involvement in social work in the East End of London.

Emmeline first came to London to manage a club for young working women, and she and her friend Mary Neal had gone on to establish their own club, with a related dressmaking business.

Fred, a Trinity man, had been inspired by the university settlement movement, the aim of which was to encourage university-educated people to live and work in deprived urban areas, and he was working at a settlement house in the East End when he met and fell in love with Emmeline.

Fred had been intending to pursue a career as a Liberal Unionist MP, but Emmeline, a fervent socialist, challenged him to reconsider his political views, and after a period of serious reflection, which included a trip to South Africa to observe the effects of the Boer War, he came to adopt a more radical position.

The couple married in 1901 and took the unusual step of linking their surnames.

PASSION

Emmeline’s l001_peth7_48-p1etter to Fred on 27 June 1901, just after his first proposal of marriage, contains a heartfelt declaration of her commitment to socialism:

… my first consciousness was the clearest, strongest & most inveterate sense of the dignity & worth of the human body & soul above everything else ~ and this has forced me into life long campaign ~ against every sort of bondage, against all sorts of established authorities: and it is [this which] has kept me (not by choice but by inward necessity) always against the stream …  This is the great contest of the coming century: the life and death struggle of human life against material mastery.

VOTES FOR WOMEN

From 1906 the Pethick-Lawrences were at the heart of the peth-6_109-frontmilitant wing of the women’s suffrage movement, which they helped to organise and finance. Emmeline became treasurer of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) and devised its distinctive colour scheme of purple, white, and green: “Purple as everyone knows is the royal colour, it stands for the royal blood that flows in the veins of every suffragette, the instinct of freedom and dignity … white stands for purity in private and public life … green is the colour of hope and thpeth-3_272-10e emblem of spring.”

Fred founded the newspaper Votes for Women, which he co-edited with his wife.

 

 

 

 

PRISON

Emmeline was imprisoned six times for her actions in support of the suffragette movement, and Fred also went to prison for the cause. Both endured forcible feeding while on hunger strike. These are some of the letters they were allowed to write to each other from prison:

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CONSPIRACY

Some in the suffrage movement, including Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel, felt that violent measures such as the smashing of shop-windows and arson were justified ways of drawing attention to the peth7_170-p22cause.

After a spate of window-breaking in March 1912 the Pethick-Lawrences were arrested and tried for conspiracy, even though they opposed this form of protest. This is the text of Emmeline’s speech to the jury.

The Pethick-Lawrences spent large amounts of money on legal costs and fines, both for themselves and others, and eventually had to auction the contents of their home, though they just escaped bankruptcy.

DIVISION

As a result of their objections to violent protest the Pethick-Lawrences were induced to leave the WSPU, though they continued to edit Votes for Women. These are two of the letters exchanged between the two Emmelines at this time:

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EPILOGUE

In 1918 the suffrage movement in the United Kingdom finally began to see success, with the grant of the vote to certain categories of women over the age of 30.

After the First World War Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence became a well-known international campaigner for women’s rights and peace.

Her husband became a Labour MP. In 1942 he was briefly Leader of the Opposition, and as Secretary of State for India between 1945 and 1947 he was instrumental in the negotiations which led to that country’s independence. He was raised to the peerage in 1945.

Lord and Lady Pethick-Lawrence at the gate of their Surrey home in 1949.
Lord and Lady Pethick-Lawrence at the gate of their Surrey home in 1949.

 

Photograph of the Month

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Add.P.315

Henry Martyn Taylor (1842–1927) was an undergraduate at Trinity and later a Fellow. A mathematician who contributed to the study of geometry, he is also remembered for an innovation which made mathematical texts more accessible to blind people. After catching influenza at the age of 52, his sight was damaged and he eventually became completely blind. Undeterred, he familiarised himself with Braille script and the Braille typing machine and went on to develop a series of new symbols for mathematical notation and diagrams within the Braille system. He also founded the Embossed Scientific Books Fund under the auspices of the Royal Society in order to make these texts more widely available.

