Wednesday, March 22, 2017

295. Charles Ricketts's Earliest Published Illustration

It is often thought that Charles Ricketts's earliest illustrations were published in a now extremely rare short-lived periodical called The Alarum. This cheap magazine published five drawings by Ricketts in October and November 1886.

At the time, Ricketts was just twenty. But this wasn't the first time that he saw his name in print, and surprisingly Ricketts's first drawing was published in quite an important art magazine, The Magazine of Art. The January issue of 1886 contained an article by R.A.M. Stevenson, 'The Art of Sketching' (pages 124-127), and Ricketts's drawing was published to illustrate this art form.

Stevenson (1847-1900) was a Scottish art critic, who studied painting in Edinburgh and Paris, but was advised to turn to criticism instead. From 1883 onwards, he published articles in several magazines, such as The Saturday Review, The Magazine of Art, and Pall Mall Gazette.


Charles Ricketts, 'The Building of the House' (1885, published 1886)
His essay on sketching served as a general introduction to the subject: 

It may be defined as the art of jotting down, without regard to accidental facts, an ensemble in drawing, chiaroscuro, or colour, or in any one alone. In sketching, only the greater facts are relevant, only the complete scheme is essential.

A sketch proper, then, is always the record of an impression: if from nature, of an ensemble perceived; if from chic, of an ensemble imagined.

In London, as in Paris and other large cities, sketching from the head is practised in regular clubs, started ad hoc. Some are associations of artists among themselves for amusement and practice. Such used to be the Latin Quarter Club in Paris; such is the Langham in London.

But there were other clubs as well, such as School Clubs:

Of school clubs - used as a direct means of education, supervised by professors, and kept going by a system of competition and reward - are the Lambeth, the Gilbert (St. Martin's), the West London, and the South Kensington.

The Lambeth Sketching Club was founded in 1861 by John Sparkes of the School of Art, South Kensington. With the Lambeth Sketching Club, Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon are introduced, as examples of artists whose work is evidence of the merits of prize sketches.

Two of these we engrave — Mr. Shannon's under the head "Figure," and Mr. Ricketts's under the head "Design." 

Both were illustrated; the original sketches had been reworked by artisans, and turned into wood-engravings that could be used as illustrations. Ricketts's illustration (125x162 mm) was not signed by him, but the caption mentioned his name:

The Building of The House.
(From the Prize Sketch, "Design," by C.S. Ricketts, Lambeth Sketching Club, 1885.)

From this publication he may have learned that it was adviseable to sign the drawings, as in Shannon's case the caption misnamed the artist:

By the Seaside.
(From the Prize Sketch, "Figure," by Walter Shannon. Lambeth Sketching Club, 1885.)

Walter Shannon! Ricketts have been horrified by this mistake. And started signing his work with his full name.

Stevenson's judgment of both drawings was kind, although he could find faults in both works.

Mr. Shannon's, more distinctly seen as a whole than Mr. Ricketts’s, has greater unity of impression, and, with less padding, contains fewer weak spots. 

About Ricketts's drawing he wrote:

Mr. Ricketts, though more unequal than Mr. Shannon, exhibits in places somewhat stronger and more realised work. The distant hills and architecture are keenly felt, and represented with breadth and spirit. The group in the foreground has considerable animation, and some of the modelling is very accurately realised; but as a whole it is not seen under the same conditions of strong Oriental sunlight as the distance. The masses of light and shade in the group might be more broadly contrasted, the east shadows darker and firmer, and the near architecture more illumined with reflected light. In fact, the ensemble is less distinctly felt and less exclusively aimed at than in the work of Mr. Shannon. However, as these artists have competed for different prizes, and have aimed at different objects, any close comparison of their merits would be manifestly unfair.

This seems to be the earliest published criticism of Ricketts's work, and must have made his name known in publisher's circles. From now on, Ricketts and Shannon could mention this criticism as a reference; to have been published in The Magazine of Art with a favorable report, was a triumph for a student of his age, as the contents of this magazine was widely advertised and noticed in many other magazines and newspapers. It was certainly the start of Ricketts's career. 

Although this was the January 1886 issue of The Magazine of Art, it was published in December 1885, as The Pall Mall Gazette can testify: an advertisement, published by Cassell and Company on 22 December 1885 stated:

The JANUARY PART of "The Magazine of Art" is now on sale, price 1s.

