Title: Commonplace Book Five

Date: 186?

Bibliographic Citation: [Commonplace book 5]. From the private collection of Prof. Jason Camlot

Notes: In this sample from a commonplace book, the contributor has married an excerpt from William Cowper’s “Truth” with an image of a woman weaving at her cottage door. This pairing mimics the form of the literary annual in which engraved plates were accompanied by “poetical illustrations” It should be noted, however, that, according to Harry E. Hootman’s database, British Annuals and Giftbooks (http://www.britannuals.com/mes/mesp1-2.php?siteID=britannuals&pageref=1 30 March 2009), Cowper’s poem did not appear in any annuals. There are, however, a number of engravings and poems about humble cottagers in the annuals, as is evidenced by the plate that accompanied Mary Russell Mitford’s poem of the same title in the 1829 Forget Me Not. The contributor to this commonplace book has created a homemade and handwritten form of the mass-produced literary annual, a genre which itself derives in part from the keepsake album and commonplace book. This gesture speaks to the dialogue between print and manuscript in the nineteenth century.

Language: English

Subject: Cowper, William, 1731-1800. Truth.
Cottages in art

Publisher: Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University

is Part Of Exhibition: Interactions of Script and Print in the Nineteenth Century

Exhibition Theme: Script and Print

Image Identifier: Commonplace_Book_5_Cottager