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Ulysses "seen"

© Copyright Robert Berry and Josh Levitas

Ulysses “seen” [electronic resource]/ adapted from James Joyce’s novel by Robert Berry with Josh Levitas (Philadelphia, Pa.: Throwaway Horse) Electronic access:

This visual adaptation of James Joyce’s 265,000 word novel is available for free on the internet and, after a well-documented struggle with Apple, through iTunes with an app on your smart phone. To make access easier for our students, we have added a direct link in our online catalog so that Princeton researchers searching “Ulysses” will be offered information on all versions of Joyce’s classic. Thanks go to Jennifer Baxmeyer, Electronic Resources Cataloging Coordinator for making this possible.

Besides the wonderful drawings by Detroit/Philadelphia artist Robert Berry, the book comes with an in depth reader’s guide. The team’s website notes, “Each page of the comic holds a direct link to our “Readers’ Guide” installments by Mike Barsanti. Mike’s comments on the novel’s events and themes, their depiction and various mysteries, are the first step into the deep waters of understanding Joyce. This part of the site is written in a blog format so that readers are able to ask questions and offer insights.”

Joyce’s novel was first serialized in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, and then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach in 1922. Like the original, Ulysses “seen” will be released serially, with two chapters, Telemachus and Calypso, available so far.

© Copyright Robert Berry and Josh Levitas

In 1933, a U.S. Federal court ruled that Ulysses was not obscene, granting it entry into the United States. However, a second censorship of Ulysses was announced in the New York Times June 13, 2010, with the headline: “Ulysses a Little Too Graphic for Apple.” Quoting their note: “The question of whether James Joyce’s Ulysses is obscene seemed to have been settled for more than 75 years. Until last week, that is, when the creators of a Web comic version of the classic novel, called Ulysses Seen, said that Apple required them to remove any images containing nudity before the comic was approved as an application for the iPad. Robert Berry … offered to pixelate the image or cover it up with a fig leaf, suggestions that were rejected by Apple.”

Happily, on June 14, 2010 the NYTs reported that Apple had decided that Berry’s Ulysses was not obscene after all. “After the makers of a Web comic version of the epic novel said last week that Apple had rejected several images that contained nudity, Apple reversed its decision on Monday morning and asked that the panels be re-submitted, said Chad Rutkowski, the business manager for Throwaway Horse, the publisher of “Ulysses Seen.” ‘They basically apologized,’ Mr. Rutkowski said. ‘They said they gave it a second look and realized that it wasn’t obscene or anything like that. They’re clearly drawing a distinction now and they understand what we’re doing.’”

Is Robert Berry a graphic novelist or a cartoonist? See his answer:

A Booke of Christmas Carols

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Joseph Cundall (1818-1895), A Booke of Christmas Carols, Illuminated from Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: Henry O. Bohn, 1845). Plates drawn and lithographed by John Brandard (1812-1863). Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process


Printing Casanova

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Rockwell Kent (1882-1971), Twelve printing plates for the frontispieces of Giacomo Casanova’s Memoirs ([New York], 1925) Graphic Arts collection GAX 2011- in process. Copper line block relief plates attached to wood blocks.

Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798), Memoirs. Translated into English by Arthur Machen with an introduction by Arthur Symons, a new preface by the translator, and twelve drawings by Rockwell Kent. Priv. print. for subscribers only. ([n.p.] Aventurors, 1925) Rare Books (Ex) 14091.241.1925, v.1-12.


1925 was a busy year for Rockwell Kent. Newly divorced from his wife but still supporting his five children, Kent took on more commercial work then he might have preferred. This included the designs for 12 frontispieces to accompany a limited edition set of Casanova’s Memoirs, translated into English by Arthur Machen in 1894. 12,000 relief line cuts were printed for the edition of 1000, sold only to a group of subscribers identified as Aventuros. This was Kent first attempt to illustrate a major literary text and the project met with enthusiastic approval.