Ricketts's age at the time: nineteen.

[Next time: Charles Shannon's prize sketch.]

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

294. An Early Drawing: Those Servants Again

At Dominic Winters Auctions, on 2 March, an early drawing by Charles Ricketts was sold for £620. The drawing was signed 'C. Ricketts'. There is an inscription on the back, probably intended as a caption to the illustration: 'Those Servants Again'.


Charles Ricketts, 'Those Servants Again!', undated original drawing, c. 1886-1887

The caption reads in full:

'Those Servants Again! 

First fair Patrician 
- Positively refused to fight in the arena, my dear, and that sweet nubian lion doing nothing. What are we coming to next. For not one of them has been thrown into the Lamprey pond, since Old Pollux. 
2nd fair Patrician 
- Ah! Slaves are not as they were.

Old Pollux and the lamprey pond refer to Vedius Pollo (died 15 BC), a Roman of some authority in the Roman province of Asia. He was known for his cruelty to slaves. He would punish them by feeding them to his lampreys that were especially kept for the purpose. Seneca wrote down what happened to Vedius when the emperor Augustus visited his house (On Anger, III, 40):

He [Vedius] ordered him to be thrown to the huge lampreys which he had in his fish pond. Who would not think he did this for display? Yet it was out of cruelty. The boy slipped from the captor's hands and fled to Augustus' feet asking nothing else other than a different way to die – he did not want to be eaten. Augustus was moved by the novelty of the cruelty and ordered him to be released, all the crystal cups to be broken before his eyes, and the fish pond to be filled in...

The literary reference had a certain actuality attached to it, as it could be read as a modern complaint about domestic servants.

The cartoon has never been published. For the early published drawings by Ricketts all originals seem to have disappeared, part of the process possibly, as the they were considered to be sketches that were engraved on the block by artisans in the publisher's studio. The survival of this (hitherto unrecorded) drawing itself suggests that it was never published.

The signature, with Ricketts full name and the backward pointing stroke of the 's', was used by the artist for his early drawings (after 1885; the earliest drawings have not been signed at all). The stroke of the 's' varied in lenght, sometimes approaching the first 't', often even underlining the 'k'. Drawings by Ricketts, having this signature, were published in Cassell's series History of England in 1887 and 1888. Some of these drawings must have been made in 1886; these were all realistic, historical scenes. 

Ricketts also published five drawings with this signature, and with a caption, in the elusive cheap magazine The Alarum. These were intended as cartoons, and contained a rather long text that was meant to be a joke of some sorts. The 'slaves' drawing was not published in that magazine.

It may have been intended for The Alarum, that was stopped short after six months in March 1887. Many other magazines at the time contained such 'funny' drawings, such as Judy. Ricketts tried his hand at this type of illustration, although he would soon find out that his specialty lay with costume drawings and historical sketches of Egyptian, Roman, and Renaissance scenes.

This drawing clearly is a sketch for the kind of drawing that he wasn't excelling in, but that might bring in money. The scene displays his knowledge of Roman history, architecture, and  dresses, build up as a classic composition with two diagonal lines (from bottom left to top right and from top left to bottom right). Ricketts's sketch of the black maid holding a large parasol and the woman in front of the little group shows delicately drawn details, especially those of the patterns of the fabrics. The woman in the middle, in contrast, wears a plain shirt, so that the other two stand out more. The architecture is sketchy, with a partly depicted statue of Dionysus, some people in the background, and a man sitting on a bench to the right of the drawing (again showing a costume pattern).

The white spaces in the drawing would have been filled in by the engraver: thinly drawn lines indicate the artist's intention. The drawing can be dated to 1886-1887.

The capture on the back was first witten in pencil, and then traced in black ink. It cannot be established who wrote the text. Was it given by the magazine's art editor, or invented by the artist?

