An exploration of the first London stage production of Jane Austen’s Emma
The novels of Jane Austen have been the basis of many dramatic performances from the first home theatrical extracts arranged by Rosina Filippi and published by J M Dent in 1895, to the modern adaptations of the novels for the movie and television industries. The first full play to appear as a dramatic adaptation was a version of Pride and Prejudice published in 1906, and several more adaptations of this novel have continued to appear over the subsequent 100 years, including, in 1936, Miss Elizabeth Bennet by A.A. Milne, the author of Winnie-the-pooh.
Dramatic versions of Emma
The first full dramatic version of Emma to be published was Romances by Emma by DeWitt Bodeen in 1938, which was first performed in Pasadena, California. This was followed by Emma by Marion Morse MacKaye; the play was written in 1937 but the author died before its first publication by Macmillan and first performance at the North Dakota Agricultural College, both occurring in 1941. The first English dramatisation of Emma was a three act play called Emma, written by John Lindsey and Ronald Russell, which was published by the theatrical script publisher Samuel French in 1943 and first produced at The Little Theatre in Bristol in March of the same year.
The first London production of Emma
The first production of Emma to appear in a theatre in London was a three act play, Emma, written by Gordon Glennon and published by Macmillan in 1945. Before coming to St James’s Theatre in London, the play had a successful regional tour, opening with performances in Rugby in August 1943 and including a popular and critically acclaimed season in Manchester before the first London performance on 7th February 1945. The play was produced by the popular film star Robert Donat, who worked as a theatrical promotor during the Second World War. The play had a cast of 12 actors, led by Anna Neagle, (1904-1986), a popular starlet who had started as a stage dancer but who had achieved recent film successes in the title roles of films about Nell Gwyn (1935), Queen Victoria (1937 and 1938) and Edith Cavell (1939). As well as a very good copy of the first Macmillan edition of Emma (1945) in dust jacket, I also have a copy of the program for the London season of the play, which was only moderately successful at around 60 performances.
The play, which ran in London from February to April 1945 was in competition with air raids from Hitler’s Vengeance weapons, the V1 “Doodlebug” and the V2 rocket designed by Wernher von Braun. A V2 exploded very close to the theatre during one evening performance. There is interesting advice in the program to the theatre patrons on how to react to an air raid, which I have reproduced below.
Emma the play
The play is structured into three acts, with Act 1 consisting of a single scene and Acts 2 and 3 both arranged as two scenes each. The program tells us that the events take place in 1815. All of the action of the play occurs on the same set, which represents the Woodhouse’s drawing room at Hartfield. This means that we hear about events that occur elsewhere, such as Harriet’s encounter with the gypsies, and the Weston’s ball, all during conversations in the drawing room, and that Mr. Elton’s attempted proposal to Emma, Frank Churchill’s misapprehended conversation to Emma about Jane Fairfax and Emma’s insulting remark to Miss Bates all are arranged to occur within the Woodhouse’s drawing room.
The dialogue of the play is sometimes close to the original words of the novel and at other times diverges quite considerably. For instance, here from Act 2 Scene 2 of the play is Glennon’s version of the remark by Miss Bates which provokes Emma’s insult, followed by Emma’s unfortunate response:
Miss Bates: Oh, that will not be difficult. I shall be sure to say three dull things as soon as I open my mouth.
Emma: (unable to resist) Ah, madam, but you will be limited as to the number – only three at once.
Emma Act 2 Scene 2.
This is a considerable contraction of the original dialogue from Chapter 43 of Emma, which takes place during the outing to Box Hill. It diminishes the prolix nature of Miss Bates’ conversation. Here is the original as written by Jane Austen:
“Oh! very well,” exclaimed Miss Bates; “then I need not be uneasy. ‘Three things very dull indeed.’ That will just do for me, you know. I shall be sure to say three dull things as soon as ever I open my mouth, shan’t I?” looking round with the most good-humoured dependence on everyone’s assent. “Do you not all think I shall ?”
Emma could not resist.
” Ah, ma’am, but there may be a difficulty. Pardon me, but you will be limited as to the number – only three at once.“
Emma, Chapter XLIII
I leave the reader to judge how well or otherwise Mr. Glennon has done with this famous passage.
Images from the play
Both the program and the book of the play give the original cast list. I have reproduced the version from the program below. I am not aware of any changes to the cast during the play’s short London run. I assume that this program, which cost 6d, was held by a woman, as the red smudge, seen alongside Harriet Smith and Mr. Elton, appears to be lipstick!
I had wondered what the set and actors looked like and how authentic the costumes were. I have recently been fortunate enough to gain some insight into this. I have just received a copy of an edition of Emma published in 1890 by George Routledge and Sons Ltd. The Irish dealer who I bought it from had described the book as having “some newspaper cuttings stuck to the front prelims”. Imagine my delight to discover that these cuttings were pictures taken from a magazine of the London production of Gordon Glennon’s Emma, with Anna Neagle and the rest of the cast as listed above. Photos of Mr. Elton’s proposal to Emma, Frank Churchill’s non-proposal to Emma and Mr. Knightley’s proposal to Emma are shown below.
The play ends with the whole ensemble on stage, with everyone asked to toast the three future brides, Jane Fairfax, Harriet Smith and Emma Woodhouse in turn. Note that Glennon has decreed that Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax will marry. Also note that Robert Martin does not get an appearance in this version of Emma. Below is the picture of that final final toasting scene.
From the left we can see:
Miss Bates; Frank and Jane; Mr. Woodhouse; Mrs. Weston; Emma; Mr. Weston; Harriet; Serle; Mr. Knightley; Mrs. and Mr. Elton
Pride and Prejudice 3rd edition and the Crimean War
This posting is about my copy of the third edition of Pride and Prejudice and a link between its first owner and me, through the unlikely route of the Crimean War.
The First and Second Editions of Pride and Prejudice
The first three editions of Pride and Prejudice were all published by T. Egerton of Whitehall in London, who had also previously published Jane Austen’s first novel, Sense and Sensibility. Although Pride and Prejudice was published after Sense and Sensibility, it is generally agreed that the first draft of the novel, known to have been called First Impressions, was written before Sense and Sensibility. Jane’s sister, Cassandra Austen, reported that First Impressions was written between October 1796 and August 1797 at Steventon. Jane’s father, the Rev. George Austen, is known to have written to the London publisher Cadell about the manuscript on 1st November 1797, only to receive a rapid rejection of it sight unseen. We also know from letters that the family enjoyed readings of First Impressions in 1799. Before the publication of Sense and Sensibility, we know that Jane Austen returned to her “rejected” manuscript for major revisions around 1809-1810, changing the title as another author, Margaret Holford, had already published a novel called First Impressions in 1800. We know that the title Pride and Prejudice comes from the repeated use of the phrase on page 303 of Volume V of Fanny Burney’s Cecilia, a book that we know that Jane Austen possessed. After the successful publication of Sense and Sensibility in 1811, Jane Austen famously “lopt and cropt” the manuscript of Pride and Prejudice in 1812, before selling the copyright to Egerton for 110 pounds.
The first edition of Pride and Prejudice was published in late January 1813 in three volumes in an edition of 1000 copies. Where the first edition of Sense and Sensibility was famously written “By a Lady”, Pride and Prejudice carried the by-line “By the Author of Sense and Sensibility.” Pride and Prejudice is first recorded in a newspaper advertisement published on 28th January 1813, where the novel was advertised as on sale for 18 shillings. Although positive reviews were published in February, March and April of that same year, its reputation was largely spread by word of mouth and there was much conjecture about the identity, and even the gender, of the author.
The first edition of Pride and Prejudice sold out in a few months, and the second editions of both Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility were published by Egerton in late 1813. They were both in the original three volume format of the first editions, and although Jane Austen had made some slight changes to the second edition of Sense and Sensibility, it is believed that she had no opportunity to make any alterations to the second edition of Pride and Prejudice, and was not shown a proof. There are a few minor textural differences between the first and second editions of Pride and Prejudice that are generally explained as the correction of printer’s errors from the first edition, as well as the introduction of some new printer’s errors into the second. There is no definitive information on how many copies of the second edition were printed and sold, but the number is believed to be 1000 copies. David Gilson recorded in his bibliography that about 50 copies of the first edition and 25 copies of the second edition were known to have survived into the late 20th century.
The Third Edition of Pride and Prejudice
The third edition of Pride and Prejudice was the final edition of Jane Austen that was published by Egerton, following the first two editions of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice and the first edition of Mansfield Park in 1814. Indeed, it was in part the refusal of Egerton to publish a second edition of Mansfield Park that led to Henry Austen, Jane’s brother and de facto literary agent, to approach John Murray about the publication of the first edition of Emma and a second edition of Mansfield Park in 1816.
The third edition of Pride and Prejudice was published in 1817 as a two volume edition for 12 shillings. The precise date of publication is not known, and is of particular interest as Jane Austen died on July 18th 1817. Gilson reported knowledge of a copy with an inscription dated September 6th 1817, but more recently, a dealer has reported seeing a copy with an inscription from July 1817. There is no evidence that Jane Austen or any other member of the family had any input into the making of the third edition. The number of copies printed is not known, but is unlikely to be more than 1000. Gilson reported the existence of around 25 copies, including two in their original light blue binding.
To construct a two-volume version of Pride and Prejudice from the earlier three-volume versions required a renumbering of the chapters, as the chapter numbering was restarted for each volume. The first and second editions of Pride and Prejudice were made up as follows: Volume 1: Chapters 1-23; Volume 2: Chapters 1-19; Volume 3: Chapters 1-19, making 61 chapters in total. The third edition was constructed by making Volume 1 contain 33 chapters, that is all of Volume 1 from the first edition together with chapters 1-10 from Volume 2 of the first edition. Volume 2 of the third edition was made up of chapters 11-19 from Volume 2 of the first edition together with all 19 chapters from the original Volume 3. Unfortunately, Egerton misnumbered the chapters in Volume 2 of the third edition, numbering them 1-11 and 13-29, so that there appear to be 62 chapters rather than 61.
The structure of the third edition is important, as almost all of the reprints of Pride and Prejudice for the following 100 years use the text of the Egerton third edition as their source. There was no major review of the text until the Oxford edition edited by Robert Chapman was published in 1923. Fortunately, no other publishers repeated the chapter numbering mistake made by Egerton.
My copy of the third edition of Pride and Prejudice.
Figure 1 below shows my copy of the third edition of Pride and Prejudice. The books are in a rather worn half binding of brown marbled boards and brown soft leather on the spine and corners. The binding looks as if it could be contemporary, since the style is consistent with a binding of the first quarter of the 19th century. It is certainly not the original binding, which should be in light blue paper-covered boards.
The title pages of the two volumes are shown in Figure 2 below. They are typical of the style of title pages of their time, giving the standard information of title, author, volume number, publisher details and date with no decoration other than the small horizontal lines.
The “byline” is “by the author of Sense and Sensibility &c”, with the “&c” relating to Mansfield Park and Emma, which had been published in 1814 and 1816. Like the first and second editions of Pride and Prejudice, the publisher’s details are given as London: Printed for T. Egerton| Military Library, Whitehall. This is slightly misleading, as Egerton’s offices were actually in St. Martin’s Lane, but I think that the combination of “Military” and “Whitehall” is deliberately used in an attempt to make the publisher sound more prestigious. You can see from the images that the pages show some foxing, the brown discolouration caused by the interaction of mould with acidic paper. Indeed the paper quality is not particularly good, which is one of the issues that Henry Austen had with Egerton’s editions of his sister’s works. Both volumes were printed by C. Roworth of Bell-Yard, Temple-Bar. Roworth had printed Volume 1 of both the first and second editions of Pride and Prejudice, but not volumes two or three of those editions. The Roworth printing is generally regarded as superior to the printing of the other two volumes by G. Sidney. The next figure is of the first page of chapter 1 of volume 1, with the famous opening sentence. You can see from this scan that the thinness of the paper is allowing a faint image of the printing on the verso to be visible.