The following year, Kent was approached by R.R. Donnelley and Sons to repeat his success by illustrating another novel. Kent suggested Moby Dick, a project which was not completed and published until 1930 (sold out immediately). Then, late in 1927 and working into 1928, Kent, Elmer Adler, and the newly established publishing firm of Random House agreed to join forces on a deluxe edition of Voltaire’s Candide. Kent not only designed the book’s illustrations and its type but also the Random House logo, which they continue to use today.


In 1932, the New York firm of A. & C. Boni reprinted Memoirs, using only eight of Kent’s less salacious plates. This was done without Kent’s knowledge or permission, although they acknowledged the earlier edition with a note:
“The twelve volume Aventuros edition (New York, 1925) has been used as a basis for the present edition; the eight volume French edition (Paris, Garnier) has also been employed.”


Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754), Niels Klims underjordiske reise, oversat efter den latinske original af Jens Baggesen (Kiöbenhavn [Copenhagen]: Johan Frederik Schultz, 1789). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2004-3316N.


First published in Latin as Nicolai Klimii iter subterraneum (1741) by the Norwegian-Danish author Baron Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754), this deluxe edition has a Danish translation by the poet Jens Baggesen (1764-1826). The volume is illustrated with etchings by the Danish Royal engraver Johan Frederik Clemens (1749-1831) after drawing by Nicolai Abraham Abildgaard (1743-1809).


Originally, Holberg went to Germany to have the book published, fearing religious objections in Denmark. The satirical nature of the novel pushes the eighteenth-century boundaries of sexual equality and social morality. The book was, in the end, a tremendous success—“the Danish Gulliver’s Travels”—and Holberg named the “Molière of the North.”

Holberg’s novel describes a utopian society discovered by Niels Klim when he accidentally fell into a hole in the earth’s crust. He finds an underworld where trees are alive and the rules are different. Nicknamed “overhasty” because he moved so much faster than the trees, he becames the King’s messenger and visited twenty-seven different provinces, not unlike Swift’s Gulliver.


Rare Books and Special Collections holds many copies of Holberg’s fantasy, in Latin, English, Danish, and other languages. Here are a few:

Nicolai Klimii iter svbterranevm: novam tellvris theoriam ac historiam qvintae monarchiae adhvc nobis incognitae exhibens e bibliotheca B. Abelini (1741). Rare Books (Ex) 3351.36.1741

Nicolai Klimii iter svbterranevm, novam tellvris theoriam ac historiam qvintæ monarchiæ adhvc nobis incognitæ exhibens, e bibliotheca B. Abelini (1745). Rare Books (Ex) 3351.36.11

Nicolai Klimii iter svbterranevm novam tellvris theoriam ac historiam qvintae monarchiae adhvc nobis incognitae exhibens e bibliotheca B. Abelini (1766). Rare Books (Ex) PT8085 .N5 1766

Niels Klims underjordiske reise; oversat efter den latinske original af Jens Baggesen (1789). Graphic Arts 2004-3316N

Journey to the World Underground: Being the Subterraneous Travels of Niels Klim (1828). Sheide Library 24.2.5

Niels Klim’s journey under the ground; being a narrative of his wonderful descent to the subterranean lands; together with an account of the sensible animals and trees inhabiting the planet Nazar and the firmament (1845). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2004-2535N

Ovid Illustrated


Ovid (43 B.C.E.-17 or 18 A.D.E.), La vita et Metamorfoseo d'Ovidio, figurato & abbreuiato in forma d'epigrammi da m. Gabriello Symeoni ([Lyons, France]: Giouanni di Tornes ... , 1559. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2005-0147N. This copy is from the printing collection of Elmer Adler (1884-1962).

In 1557, French artist Bernard Salomon (ca. 1508 or 1510-ca. 1561) created 178 woodcuts for a new translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Ten of the cuts from this series, according to Ruth Mortimer, first appeared in Clement Marot's translation of Ovid in his Oevvres (1549) and a few in various other books.

