Price and Provenance 7

A Routledge edition of Macaria

In the previous post, Price and Provenance 6, I discussed some of the Routledge Editions of Macaria as well as other titles by Augusta Jane Evans Wilson, and showed how the page count for Macaria was, at 380 pages, identical to the Miles and Miles edition, further supporting the notion that the Miles and Miles edition was printed from Routledge stereotype plates. I also noted that there were 7 copies of Routledge editions of Macaria on offer via Abe Books. One of those copies was offered by a local Victorian (Australia) online book dealer whom I have bought books from before. The asking price was modest and the description was slightly vague, but did include a mention of no date, 380 pages, chapter vignettes and the phrase “Cover faded and scuffed in places”, so, sight unseen, I ordered the book on April 9th 2020.

It arrived today, 16th April 2020, and here it is, in all its glory, in Figures 1 and 2. The condition of the cover was all that was promised.

Several things were immediately apparent. The design on the binding, while it is clearly different from the Miles and Miles binding, does show some similarities, with the title at the top of the top board in a rectangular cartouche, and an overall design that is floral in nature. The appearance of the text block, as exemplified by page one, shown in the left hand panel of figure 2, is identical to that of that of the Miles and Miles Macaria, including an identical decorative vignette at the top of the page and the number 7 at the bottom centre of the page. The words on the title page (Figure 1, right hand panel) are identical to the text of the Miles and Miles edition, except for the publisher’s name and address, but the layout of the text is slightly different. Neither of the title pages is dated. There is a wood engraving as the frontispiece for the Routledge edition, but no illustrations in the Miles and Miles edition. The frontispiece is signed “Geo. G” in the bottom left hand corner, but again, there is no date. The final pages of the text blocks are identical for the two books, down to the detail of the final ornamental floral vignette, except for the identification of the printer of the Routledge edition at the bottom of page 380. It reads “BILLING AND SONS, PRINTERS, GUILDFORD.” This exactly matches the printer identified in WorldCat for the later Routledge edition of Macaria.

To assist with visual comparisons, the binding, title pages and first and last text pages of the two editions are presented side by side in Figure 3, with the Routledge edition on the left and the Miles and Miles edition on the right.

All of these observations confirm that these two books have been created from the same stereotype plates. Overall, the Miles and Miles edition appears to have been a higher quality production than the Routledge edition, both in the printing and the quality of the binding and the paper, notwithstanding the poor condition of my copy of the Routledge edition.

The search on WorldCat reported in Price and Provenance 6 revealed a scarce Routledge edition (one copy known) published in 1892. It also listed many copies of my edition, clearly as a later reprint, appearing at some time after 1900. On the lower right of the top board, we see printed “The Augusta Evans Wilson Series”, suggesting that the book is part of a later set of collected reprints. From the wear on the printed pages, it may well have been printed from the common stereotype plates after they were used to print the Miles and Miles edition. I can put some tentative limits on the dates. From the appearance of the title page, particularly the form of the address and the lack of the Routledge colophon, the Routledge edition seems to have been printed between 1900 and 1902. This would provisionally date the Miles and Miles edition to perhaps 1898-1899.

A Helpful Signature

As part of my examination of the Routledge Macaria, I looked for any other clues to the date of publication. There is a block of four pages of publisher’s advertisements, but after examining the titles, they are all 19th century books. One of the listed books is dated as a 12th edition of September 1897, implying that this edition of Macaria was published in 1898 at the earliest.

On the top of the front paste-down, there is a faded hand-written name “B.V. Inglis Alvie”, but no date. It is shown in Figure 4. below.

Figure 4. B.V. Inglis Alvie from front paste-down.

My initial thought was who could this B. V. Inglis Alvie be, when I noticed the gap between Inglis and Alvie. A Google search for “Inglis Alvie” revealed that an Inglis family had lived in Alvie, a small town near Colac in the Western District of Victoria, Australia. Further research revealed that a Thomas Gordon Inglis of Alvie had been killed on August 3rd 1915, during the Gallipoli campaign of World War I. A search on Ancestry.com for Thomas Gordon Inglis of Alvie soon revealed his older sister Barbara Victoria Inglis (1887 – 1972), who lived her whole life in the Colac area, mostly at Alvie. She married a Leopold William Wallace in 1911. On both the 1909 and 1912 electoral rolls for Corangamite, the electorate which still covers Colac and Alvie, she is shown as living, firstly with her parents, and then with her husband, both times at Alvie.