The word edition means that the type was reset anew for each edition, and this is clear by comparing the third edition with the two earlier ones, as the font size, line length and text block size are different from the first two editions. There are no illustrations in any of the Egerton editions of Jane Austen’s novels.
Provenance of my third edition of Pride and Prejudice
There are two very helpful items of evidence to identify the original owner of the book. There is a hand written inscription on the ffep of volume 2, and an armorial bookplate on the front paste-downs. Images of these are shown in Figure 4.
The inscription is ” Elizabeth Maria Philipps, Williamston” and the armorial bookplate is labelled “Pentre” with the motto “Solem Ferre Possum.” A little research soon revealed that Pentre was a place not a family name, and the coat of arms was of the Saunders-Davies family of Pentre in South Wales. On 31st July 1826, Elizabeth Maria Philipps, only daughter of Captain Owen Philipps of Williamstown, Pembrokeshire married David Arthur Saunders-Davies, of Pentre, Manordeifi near Boncath in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
The signature is clearly of Elizabeth Maria Philipps prior to her marriage, as she is using her maiden name and the name of the residence of her father. The 3rd edition was published in a single issue by Egerton in the middle of 1817, to our best knowledge. Miss Philipps, as she was before her marriage, must have obtained her copy some time between mid-1817 and mid-1826. Her birth date is unknown, nor is there any baptismal record for her, but from her age on her death certificate, she must have been born in 1805 or 1806, making her 19 or 20 years old at her marriage. It seems to me to be most likely that she obtained the book in her early teenage years, shortly after the book was published. The signature certainly looks quite firmly written and mature. The Pentre bookplate would have been applied following her marriage, when she took up residence as the lady of the house, her mother-in-law, Susannah Saunders, having died in 1823. The house passed into the ownership of her husband three years later, when his father Dr. David Davies died in 1829.
The mansion Pentre is shown below in a modern photograph. This is essentially the house as it was rebuilt and restored in the early 19th century. There had been several houses on the site for many centuries, and the estate had belonged to the Saunders family since the late 17th century. Dr David Davies had married the heiress of the Saunders estates, Susannah Saunders (1755-1823), who was the last survivor of the three daughters of Erasmus Saunders, on the understanding that their children would adopt the name Saunders-Davies. The house stayed in the Saunders-Davies family for five more generations of inheritance through the eldest son, until the 1950s.
I have no information on how my Pride and Prejudice left Pentre. Group Captain D A P Saunders-Davies, the last Saunders-Davies owner of Pentre, gave up the house around the early 1950s, and one imagines that there might have been a sale of the contents around that time, which would have included books. I bought the book in 2015 from a dealer in the East Midlands of England, who had acquired it from an English collector.
The Crimean War connection
Elizabeth Maria Philipps and David Arthur Saunders-Davies had five children, two daughters and three sons, born between 1829 and 1837. Elizabeth died on 19th July 1851 at Pentre. Her youngest daughter seems to have died during infancy, but her four eldest children survived her. The middle child was Owen Gwyn Saunders-Davies, who had been born early in 1834. After attending Eton, he joined the army and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 38th Regiment of Foot. The Crimean War between Britain, the Ottoman Empire and France on the one side and Russia on the other started in October 1853. One of the bloodiest battles was the assault on the Great Redan stronghold, during the siege of Sevastopol, on 18th June 1855. 2nd Lieutenant Owen Gwyn Saunders-Davies died during that assault. He was only 21 years old. His mother Elizabeth had not lived long enough to have to cope with that loss to the family.
There is an engraved portrait of 2nd Lieutenant Owen Gwyn Saunders-Davies in the National Portrait Gallery in London, which is taken from a drawing by Thomas Brigstocke, a Welsh artist and a relative of the Saunders-Davies family. The portrait shows the young officer in uniform.
This early death has always resonated with me, as my great grandfather, William Butcher (1825-1877), had been a Sergeant in the 68th Regiment of Foot and had served in the Crimean War. He had fought at the first two great battles of the war, Alma and Balaclava, and was shot in the abdomen during the battle of Inkerman on 5th November 1854. He must have been tough, since he survived and continued his army career, including action in India following the mutiny in 1857, until his discharge from the army in 1865. He married and started a family shortly after leaving the army, so if he had not survived his wound at Inkerman, I would not be here! Like many of the veterans of the Battle of Alma, he named his first born daughter Alma. The picture below shows a group of men from the 68th Regiment of Foot during the Crimean campaign. I doubt that my great-grandfather is in the picture, but it is still an image that I value.
Members of the Saunders-Davies family are still alive and I have been in correspondence with Elizabeth Maria Philipps’ five-times great-grand-daughter, who has given me information on the family, for which I am very grateful. I was pleased to send her a scan of her five-time great grandmother’s signature, and share with her the thought that her ancestor may have been an early fan of Jane Austen.
In this post I am exploring the provenance of the Groombridge Illustrated edition of Mansfield Park that I discussed in my last post, Price and Provenance 10. The book cover is shown below, with its engraved title page and frontispiece (Figure 1.)
My copy of this rare book has a hand-written dedication on the verso of the free front end paper. It is shown in Figure 2 below. It reads To | Lillie Bazley |With Emily’s love | July 1st 1876.
As a starting point, I searched on Ancestry.com for a Lillie Bazley whose birthday was 1st July, and who had been born between 1840 and 1860 in England. This search found a preexisting tree which contained an Elizabeth Mary (Lillie) Bazley born on 1st July 1857 in Eccles in Lancashire. Presumably Lillie had been a family nickname. On closer examination of that preexisting family tree, I was interested to see that Elizabeth Mary (Lillie) Bazley had married a military hero, General Sir Edward Pemberton Leach, V.C., K.C.B., K.C.V.O. Lillie Bazley was a member of a fairly distinguished family in her own right, as her father, Sir Thomas Sebastian Bazley, 2nd Baronet, was part of the minor nobility. I spent a few hours researching this family, and I have summarised my findings below. I have taken advantage of the fact that when a book is associated with a notable family, there is generally no shortage of available information about them.
The origins of the Bazley family
Elizabeth Mary (Lillie) Bazley, whom I shall call Lillie for short, was born on 1st July 1857 in Eccles, Lancashire to Thomas Sebastian Bazley (1829-1919) and Elizabeth Gardner (1828- 1890). At the time of her birth, her father had not yet inherited the baronetcy, so he was not yet Sir Thomas. His father, Sir Thomas Bazley, M.P. (1797-1885), Lillie’s grandfather, had been created the 1st Baronet Bazley of Hatherop in Gloucestershire, in 1869, on the advice of the Prime Minister William Gladstone, mainly for his services to the cotton industry. Sir Thomas had been born at Gilnow, near Bolton in Lancashire, the son of a sucessful cotton mill owner, another Thomas Bazley (1744-1845). In 1826 Sir Thomas had formed a partnership with another Lancastrian industrialist, Robert Gardner (1781-1866). Between them they took over a number of cotton mills in Lancashire, and developed the Barrow Bridge mill in Halliwell, which became famous as a model mill, and was the largest producer of fine cotton and lace in the world. On 1st November 1855, Robert Gardner’s daughter, Elizabeth, married Thomas Sebastian Bazley, the only son of Sir Thomas the 1st Baronet. Their first child was Lillie Bazley, the owner of my Mansfield Park.
Sir Thomas Bazley, who was named the 1st Baronet of Hatherop, after an estate that the family had purchased in Gloucestershire in 1867, had become sufficiently well known by 1875 that he was the subject of a Vanity Fair caricature by “Ape”, Carlo Pelligrini. The caricature is shown below in Figure 3, next to the more ordinary photograph of his erstwhile partner Robert Gardner. These two men are the grandfathers of Lillie Bazley.
Lillie Bazley was the first-born child of Thomas Sebastian Bazley and Elizabeth Gardner. She eventually had five other siblings:
Annie Caroline Bazley, born in 1862
Gardner Sebastian Bazley, born in 1863
Frances Annette Ellen Bazley, born in 1866
Jessie Marion Atkinson Bazley, born in 1868
Lucy Maud Mary Bazley, born in 1869
I have found this picture of the family, which is said to be from about 1900. I do not know exactly who the four ladies are. If the picture is from around 1900, my guess would be that the picture shows Sir Thomas Sebastian Bazley and his four daughters. Alternatively it could show Sir Thomas Sebastian and Lady Bazley with their three unmarried younger daughters. For this to be true, the picture must have been taken no later than 1890, when Lady Bazley died. I suspect that Lillie would not then have been in such a family picture, as she had married in 1883, the only one of the four sisters to marry before the death of Lady Bazley. The style of dress, the informality of the outdoor setting and the quality of the photograph suggest an Edwardian photograph rather than a late Victorian one. This makes me confident that one of these four ladies will be Lillie Bazley.
The Bazley Baronetcy
When Sir Thomas Bazley, the 1st Baronet, died in 1885, the title passed to his only son who then became Sir Thomas Sebastian Bazley, the 2nd Baronet Bazley of Hatherop. Sadly, Lillie’s brother, Gardner Sebastian Bazley, died in 1911, eight years before his father, the 2nd Baronet, so it was his son who eventually became Sir Thomas Stafford Bazley, the 3rd Baronet of Hatherop, in 1919 at the age of 12. The title is currently held by Sir Thomas Stafford Bazley’s eldest son, Sir Thomas John Sebastian Bazley, who became the 4th Baronet in 1997. Figure 5 below shows Lillie’s brother Gardner Sebastian Bazley as a young man, and his son Thomas Stafford Bazley as a boy.
The family seat, Hatherop Castle, had been purchased by the Bazley family in 1867.After the Second World War it was first leased and then sold, along with its surrounding estates, as the family wanted to see the property survive intact. It currently operates as a private school, and is shown below. Lillie Bazley is known to have lived here during several periods of her life.
Edward Pemberton Leach (1847-1913)
On 31st January 1883 Lillie Bazley married the then Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Pemberton Leach, VC, at Hatherop. Edward Pemberton Leach was born in Londonderry, Northern Ireland on 2nd April 1847. After finishing his education at Highgate School in London and the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, , he was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1866, the same regiment as his father, Sir George Archibald Leach (1820-1913). He was sent out to India in 1868, and in 1879, as a 31 year old captain in the Royal Engineers attached to the Bengal Sappers and Miners of the British Indian Army, he fought in the Second Afghan War, in which on 17th March 1879 he won a Victoria Cross. This event earned him a return to England to recuperate from his wounds and to receive his Victoria Cross from Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle on 9th December 1879. He returned to active service in India, and gained rapid promotion, so that less than four years later, when he returned to England to marry he was already a Lieutenant-Colonel. He later saw active service in Egypt and Sudan, before returning to senior commands in the UK. Other promotions followed and he was knighted in 1909 by King Edward VII. Lillie Bazley had now become Lady Leach.
Sir George Archibald Leach had a career in the public service after the army, and so was in the public eye, becoming the subject of a Vanity Fair caricature by FTD in 1896. Figure 6 below shows the caricature, and a photograph of his son Edward Pemberton Leach, V.C. around the time of his marriage.
Bazley-Leach marriage and beyond.
Lillie Bazley and Edward Pemberton Leach had three children. They were:
Lilian Vera Pemberton Leach born on 15 November 1883 at Hatherop Castle
Gordon Pemberton Leach, born on 2nd Aug 1885 at Hatherop Castle
Elsie Pemberton Leach, born in 30th June 1888 at Plymouth, Devon.