Two years later, an Italian version by Gabriele Simeoni (1509-1570) was published in the same manner, with Salomon's woodcuts, Simeoni's verse legends in italic letter, and ornamenteal borders throughout. With six of the earlier blocks omitted and fifteen new subjects included, the total number of illustrations is 188.

Salomon was an amazingly prolific draftsman. An attempt at a complete list of his book illustrations can be found at:

The Oxford Dictionary of Art gives a brief biography: "French painter, draughtsman and engraver. He was probably from a family of belt-makers in Lyon. He was involved as a master painter in the ephemeral decorations for the ceremonial entries of the Archbishop of Lyon in 1540, of Henry II in 1548 and of the Maréchal de Saint-André in 1550. He designed numerous plates for booksellers in Lyon and probably also engraved them. His vignettes for the Fables d'Esope (1551), the Quadrins historiques de la Bible (1553, 1555), the Figures du Nouveau Testament (1556) and the Métamorphoses d'Ovide figurée (1557) were inspired by the elegant Mannerist art of the Fontainebleau school; they became models for engravers working in Lyon and were widely distributed and copied."

First graphic novel published in Mexico, 1801

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José Maria Montes de Oca (active 1788-1820), Vida de San Felipe de Jesus: Protomarir de Japon y Patron de su Patria Mexico (Mexico: Calle de Bautisterio de S. Catalina M.n.3, [1801]). All engraved. Graphic Arts collection GAX BX4700.F25 M6

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The life of San Felipe de Jesus (1572-1597), patron saint of Mexico City, is presented through thirty engraved plates in this early graphic narrative. It is, in fact, the earliest all-engraved book to be published in Mexico and tells its story through images, with only brief engraved comments below.

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In 1596, twenty-six passengers sailing from the Philippines to Mexico were shipwrecked off the coast of Japan. San Felipe, a Franciscan monk, was captured, tortured and killed, along with his fellow passengers. The first fourteen plates of this volume depict his life before reaching Japan, the next eight his capture and death, and the final six show events after his death.

Rubén Gallo, Director of Princeton University’s Program in Latin American Studies, notes in his paper on “Orientalism in Mexican Art” (Conference in Wroclaw, Poland, June 1999), that San Felipe’s death at the end of the sixteenth century marked the beginning of a period of orientalism, the product of a curious incident that culminated in the canonization of Mexico’s first martyr. My thanks to Dorothy Sloan for leading me to this citation.

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A Vision of Order


Newly acquired, a tour-de-force in fine press publishing from Whittington Press,

A Vision of Order. 35 linocuts by Andrew Anderson, with his commentaries on the images (Risbury, Herefordshire: Whittington Press, 2011). Copy xviii of 35, bound in Oasis goatskin and accompanied by the nine-sheet image of Cashel (printed on G.F. Smith Naturalis paper), and a signed print of "The Apple Girl," printed by John Grice at his Evergreen Press.

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The text is keyboarded and cast in 18- and 20- point Caslon (the latter issued as 22-point by William Caslon I in 1732, one of the earliest & prettiest founts of the Caslon's family), and printed by John Randle and Tom Mayo on Zerkall mould-made and Ingres papers.


According to the Whittington website, "The large format of A Vision of Order allows most of the prints to be tipped in unfolded. Like our Posters published in 1996, it will be a monumental volume in its own right, set in a large size of the Caslon type for which the Press has become renowned. Tom Mayo, who will be doing much of the printing of this large and unusual project, will be posting a blog giving an illustrated report of its progress."

See also Andrew Anderson's comments in Matrix 28, pp. 9-14 (Graphic Arts Oversize Z119 .M38q). By the way, it's pronounced Mat trix; not May trix.


Next Saturday, September 3, 2011, will be the Whittington Press's annual open house. As usual it will coincide with the annual Whittington Village Summer Show with all its usual horticultural and other attractions. Whittington Court will be open to the public and the Press will as usual be showing off its latest work. In particular, Neil Winter will be demonstrating the increasingly rare skill of casting type on the Monotype casters.