Bromide and champagne: a new glimpse of Housman at Trinity

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A. E. Housman, portrait drawing by William Rothenstein, Trinity College Cambridge

A. E. Housman lived in Trinity College for the last 25 years of his life, following his appointment as Professor of Latin at Cambridge in 1911. A newly discovered collection of 53 hitherto unknown letters to his godson reveals much about life in College between the wars. While a student at Oxford in 1887-81, Housman developed an infatuation for his contemporary Moses Jackson, and his disappointment that the love was unrequited is often seen to have contributed to the wistfulness of many of Housman’s poems. Moses Jackson subsequently married and emigrated to India, but he remained in contact with Housman, who became godfather to Jackson’s fourth son, Gerald. Gerald Jackson kept his godfather’s letters, and they have recently been acquired from his family as a major addition to Trinity’s Housman collections.

 

The letters span Housman’s final decade, from 1927 to 1936. Gerald Jackson, born in 1900, had left university to undertake geological fieldwork in the copper mines of Northern Rhodesiaimg_9356. In 1927 he was considering pursuing a research degree in geology, and wrote to his godfather for advice on studying in Cambridge. Housman was characteristically diffident, writing that ‘it is no good asking my opinion and advice, which are valueless, as I stick to my job and know hardly anything about scientific studies here’. He nevertheless made arrangements with Tresillian Nicholas, the geologist who was about to be appointed Senior Bursar of Trinity, for Jackson to be kept a table in the College laboratory. In the end Jackson ended up studying at the Royal School of Mines, part of Imperial College London, but spent a few months at Trinity from November 1930, staying in B3 New Court. A letter from this time demonstrates Housman’s wish to be welcoming while following correct protocol with D. A. Winstanley, the Senior Tutor: ‘once you are admitted it will not be possible for me to ask you to the High Table, so will you come and dine with me in Hall on Monday, the first day I have free; and I will ask Winstanley to put off your fall in the social scale till afterwards.’

Jackson completed his D.Sc. in London, but Housman continued to profess ignorance whenever Jackson sent him some of his geological writings: ‘what it chiefly teaches me is the wealth of the English language, and my ignorance of it . . . full of beautiful new words, both long and short, of which my favourite is “ong” . . . The vocabulary, like the English army at Bannockburn, was “gay yet fearful to behold”.’

rs3830_tcl003404-hprHousman was a diligent and generous godfather, supporting his godson financially in order to enable him to prolong his decision of a final career. From 1932 Jackson trained in medicine at St Thomas’s Hospital, and he visited Housman in Trinity from time to time over the following years. Housman was always keen to pass on pieces of College news, and these give an air of the Combination Room conversation of the 1930s. In February 1933, Housman was appalled that ‘the Lent races are just over, in which Third Trinity was bumped by Fitzwilliam Hall, a disgrace unknown in history’, while the following month ‘the bronze Hermes in Whewell’s Court had his body painted black and his face yellow on the last night of term’. Later in 1933 Housman became ill for a prolonged period, but he had recovered sufficiently by the end of the year to eat 52 oysters on New Year’s Eve.

In 1935, following further medical problems, Housman moved from his rooms on K staircase of Whewell’s Court to B2 Great Court, a ground-floor set, ‘exceedingly comfortable, and the bathroom, which the College has equipped at its own expense, strikes the beholder dumb with admiration’. Although wisteria growing outside the window made it rather dark, the location was convenient for the Hall and for the lecture room (which is now the College bar). Before asking Jackson to send him a smoked ox tongue from Fortnum & Mason, Housman informed the trainee doctor of his own preferred medicine: ‘My walking is weak and slow, and for getting to sleep I am using diminishing doses of bromide, supplemented with champagne.’ Despite these sound preventative measures, Housman’s health continued to deteriorate, and following a period in the Evelyn Nursing Home, he briefly returned to College late in 1935, where he died on 30 April 1936. His last letter to his godson thanked him for sending a carefully chosen box of sweets to the staff of the nursing home on his behalf.

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The letters were purchased by the College through the generosity of an alumnus with particular interests in Housman. Harry Richardson Creswick was University Librarian in Cambridge, and did much to expand the UL’s holdings of Housman manuscripts in the 1950s and 60s. He kindly left a significant portion of his estate to Trinity, where it is used for the purchase of rare books and manuscripts.

For a further photograph of Housman, see this post. The autograph manuscript of A Shropshire Lad is available to view on the Wren Digital Library.

Photograph of the Month

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Trinity College Photos 16.17

This month we welcome new students to Trinity and shortly they will all visit the Wren Library to sign the Admission Book. College Statutes were altered to allow the admission of women to the college in 1975. This photograph dates from 1976, the year that female graduate students first arrived. Marian Hobson was elected the first female Fellow in 1977 and female undergraduates were admitted a year later in 1978.