The signature is helpful, even without a date, as after 1911 she was no longer Barbara Victoria Inglis, but had become Barbara Victoria Wallace, so she would no longer have written her name as Inglis. This clearly dates the book to no later than 1911, and is consistent with the notion that Macaria was published in the first few years of the 20th century. The Victorian book dealer from whom I bought the book is located at Skipton, in the Western District of Victoria, about 85km north of Alvie. It would be interesting to know if they obtained the book locally.

My Routledge edition of Macaria clearly looks like a fairly cheap production. The four pages of advertisements bound into the back of the book are described as “George Routledge’s Juvenile Catalogue”, and presents books at two different prices. First of all, there were Gift Books for 7s. 6d., described as “In large crown 8vo., profusely illustrated with plain and coloured plates, and tastefully bound in cloth gilt or gilt edges.” There were also three other categories of cheaper books described, each of them offered at five shillings:

  • Five Shilling Gift Books, described as “Large crown 8vo., with many illustrations, plain and coloured, and in attractive cloth bindings.”
  • Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Books, described as “Well printed on good paper, page llustrations, elegantly bound in cloth gilt.”
  • Five Shilling Picture Books, described as “Printed in colours by Edmond Evans, and tastefully bound in picture-boarded covers designed by the artists.”

All of these books sound like much better productions than my Macaria, and I think that the Macaria would be more likely to have been priced at 2s. or 2s. 6d. The Five Shilling Picture Books that were advertised were the famous four “Pictures from the Graphic” volumes illustrated by Randolph Caldecott. These were all very attractive books, published by Routledge between 1886 and 1890. Interestingly, one of the titles listed under the Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Books is At The Mercy of Tiberius by Augusta Evans Wilson. It sounds like a better production than Macaria.

The final point worth considering is how did such a book get to a small settlement in the Western District of Victoria in the first few years of the 20th century? Some London publishers, such as Ward Lock, Cassell, Collins and William Inglis (ironically!), had offices in Melbourne, the centre of Australian publishing in Victorian and Edwardian times. Routledge did not have an Australian office at that time, so their books would have been ordered from London and imported by individual booksellers or possibly a wholesale supply house. It would mean at least a six month delay between publication in London and availability in Australia.

UPDATE 27 May 2020

I have since purchased another book from the same book dealer, a copy of Women of Israel by Grace Aguilar, published by Groombridge and Sons in 1876. My interest in this book is an attempt to learn more about Groombridge and Sons’ publishing of fiction, as they were mainly publishers of natural history, horticultural and agricultural works, with a few religious books thrown in for good measure. Groombridge was the publisher of my illustrated Mansfield Park featured in Price and Provenance 10. For more on Groombridge and Sons, see my page Groombridge, publishers.

The owner of the bookshop from which I purchased the Routledge Macaria and the Groombridge Women of Isreal has sent me the following information on how he obtained the two books. Many thanks to John Orton of Black Stump Books, Skipton, Victoria, Australia. Email: blackstumpbooks@bigpond.com

“Apropos your purchase of Macaria and Women of Israel. For your records, you may be interested to know that we acquired both these and many other titles at an auction in Colac, about a decade ago. The auction was held at 39 Gravesend Street, Colac, the residence of the Bassett family. The last occupants of the house were Bromwyn and Valerie Bassett. They were elderly twin sisters, who were avid book collectors. After the death of the last of the twins the home and contents were put up for auction.”   

Barbara Victoria Wallace nee Inglis was the previous owner of the Macaria. Her final address in Colac before she died was (ironically) 2 Inglis Court. If you look at the map of the southern part of Colac shown below in Figure 5, you can see that Barbara Victoria Wallace and the two Bassett sisters were very close neighbours, as their two houses are within about 50 metres of each other. In 1972, Valerie Bassett was living in East Hawthorn in Melbourne, but her sister, Irene Bronwen Bassett to give her full name, was living at 39 Gravesend Street with her widowed mother, Clare Irene Bassett nee Sitlington. Bronwen seems to have moved back from East Melbourne to Colac following her father’s death in 1970. She would have been on hand to buy books from the estate of Barbara Victoria Wallace following her death in Colac in 1972. This provides one possible explanation of the line of provenance of the Routledge Macaria.

Figure 5. 39 Gravesend Street (blue) and 2 Inglis Court (red) in Colac

The Bassetts are an interesting study in family history. I have spent a day exploring them online and have identifed many members of the family at large, including all 16 great-great-grandparents of the two sisters, who were not twins, but were in fact Irene Bronwen Bassett (1920-2013) and Valerie Farndale Bassett (1921-2013). They lived to be 93 and 92 years old respectively and died within three weeks of each other in December 2013.

It will be interesting to find out if there was any other relationship than proximity between the Bassett sisters and Barbara Victoria Wallace nee Inglis.