If you can get there, you might have the treat of seeing a copy of this remarkable book in person. Whittington is 40 miles west of Oxford, 5 miles east of Cheltenham, just off the A40.


The Rock of Cashel, nine sheets joined together to form an image measuring 4 ½ x 3 ft (see Matrix 28, p. 13)

To read an interview with John Randle of Whittington Press, see

Executioner of John the Baptist

One of the most beautiful frontispiece portraits ever published is this mezzotint made by Prince Rupert, Ruprecht of Pfalz (1619-1682) for John Evelyn's history of engraving techniques:


John Evelyn (1620-1706). Sculptura, or, The History, and Art of Chalcography and Engraving in Copper (London: printed by J.C. for G. Beedle, and T. Collins, at the Middle-Temple Gate, and J. Crook in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1662.) "Elmer Adler. Princeton MCM-XLII"--Written in pencil in Elmer Adler's hand on verso of front free endpaper. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) NE1760 .E94


According to David Rodgers, "Sculptura was probably the direct result of Evelyn's introduction by Prince Rupert of the Rhine in 1661 to the technique of mezzotint engraving. The book contains a plate engraved by Rupert of the Head of the Executioner of John the Baptist from a painting (Munich, Alte Pin.) then thought to be by Jusepe de Ribera. This plate is now the only virtue of Sculptura, in which the account both of the history and the practice of printmaking is unreliable and the style discursive and inelegant."

The print in our book is a reduced version of a huge mezzotint, one copy of which is in the British Museum. Here's their wonderful description:

Beckett, Paz, Chigoya


Bread of Days / El pan de los días. Once poetas mexicanos / Eleven Mexican Poets (Covelo, California: Yolla Bolly Press, 1994). Notes on the poets by Octavio Paz. Commentaries by Eliot Weinberger and Octavo Paz. Twelve multicolor etchings by Enrique Chagoya. Poems by Bernardo de Balbuena, Luis de Sandoval y Zapata, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Ignacio Rodríguez Galván, Salvador Díaz Mirón, Amado Nervo, José Juan Tablada, Enrique González Martínez, Ramón López Velarde, and Alfonso Reyes. Translation by Samuel Beckett. Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process

While living in Paris in 1949, Octavio Paz (1914-1998) was offered the opportunity to select and publish an anthology of Mexican poetry sponsored by UNESCO. Paz had little enthusiasm for the idea. As translator, Samuel Beckett (1906-1998) was chosen although he had only a limited knowledge of Spanish. Both authors accepted because they needed the money.

In his 1996 essay “Beckett/Paz,” Eliot Weinberger (Paz’s American translator) comments on the project. “Paz, an anti-nationalist, would have preferred to consider Spanish American poetry as a whole. … Beckett called the work an alimentary chore and said the poems were execrable for the most part.” The work was completed in 1950 but not published until 1958.

“Yet Beckett’s Mexican anthology is one of the liveliest English translations of the century,” Weinberger continues. “Its greatest achievement is its recreation of the sense of reading old texts, the distance between us and them. … Beckett accomplishes this through a subtle mimicking…of the English poetry contemporary to whatever period he is translating.”

In 1994, the project was revived for the first livre d’artiste produced by Yolla Bolly Press, under the direction of Carolyn and James Robertson. Twelve multicolor etchings were created especially for the edition by the Mexican American artist Enrique Chagoya and Paz contributed biographical notes on each of the eleven poets. Weinberger wrote an introduction and a transcription of a conversation between Paz and Weinberger discussing the Paz-Beckett collaboration was included as an afterword.

