Recent Acquisition: Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince and Other Tales

by Aedín Ní Bhróithe Clements, Irish Studies Librarian

Oscar Wilde’s book for children, The Happy Prince and Other Tales, published in 1888, has attracted many artists and printers over the years. The stories have also been adapted for stage performances including, as I discovered recently, a ballet which will be performed in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2018.

Wilde’s stories, in the tradition of literary fairy tales such as those of Hans Christian Andersen, depict poverty, suffering, cruelty and arrogance, with sacrifice or martyrdom occurring more than once. In the title story, the statue of a prince who had been sheltered in luxury while he lived, could now view from his pedestal the poverty and suffering in his city, and so he convinced a swallow to carry each of the statue’s jewels to someone in need. The Happy Prince and Other Tales consists of the following five stories: ‘The Happy Prince’, ‘The Selfish Giant’, ‘The Nightingale and the Rose’, ‘The Devoted Friend’, and ‘The Remarkable Rocket’.

Wilde published a second collection of fairy tales, The House of Pomegranates in 1891. These stories are generally more complex and dark, but over the following century many books have included a selection drawn from both books. Out of the four stories in this book, ‘The Star Child’ and ‘The Young King’ are more likely to be included in selections intended for children. ‘The Fisherman and his Soul’ and ‘The Birthday of the Infanta’ are rarely considered suitable for child readers.

A glance at the editions in our collection, with their range of illustrations and book production styles, demonstrate ambivalence in terms of identifying the appropriate audience for Wilde’s stories. Illustrators Walter Crane and P. J. Lynch both illustrated the book for a child audience, while many editions produced in the intervening century are more appropriately seen as gift books for adults.

The Happy Prince and Other Tales was first published in 1888 by Alfred Nutt and is illustrated throughout. The frontispiece is by Walter Crane, as are a plate illustrating ‘The Selfish Giant’ (shown below) and one illustrating ‘The Remarkable Rocket’. Crane (1845-1915) is frequently cited along with Randoph Caldecott and Kate Greenaway as one of the premier illustrators of children’s books in Victorian Britain.

Small illustrations by illustrator and engraver Jacomb Hood decorate the head of each story. The stories are also richly decorated with vignettes or small decorations.

Another early edition was illustrated by Charles Robinson (1870-1937), one of three brothers who were all prolific book illustrators. This 1913 edition includes eleven color plate illustrations in addition to the frontispiece. As these plates are tipped-in, or attached to pages of the book, it is rare to find an original copy with all plates intact.

With over fifty pages decorated by Robinson, this is what booksellers would call a ‘lavishly-illustrated book’, and these illustrations are reproduced in many later editions and adaptations.

Frontispiece from the 1913 edition: “The King of the Mountains of the Moon”

The Overbrook Press produced a limited edition of The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde with wood engravings by Rudolph Ruzicka. This 1936 edition is part of the Hesburgh’s collection of 135 books from the Overbrook Press of Stamford, Connecticut.

Another fine printing, clearly not intended for the hands of children, is the silk-bound edition published by Kurt Volk, New York, in 1955. This book includes the title story, a short essay on ‘Oscar Fingall O’Flahertie Wilde’, and a slightly abbreviated version of W. B. Yeats’ introduction to a 1923 edition of The Happy Prince and Other Fairy Tales. [i]

One of the most recent editions is illustrated by leading Irish illustrator P. J. Lynch, also known for the award-winning book The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey and his recent book The Boy who Fell off the Mayflower. This edition of Wilde’s Stories for Children, published in 1990, includes ‘The Young King’ in addition to all five stories from The Happy Prince. Lynch has not placed ‘The Happy Prince’ in first place—rather, the book begins with ‘The Selfish Giant’.

Authors of introductions range from W. B. Yeats, who knew Oscar Wilde, to Stephen Fry, the actor who played Oscar Wilde in the film Wilde.

The bibliography below lists the editions held in the Hesburgh Library’s Special Collections.

 

Bibliography

The Happy Prince and Other Tales. Illustrated by Walter Crane and Jacomb Hood. London: David Nutt, 1888. (1,000 copies printed)
Special Collections: in process.

The Happy Prince and Other Tales. Illustrated by Charles Robinson. London, 1913.
Special Collections: in process.