After their marriage in January 1883, Edward Leach served overseas on several occasions before his final return to the UK in 1887. The family lived in Plymouth until the mid 1890s, when Edward was promoted to Major-General and then appointed to a senior command in Northern Ireland, where the family lived in Antrim from about 1898 to 1905. Their son, Gordon Pemberton Leach, was at boarding school from around 1900 and joined the army in 1905. The rest of the family moved to Scotland later in 1905 when Edward was appointed to be the General Officer Commanding for the Scottish Command, remaining in that post until 1909. Lillie and Edward then returned to London where they lived until Edward’s retirement.
Edward Leach eventually retired from the army in 1912 as General Sir Edward Pemberton Leach, V.C., K.C.B., K.C.V.O. Sadly, he died on 27th April 1913 at Caddenabbia on Lake Como in Italy, where he and Lillie had decided to live following his retirement. He died just six weeks before his father, Sir George Archibald Leach, in June 1913. After her husband’s death, Lillie returned to England and was living at 29 Palace Gate, London W8.
Her son, Gordon Pemberton Leach, had risen to the rank of Captain in the Royal Field Artillery by the start of World War One. He was killed in action on 19th August 1915 at Hellas in Gallipoli, and is buried there at the Pink Farm military cemetery. Neither of Lillie’s daughters married, and the youngest, Elsie, lived with her mother, until Lillie Bazley, as Lady Elizabeth Leach, died in Bournemouth in Hampshire on 9th January 1940.
After her mother’s death, Elsie Leach became quite a famous ornithologist in her later years. She eventually died in Kensington in 1968. Lilian Vera Leach lived in mostly London,where she too died in Kensington in 1973. None of the three children of Elizabeth Mary (Lillie) Bazley married or had children.
Who gave Mansfield Park to Lillie Bazley?
The inscription shown in Figure 2 reads To | Lillie Bazley |With Emily’s love | July 1st 1876. We know that the Groombridge Mansfield Park was published in October 1875, so who was the Emily who gave the book to Lillie for her 19th birthday?
I will never be able to prove this, but I do have a possible theory. I think that the answer can be found on the census document for the Bazley family from April 1871, where the 13 year old Lillie Bazley is reported to be living with her family in the Alexander Hotel in Knightsbridge, London. Among their servants is a 24 year old Under-Nurse called Emily Westmacott from Leckhampton, Gloucestershire. Her job would have been to look after the children. In the April 1881 census, the Bazley family is living back at Hatherop Castle in Gloucestershire, but Emily Westmacott is no longer with the family. In fact, there are no nurses listed among the servants, as the children are all older now. There is instead a “Resident Governess” and a “Young Ladies Maid”.
On 7th October 1975, Emily Westmacott had married Charles Cornock at St. Luke’s Church, Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, and by April 1881, she and Charles were living in Leckhampton in Gloucestershire with their three young children. One can presume that in the 1870s, the Bazley family would have moved back and forth between London and Hatherop, following the social customs of the day. In July 1st 1876, Emily would probably have already have been living in Leckhampton, which is within 15 km of Hatherop. She could have bought Mansfield Park in nearby Cheltenham, where there were several bookshops in the 1870s, and sent the book from Leckhampton to Hatherop by post or by coach. We don’t know how long Emily worked for the Bazley family, but the informal tone of the inscription suggests to me the sort of close relationship that a dedicated nursemaid may well have developed with one of the children in her care.
I have no information on when or how the Groombridge Mansfield Park left the possession of the Bazley-Leach family. Lillie may have passed the book on to one of her two daughters, or to one of her surviving siblings or their families. There are no other ownership marks or inscriptions to give me any clues. I bought the book quite recently from an English book dealer who specialises in old and unusual editions of Jane Austen.
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen was first published in 1814 by T. Egerton as a three volume novel. A second edition, also in three volumes, was published in 1816 by John Murray. Neither of these two editions had any illustrations. The next edition to be published was a single volume edition published in 1833 by Richard Bentley. It had an engraved frontispiece and an engraved title page with a vignette illustration. Figure 1 shows images of these two pages.
Technically, the Bentley edition is the first edition of Mansfield Park to have any illustrations, but in most collector’s opinions this would not count as an illustrated edition, as there are no illustrations either embedded or interleaved in the text. Several other editions of Mansfield Park were published following the Bentley edition, particularly editions by Simms and M’Intyre (1846), Routledge (1857), Derby and Jackson (1857), Ticknor and Fields (1863) and Tauchnitz (1867). None of these were illustrated, even with a frontispiece.
The first illustrated edition of Mansfield Park was an undated edition published by Groombridge and Sons, 5 Paternoster Row, London. It is generally accepted that this edition was published in October 1875. The book contains 7 full-page engraved illustrations of drawings by A. F. Lydon. Not only is this the first edition of Mansfield Park with a set of illustrations, it is the first edition of any Jane Austen novel to be published in English with a set of illustrations. It is only preceded by some French translations of Austen published in the 1820s in three volumes with an engraved frontispiece in each volume. The top board and both title pages of my copy of the Groombridge Mansfield Park are shown in Figure 2 below.
The binding is a standard one used by Groombridge and Sons for some of their published fiction. They published several of the works of Grace Aguilar, often in this style of binding. The last page of the text block of my Groombridge edition of Mansfield Park is numbered 440, and bears the name of the printer, “B Fawcett, Engraver and Printer, Driffield.” The page height is 18.7 cm. These three characteristics all support the idea that this edition was printed de novo, rather than being a reprint of an earlier known edition, as no other known edition of Mansfield Park fits this description. David Gilson gives this book the designation E43 in his ABibliography of Jane Austen, where he reports a publication date of October 1875, derived from the English Catalogue of Books. WorldCat also gives the date 1975, which comes from the deposit copy held by the British Library, the only copy listed on WorldCat. This is a very rare book, which means that few people have seen the illustrations. I will show all seven on them in the following sections.
A F Lydon, the illustrator and B Fawcett, the printer
The seven illustrations were all engraved by the firm of Benjamin Fawcett (1808-1893), a fine printer and engraver, from original drawings by Alexander Francis Lydon (1836-1917), an Anglo-Irish watercolourist and engraver. The pictures are all signed “A F Lydon” as the artist, but they also have small and indistinct second signatures or marks, which will be by the individual engravers. This indicates that Lydon probably did not execute the engravings himself, even though he was an accomplished engraver. This is underlined by the statement on the printed title page “Illustrated from Drawings by A.F.Lydon”. Indeed, much of the firm’s work was engraved by Benjamin Fawcett himself. Lydon was in fact an employee of Benjamin Fawcett (1808-1893), and had served his appenticeship as an engraver with Fawcett. This was mutually convenient as Driffield, a town in East Yorkshire, was both Lydon’s family home and the site of Fawcett’s business. There is a modern pub in Driffield today called “The Benjamin Fawcett”.
Lydon and Fawcett worked together over many years to produce mainly illustrations of wildlife, landscapes or architectural subjects. Lydon excelled in fine watercolour paintings of birds and plants, and also of grand houses in landscaped parks. Fawcett’s expertise was highly skilled colour printing from woodblocks. Much of their work was published by Groombridge and Sons, including the magnificently illustrated six volume series of A Natural History of British Birds by Reverend Francis Orpen Morris. I show two fine examples of typical work by Lydon and Fawcett below in Figures 3 and 4.
The Lydon illustrations for Mansfield Park
The illustrations for the Groombridge edition of Mansfield Park are all black and white printings of finely executed engravings on woodblocks of line drawings by Lydon. Several of them show off the artist’s skill in landscapes. This starts with the frontispiece, shown below in Figure 5.
This shows the heroine, Fanny Price, looking back towards the riding party of Edmund Bertram and Miss Crawford in front of the house at Mansfield Park. The incident is from chapter 7. Lydon’s expertise in the depiction of landscape is very much to the fore in this design.
The second illustration (Figure 6, left) shows an incident from chapter 9, where Fanny, Edmund and Miss Crawford have rested on a seat during a walk in the woods. Edmund and Miss Crawford then walk on together to the end of the wood, leaving Fanny still on the seat to watch them disappear together down the path.
The illustration shown on the right of Figure 6 depicts Edmund explaining to Fanny his concerns about the propriety of the amateur dramatics that the house party is engaged in.
In the next illustration (Figure 7), which is from chapter 25, we return to Lydon’s love of landscape as he depicts Henry Crawford’s story of stumbling across the village of Thornton Lacey, his promised living, while walking his lame horse back to Mansfield Park.
In the next illustration (Figure 8 left), taken from chapter 35, we see Edmund and Fanny walking together arm in arm as Edmund tries to find out what feelings she might have for Henry Crawford. In Figure 8 (right), we have moved on to chapter 41, where Henry Crawford is talking about his future prospects to Fanny Price at Portsmouth docks, rather wishing that Fanny’s younger sister, Susan, was not present.
The final illustration, shown in Figure 9 below, comes from an event in chapter 46, when Fanny, accompanied by her excited sister Susan and a nervous Edmund Bertram, returns to Mansfield Park by carriage from Portsmouth. This picture shows off Lydon’s facility in drawing country houses and landscaped grounds.
These seven drawings give an interesting view of an Austen novel through the eyes of a landscape and wildlife artist. Although the clothes depicted are decidedly from the 1860s and 1870s rather than Regency period, the drawings offer an interesting contrast to the classic illustrations of Austen by Charles and Henry Brock, Hugh Thomson and Chris Hammond, all whom tended to concentrate on fine line drawings of interiors, with accurate depictions of costume, manners and decor of paramount importance. It should be said that Thomson was also a fine illustrator of landscape and particularly well regarded for his depictions of horses.
This is the only novel of Jane Austen known to be illustrated by A. F. Lydon.
A few comments on the publisher, Groombridge and Sons
Richard Groombridge started as a publisher in 1833, when he operated out of his home, 6 Panyer Alley, using the imprint of Richard Groombridge or R. Groombridge. Four of his sons served as his apprentices and joined the firm to work as publishers and booksellers. In 1845, when his two eldest sons were 28 and 25 years old respectively, the imprint of the firm was changed to “Groombridge and Sons”, usually followed by “5, Paternoster Row” on the title page. Following Richard Groombridge’s death in 1855 the firm was run jointly by the two oldest sons. Sadly, the three oldest sons all died between 1860 and 1868, leaving the youngest, Charles Groombridge, as the last surviving son of the founder. He seems to have lost interest in publishing sometime during the 1860s, and by the 1870s, the firm was run by three grandsons of Richard Groombridge until it ceased to trade sometime around 1900.
R. Groombridge and Groombridge and Sons were best known as publishers of books on religion, agriculture and natural history, although they did also reprint several of the novels of Grace Aguilar (1816-1847), a popular writer on themes of Jewish history and religion. The Groombridges worked closely with Benjamin Fawcett, publishing many of his finely illustrated books between 1844 and 1890.
It is not known why Groombridge and Sons decided to publish an illustrated edition of Mansfield Park in 1875. It is even possible that the genesis of the book came from the printer, Benjamin Fawcett or the illustrator A F Lydon. We shall probably never know. For more details about the Groombridge family of publishers, read my Groombridge, Publishers page.
In the next post, Price and Provenance 11, I will explore the provenance of my copy of Groombridge and Son’s Mansfield Park.
Miles and Miles and Miles and Miles and Miles and Miles
In the first few posts in this series, I have featured an edition of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park published by Miles and Miles, a very poorly documented London publisher of Prize books, who seemed to be active during the Edwardian era. In this blog, I am looking at two other Miles and Miles books in my collection. The three Miles and Miles books that I have are shown in Figure 1 below. The top row shows the top board of the binding and the bottom row shows the end papers for the three books.