In the next post, I will consider the prior ownership and provenance of the Miles and Miles Macaria.


Price and Provenance 6

Macaria by Augusta J Evans Wilson

In this post, I am examining the identity, origin and provenance of my copy of Macaria, which was published by Miles and Miles and is shown in Figure 1 below.

Who was Augusta J Evans Wilson?

Augusta Jane Evans was born on 8th May 1835 in Columbus, Georgia in the USA, the eldest of eight children of Mathew R. Evans and Sarah Evans nee Howard. She was born into a wealthy and prominent family. There seems to be no record of her attending school, but she remarked later in her life that she had been a very early and prolific reader as a child. The family fortunes suffered when her father became bankrupt early in her childhood, forcing the family to move, first to Alabama and then, in 1845, to San Antonio, Texas, before returning to Mobile, Alabama in 1849. San Antonio was very much a military outpost in the 1840s following the US-Mexico war, and the romance of the military life inspired Augusta to write her first book, Inez, A Tale of the Alamo in 1850, when she was just 15. This set the tone of much of her writing in later life, when she became known as the sympathetic voice on behalf of the Confederate army during the American Civil War. Inez was published anonymously in 1855, and was followed by her second book, Beulah, which was published under her own name in 1859. The book was so successful that she was able to buy a house called Georgia Cottage with the proceeds.

Figure 2. Georgia Cottage, Mobile Alabama, now a museum for Augusta J Evans Wilson

It was in Georgia Cottage that she wrote her next two, and most famous books, Macaria, published in 1863 and St. Elmo in 1866. She followed this with Vashti, published in 1868, and then she married a retired Confederate Colonel, Lorenzo Wilson, who was more than 25 years older than she. All of her future books, and reprints of her earlier books appeared under the name Augusta J Evans Wilson.

Macaria was pure confederate propaganda, praising the sacrifices of Confederate women and glorifying the Confederate army. The Civil War caused difficulties with the publication of Macaria. It was first published in Richmond, Virginia, which was part of the Confederacy, but it was also published in New York, very much in Union territory, by the device of smuggling the manuscript from Alabama to New York via Havana in Cuba to beat the wartime blockade. Copies of Macaria were famously burned by some fervent Unionists.

Augusta Evans Wilson went on to publish several other book after her marriage, including Infelice in 1875 and At the Mercy of Tiberius in 1887, but none of her later books were as popular as Macaria and St. Elmo. A silent movie version of St. Elmo was made in 1914, but it has now been lost, except for a few promotional still images. Augusta Jane Evans Wilson died in Mobile, Alabama on 9th May 1909. She was reputed to be the first American woman to make more than $100,000 from her writing, a sum not surpassed until Edith Wharton became successful nearly 50 years later.

Three comments concerning the books of Augusta Evans Wilson

Firstly, an observation on Macaria. When I first bought the book, the title seemed familiar to me, but I could not quite work out why. Then I realised that it is mentioned in one of my all-time favourite books, Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons. Cold Comfort Farm was published by Constable in London in 1932. It is a brilliant parody of a then popular style of rural novel, that glorified a down-beat, romantically earthy and doom-laden picture of life in English villages and farms that was typified by Gone to Earth, The House at Dormer Forest and Precious Bane by Mary Webb, all set in rural Shropshire. In Cold Comfort Farm, the heroine, Flora Poste is looking around the farmhouse and we hear that…

“Flora pounced on some books which lay on the broad window-sill: Macaria, or Altars of Sacrifice… She liked Victorian novels. They were the only kind of novel you could read while you were eating an apple.”

Altars of Sacrifice is indeed the subtitle of Macaria, and the neglected novel was clearly not completely forgotten, at least not by Stella Gibbons in 1932.

Secondly, I have referred earlier to in these blogs to the list of 100 books published by Lever Brothers that was recorded by Janine Barchas in The Lost Novels of Jane Austen. Several of the books on the list were also published by Miles and Miles, apparently using the same stereotype plates. Macaria was not on that list, but I noticed that five other books by Augusta Evans Wilson were on the Lever Brothers list: Beulah, St.Elmo, Vashti, Infelice and At the Mercy of Tiberius. If all of the Lever Brothers books were printed on stereotype plates obtained from Routledge, as both Janine Barchas and I suspect, then there ought to be a record of these titles published by Routledge, probably in the period 1883-1900.

Thirdly, on the title page of my Miles and Miles copy of Macaria, the author is credited with being the author of “Beulah,” “St. Elmo,” “Infelice,” etc. If Macaria was printed by Miles and Miles from stereotype plates from Routledge, then you would expect these three titles to have been published by Routledge as well. A larger copy of that title page is shown below in Figure 3., together with a picture of Augusta Jane Evans Wilson.