Octavio Paz (1914-1998), Anthology of Mexican Poetry. Translated by Samuel Beckett (Bloomington: Indiana University Press [1958]) Firestone Library (F) 3180.704



François Rabelais (ca. 1490-1553?), Les Horribles et espovantables faictz et prouesses du très renommé Pantagruel, roy des Dipsodes, fils du grand géant Gargantua (The Horrible and Terrifying Deeds and Words of the Very Renowned Pantagruel King of the Dipsodes, Son of the Great Giant Gargantua). Orné de bois en couleurs dessinés et gravés par André Derain (Paris: Albert Skira, [1943]). Copy 138 of 275. 129 woodcuts designed and cut by André Derain (1880-1954). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2006-0777Q. Purchased with funds from the Friends of the Princeton University Library.


First published in 1532, Rare Books and Special Collections holds over 60 different editions of Rabelais’s satirical stories of Pantagruel and Gargantua. One of the most recent is the livre d’artiste illustrated with white line woodcuts by André Derain.

As the initiator of Fauve painting, which stunned the world at the Salon d’Automne of 1905, Derain stood shoulder to shoulder with Henri Matisse (1869-1954). Derain received commissions for books with Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler and Paul Guillaume, and helped André Breton produce his first publication Mont de piété (1916). Derain also created designs for opera, theater, and ballet; most notably Diaghilev’s Le Boutique fantasque (1919).

In 1921, Derain decided to mark the quatercentenary of the death of Raphael by spending time in Rome. He traveled and studied Italian Renaissance art, medieval design, and Roman mosaics. When the Swiss publisher Skira offered him a commission to work on Pantagruel he accepted immediately. It was the perfect opportunity to find a way to combine high Renaissance and modern styles in a single volume.


During World War II, when the Germans invaded France, Derain’s home was requisitioned and his preliminary blocks for Pantagruel were locked away for several years. Ultimately, he was allowed back into the house and somehow able to import the enormous amount of paper needed to print nearly 3,000 pages for the edition of 275 copies. 1943 is used for the publication date although no date is on the title page.

Painting the book page



Laurence Sterne (1713-1768). Voyage Sentimental. Traduction nouvelle par Alfred Hédouin. Paris: Librairie des Bibliophiles, 1875. Extra-illustrated with watercolors in the margins by Louis Emile Benassit (1833-1902) specially commissioned for this volume. Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process.


Photographing Venus and Thebes

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A Sunset at Thebes, negative 1874, woodburytype 1876

On June 8, 2012, the last transit of Venus (when the planet passes between the earth and the sun) will occur in our lifetime. This rare event takes place in pairs eight years apart separated by gaps of ~122 years. For our generation, this means 2004 and 2012. Before this, the last pair of transits took place in December 1874 and December 1882.

For the 1874 transit, the British Observatory sent five expeditions to different parts of the world; including Hawaii, the Mauritius Island, the Kerguelen Island, Cape Town, and Egypt. Charles Orde Browne led the party to Cairo, which included photographer William de Wiveleslie Abney (1843-1920).


According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Abney was educated at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich and, after a brief service in Bombay, was stationed at Chatham in 1871. As assistant to the instructor in telegraphy at the School of Military Engineering, Abney was given a small laboratory and photographic darkroom.


By the end of that year, he published Instruction in Photography for Use at the School of Military Engineering and became an active member of the Royal Photographic Society of London. Thanks to the generous donation of David H. McAlpin, Class of 1920, we hold this and most of Abney’s other scientific studies.

The young officer’s work led directly to the formation of a new school of chemistry and photography in 1874, with Abney as assistant instructor. Then, at the age of thirty-one, he was asked to organize the photographic observation of the transit of Venus from Egypt.

While in Egypt, Abney and his three assistants also created dozens of photographs not directly related to Venus, forty of which he later published in Thebes and its Five Great Temples (1876). A copy of Abney’s book with outstanding woodburytypes has been acquired by Princeton University.


In a letter sent to the London Photographic Society in 1875, Abney wrote, “…My chief work lay at Thebes, distant nearly 500 miles to the south of Cairo; and it was a matter of no small anxiety to me how I should transport all my instruments and observatory to that spot. The boats, or “dahabeaths” as they are called, would hardly have taken all unless I had engaged one which was out of all proportion to the passenger accommodation which I required.”