It is obvious from the appearance of these three books that the design of the top boards is identical for all three books, with the only difference being the background colour. Note that although the end-papers for the three books are all similar in style, they are in fact different in pattern and colour. For all three books, all of the page edges have been gilded, both to protect them from dust and to enhance the external appearance. This is generally referred to in book descriptions as a.e.g (all edges gilt), as compared with t.e.g. (top edge gilt) which is also commonly found in books of this period.
I would hope that everyone reading this would know that Jane Austen was the author of Mansfield Park. I doubt that many people would be able to identify the authors of the other two books, until they read a bit more of this posting.
There are many published accounts of Captain Cook’s three great voyages, and most of them are not written by Captain James Cook (1728-1779) himself, although they draw heavily on his own journals and other accounts, particularly that by Joseph Banks and John Hawkworth, which was first published in 1773, in Cook’s lifetime.
Macaria was a famous book in its day, but it has now been largely forgotten. Does anyone remember the author today? To put you out of your suspense, the answers are on the title pages of the three books, which are shown below in Figure 2.
The three title pages are generally similar in layout and look like a fairly plain standard title page of the Edwardian period. The publisher and address lines are identical on all three title pages and read “LONDON: |MILES & MILES | Foresters’ Hall Place, Clerkenwell Road, E.C.” There is no printed date of publication on the title page or anywhere else in the books. None of the books has a frontispiece or any other illustrations, nor are there any advertisements bound into the books or any identification of the name or address of the printer.
Macaria was written by Augusta J. Evans Wilson, whom we are told, was also the author of “Beulah,” “St. Elmo,” “Infelice,” etc. Captain Cook’s Three Voyages Around the World was written by Lieutenant Charles R. Low, who was “(Late) H.M. Indian Navy, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Member of the Royal United Services Institute.”
In order to complete the documentation of the books we need to look at the text blocks. Macaria was published as 36 chapters printed in 380 pages. Captain Cook’s Voyages was published as sequential accounts of each of the three voyages, with no sub-division into chapters, in 512 pages. Mansfield Park was published as 48 consecutive chapters in 443 pages. This arrangement for Mansfield Park is quite common, although you also sometimes see it published with the text divided into three volumes, which was the arrangement in the first edition of 1814.
The first page of the text block is shown in Figure 3 below. It is apparent from these pages that Macaria and Mansfield Park both have a similar look, with a decoration at the top of the title page. A similar decoration is repeated at the top of the first page of each chapter in both books. Captain Cook’s Voyages does not have a decoration on the first page, nor on any of the subsequent pages.
Origin of the text blocks in these books.
It is clear from the images in Figure 3 above that Macaria and Mansfield Park are stylistically very similar, particularly in terms of the ornamentation at the top of the page. In these two books, there is also ornamentation at the bottom of the final page of each chapter. For Macaria, the chapter headings and the chapter ending designs are floral. For Mansfield Park, the ornamentation is classical in appearance with a range of different embedded emblems. It should also be noted in Figure 3 that Mansfield Park has a decorated initial capital to start every chapter, whereas Macaria has a plain initial capital.
In Price and Provenance 4, I showed that the Miles and Miles edition of Mansfield Park was printed from the same stereotype plates that were used to print Routlege and Sons’ 1883 edition of Mansfield Park, identified as Gilson E62, as well as the later Routledge “Steventon edition” of Jane Austen from around 1890.
Yet another variant of Routledge’s Mansfield Park Gilson E62
I have also recently acquired another “mystery” Routledge edition of Mansfield Park printed from those same stereotype plates, this time in a plain half-cloth binding of brown and black, and with a title page that differs from the “Steventon Editions” that I have shown in Price and Provenance 2, and the original 1883 edition of Gilson E62. This edition, indicated as part of “Routledge’s Edition of Jane Austen’s Novels” on the verso of the title page, also has a frontispiece which shows Edmond Bertram and Fanny Price with a necklace. This was described as the cover design of the original soft wrapper-bound Gilson E62, and was reported by Gilson to be present as a frontispiece of a cloth-bound variant edition of E62 at Harvard University’s Widener Library. Images of my new “mystery” edition are shown in Figure 4 below.
The title page gives the publisher’s details as “London| George Routledge and Sons, Limited |Broadway, Ludgate Hill | Glasgow, Manchester and New York”. From the information on my George Routledge Publisher page, this form of the publisher’s address suggests a publication date between 1889 and 1892. This is confirmed by the printer’s details on the bottom of the last page, which is given as “Woodfall & Kinder, Printers, 70 to 76 Long Acre, London W.C.” This address is indicative of the period 1888-1900. The frontispiece is clearly different in style as well as showing a completely different image from the slightly later Routledge edition shown in the left hand panel of Figure 5 of Price and Provenance 2. The book shown in figure 4 also had a four page block of publisher’s advertisements bound at the end. These are shown in Figure 5 below. An analysis of the books listed show that they were mostly first published much earlier than the 1890s. The latest one I can identify is Eighty-seven by Pansy, which was first published by Routledge in 1892.
From all of this evidence and the relative crispness of the printing, I would place this book as being published earlier than the Mansfield Park with the Sydney Carter frontispiece and the Routledge Colophon published between 1903 and 1906. Clearly the date 1892 is the most likely.
Janine Barchas, in her book The Lost Books of Jane Austen (2019), has identified several Miles and Miles books that were also printed and published by Lever Brothers between 1890 and 1897. She suspected that they were all printed from Routledge stereotype plates. She lists 100 titles that were advertised as published by Lever Brothers in 1897 on pages 107-108 of her book. Sadly for me, neither Macaria nor Captain Cook’s Voyages appear on that list. However, it is interesting that four of her 100 titles do appear in the list of the Pansy Books above. (They are Four Girls at Chatauqua, Little Fishers and Their Nets, Three People and The Chatauqua Girls at Home.) This again suggests a link between Routledge, Lever Brother and Miles and Miles when it comes to the use of the same sterotype plates.
Routledge editions of Macaria or Captain Cook’s Voyages
If my thesis is correct, then we should be able to find Routledge editions of Macaria by Augusta J Evans Wilson or Captain Cook’s Voyages by Charles Low. The easiest way to look for these is to search WorldCat.org; it is free, easy to use and searches the contents of tens of thousands of libraries world-wide. You can organise the return from the search to list the books found in order of the closeness of the library to your location. You may then to be able to interrogate the database of your local library to find out more about the book and also be able to call or reserve it for your inspection. I then followed up with a search of books offered for sale by Abe Books at AbeBooks.com to find images and details of copies of these books that might be examined or bought. In the remainder of this post, I will only examine Captain Cook’s Voyages.
Routledge editions of Captain Cook’s Voyages by Charles R Low
I searched for Captain Cook’s Voyage on WorldCat by clicking the Advance Search on the WorldCat home page, and then I entered “Routledge” in the keyword field, “Captain Cook’s Voyage” in the Title field and “Charles Low” in the Author field. I checked “Book” in the drop-down menu for Format, and then pressed Search. This returned details for seven different editions of Captain Cook’s Voyages by Charles Rathbone Low that were published by Routledge between 1880 and 1906. Each one was 512 pages, the same length as the Miles and Miles edition. In the entry in WorldCat on Charles Rathbone Low, nine different editions of Captain Cook’s Voyage were recorded between 1876 and 1906. I am not sure why there was this discrepancy.
I then searched for Captain Cook’s Voyages on Abe Books using the same three terms as I used for the World Cat search in the publisher, title, and author fields in AbeBooks advanced search form. This search returned 34 books, all published by Routledge, including several editions that were dated to between 1876 and 1879. There were several duplicates within the 33 books, and after looking through the list carefully and comparing it with the World Cat listing, I could identify nine or ten different versions, either impressions or editions, of Captain Cook’s Voyages published between by Routledge 1876 and 1910. All of them that gave a page count had text blocks of 512 pages.
There were quite a few different bindings on view on the Abe Books site which I show in Figure 6 above. These images are taken directly from the AbeBooks.com site. The green binding on the top left is the first edition of 1876. The brown and red decorated bindings in the middle of the top row are from 1880. The plain blue binding in the top right hand corner is from the Routledge series “Sir John Lubbocks 100 Best Books”, and is dated 1892. The light-coloured binding showing a tribal camp on the left side of the bottom row is dated 1895.The blue version of the same image is undated, but will be a reprint from about 1900. The light brown book with the white Art Nouveau image of a woman is undated but will also be around 1895-1900, and the right hand image on the bottom row is from 1906.
The first edition of 1876 had six spectacular chromolithographs as illustrations, as did the reprint of 1906. Most of the editions published in the intervening years have no illustrations, black and white illustrations or a single frontispiece only.
All of these Routledge editions have a text block of 512 pages, the same page count as the Miles and Miles edition. The inscription on the title pages of every Routledge edition that I have seen has the same description of the author’s background as the Miles and Miles edition; “(Late) H.M. Indian Navy, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Member of the Royal United Services Institute.”. I have found no editions of this book issued by any other publishers during the period 1876 to 1910. This allows us to say that the Miles and Miles edition is derived from the Routledge plates, but does not particularly help us with its date of publication.
UPDATE on April 21st 2020. I have recently been able to examine the text block of the 1880 edition, shown in the red binding in Figure 6 above. It matches exactly the text block of the Miles and Miles edition of Captain Cook’s Voyages. This Routledge edition of 1880 will be the 4th Routledge printing, following editions, actually impressions, of 1876, 1878 and 1879. The Routledge book has a chromolithographic frontispiece, and the text block is of a much crisper and higher quality printing than the Miles and Miles edition. It was printed by Charles Dickens and Evans, Crystal Palace Press.
A clue to the date of the Miles and Miles Captain Cook’s Voyages
On the top of the title page of my copy of the Miles and Miles edition of Captain Cook’s Voyages is an ownership signature for Doris Kenyon written in ink (Figure 2 centre). It is repeated on the free front end-paper (ffep), together with a date in the same hand Aug 23, ’99. I tentatively interpret this to be 1899, rather than 1999, as the inscription is in neat writing using a pen and nib, not a ballpoint pen. This is consistent with the report by Janine Barchas of another copy of the Miles and Miles edition of Mansfield Park in the British Library with an inscription dated 1900. Janine Barchas suggested that the Lever Brothers books printed from the Routledge stereotype plates were produced between 1890 and 1897. This would imply a date of 1897 to 1899 for my copy of the Miles and Miles edition of Captain Cook’s Voyages.
I have tried to search for Doris Kenyon in family history records, but without details of where she lived, or whether Kenyon was her maiden or married name, and with no clue as to a possible birth date, other than before 1899, or is it really 1999?, there was very little hope of any positive identification. My simple search on Ancestry.com revealed dozens of possible Doris Kenyons in the UK and almost as many in the USA. I decided to stop looking.
A brief note on the author Charles Rathbone Low (1837-1918)
Charles Rathbone Low, was a author who specialised in writing about naval topics, both factual and fictional. He served as an officer in the British Indian Navy and wrote the standard history of that organisation, History of the Indian Navy, 1613-1863 , which was published in 1877, the year after his Captain Cook’s Voyages. The earliest book I can find by him is his Tales of Naval Adventure, a novel for juveniles published in 1857. He seemed to stop writing fiction by 1875, and spent the rest of his career writing military history and biography. Routledge published two of his best selling books: The Great Battles of the British Navy (1872) and Great Battles of the British Army (1908). Below is a brief biographical fragment on him from WorldCat.org:
“Charles Rathbone Low, like so many servants of the East India Company, came from an Anglo-Irish ascendancy family, with estates in county Galway. His grandmother was a daughter of the 4th Viscount Boyne, his grandfather served in H.M. 76th Foot, his father was a Major in the Bengal Native Infantry, and he himself married the daugher of a General. Charles was born at Dublin on 30th October 1837. He entered the East India Company’s Indian Navy in 1853 and saw active service against pirates.”
from The WorldCat.org “Identities” entry for Charles Rathbone Low.
