Die Wiener Werkstätte, 1903-1928: Modernes Kunstgewerbe und sein Weg. Edited by Mathilde Flögl. Vienna: Krystall-Verlag, 1929. Purchased on the Gordon N. Ray Fund, 2009.
When so many men have kept personal records over so many years, why do so many of us persist in thinking of the diary as a women’s form? In today’s guest post, Rebecca Steinitz, author of a forthcoming book on the diary in the nineteenth century, challenges that popular assumption.
How did states cope with financial crisis before the birth of modern economic thought? England turned to Sir Isaac Newton when faced with such a quandary a little over 300 years ago.
Traditional diarists make choices about what bits of life to memorialize. But what if we could save life in its entirety? In today’s post, tech luminary and innovator Gordon Bell describes his efforts to do just that.
Napoleon and Josephine were married in March, 1796, just days before he departed to take charge of the French army in Italy. In love with his new wife, Napoleon sent her passionate letters and begged her to join him. Josephine, however, preferred to continue her fashionable life in Paris, and to this end she confided to Murat, Napoleon's confidante, that she was pregnant.
When psychiatrists, Marxists, anarchists, and politicos converged on London in 1967 for the Congress of the Dialectics of Liberation, the young Iain Sinclair was there with camera in hand. He and a friend tracked down Allen Ginsberg, counterculture superstar, and interviewed him for their film Ah! Sunflower. In today's guest post, Sinclair describes how he created Kodak Mantra Diaries, a self-published account of that exhilarating summer, combining photographs, personal notes, and reportage into a sort of retrospective diary. A copy is on view in The Diary: Three Centuries of Private Lives.
We all know that a diary is a private notebook where we write about our days and our thoughts. But is it?
In today's post, curator Christine Nelson introduces a new blog to accompany the Morgan's exhibition The Diary: Three Centuries of Private Lives, opening on January 21.
Horace Walpole once asked his friend Thomas Gray to write an epitaph for his cat Selima, who had recently drowned in a large Goldfish Tub. Gray responded by composing a Horatian ode, noting in a letter that it was "rather too long for an epitaph."
This autograph fair copy of his "Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes" dates to ca. 1757, the same year that Gray was offered (but declined) the Poet Laureateship. The poem tells the story of "the hapless nymph" who "stretched in vain to reach the prize" of two goldfishes, and drowned as a consequence. The poem first appeared anonymously, and is one of only 14 poems that Gray published during his lifetime.
In the early 1790s the Scottish music collector George Thomson approached Robert Burns, asking for help in compiling and editing his Select Collection of Original Scotish Airs. Burns readily agreed (although with the proviso that his name not be attached to the publication), and the nearly 60 letters from Burns to Thomson that survive are filled to the brim with working and fair copies of some of Burns’s most famous songs.
One letter, written in early September of 1793, discusses in detail no fewer than 74 songs – and it is within this letter, buried nearly at the end, that we find his full text to Auld Lang Syne.
Published 165 years ago today, Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home was the third of Charles Dickens' Christmas books. It was immediately successful, quickly running through two editions and outselling his Christmas books from the previous two years (Christmas Carol, 1843 and The Chimes, 1844). The story is about John and Dot Peerybingle, a carrier and his wife, who are having marriage difficulties. John suspects Dot of having an affair, and consults the ever-chirping cricket on the hearth. The cricket reassures John that his fears are unfounded, and the story ends happily.