The Happy Prince and Other Tales. New York: R. K. Haas, c. 1925.
Special Collections Rare Books XSmall PR 5818 .H27 1925z

The Happy Prince and Other Tales. Wood engravings by Rudolph Ruzicka. Stamford, Conn.: The Overbrook Press, 1936. (Limited edition of 250 copies).
Special Collections Rare Medium Z 232 .O87 W53 1936

The Happy Prince, and The Selfish Giant; Fairy Tales. With a foreword by Hal W. Trovillion. Herrin, Ill.: Trovillion Private Press, 1945.
Special Collections Rare Medium PR 5818 .H211 1945

The Happy Prince. Designed by Meyer Wagman and edited by Charles Brodie. New York: K. H. Volk, c. 1955. (Issued in a box. “…bound in moire silk and stamped with genuine gold.”)
Special Collections Rare Medium PR 5818 .H211 1955

The young king and other fairy tales. Introduced by John Updike. Illustrated by Sandro Nardini and Enrico Bagnoli. NY: Macmillan, 1962.
Special Collections Rare XLarge PR 5811 1962

The Happy Prince. T. D. R. Powell, 1970. (Limited edition of 275 copies, signed by the publishers and the paper-makers, Sheepstor Handmade Papers.)
Special Collections Rare Medium PR 5818 .H211 1970

Fairy Tales and stories. Octopus, 1980.
Special Collections (MR) Medium PR 5816 1980

Stories for Children. Illustrated by P. J. Lynch. New York: Macmillan, 1991.
Special Collections (MR) Large PR 5811 1991

Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde. Illustrated by P. Craig Russell. NY: Nantier, Beall, Minoustchine, c. 1992. (Five volume set.)
Special Collections (MR) PN 6727 .R85 F35 1992

 

[i] The full text of this introduction is online in The W. B. Yeats Collection (a Chadwyck-Healey subscription database) which includes the following source information: Introduction to Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince and Other Fairy Tales (1923). According to catalog records such as in the Hathi Trust, this appears to be volume 3 of a multi-volume collection of the works of Oscar Wilde.

 


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Recent Acquisition: American Foreign Aid during the Great Famine in Ireland

by Aedín Ní Bhróithe Clements, Irish Studies Librarian

… on Sunday, the 29th March, at 8½ A.M., we cast off from the Yard, with a fine breeze at the N. W., and clear cold weather, the steam Tug, “R. B. Forbes,” in company, with some of the members of the Committee, on board. In about one hour we parted from them, with hearty cheers, and made sail on our course.

A remarkable voyage to bring relief to the Irish in the Great Famine is the subject of Captain R. B. Forbes’ report, The Voyage of the Jamestown on Her Errand of Mercy, published in Boston in 1847. His report for the “Committee of Distribution” combines his account with a substantial appendix of correspondence and other documentation.

A lithograph by Massachusetts artist Fitz Henry Lane (1804-1865) depicting the USS Jamestown leaving Boston Harbor. The lithograph is listed in the catalog of Lane’s works.

After the Irish potato crop failed due to blight in 1845 and again in 1846, knowing that the potato provided most of the subsistence for a large part of the Irish population, concern for this famine grew throughout the world, but especially in places such as Boston where there was a considerable population of Irish birth or descent. Those who provided assistance in early 1847 expected that the harvest later that year would bring an end to famine, but in fact the blight persisted and the Great Irish Famine lasted until 1852. [i]

Continue reading Recent Acquisition: American Foreign Aid during the Great Famine in Ireland

Recent Acquisition: Tenants, Evictions and Newspapers: a volume of cartoons from the Weekly Freeman

by Aedín Ní Bhróithe Clements, Irish Studies Librarian

The Weekly Freeman Cartoons contains 48 full-page cartoons bound into a single volume.  The cartoons cover the period from December 1886 to December 1887 and were published on Saturdays as weekly supplements to the Freeman’s Journal.

The Freeman’s Journal, the major Irish nationalist newspaper, was published in Dublin from 1763 to 1924. During the 1880s the newspaper was owned by Edmund Dwyer Gray, who was a Home Rule MP. During his ownership, circulation went up to over 30,000 copies per day.

“IN THE HOUSE” (12 February 1887) shows Charles Stewart Parnell, MP, leader of the Irish Party and of the Irish National Land League (founded by 1879), addressing Prime Minister Salisbury, who sits uncomfortably beside a woman representing the evicted tenants of Glenbeigh. Like most cartoons in this volume, this one comments on relations between Britain and Ireland, and in this case refers to the Land War and to the infamous evictions at Glenbeigh, County Kerry.