In the previous two posts, we examined the identity and provenance of the two editions of Mansfield Park, both published by Routledge, shown in the left hand and central panel of Figure 1 below. In this blog I am examining the Miles and Miles edition shown in the right hand panel of Figure 1, which was established in Price and Provenance 2 to be published between 1900 and 1906.
There was no helpful information printed in the Miles and Miles edition to help with the establishment of a firm date, unlike the situation with the two Routledge editions. However, we do find a prize label on the front paste down. It is shown in Figure 2 below, along with the title page and the top board again.
The label is for a prize for regular attendance given by the Primitive Methodist Sunday School at Pye Nest, Halifax to Gladys Briggs in 1906. The label is signed by two superintendents, John Brearley and A. Mitchell Bell, and by the secretary, Fred Lacey. This is a wealth of information that can help us to work out where and when the book was awarded. As in the previous examples, I am showing the process which I use for this sort of investigation.
The first thing to note is that the date, 1906, written at the top of the label gives us the latest possible year of publication for the book, and confirms the suggested range 1900 – 1906. Now let’s look for the place where the prize was given.
Firstly, we need to establish exactly which Halifax this is, as there are several places called Halifax such as:
Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Halifax, Queensland, Australia
Halifax in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Virginia in the USA.
and probably several others as well.
Fortunately, Pye Nest gives us the answer as this. Pye Nest was an outer south-west suburb of Halifax in Yorkshire in the last part of the 19th and first half of the 20th century. The area is now found between the A58 Halifax – Rochdale Road, bounded by the River Calder to the south and the A646 Skircoat Moor Road to the east. Already, in the first years of the 20th century, the area was beginning to lose its original name and identity and was being subsumed into the neighbouring suburb of King’s Cross. Pye Nest does still exist, and the name is retained today by a cluster of road names in the area, such as Pye Nest Road (A4162) and the residential streets Pye Nest Drive, Pye Nest Gardens, Pye Nest Avenue, Pye Nest Grove and Pye Nest Rise. The following section of a map for Halifax (Figure 3) from 1907 shows the Pye Nest area.
The name Pye Nest supposedly originated from magpies roosting in a small wood on the site, and there is a large park to the west still called Crow Wood Park. The name Pye Nest was given to a famous country house built on the site in 1767 for the Edwards family by the noted York architect John Carr. The last member of the Edwards family died in 1932 and the house was demolished in 1935. Fortunately, there is an impressive engraving of the house published in 1855.
Halifax was an important wool industry town throughout the 18th and 19th centuries and the first part of the 20th century. It had many wool and worsted mills which employed thousands of workers, who lived in areas like Kings Cross and Pye Nest.
Primitive Methodist Sunday School
In towns like Halifax in the north of England, Methodism, which had been effectively founded by the brothers John and Charles Wesley in 1738, became very popular among the mill workers between 1760 and 1820. The Primitive Methodist movement was founded in 1810 as a breakaway from the mainstream Wesleyan movement, particularly in the mill town areas of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Their first chapel or church was opened in 1811 at Tunstall, Staffordshire.
The Primitive Methodists held that the mainstream Wesleyans had strayed from the purity of the original tenets of the movement, as expounded by the Wesley brothers. In Halifax, by the beginning of the 20th century, there were several Primitive Methodist churches, several traditional Wesleyan Methodist Chapels, and breakaway groups like the Methodist New Connexion movement mentioned in Price and Provenance 3. This was largely resolved by a coming together of all the different Methodists to form The Methodist Church of Great Britain in 1932.
All branches of Methodism in the UK have embraced education, particularly of the children of factory workers. The Methodist Sunday Schools were providing much more than religious education; they were teaching basic literacy to children at a time well before the Education Act of 1870 mandated primary school education up to the age of 12 for all children. The Sunday School was particularly important, as many children were working for the other six days of the week.
Pye Nest Primitive Methodist Church
The Pye Nest Primitive Methodist Church was founded relatively late in the history of the movement. The foundation stone of the church had the date 27 July 1901 engraved on it, and the church started its activities in 1902. The church was built at 1 Edwards Road, which runs between Pye Nest Road and Upper Washer Lane. Its position is indicated by the yellow marker pin on the map in Figure 3. It no longer operates as a Methodist Church, and from 1996 has been the Pye Nest Day Nursery. The Calderdale Records Office holds the register of marriages recorded at the Pye Nest Primitive Methodist Church from 1925 to 1965. Presumably, the church continued to operate within the mainstream Methodist movement after the amalgamation of 1932, until at least 1965. A History of the Pye Nest Primitive Methodist Church, 1902-1932 was written by a John Brearley, but I have not been able to find a copy.
As a book collector, I have always taken an interest in prize books, and have noticed that the Methodist Church, in all of its sub-denominations, has been very active in the giving of prizes for attendance and performance at its schools, particularly its Sunday Schools. I will now continue in this blog to see what can be found about the people identified on the prize label.
Gladys Briggs was the recipient of the Miles and Miles Mansfield Park as a prize for attendance in 1906. It seems at first sight like a handsome book, due the ornately decorated binding, but the print quality and paper quality is rather poor. I estimate that the book would have cost one or two shillings, which is the normal range for prize books at that time.
Gladys Briggs seems a reasonably uncommon combination of names, but a search on Ancestry.com for women and girls called Gladys Briggs living in the Halifax region between 1901 and 1911, the dates of the two closest censuses to the award of the prize, yielded quite a few candidates: I list the main ones here with their birth year and quarter from the registration records, derived from both the census data and birth registers. Note that, typically, birth registration occurs sometimes in the same quarter as the actual birth and sometimes in the following quarter.
Gladys Edith Briggs, b Q3, 1892 in Halifax.
Gladys Mary Briggs, b Q3 1895 in Bradford but living in Halifax in 1911.
Gladys Briggs, b Q4 1895 in Halifax.
Gladys Briggs, b Q1 1896 in Halifax
Gladys Briggs, b Q2 1896 in Halifax
Gladys Briggs, b Q3 1897 in Halifax
Gladys Briggs, b Q2 1898 in Halifax
Gladys Briggs, b Q3 1898 in Halifax
Gladys Briggs, b Q2 1900 in Sowerby Bridge, a town about 2 km SW on Pye Nest Road
Gladys Briggs, b Q2 1900 in Halifax
The age range of these ten girls called Gladys Briggs ranges from 6 to 14 years. Surprisingly, there were no records that I could find for anyone called Gladys Briggs born between 1885 and 1890, and living in Halifax between 1901 and 1911. There were several born after 1900, whom I discounted as being infants in 1906.
I next looked at matching the birth records with the addresses in the two censuses and found that they lived quite widely distributed across the Halifax urban area. None of them lived in Pye Nest, but the closest was number 4 in the table above, who lived the same address in Kings Cross in 1901 and 1911, 8 Ackroyd Terrace Kings Cross. Ackroyd Terrace is a small cul-de-sac that is less than 200 metres from the site of the Pye Nest Primitive Methodist church. Ackroyd Terrace was possibly named for James Ackroyd and Co., a long established wool and worsted mill in Halifax. A later owner, Lieutenant Colonel Edward Ackroyd was a noted citizen of Halifax in the later 19th century, and there is a statue of him in front of All Saints Church which is still there today.
The next nearest candidate was the Gladys Briggs (9) born in Sowerby Bridge. She lived about 2km from the Pye Nest church, but probably would have attended church or chapel in Sowerby Bridge.
I decided to investigate Gladys Briggs (4) of 8 Ackroyd Terrace in greater detail.
Gladys Briggs (4) was born on 25th October 1895 in Halifax. She was the youngest of the six children of Miles Briggs (1861-1945) and Mary Ann Briggs nee Broadbent (1862-1935); both of her parents were descended from Methodist families and both were buried in the Methodist section of the Calderdale cemetery. In the 1911 census, the 15 year-old Gladys was living at home at 8 Ackroyd Terrace with her parents and her 19 year-old sister Annie Louise Briggs (1891-1962); Gladys was described as a Long Wool Weaver and Annie as a Comb Minder, both working in a Wool Factory. Their father was described as a Joiner and Carpenter.
In 1916, Gladys Briggs was training as a nurse at the Leeds Township Infirmary in Beckett Street, where she was living in the nurses’ quarters. She was certified as a nurse in 1920 at Leeds, and remained working and living at the Infirmary until 1923. On 16th March 1923, she was registered as a fully qualified nurse by the General Nursing Council. This is very useful in tracking her movements, as she had to re-register as a nurse every three years, and each new registration records her current residence and gives her name and her date of original registration.
In 1925, she was working as a nurse in the Crossland Moor Infirmary in Huddersfield, and by 1928, she was back in Halifax, working as a nurse and living with her parents at their new address 38 Undercliffe Terrace, Kings Cross. This is only 400 metres from 8 Ackroyd Terrace. She remained living there with her parents until her mother’s death on 14th August 1935. By 1937, she had moved to south-eastern London, living at Flat 1, 159 Woolacomb Road, Kidbrooke in Greenwich, still registered as a nurse. In the 1939 small census, she was still living in the flat, which she shared with a Mary Hannah Sutcliffe. Gladys was described as a Sanitary Inspector and Mary as a Health Visitor.
Gladys remained at the same address, still registered as a nurse until her death on 16th June 1943 at the Lambeth Hospital in Southwark, at the age of 47. I don’t know the cause of her death, but it is known that the Lambeth Hospital was hit on several occasions by bombs during World War II, and that, as a consequence, more than 20 staff members were killed between 1940 and 1944. I would need to see her death certificate to investigate this further.
Her body was returned to Halifax, where she was buried in the same Methodist cemetery as her mother on 19th June 1943. Her father was buried there two years later in 1945. When probate was granted on Gladys Briggs’ estate, the executors were Mary Hannah Sutcliffe and Gladys’ brother George Briggs. I have not been able to find any photographs of Gladys Briggs. The closest I can get is a small picture (Figure 5) of her older sister Ethel Broadbent Briggs (1882 -1938).
I have been able to trace the Briggs family back through four more generations to a James Briggs, who was baptised on 30th October 1758 at Ripponden in Yorkshire, a small village to the south-east of Halifax. In fact, most of Gladys Briggs’ ancestors lived in the small villages and towns of Ripponden, Greetland and Elland which are all within 5 km of each other, and are 3 to 5 km to the south or south-east of Halifax. Presumably it was the prospect of work in the mills and factories which drew them into the bigger town of Halifax. Many were weavers. presumably working individually in their villages before they became factory hands. You can see from their inability to sign their own names on their wedding banns or certificates that many of them were illiterate. I can’t tell if Gladys Brigg’s parents were able to sign their wedding papers in 1882, as the certificate was not available on line. They were born a little too early to get the full benefit of the 1870 Education Act, and lived in small villages in their childhoods.. Gladys’ grandfather, Edwin Briggs signed his marriage certificate in 1858 with a cross, whereas his wife, Mary Ann Thomas, could sign her own name. Both Edwin and his son Miles Briggs were brought up in the village of Greetland, but Mary Ann lived in Halifax. Gladys Briggs must have been literate, or else she could not have become a nurse.
We can never know what Gladys thought of Mansfield Park, nor even whether she read it. There is, however, another name, C. Marsh, written with a black ball point pen on the ffep of the book. There is no other information on C. Marsh; one can only conclude that he or she owned the book after Gladys Briggs, presumably sometime after 1946, when the ball point pen was first available in the UK. I bought the book from a dealer in Brighton, Sussex in 2015.