“…We started on the 25th October from Cairo, our baggage occupied three large trucks on the railway … On the 7th November we sighted Karnak just at sunset, and a glorious vision it was. The old ruins seemed like rubies set in the dark green of the palms which rose between us and them.”

“…We had taken out some ten dozen dry plates for solar work, which we had prepared at home, and began exposing them … I may mention one fact, viz., that dissolved dried albumen was used instead of white of eggs … On the day of the transit we exposed a plate about every one and a-half minute during the transit, beginning about twenty minutes after sunrise and finishing twelve minutes before internal contact.”

“As each plate was exposed it was passed into the dark room through a different aperture, taken out of the slide by a second sapper in the dark room, placed in its own groove, and the slide passed to be filled from the next box. I personally placed the slide in the photoheliograph, exposed each plate, taking up the time from my chronometer, and registered the number of the plate as shown on the back, together with the exact time of exposure.”


Abney’s photographs of Venus can be seen at National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Here is one:

William de Wiveleslie Abney (1843-1820), Thebes and its Five Greater Temples (London: Sampson, Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1876). 40 woodburytypes and descriptive text on the Egyptian city and its monuments, including Karnak, Luxor, Medinet Haboo, the Memnonium, and the Goorneh Temple. Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process. OCLC lists only eight other copies in the United States.

Examples of Early Heraldic Seals


Charles Boutell (1812-1877). Examples of Early Heraldic Seals. Unpublished, February 1857. Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process.


This unpublished volume with samples of royal and other seals was compiled by Charles Boutell, a writer on heraldry and antiquities, who published A Manual of British Archaeology in 1858 and A Manual of Heraldry, Historical and Popular in 1863. It appears to be an early model for a publication (never completed), with the author pasting together various illustrations and preparing handwritten captions in several colors. The endpaper is inscribed “Ellie HB from CB”, which presumably means that Boutell gave it to his daughter.

Amos Nattini's Dante

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), La Divina Commedia, Imagini di Amos Nattini (Milano: Istituto nazionale dantesco, [1923-1941]). GAX Oversize PQ4302 .F23e. Three volumes; 82 cm. each. 100 color lithographs by Amos Nattini (1892-1985).


In 1921, on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death, the Istituto nazionale dantesco in Milan commissioned a new, illustrated edition of the poet’s Divine Comedy. The artist chosen for the project was Amos Nattini, who was charged with creating one plate for each canto. For the next twenty years, Nattini worked on his Dante, releasing each of the three volumes are they were completed in 1928, 1936, and finally 1941.

Princeton is fortunate to hold two sets of Nattini’s elephant portfolios, one of which needed to be moved recently. Special thanks go to John Walako and Mike Siravo who helped to lift volumes. No question that this is the heaviest poem ever published.


I thought it might be interesting to compare the first fully illustrated edition of Dante (the third illustrated edition overall). According to Goff B-644, the illustration scheme follows closely that of the Ragazzo/Giunta Italian Bible, which appeared less than five months earlier. A major frontispiece cut within an architectural frame introduces each of the three parts with numerous vignette cuts for the cantos. The cuts have been attributed to Hind’s Venetian popular designer, recently named the Master of Pico.

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), La Commedia (Venice: Bernardinus Benalius and Matteo Capcasa, 3 March 1491). Woodcuts. Edited by Cristoforo Landino and Pietro da Figino. Matteo Capcasa, printer. Prints attributed to the Master of Pico. Rare Books: William H. Scheide Library (WHS) 5.2.9 Three full-page woodcuts and numerous vignettes.