Thanks are due to Dennis T. Lannigan, who provided the images after he acquired the drawing at Dominic Winters Auction. Lannigan is a collector of nineteenth-century British drawings. He donated part of his collection of Pre-Raphaelites and their contemporaries to the National Gallery of Canada. The collection comprises drawings by Edward Burne-Jones, John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and others. Lannigan, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon by profession, has been a collector of drawings for over  fourty years.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

293. A Shakespeare Heroine Without a Name?

Recently, I was asked to identify a plate in the publication Shakespeare's Heroines. The book was issued as a contribution towards the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Fund, and as a memento of some Sunday afternoon broadcasts. Twelve short anonymous texts about these heroines are accompanied by mounted reproductions after drawings by Ricketts: eleven plates printed in sepia, and one colour plate. Although the publisher's name or date of publication are lacking, the oblong book (according to the British Library catalogue) was published by the BBC in 1926.

After the title page - containing only the title - another colour plate is pasted in. This one doesn't have the landscape format, and had to be placed across. The contents page doesn't mention this illustration that depicts an actress in a costume designed by Ricketts.


Charles Ricketts, costume design from Shakespeare's Heroines (1926)
The illustration is reproduced in Stephen Calloway's Charles Ricketts, Subtle and Fantastic Decorator (1979), and tentatively described as being 'probably for Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, c. 1919'. However, the dress is similar to a design by Ricketts for another costume, that of The Doge in The Merchant of Venice.


Charles Ricketts, costume design for 'The Doge' in The Merchant of Venice

These costumes were both described and illustrated in Richard Allen Cave's book Charles Ricketts' Stage Designs (1987). Both were intended for a 1918 production of The Merchant of Venice, the dress  was for Portia. Ricketts's friend and admirer Gordon Bottomley, who collected much valuable material evidence of Ricketts's several careers, wrote, as early as 1932, about the frontispiece in Shakespeare's Heroines: this 'coloured costume-design for Portia (one of the set done for Mrs Wheeler) is an admirable example of his costume designs'. (Theatre Arts Monthly, May 1932).

However, there is one remark by Charles Ricketts that may complicate the identification of this costume. In September 1918, working on the costume designs, Ricketts wrote in a letter to Laurence Binyon: 'Portia has a dress covered with mermaids'. No mermaid on this costume, so far as we can see. So is this Portia, or not?

The costume designs were for a series of Shakespeare plays performed for the British and French soldiers in France by a company managed by Lena Ashwell. In an earlier blog I wrote about these performances: 89: A Costume Correspondence. (For a general story about war time performances, see L.J. Collins's Theatre at War, 1914-18, published by Macmillan in 1998). 

Ricketts designed around fifty costumes for a series of three plays: Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, and Two Gentlemen of Verona, although the last play was never actually produced. For economic reasons Ricketts designed at least twenty costumes with interchangeable parts that could be used for several of the plays.

For this project, Ricketts corresponded with the actress and co-organizer Penelope Wheeler. Wheeler would play the role of Portia. In her article about these productions, Margaret Mitchell, wrote: 'Prior to packing the production, Penelope Wheeler's own costumes for Portia were sent to her home with Ricketts's instructions on how to wear them. [...] He instructs Wheeler to try on the costume and then use the sketch to understand carriage, posture, and the emotional quality of the character'.

A more detailed description of the Portia dress dismisses Ricketts's later claims for mermaid designs. The description perfectly fits the frontispiece illustration for Shakespeare's Heroines:

I want Portia's white dress to be slipping off the shoulder, the stomacher low and the green veil has two wing like strips to give line, and to cover back of corsage...

All the details can be found in the drawing:

The text speaks of 'the golden Portia' and she is usually given golden hair in consequence, but unless you wish to wear a yellow wig, I should prefer your own hair. I admit I had yellow hair in view, in designing the dresses, but dark hair is safe; possibly the dark red hair might look well on you and not dislike your eyes and eyebrows, should you find it does, use it, but wigs are troublesome things though actors like them.

The blond hair in the drawing illustrated his point. Wheeler did not wear a wig for the performance, as we can see from a photograph that is kept in the Mander and Mitchenson Theatre Collection at the University of Bristol. It is posted at the Daily Mail website.

A wonderful testimony of a performance at the fringe of the art world, in Le Havre, for the troops. In black and white, alas, but one can surmise the splendid array of colours that must have mesmerized the audience, especially as the actress moved on the stage.

Unfortunately, the University of Bristol doesn't allow me to reproduce the image that is based on the original photograph in their collection. They insist on a significant fee payable to Arenapal.


[Thanks are due to June Samaras of Kalamos Books for her inquiry.]

