Food could account for as much as fifty percent of an 18th-century English household's budget, and this cookbook from around 1784 provides over 100 recipes (or "receipts" as they were known) for common English dishes.
Leonhard Euler was perhaps the foremost mathematician of the 18th century. He made major contributions to the fields of calculus, mechanics, fluid dynamics, optics, and astronomy. Born in Switzerland, he spent much of his life in Berlin and St. Petersburg. The Morgan holds a series of 99 letters he wrote to his colleague, the French mathematician Pierre Maupertuis, while they were both part of the Berlin Academy under Frederick the Great. In this letter, dated July 4, 1744, Euler is working on a problem in spherical geometry.
Ever moved your sheeprack on Sunday morning?
Now, it might not be a big deal. But if you were caught doing this in the 1500s, you could end up in an English church court.
The Morgan’s collection of 16th-century penances records the sentences imposed by such a court. From these documents, we learn that Henrie Barker was
Imagine having a father who was friends with Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and other famous authors of the 19th century. Henry Bradbury, the son of William Bradbury (of the Victorian publisher Bradbury and Evans), used his father's connections to compile a scrapbook of letters, sketches, drawings, prints, photographs, and printed ephemera. Much of the material is related to Punch, the Victorian periodical printed and later purchased by Bradbury and Evans.
John Keats died with £800 in chancery, due to him from an inheritance. He knew nothing of this though, and was effectively penniless while he was dying of consumption. In a final attempt to recover his health, he set sail for Italy in the fall of 1820 with his close friend Joseph Severn. A month before his departure, he acknowledged the futility of this journey in a short letter to his publisher and friend John Taylor and noted that the upcoming trip "wakes me at daylight every morning and haunts me horribly."
The woodcut, one of the earliest printmaking techniques, became popular in Europe around 1400. Woodcuts are produced by carving an image into a block of wood, usually a hard fruitwood, cut parallel to its grain. Only the lines and shapes of the drawn design are left standing in relief; all other areas of the wood are carefully excised with sharp woodworking tools, such as gouges, chisels, and knives.
While it is conjectured that Jane Austen wrote over 3,000 letters, only 160 have survived. Of these, the Morgan owns fifty-one—more than any other institution in the world.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882)
Autograph letter signed, dated London , to Leigh Hunt
Purchased on the Gordon N. Ray Fund, 2008
(American, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, 1935)
The Glyptotek Drawings, 1987–88.
Charcoal on Mylar. 17 3/4 x 15 1/2 inches (45 x 39.4 cm)
Promised gift of the artist to The Morgan Library & Museum.
Samuel Richardson (1689–1761)
Autograph letter signed, dated London, 29 March 1750, to Frances Grainger
Purchased on the Fellows Endowment Fund, 2008