John Brearley, Superintendent of the Pye Nest Sunday School
John Brearley was the one of the superintendents to sign the prize label. I mentioned earlier a the history of the Pye Nest Primitive Methodist Church written by a John Brearley. Surely, these two men must be the same John Brearley. There were seven men called John Brearley living in Halifax between 1901 and 1911, but this time, we have an extra aid to his identification. The 1911 census of the UK was the first one to be filled in and signed by each head of household. Since we have John Brearley’s signature on the prize label, then a comparison of the signature on the label with the signatures on the 1911 census forms, which can be viewed on line, will allow us to identify the correct John Brearley.
When I went through this process, there was one very clear match, and that was John Brearley (1868 – 1944), a hairdresser living at 68 Kings Cross Road Halifax. He was from a Methodist family and married to Annie Elizabeth Culpan (1872-1938), also from a Methodist family. His parents lived at Spring Edge, a street within 250 metres of the Pye Nest Primitive Methodist church, and 68 Kings Cross Road, where he lived from 1901 until 1916, was less than 500 metres away from the Pye Nest chapel. It was also on the direct tram route to the church. This was not without hazard, as in 1907 there was a tram accident on Pye Nest Road, when a tram overturned, killing three passengers.
John Brearley’s address from 1916 until 1938 is not known. From 1938 until his death in 1944, he lived at 1 Plane Tree Nest, about 250 metres north of the Pye Nest church. I have no doubt that this is the John Brearley who signed the prize label.
There is a surviving memorial to this family. John and Annie Brearley had two sons. The eldest, Cyril, married and moved to Preston in Lancashire where he died childless in 1966. Their younger son, Eric Brearley (1905-1997) did not marry, and lived his whole life in Halifax. He gained local fame as a keen cyclist and supporter of cyclists and their clubs, and is remembered by a memorial that stands next to one of the main cycling paths in Halifax.
A Mitchell Bell, Superintendent of the Pye Nest Sunday School
“A Mitchell Bell” seems like a relatively easy name to find, even though the gender is not clear. A simple search on Ancestry.com for this name for a person living in Halifax between 1901 and 1911 only yielded one result. Arthur Mitchell Bell (1868-1944) was a Head Teacher of Textiles who was living at 56 Stanley Road, Halifax in 1911. His signature on his 1911 census return, which he signed in full as Arthur Mitchell Bell, is an excellent match with the “A Mitchell Bell” signature on the Mansfield Park prize label.
Arthur Mitchell Bell was born on 1st May 1868 in Churwell in Yorkshire, which was a village between Morley and Leeds, as the illegitimate son of Mary Ann Bell and John Mitchell. His name on his birth registration was given as Arthur Bell. John Mitchell and Mary Bell married on 25th December 1868 in Churwell and had another son, Hartwell Mitchell, who was born there in mid 1869. Both Hartwell Mitchell and Arthur Bell were baptised on 16th January 1870 at Morley, Yorkshire, and even though his parents were now married, Arthur was baptised as Arthur Bell against his mother’s name as illegitimate, while his younger brother was simultaneously baptised against his father’s name as the very next entry in the church register.
John Mitchell, who was a coal miner, was killed along with 33 others, in a gas explosion in the Ackroyd Brothers Colliery at Morley on 7th Oct 1872.
Arthur Bell was calling himself Arthur Mitchell Bell by 1891, and in 1901 was a textile teacher at a School in Churwell. He was married 8th August 1903 at the Prospect Methodist Chapel at Holbeck, a suburb of Leeds, and he must have moved to Halifax, between 1903 and 1906, when he was a superintendent of Pye Nest Primitive Methodist Sunday School. He lived the rest of his life at Halifax and was buried there on 3rd January 1944, in the same Methodist cemetery as Gladys Briggs, about six months after her.
Fred Lacey, Secretary of the Pye Nest Sunday School
Fred Lacey was born in Halifax on 30th December 1883 to Harry and Mary Ann Lacey. He was baptised on 25th May 1884 in the parish of St James in Halifax. In the 1891 census, the family was reported to be living at 11 Joy Street, Skircoat, Halifax, in the Parish of St Paul’s, which was within one km of the Pye Nest church. The family moved to Bradford and was reported there in the 1901 census, but was back in Halifax by the time of the 1911 census. Fred Lacey was living with his parents in Bradford in 1901, but was not back in Halifax with them in 1911. In fact, by October 1906 he had emigrated to Pennsylvania in the USA, via Ontario in Canada. He lived the rest of his life in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he died on 22 Dec 1963.
Fred Lacey’s tenure as secretary of the Pye Nest Sunday School must have been very short if he had been living in Bradford in April 1901 and had moved to the USA by October 1906. He also was only 23 years old in 1906. However, he was the only Fred Lacey in the area at the time, and he recorded himself as a Methodist from Halifax on two later US census forms. All of this suggests that the presentation of the book to Gladys Briggs must have occurred earlier in 1906 than October. One possibility could be at the end of the school year in June 1906, but I have no real evidence for that.
So, in conclusion, I hope this shows how part of the story of a particular community of more than 100 years ago can be gleaned from an investigation of a simple book prize plate. From my perspective, this adds a great depth of human interest to collecting old books.
Having established as much as possible from the printed information in books, the next step is to use information left in books from previous owners. This is most commonly from ownership inscriptions, bookplates, gift inscriptions or prize and award labels. But rather than just focusing this step on the book itself, particularly on the dating of a book, I like to follow up with an investigation on who, exactly, the previous owner was. Where and when did they live? What was the circumstance of their acquisition of the book? As examples of my approach, we will return to the three editions of Mansfield Park that I examined in part 2 of this blog.
Where to look for ownership information
Normally, we look at the blank pages bound into the front of the book or sometimes the back of the book for evidence of previous owners. We call the pages bound in before the text block the preliminaries, often abbreviated as “prelims”. The first page, which is glued down to the front board of the binding is called the “paste down end paper”, although it is now more frequently called the “front paste-down” The next blank page is called the “free front end paper”, often abbreviated as “ffep“. At the back of the book, the equivalent pages are called the “rear paste down” and the rear free end paper”. The other places where inscriptions commonly occur are on the title page, on the half-title page, if present, or on the recto page which has the frontispiece on the verso. The half-title page is found between the ffep and frontispiece and the title page and usually has the title of the book printed on it and sometimes the name of the series that the book forms a part of, is such is the case. Half titles were very common in the 19th century and less common in the 20th century. Sometimes, prelim pages may be missing from the book. This is often because a previous owner has wanted to remove the name or inscription from a earlier owner. This desire also can result to a small piece being cut from the prelim page, generally the ffep, to remove the name of a previous owner. I strongly disapprove of this practice and of the removal of bookplates!
If we examine the Routledge “The Ruby Series” copy of Mansfield Park from 1876 shown in the left panel above, we find that there is a ffep, a half-title page which reads MANSFIELD PARK, a frontispiece and a title page, shown in the previous blog. However, there are no inscriptions, bookplates or labels, so we really can not find out anything about previous owners. One should note that the end papers are a dark brown colour, which would not carry a legible inscription unless it were written in a very light colour or in white.
The Routledge Mansfield Park in the central panel, which was shown to be a reprint of Gilson E62 from 1903-1906 in the previous blog, has white end-papers, no half-title, a frontispiece and a title page. However, it also has a hand written gift inscription on the front paste down Figure 2.
The inscription reads “Presented by The Managers of the M.N.C. Sunday School Westwoodside to George Henry Maw May 20 – 1906.”
This inscription is almost ideal in terms of investigating the provenance of the book. Firstly, the date is precise, 20th May 1906. This means that the book must have been printed and published prior to this date. This confirms the idea that the book was published between 1903 and 1906. It is also interesting to note that 20th May 1906 was a Sunday. (You can look this up on an online perpetual calendar.) This is not surprising as the book was presented by a Sunday School.
The other two things that occurred to me when I first saw this inscription was that the place identified, Westwoodside, is unambiguous and, perhaps, an unusual place name. Secondly, George Henry Maw is a precise, full name and Maw is an unusual family name. It is much harder to trace the provenance of a book that is inscribed ” To Fred from his favourite Auntie” – I do possess a book with exactly this inscription.
Typing “Westwoodside” into Google returns the Wikipedia entry for Westwoodside as the first item listed. It reveals that “Westwoodside is a small village in North Lincolnshire, England. It is situated within the Isle of Axholme and 7 miles (11 km) north-west from Gainsborough.” In the map of the Isle of Axholme below (Figure 3), it can be seen that the “Isle” is in fact a tract of low lying farmland that sits between the River Don to the west (not shown) and the Trent to the east. In fact, the Isle of Axholme can best be thought as occupying a triangle defined by Doncaster (Yorkshire), Scunthorpe and Gainsborough (both in Lincolnshire).
What is the M.N.C. Sunday School?
The book was presented by the “M.N.C. Sunday School Westwoodside.” Typing this phrase into Google returns an article on Alexander Kilham and Epworth. The first sentence of the article states “Alexander Kilham the founder of the METHODIST NEW CONNEXION was born in Epworth in 1762, and the family business was sackcloth weaving.” You can see Epworth on the map above, a few km to the north-east of Westwoodside. M.N.C. is clearly Methodist New Connextion, a breakaway form of Methodism that spread from Epworth to nearby villages like Westwoodside. The article also has two pictures. The second one, shown below in Figure 4, shows the M.N.C. chapel at Westwoodside, together with its congregation in 1905! The image was from a contemporary postcard which has survived.
Could one of the men or boys in this picture be George Henry Maw?
I have found a second picture of the Westwoodside MNC chapel on another postcard, undated but clearly of the same period (Figure 5).
George Henry Maw
Approaches to Family History Research
In order to find out more about George Henry Maw, we need to enter the realm of family history research. I use several of the commercial websites for this, including The Genealogist, Findmypast.com and Ancestry.com, as well as the free site Family Search which is run by The Church of the Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). All of these sites are easily found online.
My preference is Ancestry.com which I have been using for more than a decade to research my own family history. It also proves to be an invaluable tool in researching authors and previous owners of books. It does involve an annual subscription, but you can often also access it if you join a local genealogical or family history society.
To start the search, you enter what you know. I entered that George Henry Maw was male, alive in 1906 and living in Westwoodside, Lincolnshire, UK. I guessed an approximate birth date of 1890 plus or minus 10 years, selected the UK data set and hit the search button. Unfortunately I had erroneously typed MAY instead of MAW in the family name box, so I found a whole lot of George Mays! This shows that you need to be precise to get the search to work properly.
Once I had succeeded in entering MAW, the search immediately found George H Maw in the 1901 UK census. He was a thirteen year old, living in Westwoodside with his parents Gervase W and Mary J Maw and his younger siblings Frances A Maw aged 11 and Horace W Maw aged 3. The family was living in Nethergate, Westwoodside in the Parish of Haxey.
The same family was still all living in Westwoodside in the 1911 census, where the names are given fully as Gervase William and Mary Jane Maw with their children George Henry 23, Frances Alice 21 and Horace William 14. George Henry Maw is described as a House Joiner. In the 1891 census, the family were reported to be living in the hamlet of Graizelound, about 1 km south-east of Westwoodside and 500 metres south of Haxey. In this census, George was 3 and had an older sister, Bertha, aged 5. Further online research, which took me about 2-3 hours to complete, revealed a fairly complete view of the life of George Henry Maw. I summarise the main points below.
George Henry Maw was born on 22nd August 1887 in the parish of Haxey, Lincolnshire to parents Gervase William Maw (1863 – 1947) and Mary Jane Maw nee Hather (1867 -1935). He was at least the fourth generation of his farming family to be born in that area, starting with his great grandfather, another Gervase William Maw (1792 – 1847). George Henry Maw’s marriage to Lillie Oates, the daughter of David and Emma Oates, a farmer and his wife living in Westwoodside, was registered in the 2nd quarter of 1913 in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. They had two children, Albert Horace Maw, born 1st February 1915 and Elsie Maw born 3rd December 1917. In 1939, George and his family were still living in the Isle of Axholme rural district, where George was described as a farmer and grocer. George Henry Maw died on 18th October 1972. His wife Lillie Maw nee Oates, who had been born on 8th June 1883, died on 1st May 1977. They both appeared to have lived their whole lives together in Westwoodside and are buried together near there (Figure 6).