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

292: Hero & Leander: a Partly Blind Stamped Cover

In the summer of 1893, an announcement of 'The Vale' was issued about an edition of Hero and Leander that was said to be in preparation. The book would be 'bound in English vellum and gold in a design by Charles Ricketts'. The preparation took longer than expected, and a second announcement was distributed, probably early February 1894. The binding design remained unchanged, although a name was now given to it: 'Bound in English Vellum and Gold in a design of "Pearl and Thread" by Charles Ricketts.'


Announcement of Hero and Leander (1894) [detail]
The book's colophon doesn't mention the binding design or material. The edition (there were 220 copies of which 200 were for sale) was bound in vellum with a gilt-stamped design, which was signed 'CR' [for Ricketts] and HL [for the binder, Leighton, Son & Hodge].

An early bibliographer mentioned a separate edition of ten copies that were bound otherwise. Temple Scott (1864-1939) interviewed Ricketts, and published 'A Bibliography of the Books Issued by the Vale Press' in Bookselling (December 1896). According to his list: 'Ten copies were bound with the design in blind, the others have the design in gold.'

Three years later Ricketts, in his book A Defence of the Revival of Printing (1899), wrote: 'Six copies exist bound as originally intended in blind tooling and gold'.

Ricketts's remark led to confusion. Copies in vellum were thought to be exceedingly scarce, but they are not; all copies had been bound in vellum, the difference being the decoration. There are copies with the design printed in gold, but there are no copies with a blind-stamped design. There are some hybrid copies: they have most of the design blind-stamped, and only a few dots and circles in gold. These appear on the front and back of the binding. The spine of those copies has the title in gold as well.

The question is: how many of these hybrid copies are in existence? Six (Ricketts) or ten (Scott)? My guess is that Scott was right.


Hero and Lander (1894)
[photos: Nudelman Rare Books]
An agreement between Ricketts and Shannon and the Bodley Head was signed on 5 February 1894, shortly followed by the announcement stating the name of the binding design 'Pearl and Thread'. It is a fine linear design with leaves, dots, circles, lines and triple lines - the kind of drawing that he would repeat many times for the special bindings of Vale Press books, and also for commercial bindings. But why 'Pearl and Thread'? Are the small circles to be seen as 'pearls' and the thin lines as 'thread'? The spine design contains two lines in a V-shape; they come together, and end in a small leaflike ornament that could be seen as a pearl. Perhaps this is due to the obscure subtlety that Ricketts loved.

Perhaps, Ricketts had wanted this design at first, the 'Pearl and Thread' design, blind-stamped on vellum with only dots and circles in gold. And, perhaps, the Bodley Head didn't like this much. The publishers may have insisted upon a more luxurious binding design, and subsequently the entire design was executed in gold. The bindings that were gilded and blind-stamped can be divided into two categories: copies destined for the copyright libraries (Oxford, Cambridge), and personal copies for Ricketts and Shannon.

Where are these copies? In general, library catalogues do not include illustrations of the bindings, or annotations that make it possible to distinguish the two binding editions.

There may be more copies. So far I have traced six copies that are partially blind-stamped and gilded.

1.
The British Museum, London. Shelfmark C.99.e.20. From the library of Campbell Dodgson (1867-1948), keeper of prints and drawings at the British Museum, 1912-1932.
2.
The Bodleian Library, Oxford. Shelfmark 2798.e.21. 
3.
Cambridge University Library, Cambridge. Shelfmark Syn 7.89.164.
4.
Private Collection, London. Dedication copy, inscribed 'To Mrs. Van Wisselingh | with the compliments of the season | C.S. Ricketts & C.H. Shannon'. Described in Warrack & Perkins's catalogue 33 (April 1980).
5.
Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge MA. Shelfmark Typ 805V.94.559 (A). Gift of Philip Hofer. This was Charles Shannon's copy that was owned by Henry W. Bell (1885-1947) (according to a note in Charles Ricketts's copy).
6.
Nudelman Rare Books, Seattle, WA. Charles Ricketts's copy, according to a note by Henry W. Bell (1885-1947). Bookplate of art historian John A. Gere (1921-1995).

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

291. The 2017 Alphabet: C

The C is for Conquered.