An Ugly Face, the Finest Recommendation

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Fairburn’s Gallimaufry Songster and Comical Budget for 1812; Containing Lots of Fun, Gig and Humor, to be Found in All the New, Fashionable and Popular Songs, Now Singing, and Lately Sung at the Theatre Royal Second edition. (London: J. Fairburn, [1812]). Etchings by George Cruikshank. Graphic Arts GA 1812.6

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In William Jaggard’s Liverpool literature: a descriptive bibliography of old deeds, codices, maps … we find a description of The Ugly Club, which was “founded Jan. 21st, 1743, and [probably] disbanded Nov., 1757.” Jaggard continues, “in its day it included many of the chief merchants and residents within its fold, possessed Chaplain, Barber, and Bell-Ringers, met regularly at the Exchange and Tom’s Coffee House for at least fourteen years, and provided amusement in days when theatres and newspapers were less familiar.”

The Club’s motto was: “An Ugly Face the finest recommendation.” A large mouth, thin jaws, blubber lips, little goggling or squinting eyes were esteemed considerable qualifications. The most favored and honorable peculiarity was a large “carbuncle potato nose.”

The qualifications for the President were described as: “Little eyes, one bigger than ye other; long nose; thin lanthorn jaws; large upper lip; mouth from ear to ear, resembling a shark’s; rotten set of irregular teeth; visage long and narrow; in short, ye Phoenix of ye Society, as the like won’t appear again this thousand years.”

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Princeton University owns over four dozen books published by John Fairburn, including Fairburn Senr.’s Dashing Song Book; Fairburn Senr.’s Laughable Song Book; Fairburn’s New Comic Song Book; Fairburn Senr.’s Tickling Song Book; Fairburn’s Dashing Songster; Fairburn’s Everlasting Songster; Fairburn’s Gallimaufry Songster; Fairburn’s Jovial Songster; Fairburn’s Laughable Songster; and Fairburn’s London Brilliant Songster.

The Effusions of a Troubled Brain

Attributed to Theodore Lane (1800-1828), The Effusions of a Troubled Brain or Evil Communications Corrupt Good Manners in The Attorney-General’s Charges Against the Late Queen, Brought Forward in the House of Peers, on Saturday, August 19th, 1820 (London: George Humphrey [1821]). Gift of Richard Waln Meirs, Class of 1888. Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Oversize Cruik 1820.29E.
The British print publisher George Humphrey (1760?-1831?) issued this series of caricatures concerning the charges brought against Queen Caroline (1768-1821), consort of George IV, King of Great Britain. The volume contains a transcript of the charges followed by fifty hand colored etchings by George Cruikshank (1792-1878), Robert Cruikshank (1789-1856), and (attributed to) Theodore Lane (1800-1828).

The caricatures all make fun of Caroline and were commissioned by George IV because he was sick of the fact that about 80-90% of the almost 1000 caricatures of his proposed divorce were pro-Queen. The series begins with the print Honi soit qui mal y pense (above left), which shows forty-two of the plates from this book on view in Humphrey’s shop at 27 St. James’s Street (the same shop owned by his aunt Hannah Humphrey). The first prints are dated January 1821 and the last August 1821, indicating that the book was published one year after the charges were filed and five days after Caroline died at the age of fifty-three.


In 1795, Princess Caroline of Brunswick was married to her cousin, the Prince of Wales, as part of an agreement to settle his debts. They separated soon as their only child was born and Caroline eventually moved to Italy. When her husband was to be crowned King George IV, she returned to London only to have him introduce a bill into Parliament accusing her of adultery so that he could get a divorce. Although the bill failed and public sympathy was with Caroline, she was still barred from the coronation and died not long after under unexplained circumstances.


There are only five recorded copies of this book in the United States and many are incomplete. Besides ours at Princeton, they can be found at Southeast Missouri State University, Columbia University, the Huntington Library, and Northwestern University. The British Museum does not own a copy.


Pierre Bonnard's personal copy of Parallèlement


Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) and Paul Verlaine (1844-1896), Parallèlement (Paris: Ambroise Vollard, 1900). Color lithograph. Illustrated with a lithographic frontispiece, wood engraved title-vignette (repeated on front wrapper), 108 lithographs, and 8 wood engravings cut by Tony Beltrand after Bonnard designs. Preserved in rose colored morocco box. Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process


Graphic Arts recently acquired Pierre Bonnard’s personal copy of Parallèlement, his first and greatest livre de peintre. It comes with a four-page hand-written letter from Bonnard to his mother that includes a significant reference to the famous objection, and later rejection, by the French Government of the original wrappers. Also included is a letter from Madame Terrasse confirming that this copy passed down through the family from the painter to her husband, musician Claude Terrasse (1867-1923).