Taking both of the last two observations together, one would expect there to have been at least six books by Augusta Evans Wilson published by Routledge; the five titles listed by Lever Brothers and Macaria. So the next questions are, were the works of Augusta Evans Wilson published by Routledge, and if so, which titles?

Was Augusta Evans Wilson published by Routledge?

This question was approached by the same method outlined in Price and Provenance 5 for a similar investigation of my Miles and Miles edition of Captain Cook’s Voyages. I searched both WorldCat and AbeBooks.

On WorldCat I found 17 editions of books by Augusta J Evans Wilson or Augusta J Evans listed as published by Routledge. These 17 books were various copies of Inez (1892), Beulah (1891, nd), Macaria (1892), St.Elmo (1891, 1893), Vashti (1890,1891), Infelice (1891, nd) and At the Mercy of Tiberius (1893). The years of publication by Routledge are given in brackets; nd means no date indicated. Clearly all of the books of interest, plus the author’s first book, Inez, were published by Routledge between 1890 and 1893.

The 1892 Routledge edition of Macaria was only noted as a single copy held at The British Library. Interestingly, another copy of Macaria was listed as published by Routledge after 1900 and printed by Billings and Sons at Guildford. In contrast to the 1892 copy, there were 334 different libraries listed as having a copy of this edition. Both this later edition and the 1892 edition were listed as 380 pages, the same page count as my Miles and Miles edition of Macaria.

The AbeBooks search, performed on 10th April 2020, found only five books. These were Inez (1892), Macaria (2 copies nd), St. Elmo (1891), and Infelice (1891). One of the copies of Macaria gave a page count which was again 380 pages. There were no images of any of these books on the AbeBooks site.

These two searches have confirmed that Routledge published seven titles of books by Augusta J Evans Wilson between 1890 and 1893, including all the titles listed by Lever Brothers in 1897 and all of the titles listed on the title page of my Miles and Miles edition of Macaria. All of the Routledge editions of Macaria had the same 380 page count as the Miles and Miles edition.

I am left to conclude that all the evidence is consistent with the idea that the Miles and Miles edition of Macaria was printed from the Routledge stereotype plates, after the publication of the Routledge editions. I will need to see a copy of a Routledge edition of Macaria to see if the text block is identical with the Miles and Miles edition.

In the next post, Price and Provenance 7, I now have a direct comparison between a very recently acquired Routledge edition of Macaria and the Miles and Miles edition.

In the following post, Price and Provenance 8, I will investigate the provenance of my copy of the Miles and Miles Macaria, and perhaps shed some further light on its date of publication.


Acknowledgement. The picture of Georgia Cottage and the photograph of Augusta J Evans Wilson were both obtained from Wikimedia Commons.


Price and Provenance 5

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 next posting, Price and Provenance 6, I will examine the Miles and Miles edition of Macaria in more detail.


Updated 21st April 2020

Price and Provenance 4

Mansfield Park published by Miles and Miles

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.

Halifax

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.

Pye Nest

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.

Figure 3. Pye Nest, Sowerby Bridge and SW Halifax in 1907

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.

Figure 4. Pye Nest House 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

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.

  1. Gladys Edith Briggs, b Q3, 1892 in Halifax.
  2. Gladys Mary Briggs, b Q3 1895 in Bradford but living in Halifax in 1911.
  3. Gladys Briggs, b Q4 1895 in Halifax.
  4. Gladys Briggs, b Q1 1896 in Halifax
  5. Gladys Briggs, b Q2 1896 in Halifax
  6. Gladys Briggs, b Q3 1897 in Halifax
  7. Gladys Briggs, b Q2 1898 in Halifax
  8. Gladys Briggs, b Q3 1898 in Halifax
  9. Gladys Briggs, b Q2 1900 in Sowerby Bridge, a town about 2 km SW on Pye Nest Road
  10. 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).

Figure 5. Ethel Briggs

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.

Figure 6. Memorial to Eric Brearley

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.


Price and Provenance 2

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; New York 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 Northanger Abbey/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.

For more details on how to identify the publication date of books published by George Routledge, go to my George Routledge Publisher page.

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 Sons Limited.

  • 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 Sons Limited, Broadway Ludgate Hill
  • 1900-1911 George Routledge and Sons Limited, 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)
  • 1903-1945 New York: E.P. Dutton and Co.

For more details on how to identify the publication date of books published by George Routledge, go to my George Routledge Publisher page.

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.


Revised and updated 21 April 2020.