Conquered the flower-maidens, and the wide embrace
Of their round, proffered arms, that tempt the virgin boy;


Charles Ricketts, initial 'C' in John Gray, Silverpoints (1893) (page XXII)
The first book of poetry of John Gray, Silverpoints, appeared in 1893, and although not all idiosyncrasies of its design can be attributed to Charles Ricketts, whose leads were not always followed by the printer, overall, the book displays a novel harmony of 1890s book design. The book contained many poems that were dedicated to friends in England and abroad: Felix Fénéon, Robert Harborough Sherard, Oscar Wilde, Pierre Louÿs. The book also contained some translations after Stéphane Mallarmé, Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, and Charles Baudelaire. Each section of these translations starts with a decorated initial, designed by Ricketts; the first one illustrates 'Parsifal imitated from the French of Paul Verlaine'.

The book's concept followed an early Renaissance example that Ricketts saw exhibited in the British Museum, where, according to him, it was on show for eight years. The edition of the texts of Virgil, edited by A.P. Manutius, was printed on vellum in Venice by Aldus Manutius, 'Ex ædibus Aldi Romani', in 1501. Ricketts remembered that this copy came from the library of Isabella D'Este, Duchess of Mantua. The current description (British Library C.19.f.7) does not mention her name:

The first book printed in the Italic types invented by Francesco da Bologna, who is mentioned as the inventor in three Latin lines on the verso of the title. With illuminated initials, and an illuminated border to the first page of text. This copy belonged to the Gonzaga family, and has on the fly leaves the autographs of Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga, and Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua.

It was a famous edition that, as a recent catalogue on Manutius argued, 'introduced the series of enchiridia, books in the small octavo format which could easily be carried about and held in the hand and with their texts in the new italic type cut by Francesco Griffo, who, with his “Daedalus-like hands”, is thanked by Aldus in some short prefatory verses entitled In grammatoglyptae laudem. The choice of Virgil as the pre-eminent Latin poet to open the series was deliberate and symbolic, as was Aldus’ choice to present the text by itself, without commentary or textual apparatus: this kind of edition was aimed at a wider public than trained scholars, as Aldus explicitly states, consisting of all those who “optime scire Latinam linguam desiderant”.' (Entry written by Stephen Parkin)

Virgil, Venice, Aldus Manutius, 1501 (British Library copy)
This vellum copy, as Stephen Parkin, has it, came from the Gonzaga library in Mantua, and had been presented, presumably, to Isabella d’Este Gonzaga 'in the summer of 1501 – just three months after publication'. 

John Gray, Silverpoints
(1893): detail (page VIII)
It is easy to recognize some elements from the book's layout in Ricketts's Silverpoints: the small, elongated format, the verse lines in italics, the initial letter of each line in roman, a large decorative initial at the top. 

But there is more. The remarkable painted border in the 1501 edition of Virgil has an outer lining with small golden dashes pointing outwards. This pattern was copied by Ricketts for the cover of Silverpoints, and can be found at the top and bottom of his now famous design of wavy lines. 

Charles Ricketts, cover (detail) forJohn Gray, Silverpoints (1893)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

290. The Grave of Rickett's Mother: an Update

The Italian local historian Marco Cazzulo has written a blog about his find of the grave of Charles Ricketts's mother in Genua.

The gravestone of Ricketts's mother (photo: Marco Cazzulo)

See: La madre misteriosa di Charles Ricketts – Charles Ricketts’s Mysterious Mother

Both authors of the book about Ricketts's mother have left a message on the blog: Paul Delaney and Corine Verney.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

289. The 2017 Alphabet: B

The B is for Both.

Both city and suburbs rejoiced.

Charles Ricketts, initial 'B' (The Dial, 1892)

The second number of The Dial appeared in February 1892, and, unlike the first issue of 1889, it didn't contain large illustrated initials, but smaller and more simple decorated initials. 

The initial 'B' decorated the first sentence of a story by Charles Ricketts, 'The Marred Face', about a Chinese queen, and the head of her former lover, Chang Tei. His house is burnt down, and after his torture and decapitation, his head is taken by a beggar, who tosses it in the lap of the queen. She holds on to it for years, until her palace is rioted, and burned to the ground as well. 

To the left of the page was an illustration of the queen holding the scull in front of a mirror.

This initial is part of an incomplete alphabet, comprising only of 'B', 'C' and 'G', all decorated with doves and winding lines.