George Henry Maw’s two children both married in Lincolnshire; Albert Horace Maw (1915-1998) to Sara H Campion and Elsie Maw to a Mr. Williamson. I have been unable to tell if either of these couples had children.
If we back to look at the picture of the MNC chapel and community in 1905, there are five or six young men who could be the then 18 year old George Henry Maw. Unless an authenticated photograph of him can be discovered, I do not expect to be able to identify him in the group picture.
Two other interesting things occurred to me. Firstly, he was presented with the book at the age of 18 or 19, which seems a little bit old to be a Sunday School pupil. Secondly, I can find no record of any military service in the first world war for him. He would have been 26 years old in 1914 and would have been expected to join the forces. However, he may have become a farmer following his marriage in 1913 to the daughter of a farmer, noting that he was reported to be a farmer in 1939. Farming was a reserved occupation in the 1914-1918 period. That may have saved his life.
Another thing that I don’t know is when the book left the Maw family. Was it at the death of George or his wife? Did the book pass on to one of his two children? What I do know is that I bought the book in 2010 from a well known dealer, who specialises in editions of Jane Austen. He works from Northampton in England, which is about 100 miles (160 km) to the south of Westwoodside.
What are these three editions of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen?
This is an example of how to establish the identity and provenance of books. In this part of the blog I am concentrating on the precise identification of books. I am going to compare these three books and then look at each in detail to see what we can learn about its origin. In the next posting, I will demonstrate how to investigate their provenance.
Here (Figure 1) are three different editions of Mansfield Park, all published more than 50 years after the first edition, which was published in 1814 in London by John Murray in three volumes. Only the left hand book has any extra information on the front of the binding, properly called the top board. In the upper cartouche is the phrase “Inestimable Stones Unvalued Jewels” and in the lower cartouche the phrase “The Ruby Series”. Inestimable Stones Unvalued Jewels is a quotation from Shakespeare’s play Richard III Act 1 Scene 4: “Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels, All scatter’d in the bottom of the sea“.
We can often roughly date a book by examining the appearance, style, materials and quality of the binding. All three books are cloth bound in predominantly red cloth, with two of them decorated with gilding. The Ruby Series binding is in a geometric style that is suggestive of the 1860-1880 period. The central book has an Art Nouveau look to it, and the style of the dress of the woman shown reading is Edwardian, which suggests a date range of 1900 – 1910. The right hand book with its ornate floral design suggests the broader late Victorian and Edwardian period of 1875 – 1910. All of these opinions are entirely subjective and represent my feeling on first seeing the books.
The next thing to do when examining any book is to look at the title page to see what information is present, and, all too often, what information is missing. On the three title pages, which are reproduced below (Figure 2), you can see that two of these books were published by George Routledge and Sons, while the third was published by Miles and Miles. None of the title pages cites a publication date. Here are the three title pages:
All three books are clearly editions of Mansfield Park published in London. After the title, all three pages repeat the same text ‘ BY JANE AUSTEN Author of “Northanger Abbey,” “Persuasion,” “Emma” etc, etc’, with some slight differences in fonts and cases. It is quite unusual for exactly these same three books to be cited in the same way; indeed, it is much more common for Austen to be cited as the author of Pride and Prejudice and/or Sense and Sensibility on title pages of the other Austen novels.
The left hand and central books are both published by George Routledge and Sons, with some differences in the address. In the left hand book, Routledge’s address is given as The Broadway Ludgate, followed by New York: 416 Broome Street. In the central book, the address is given as Broadway House, Ludgate Hill with no New York address. The central book also has an ornamented capital R device, obviously a colophon or logo for the publisher. The right hand book is published by Miles and Miles at Foresters’ Hall Place, Clerkenwell Road EC. The close similarity of the printed text concerning the author suggests that all three books are related.
The next thing to examine is the page count of the text of the novel, normally called the “text block”, and to have a look at the appearance of the text. The left hand book has a text block of 288 pages, whereas the central and right hand books both have text blocks of 443 pages. The first page of each text block is shown in Figure 3 below.
It is quite clear from Figure 3 that the two editions published by Routledge look different, but that the text block of the Miles and Miles edition seems to be exactly the same as the Routledge edition in the central panel, both in terms of page count, decoration and appearance. It is hard to get a proper impression of the quality of the pages from the images, but both the paper and print quality of the Routledge edition in the central panel is superior to both of the other two editions. How should we proceed from here?
Other relevant printed information
If we look at The Ruby Series edition of Mansfield Park, there are three other helpful pieces of printed information that can be found. These are a frontispiece, the printer’s details and some pages of publisher’s advertisements. These are shown in Figure 4 below.
The frontispiece is a fairly low quality wood engraving. It is disfigured by a large horizontal black ink smear, which is a printing defect that runs through the heads of the man and the woman. There are no artists’ names nor is there a date on the frontispiece image. This is disappointing, as we can often find both an engraver and and artist name in book illustrations. Dates are rarer, but can sometimes be found in illustrations. However, illustrations are not always original images made for a particular book; they can often be recycled and reused.
The last page of the text block, shown in the central panel of Figure 4 above, indicates a page count of 288 pages. Also, as is often the case, the last page of the text block bears the name of the printer. In this case, it is “Woodfall and Kinder, Printers, Milford Lane, Strand, London, W.C.” which is printed at the bottom of p.288. This information is often useful because the printer’s relationship with the publisher, the form of the name of the printing company and the address of the printer all may be associated with particular date ranges. In this case, we know from the Library of Congress records that this was the address for Woodfall and Kinder from 1865 to 1887.
Publisher’s advertisements in books can be very revealing. In this case there is some frustration, as it seems that the publisher’s advertising block of four leaves may be incomplete, as after the unnumbered first advert page, the following page numbers are present; 4,13,14,19,20,29,30. The page shown in the right hand panel of Figure 4, p.4, is the verso of the first advert page, suggesting that the publishers printed advertising pages that were extracted from a larger document. The most useful entry in the advert block is the entry two thirds of the way down the page shown in Figure 4, which reads “Routledge’s Every Boy’s Annual for 1876”. Annuals, by their nature are produced every year, so this entry strongly suggests the period 1876-1877 for the publication of The Ruby Series.
The other Routledge edition of Mansfield Park shown in the central panel of Figure 1 above also has a frontispiece and a block of advertisements, which are shown in Figure 5 below.
The frontispiece is a photographically produced half tone image that has an artist’s name, Sydney Carter, in the lower right hand corner. The picture shows Edward Bertram riding with Mrs Crawford, an incident from Chapter 7 of Mansfield Park. The frontispiece has no date. The decorated capital ‘R’ colophon for Routledge first appears on the title page of Routledge and Sons publications in 1903, and appears consistently on their publications until 1920. There is a four page block of publisher’s advertisements bound at the end of the text block. It consists of advertisements for books in Routledge’s Popular Library and Routledge’s Popular Poets, all of which were priced at 3/6. (three shillings and sixpence). An investigation of the book titles in the advertisements show that these items were first published by Routledge in the 1880s and 1890s.
There is also a printer’s name and address printed on the verso of the title page. It reveals the printer to be “London and County Printing Works, Bazaar Buildings, London, W.C.” This refers to the printer L. Upcott Gill, who worked at this address, which is in Drury Lane. There is evidence for the firm operating at that address at least between 1902 and 1907, including the printing of a book for Routledge in 1903.
When we consider the Miles and Miles edition of Mansfield Park, the situation is both much simpler and less helpful. There is no frontispiece present nor any other illustrations, there is no printer identified and there is no block of advertisements. So, where should we go from here?
Consult the Experts or Ask a Friend?
At this point, it is generally best to look at what is known about different editions of Jane Austen, and what is known about the two publishers, George Routledge and Sons and Miles and Miles. We now need to consult the most reliable bibliographic sources available. Another useful approach can be to consult WorldCat on line, which gives listings of holdings of books in thousands of libraries around the world. This can be a convenient way to access the Library of Congress and The British Library. For this investigation, I am going to stick to the standard bibliographies which provide far more detail. However, you do need to have access to copies of them. One of the essential elements of book collecting is to build a practical and working bibliographic library, appropriate to your collecting needs.
There are four bibliographic sources for Jane Austen. These are by Michael Sadlier (1888-1957), the authority on the publication of literature in 19th century England. His XIX Century Fiction: A Bibliographic Record, Constable, London 1951, based on his own collection, is the best general authority on 19th century publications. More specific and detailed bibliographies of Jane Austen were published by Geoffrey Keynes (1887-1982) Jane Austen:A Bibliography. Nonesuch Press, 1929 and Robert Chapman (1881-1960) Jane Austen: A Critical Bibliography Oxford University Press 1969. The current standard authority is David Gilson (1938-2014) in his massive A Bibliography of Jane Austen, 2nd edition, Oak Knoll Press, Newcastle, Delaware, USA , 1997.
The identification system used by Gilson is a combination of a letter which represents a class of publications, followed by a number which identifies the edition within that class, with the numbers assigned in chronological order. The letter and number codes are as follows in the 1997 edition:
A1 – A9 Original UK editions
B1 – B7 Original US editions
C1 – C249 Non-English translations
D1 – D13 Editions published by Bentley
E1 – E425 Later editions 1838 -1976
F1 – F24 Minor works by Austen
G1 – G7 Austen’s letters
H1 – H50 Dramatisations
J1 – J14 Continuations and completions
K1 – K20 Books owned by Jane Austen
L1 – L48 Miscellaneous
M1 – M1814 Biography and Criticism
When we consult Gilson, and similarly with Sadlier, Keynes and Chapman, the first thing to note is that there is no mention of Miles and Miles as a publisher of Jane Austen. However, there is quite a lot of detail on George Routledge in Gilson. Routledge published different inexpensive editions of Jane Austen, starting in 1849 with Sense and Sensibility recorded as Gilson E12 and Pride and Prejudice as Gilson E13. The publisher’s name and address on both of these is given as George Routledge and Co., Soho Square. These two titles reappeared in several reprinted editions throughout the 1850s.
Gilson also noted a 288 page edition of Mansfield Park published by George Routledge and Co., Farringdon Street; and 18 Beekman Street New York dated 1857 (Gilson E23). He noted that E23 was reprinted by Routledge in 1876 as a part of The Ruby Series, which Gilson recorded as E44. Gilson also noted that E44 was bound in a blue daisy-patterned cloth, with no date on the title page. The publisher’s details were given as George Routledge and Sons, The Broadway, Ludgate; NewYork 416 Broome Street. He also noted that the British Library copy had four leaves of publisher’s advertisements bound in. He also stated that E44 had a wood engraved frontispiece which depicted Edward Bertram and Mary Crawford on the park seat at Sotherton. From the list shown below, 416 Broome Street was the New York address for Routledge from 1866 – 1881.
I think the identity of my Ruby Series Mansfield Park is now clearly established as Gilson E44, published in 1876 in an alternative binding to that described by Gilson.
Gilson reports later editions of Austen printed by George Routledge and Sons, including all six novels in 1883, which included a 433 page edition of Mansfield Park (Gilson E61). These 1883 editions were all undated on the title page, but showed the publisher’s address as Broadway, Ludgate Hill; New York, 9 Lafayette Place. Gilson mentions that several of the 1883 editions of Jane Austen published by Routledge have been recorded by other researchers as reprinted by George Routledge and Sons in 1898 and 1899 as “The Steventon Edition”.
