Thursday, May 04, 2017

Antiquarian Book News

Letters from a Suffragette.

A number of letters from 1869 – 1880 have been acquired by the University of Rochester and twenty-six of them are from the suffragette, Susan B. Anthony. The documents, not previously made public, belonged to Isabella Beecher Hooker, a leader in the suffragist movement based in Connecticut. They were discovered among a clutter of boxes by George Merrow when he was cleaning out his barn in Mansfield, Conn.

The collection is being digitized and will be put online in the months ahead.
Part of the collection also will be on display — for public view — in June this year in the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation at the university's Rush Rhees Library.

Anthony wanted the 15th Amendment, which granted African-American men the right to vote, to extend to women. She and other suffragists believed that by trying to cast ballots, they would win court cases affirming the right of women to vote.

The complete works of Britain's most famous map maker, John Speed

Dating from the mid-17th century, the collection includes:

The first detailed maps to show the provinces of Ireland
The first set of county maps
The first comprehensive set of English town plans

Together, the 96 seventeenth-century hand-coloured maps are expected to realise £100,000-150,000 at Sotheby’s London sale of Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History, 9 May 2016

Richard Fattorini, Sotheby’s Specialist in Books and Manuscripts, said: “John Speed, the author of the most important and prestigious atlas of the 17th-century, transformed peoples’ understanding of the landscape of the British Isles. His maps are still highly sought-after by collectors today, nearly 400 years after his death. He is best known for the production of two landmark atlases, the first showing the towns, counties and regions of Britain, and the second showing 28 maps of all corners of the world. Here, in this spectacular volume produced nearly 350 years ago, in 1676, we have an extremely rare complete set of all the most important maps he ever made together in one place.”

John Speed, The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain (first printed in 1612)

  • The first English attempt at producing an atlas on a grand scale. Includes 68 maps altogether.
  • The first detailed maps to show the provinces of Ireland
  • The first set of county maps consistently attempting to show the boundaries of territorial divisions
  • The first truly comprehensive set of English town plans. Perhaps as many as fifty of the seventy-three towns had not previously been mapped, and about fifty-one of the plans were probably Speed's own work. It’s believed that Speed might have been helped by his son, John, in surveying towns.
  • A balance is struck between the modern and historical, with information placed on the edges of the maps about antiquarian remains, and sites and vignettes of famous battles, together with arms of princes and nobles.
The maps were such a success that they became the basis for subsequent folio atlases until the mid-eighteenth century.

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