While the eviction of tenants for nonpayment of rent was relatively frequent, the Land War brought new attention to the Irish and British public about individual evictions through the use of images and descriptions. The Glenbeigh Evictions were much reported at the time and dramatically illustrated in the Illustrated London News. Glenbeigh, County Kerry in the southwest of Ireland was the scene of these evictions. An economic recession and poor harvests had increased agitation among tenant farmers faced with eviction. The landowner received very little rent on the many smallholdings on his land that he inherited, and with high arrears owed in rent, a court ordered 70 of the 300 tenants to pay one year’s rent. However, Father Thomas Quilter, the tenants’ parish priest, and J. D. Sheehan, their MP, advised the tenants to reject this offer.

And so the evictions began on 11 January 1887. Bailiffs burned down cabins and broke down walls to ensure that the evicted families could not return. These evictions received widespread attention, and by the end of January forty families had been evicted. The Detroit Free Press of 22 January 1887 reported on the evictions with the following headline: “POVERTY-STRICKEN PEOPLE. Father Quilter, of Glenbeigh, Says His are too Poor to Pay Rent. THEY ARE LARGELY DEPENDENT ON THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF OTHERS.” Newspaper reporting fluctuates widely between sympathy for the tenants in the face of barbarity such as in the Chicago Daily Tribune and consistent condemnation of the tenants and their leaders from the Irish Times.

The caption for “IN THE HOUSE” in the Weekly Freeman from 12 February 1887 reads:

Parnell to Salisbury. — You thought to force this poor creature into the Poorhouse, and shut her up there, but I have brought her into your own House, where she shall be seen and heard too.

Accompanying the cartoon is a ballad, “Parnell to Salisbury” that expands upon this theme. In the second verse, the victim, represented by the woman in the cartoon, also represents the many stories and illustrations of this eviction. The Roe mentioned here is Lanford Roe, the landlord’s agent who directed each eviction in Glenbeigh.

The truth is out! your victim stands
And tells her tale of confiscation,
Of burning cots, evicting bands,
Famine, and widespread desolation!
You little thought Roe’s brutal brands
Would raise so fierce a conflagration!

This volume of cartoons and accompanying ballads and verses appears to have belonged to nationalist archbishop Thomas William Croke (1823-1902). On its flyleaf appears the following inscription:

To His Grace, The Most Revd. Dr. Croke, Archbishop of Cashel.
White Abbey Bazaar 1888
With Father Staples Prayers and Best Wishes.

Felix M, Larkin’s essay, “‘A Great Daily Organ’: The Freeman’s Journal,” History Ireland 14 (2006): 44-49 is an excellent introduction to the newspaper. For information on the Glenbeigh Evictions, see L. Perry Curtis, Jr., The Depiction of Eviction in Ireland 1845-1910, University College Dublin Press, 2011.

 


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Who’s Who in RBSC: Aedín Clements

Aedin Clements, Irish Studies LibrarianStanding beside oversized reproductions of two issues of The Cork Examiner from May 8-9, 1916, Aedín Clements commented how delighted she is that Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) has such an extensive collection of historical newspapers from Ireland. She explained that these newspapers are important sources for understanding Irish society and, thus, must be preserved and made discoverable and freely accessible to researchers here and worldwide. This has become one of her many projects as Irish Studies librarian.

Aedín, a native of Dublin, studied Irish literature, language, and folklore at University College Dublin from which she earned her bachelor’s and library degrees. She also earned a master’s degree in English literature from Western Michigan University. In 2005, Aedin joined the Library as Irish Studies librarian. She was attracted to this job because of Hesburgh Library’s extensive 20th-century Irish language collection, one that covers a broad range of disciplines and includes children’s literature, Irish language and literature, traditional songs and ballads, and more. She admits a special place in her heart for the O’Neill Collection, which has a little something for everyone. In December 2015, Aedin also became Interim Head of the Area Studies and Global Affairs unit within the Hesburgh Libraries. Her expertise and work in Irish Studies are evident in many ways including invitations to speak at conferences and events and the multiple exhibits she has curated for RBSC. Her scholarship and service to the profession have been recognized by Notre Dame: Aedín was awarded the 2013 Rev. Paul J. Foik, C.S.C., Award by Hesburgh Libraries and was elected in September 2015 as a Faculty Fellow of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.