I have three of “The Steventon Edition” volumes of Jane Austen published by George Routledge and Sons in my personal library. Sadly, I don’t have a copy of “The Steventon Edition” of Mansfield Park. The bindings and title pages are shown below (Figure 6.) This are clearly Art Nouveau style bindings. The phrase “The Steventon Edition” appears blind stamped just above the gilded titles.
My copies of Sense and Sensibility and Emma shown in Figure 6 above both have frontispieces that are clearly stylistically very similar to that shown for the Routledge Mansfield Park in Figure 5. They are all signed Sydney Carter, all produced by the same photographic halftone process and all have the same style of caption. Sadly, the Northanger Abbey/Persuasion in Figure 6 has apparently lost its frontispiece.
The title pages in Figure 6. are all similar but have some slight differences. None of these “Steventon” editions have the decorated R colophon on the title page. The other Jane Austen titles cited following the author’s name are printed slightly differently, and the addresses on the Emma and NorthangerAbbey/Persuasion are given exactly as on the Mansfield Park in Figure 5 Broadway House, Ludgate Hill, whereas the address on the Sense and Sensibility is given as Broadway, Ludgate Hill | Manchester and New York. The “Manchester and New York” printed on the Sense and Sensibility is indicative of a publication date from 1892 to 1897. The other two books were probably published in the period 1900-1902.
From the images of the first page (Figure 7), the style of these three books closely matches the styles of the Miles and Miles Mansfield Park and the Routledge Mansfield Park in the centre of Figure 2. If we look at the text blocks of these three Steventon editions, we find they are 379, 444 and 448 pages for Sense and Sensibility, Emma and Northanger Abbey/Persuasion respectively. This exactly matches the page counts for the 1883 Routledge editions of these titles recorded by Gilson as E60, E63 and E64. The printer for these books is identified as “Woodfall and Kinder, Printers, 70-76 Long Acre, London, W.C.” According to the Library of Congress, this is the address for this printing firm from 1888 to around 1900.
George Routledge the publisher
What do we know abut George Routledge the publisher? Fortunately, the company records for George Routledge, who lived from 1812 to 1888, have survived, and are held by University College London. Inspection of these records reveal how the description of the company and its addresses changed over 100 years. They are summarised in the following list: The numbers in brackets are the street addresses, which sometimes were printed in full, but often the number was omitted.
1836-1843 George Routledge 11 Ryders Court, Leicester Square, London
1843-1851 George Routledge and Co., (36) Soho Square, London
1852-1858 George Routledge and Co., Farringdon Street
1858-1859 Routledge, Warnes and Routledge, (2) Farringdon Street
1860-1864 Routledge, Warne and Routledge, (2) Farringdon Street
1865 Routledge, Warne and Routledge, Broadway Ludgate Hill
1865-1866 George Routledge and Sons, Broadway Ludgate Hill
1866-1878 George Routledge and Sons, The Broadway Ludgate
1879-1886 George Routledge and Sons, Broadway Ludgate Hill
From 1854 to 1886, the address of the New York office was often printed below the London address. From 1887 to 1902, New York address no longer appeared on the title pages. All of the years from 1887-1890 start LONDON | George Routledge and Sons. and from 1890 onward LONDON | George Routledge and SonsLimited.
1887-1888 Broadway, Ludgate Hill | Glasgow and New York
1889-1892 Broadway, Ludgate Hill | Glasgow Manchester and New York
1892-1897 Broadway, Ludgate Hill | Manchester and New York
1895-1902 George Routledge and SonsLimited, Broadway Ludgate Hill
1900-1911 George Routledge and SonsLimited, Broadway House, Ludgate Hill
1903-1925 London | George Routledge and Sons, Limited |New York E.P. Dutton and Co.
1912-1925 London | George Routledge and Sons, Limited | Broadway House 68-74 Carter Lane E.C.
The New York addresses are shown below.
1854-1859 18 Beekman Street. New York
1859-1864 56 Walker Street. New York
1864-1866 129 Grand Street. New York
1866-1881 416 Broome Street. New York
1881-1886 9 Lafayette place New York
1887-1902 New York (American only publications will still use 9 Lafayette Place)
From all of these considerations, it seems clear that the Routledge edition of Mansfield Park shown in the central panel of Figure 1 must be a reprint of the 1883 Routledge edition described by Gilson as E62. The Steventon editions are also reprints of the 1883 editions, probably printed between 1892 and 1900. My Mansfield Park with the woman reading on the cover is almost certainly another, later reprint of E61, printed between 1903 and 1906, because of the evidence of the title page style and the printer and publisher’s addresses. As will be seen in Part 3 of the blog, there is another piece of evidence which supports this.
How can we identify the Miles and Miles edition, which is lacking in any evidence other than the name and address of the publisher and the style of the binding and the text block. Fortunately for me, Janine Barchas in her excellent “The Lost Novels of Jane Austen” published in 2019 by Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA , has explored the origin of the Miles and Miles editions of Jane Austen. In chapter 2, Professor Barchas relates an impressive account of how the stereotype printing plates, which were created by Routledge and Sons for their 1883 editions of Jane Austen (Gilson E60 -E64) were sold or leased to other publishers to produce cheap editions of the books. She shows how Lever Brothers, soap manufacturers at Port Sunlight in Cheshire, UK, issued at least 100 titles from stereotype plates between 1890 and 1897, which included a copy of Sense and Sensibility in her own possession, and copies of Pride and Prejudice which are all clearly printed from the Routledge stereotype plates of 1883.
Janine Barchas has also identified that several books on the Lever Brothers list were also published by Miles and Miles in at least three binding styles, one described as The Marguerite Series, another as The Sundial Series and a third unnamed series which corresponds to the Miles and Miles binding of my Mansfield Park shown in Figure 1. She also identified the use of these same stereotype plates to produce even shoddier and cheaper looking editions by other publishers including Standard Authors, The Londoner Press and John Heywood Ltd of Manchester. Clearly a range of different publishers have had access to the same stereotype plates to produce cheap editions of Jane Austen in the period 1890 to 1905, perhaps even to 1910.
Finally, Janine Barchas noted that The British Library has a copy of Mansfield Park, published by Miles and Miles, tentatively dated to 1900 by an inscription. All of the above leads me to believe that my Miles and Miles edition of Mansfield Park is another reprint from the Routledge stereotype plates of 1883, printed some time between 1900 and 1906. For more on Miles and Miles see Price and Provenance 5.
The conclusions for the dating of all three of my editions of Mansfield Park are summarised in Figure 8 below. For an account of the establishment of provenance and prior ownership of these and other related books, please refer to the following section of the blog Price and Provenance 3.
This is the starting point for a series of posts about how to find out information about any particular copy and any particular edition and printing of an old book. As a book collector, these have been topics of great interest to me, so I thought that it might be useful to share and document some of my approaches, methods and findings. I call this series “Price and Provenance” as it is often quite difficult to find out how much an older book initially cost and also who has owned it previously. Both are issues of some interest to a serious book collector. I am taking different editions of the novels of Jane Austen as my starting point for this series of posts, partly as it reflects one of my main collecting interests, and partly as I have quite a few interesting editions to discus.
Let’s start with the situation of new books. It is obviously so much easier to document the price, nature and provenance of a new book. You go to your local bookshop, or if you must, look at online vendors. Whichever way you choose, you browse around the available stock, choose your book, pay your money and take your purchase home so it can join the family of your previous purchases.
Virtually all new books today carry excellent documentation of what they are. Externally, books generally will have a removable price sticker that humans can read and also often a machine readable price bar-code. For most of the 20th century, the price was recorded on the front inner, lower corner of the dust jacket, often below a diagonal line which invited the discerning gift giver to remove the price with a pair of scissors. Dust jackets that have been mutilated in this way are generally referred to as “price-clipped”.
Books will have a title page, which will tell you the book title, author and publisher, generally in that order as you read down the page. It used to be that, through most the past 500 years, the date of publication appeared at the foot of the title page. Today, more often than not, the title page will not have the date of publication printed at the bottom. You will now have to turn the page to find it.
Now for some nomenclature which I will try to introduce gradually through these posts. We call the front of a leaf in a book or right hand page as we view an opened book the “recto” and the rear of that page, normally appearing on the left hand side of an opened book, the “verso.” So, if you look on the other side, the verso, of the title page of a new modern book, you will see a whole lot of detail which gives you a full description of the book. There will be a dated copyright statement, the date of publication, and the full name and address of the publisher, often with addresses of that publisher in multiple countries. Books published in the USA will have a statement about registration with the Library of Congress. In the UK, the equivalent is a statement about a CIP catalogue number registered with the British Library, and in Australia, where I live, there will be an equivalent statement with regard to the National Library of Australia. Towards the bottom of the page the details and address of the printer are usually given.
The details of the edition of the book also generally appear on the verso of the title page. Some times the statement will be simply “First Edition” ; other times it might say “Third impression” or it might read something like “First published in 1963, reprinted 1964 (twice), 1965, 1966”. More recently, this has been codified into a line of numbers. It generally looks like this:
1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
or this: 1 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2
But is may also look like this: 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
All of these tell you that the book is the first impression (printing) of the first edition. If however the line of numbers should look like this:
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
you are dealing with the second impression of the first edition, and you will find with each new impression, a further digit is removed. For some blockbusters, the publishers just print a number by itself to indicate the impression.
International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
In modern books, you will also find the ISBN number. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. These started in 1965 as a nine-digit Standard Book Number which in 1967 became the International Standard Book Number. The format was officially established as an international standard in 1970 when a ten-digit ISBN was adopted; the earlier nine-digit numbers were updated by the addition of a leading zero. New books displayed the ten-digit ISBN, as a printed number or as a bar-code from 1970 until 2007 when the ISBN standard was redefined as a 13 digit number. While most countries adopted the ten-digit ISBN in 1970, the UK persisted with the nine-digit format until 1974. Most book readers will be familiar with the appearance of the 13 digit ISBN bar-code format shown below:
Without going into the full complexities of the ISBN system, the principle is that each book should be uniquely identified, just as a URL uniquely identifies a Web page. The structure of the ISBN is built from several elements: a three-digit prefix, currently 978 or 979 known as the EAN (European Article Number), the language and or country of publication, publisher and book details. The final single digit is a technical check-sum. The elements are separated by blank spaces or by hyphens. Different formats of books (hardback, paperback, e-book) each get their own individual ISBN.
Identification and provenance of older books
For any book published before 1970, there is no ISBN, so as collectors, we have traditionally concentrated on the identification of the precise edition, printing or binding of any given book, either from inspection of the book itself, or by recourse to catalogues and bibliographies. Much less effort has been expended on understanding provenance, with the exception of the identification and collection of desirable “Association” copies of books. By Association copy, we mean a book which has been previously owned or inscribed by someone of importance, either to the book itself, or its subject matter or sometimes just by the personal fame of the associated person.
In her recent excellent book “The Lost Novels of Jane Austen”, (Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2019, ISBN 978-1-4214-3159-8) Professor Janine Barchas explores the topic of the provenance of hitherto unregarded, cheaper editions of the novels of Jane Austen as valuable evidence in the understanding of how the popularity of this major author was spread by the publication of editions that were accessible to the broad general reading public. Many of the books that she examined had escaped inclusion in the standard bibliographies.
Professor Barchas also uses the information of prior ownership, in combination with family history research techniques, to rediscover some of the countless unrecognised readers of Jane Austen from the past. This approach has been a facet of my book collecting practice for the past decade or so. In a series of follow-up posts, I will share some of the findings of my exploration of provenance and the previous history of the books in my collection. My first examples, like Janine Barchas’ work, will involve Jane Austen. Here are three copies of Mansfield Park which I will be exploring first.