Verlaine’s poems Les Amies [The Girlfriends], the first section of Parallèlement, were published under a pseudonym in 1867 and then, immediately banned because they described lesbian sex. Ambroise Vollard (1866-1939), a Parisian art dealer, wrote that he was inspired to publish the poems as soon as he read them, probably in the second, 1899 edition (Ex PQ2463 .xP3 1899). Vollard sent the text to be printed at the Imprimerie Nationale, whose authorities had only the title of the book, Parallèlement, in their records and thought they were printing a geometry textbook.

When it became known that it was, in fact, poetry of a lesbian love affair, the book was immediately recalled. Vollard was forced to have the title-page and wrappers reprinted with the official “Republique Française” symbol removed. Our copy includes both sets of wrappers, plus a copy of the original printer’s prospectus.


Vollard continued undaunted. After Lucien Pissarro (1863-1944) turned down the project, the dealer commissioned lithographs from Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) even though he had never worked in the medium. Bonnard sketched directly on top of the pages of Garamond type and then, recreated 108 of these drawings on lithographic stones in the studio of Auguste Clot, who pulled the edition.


Parallèlement is the first great livre de peintre of the twentieth century, a Vollard creation that set the standard for innovative fusion of text and illustration. Bonnard’s seductive rose-coloured lithographs drape across the pages of text, making Parallèlement a full collaboration of writer, artist, publisher, and printer. Use of color such as this was not attempted again for many years.” The Arts of the French Book, 1900-1965 by Eleanor M. Garvey and Peter A. Wick (GA Oversize 2006-0065Q).

Description of the Last Judgment

John Peck (1735-1812), A Description of the Last Judgment: with Some Reflections thereon, the Happiness of being Ready and the Misery of being Unready for such a Day: also, a poem on death, and one on the resurrection. Second edition (Boston N.E.: Printed and sold by E. Russell, adjoining the cornfield, in Union-Street, near the market. M,DCC,LXXIII. [1773]). Inscribed in ink on t.p. verso Lebadia Tomson his book 1774. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Hamilton 63(a)

As Sinclair Hamilton notes, on the verso of the title-page there is a woodcut which represents George Whitefield (1714-1770), the well-known Methodist preacher, in the pulpit. Whitefield had visited America on a number of occasions. This cut appeared on a Boston broadside containing A Poem, occasioned by hearing the late Reverend George Whitefield preach, which both Winslow and Ford date as 1771 although Evans dates it 1774.


The 1771 date would seem correct as Whitefield had died the year before and the cut is also found on the title of Jane Dunlap’s Poems, upon Several sermons, Preached by the Rev’d and Renowned George Whitefield, while in Boston, published in Boston in 1771. It also appears on the verso of the title-page in Watts’ Divine Songs, which was printed for John Perkins in Boston in 1771.

On the final leaf is a woodcut of The Destruction of Sodom by Fire, the word Sodom being torn out in this copy. This cut will also be found on a broadside, Oppression: A Poem. Or New England’s lamentation on the dreadful Extortion and other Sins of the Times probably published by Russell in 1777.

Tendor Friendships


De l’Amitié à la Tendresse [Tender Friendships] (Paris: Editions Nilsson, “Collection Libertine,” [ca. 1920s]). Gift of Robert J. Milevski. Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process.

A charming compilation of quotes and short passages on love by such authors as Balzac, Baudelaire, Byron, Casanova, Gautier, Hugo, de Musset, Nietzsche, Rousseau, and Sand, among others. The cover and four pochoir plates can be attributed to Robert Polack, who created pochoir plates for several other Nilsson editions in the 1920s.

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