Aedín has a list of to-dos that is perpetually growing because she is always on the lookout for enhancing existing areas of collecting strengths—18th- and 19th-century literature and history—and keeping up with all of the new or evolving research interests of faculty and students on campus. She is always thinking about how to make Hesburgh’s collections more accessible and, equally important, how to educate people about these collections. Recently, she partnered with a newly established network of librarians, the Libraries and Archives Group of the American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS), to develop innovative ways for better developing collections. The network will take up this very issue at the upcoming roundtable discussion during the ACIS conference at Notre Dame, March 30-April 3, 2016.

After discovering that Hesburgh Libraries holds a wealth of sources documenting the Irish American perspective, Aedín developed an interest in Irish American history. When asked if there was a particular item that caught her attention, she smiled and said, “Yes, McGee’s Illustrated Weekly!” This was a newspaper founded by an American, James Redpath, who gave Americans a glimpse into Irish life, spattered with a bit of Irish and American humor, the latest fashion trends, and portraits of prominent Irishmen. Yet, Aedín’s love of the Irish language always draws her back. She is currently immersed in reading Visions of Ireland: Gael Linn’s Amharc Éireann Film Series, 1956-1964 by B. Mairéad Pratschke.

Aedín can often be found digging through the Irish collections in RBSC. None of her colleagues is ever surprised when she comes skipping down the hall with the biggest smile you can imagine, as she did when she discovered that we have a large collection of yet-to-be processed historical Irish newspapers. It turned out that this is where she unearthed the copies of the Cork Examiner. Aedín’s wide-ranging knowledge of and curiosity about all things Irish can be seen in her current exhibit, Easter, 1916: The Irish Rebellion, which is on display in Rare Books Special Collections through April 28, 2016.

“Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion” Exhibit Opens

This year marks the centenary of the Easter Rising, the rebellion that led to the eventual establishment of an Irish Free State. The University of Notre Dame’s Keough-Naughton Institute is at the forefront of the impetus to re-examine the events of 1916, with Professor Bríona Nic Dhiarmada’s three-part documentary, 1916 The Irish Rebellion which will be shown on public television in Ireland, the U.S. and at screenings throughout the world.

Notre Dame will also be the center of Irish studies for five days this spring as host to ACIS (the American Conference for Irish Studies). Over a thousand visitors are expected at this conference.

Case5-Women-of-1916

In Hesburgh Libraries Rare Books and Special Collections, a special exhibit to mark this centenary is on display from February 12th until April 28th.

The exhibit draws from the Hesburgh Special Collections and includes books written by people involved in the events as well as contemporary accounts of the rebellion. Letters on display include one from Roger Casement. An extremely rare first edition of W. B. Yeats’s poem Easter, 1916 is part of the exhibit.

From the University Archives, a book recording the subscriptions of South Bend residents to an Irish government bond will be on display.

The exhibit is open to the public from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday.

Bram Stoker’s Manuscript of His Lecture on Abraham Lincoln

Bram Stoker (1847-1912), when he was manager of the renowned English actor Henry Irving, made many trips to the United States. Over the course of these visits and perhaps after meeting the poet Walt Whitman in 1884, he became intrigued by Abraham Lincoln. In the late 1880s and 1890s, Stoker lectured on Lincoln at numerous venues in both the United States and Europe.

In composing his lecture, Stoker drew on many of the standard sources of the day and also quotes Whitman. Stoker emphasizes slavery throughout and Lincoln’s role as emancipator. A long prelude provides background on the “peculiar institution” in the United States and the sectional crisis of the 1850s. Then follows the life of Lincoln proper. Stoker’s attitude toward his subject is reverent in the extreme. Explaining that “the hour had come for the final struggle . . . between slavery and freedom,” Stoker reiterates to the audience in introducing his subject, “The hour had come—and with it . . . came the man—Abraham Lincoln.”

Notre Dame holds the original, working copy of Bram Stoker’s 152-page, unbound manuscript. Approximately half of the Notre Dame manuscript is a single, essentially sustained narrative though deletions, additions, and corrections abound. The rest consists of variations on portions of that narrative inserted, perhaps, to suit a particular audience.