Charles Ricketts, initials 'C' and 'G' (The Dial, 1892)
The poems in The Dial nor the art notes were decorated with such initials. These were reserved for the prose contributions. There are slight differences in decoration though, the 'C' was adorned with doves and branches, while the 'G' had berries as well. The piece on 'Maurice de Guérin', the French author, and 'King Comfort', a story, were both written by T. Sturge Moore. Apart from the initials, they were decorated with headpieces.

There was a fourth initial in this issue of The Dial, decorating a defense of the first number of the magazine against its critics, written by Ricketts. This initial 'T' was decorated with fishes and waves.

Charles Ricketts, initial 'T' (The Dial, 1892)
These initials were not used again, excepting the 'T' that reappeared in an invitation for a private view of the Society of Medalists in the Dutch Gallery six years later.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

288. The 2017 Mark Samuels Lasner Collection Exhibition and Symposium

On Friday and Saturday, March 17 and 18, 2017, the University of Delaware will host a symposium, Celebrating the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection: Rare Books and Manuscripts, Victorian Literature and Art

Mark Samuels Lasner has donated his collection of Victorian books to the University of Delaware Library where it has been on loan for quite some years. I visited Mark there in 2013 to see a few of the more than 9.000 books, prints and documents in his collection. See my two blogs about the visit (No. 82: A Visit to Delaware, and No. 83: The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection).

The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection,
University of Delaware Library
The collection focuses on British literature and art of the period 1850 to 1900, with an emphasis on the Pre-Raphaelites and on the writers and illustrators of the 1890s, and it contains numerous books designed by Ricketts, including signed and association copies, proofs, letters, as well as a great number of lithographs by Charles Shannon.

Mark is one of those all too rare collectors who share their treasures with researchers and with the general public, by allowing full access to the works; an impressive series of exhibitions have been on view, some accompanied by well designed catalogues. 

To pick just two items from his vast Ricketts and Shannon holdings is a challenge. My previous blogs contained illustrations of some of the more important items, such as an original drawing for Oscar Wilde's The Sphinx and a dedication copy of the Vale Press edition of The Life of Benvenuto Cellini. But there are many smaller and even ephemeral documents that contain not widely known facts.


Proof for Notice (Vale Press), 1900
One of those is a proof for a Vale Press Notice that was published after a fire destroyed part of the stock and archive at the Ballantyne Press at the end of 1899. This proof contains some corrections that have been carried out in the definitive version, but more importantly, it contains a date stamp of the printers'. Most of the announcements and prospectuses are difficult to date, and when I published my checklist of Vale Press works in 1996, the date of publication was a mild guess: 'Summer 1900'. The proof is dated '28/7/00', 28 July 1900.

Paul Verlaine. Three Drawings by Will Rothenstein (1897)

Another rarity is an art publication by Hacon & Ricketts: three lithographs by William Rothenstein: Paul Verlaine. Three Drawings (1897). The portfolio was issued in 25 copies, initialled in pencil by the artist, and issued in printed wrappers. The Samuels Lasner copy has been bound in green cloth (similar to the Ricketts and Shannon edition of Daphnis and Chloe). This is No. 6.

Portrait of Paul Verlaine (detail) in
Paul Verlaine. Three Drawings by Will Rothenstein (1897)

2017 Mark Samuels Lasner Collection Exhibition and Symposium



Exhibition
Victorian Passions: Stories from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, curated by Margaret D. Stetz, Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women’s Studies and Professor of Humanities, is on view from 14 February to 3 June 2017, at the Special Collections Gallery, Morris Library.

Symposium
A symposium, Celebrating the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection: Rare Books and Manuscripts, Victorian Literature and Art, will be held in the Reading Room, Morris Library, on 17 and 18 March. Keynote speaker is Elaine Showalter, Professor Emerita of English at Princeton University, and other speakers will include Mark Dimunation (Library of Congress), Barbara Heritage (Rare Book School, University of Virginia), Edward Maggs (Maggs Bros. Ltd., London), Joseph Bristow (UCLA), Linda K. Hughes (Texas Christian University), Margaretta S. Frederick (Delaware Art Museum), William S. Peterson (Emeritus, University of Maryland), David Taylor (UK historian and author), and Margaret D. Stetz (University of Delaware).

The symposium is free and open to the public, but registration is requested. See the conference website of the University of Delaware.