MSE-IR_5304-1B-019r
Folio 19r, showing the first example of the beginning of the lecture (MSE/IR 5304-1B).
MSE-IR_5304-1B-098r
Folio 98r, showing a variation on the beginning of the lecture (MSE/IR 5304-1B).
MSE-IR_5304-1B-099r
Folio 99r, showing another version of the beginning of the lecture (MSE/IR 5304-1B).
MSE-IR_5304-1B-160r
Folio 160r, showing a third version of the beginning of the lecture (MSE/IR 5304-1B).

Upcoming Events: November and December

Please join us for the following events being hosted in Rare Books and Special Collections:

Thursday, November 5th at 3:00pm | “The Meaning of the Troubles” – Ian McBride (King’s Cross London)
Thursday, November 5th at 4:30pm | “The Long War” – Ruán O’Donnell (University of Limerick)

Both of the November 5th events are co-sponsored by the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the Brian J. Logue Fund for Northern Ireland.

Thursday, November 12th at 4:30pm | “Dante’s Other Works” 2015: Eclogues – Jonathan Combs-Schilling (Ohio State) and Fiore andDetto d’Amore – Christopher Kleinhenz (Wisconsin-Madison)

Co-sponsored by the William & Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies and Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

 

Rare Books and Special Collections will be closed for Thanksgiving Break (November 26-27) and for Christmas and New Year’s Break (December 24, 2015, through January 3, 2016). We remain open for our regular hours during Reading Days and Exams, and welcome those looking for a quiet place to study.

Spotlight Exhibit: Building the Yeats Collection

October 2015

This month’s spotlight exhibit is curated by Aedín Ní Bhróithe Clements, Irish Studies Librarian, and features 6 volumes from 32 recently acquired books written by W. B. Yeats or associated with the Yeats family.

Spotlight-Oct-YeatsW. B. Yeats (1865-1939) was a leading figure in the Irish Literary Revival. One of the greatest poets of his time, he was also a major force behind Ireland’s national Theatre, the Abbey, and had a great and lasting impact on Irish culture and literature. Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.

Visiting professor John Kelly alerted the Library to the availability of the Yeats collection of American scholar and bibliographer Milton McClintock Gatch. In all, 32 volumes from the Gatch Collection have been added to the Hesburgh Library.

This adds significantly to the already rich Yeats Collection at the Hesburgh Library. Besides editions of books by W. B. Yeats, the Library holds a collection of Abbey Theatre Programmes, a Cuala Press collection (the printing press of the Yeats sisters) and a considerable collection of books illustrated by Jack B. Yeats.

The exhibit is open to the public 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, through October 30, 2015.

Upcoming Events: October and early November

Please join us for the following events being hosted in Rare Books and Special Collections:

October 8th at 4:30pm | “Dante’s Other Works” 2015: Questio de aqua et terra – Theodore J. Cachey, Jr. (Notre Dame), and Authenticity and the other works – Albert R. Ascoli (Berkeley) — Co-sponsored by the William & Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies and Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

October 29 at 4:30pm | Research Seminar: “Italian Cinemas/Italian Histories” – Alan O’Leary (University of Leeds) — Sponsored by Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

November 5 at 3:00pm | “The Meaning of the Troubles” – Ian McBride (King’s Cross London)
November 5 at 4:30pm | “The Long War” – Ruán O’Donnell (University of Limerick)
Co-sponsored by the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the Brian J. Logue Fund for Northern Ireland.

Recent Acquisition: The Papers of Patrick McCabe

by Aedín Ní Bhróithe Clements, Irish Studies Librarian

The Hesburgh Libraries recently acquired the papers of Irish writer Patrick McCabe. A leading Irish writer and former Distinguished Keough Visiting Professor at Notre Dame, McCabe has received much recognition for his novels, short stories, plays and film scripts.

McCabe-photo3Patrick McCabe was born in County Monaghan in 1955. For over thirty years he has been at the forefront of the Irish literary scene. Two of his novels, The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize and have been adapted for film. McCabe’s fictional settings are the small towns of the Irish midlands, a setting that he has made his own, to the extent that his writing has been called “Bog Gothic”.

His papers, now held in Hesburgh Libraries Special Collections, include notebooks, early drafts, later drafts, papers relating to films, financial papers from publishers, correspondence, song lyrics, photographs and newspaper clippings. A preliminary organization has taken place, and thanks to the work of Amanda Bohne and Finola Prendergast, it is anticipated that the papers will be available for scholars to consult by 2016.

 


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