The Lewis Walpole Library, a department of the Yale University Library since 1980, is an internationally recognized research collection in the field of British eighteenth-century studies. Its unrivalled collection of Walpoliana includes half the traceable volumes from Horace Walpole's famous library at Strawberry Hill and many letters and other manuscripts by him. The Library's book and manuscript collections, numbering over 32,000 volumes, cover all aspects of eighteenth-century British culture.
The Library is also home to the largest and finest collection of eighteenth-century British graphic art outside the British Museum; its 35,000 satirical prints, portraits, and topographical views are an incomparable resource for visual material on many facets of English life of the period.
Located in Farmington, Connecticut, forty miles north of New Haven and within easy distance of Boston and New York, the Lewis Walpole Library's collections also include drawings, paintings, and furniture, all housed on a 14-acre campus with four historically important structures and extensive grounds. The Library runs an active fellowship program and sponsors conferences, lectures, and exhibitions in cooperation with other Yale libraries and departments.
“The Duchess of Devonshire sits astride a galloping fox, her face to its tail. A signpost by the fox’s head points (left) ‘To Cuckolds Hall’; on the top of the post is a pair of horns. The Duchess wears a hat trimmed with ostrich feathers and with a ribbon inscribed ‘Fox'”– British Museum online catalogue.
Title: The matter reversed, or, One good turn deserves another [graphic].
Publication: [London] : Pubd. May 24, 1787, by J. Notice, Oxford Road, [24 May 1787]
“The Duchess of St. Albans, immensely fat, florid, and bejewelled, and a stout elderly naval officer wearing loose wide trousers, and apparently doing hornpipe steps, his hands on his hips, dance side by side with rollicking abandon. The others of the set: one man and two ladies on the left and one lady and two men on the right dance rigidly erect, and watch the central pair with hauteur; the men are dandies, the women slim and fashionable. The duchess has a swirling paradise-plume in her towering loops of hair, above tossing ringlets.”–British Museum online catalogue.
With a large woodcut below the title and preceding the letterpress text: Madamoiselle Javellot is shown on stage flanked on either side by chandeliers wtih her performing dogs in costumes in front and a musician in the background, left, behind the curtain.
Title: The fair in an uproar, or, The dancing-doggs : as they perform in Mr. Pinkeman’s new opera in Bartholomew Fair.
Published: London : Printed and sold by J. Morphew, near Stationers Hall, [1707?]
“George IV drives Lady Conyngham in a four-wheeled pony-chaise. He is chubbily obese, in loose trousers and braided jacket, wearing a cap poised on his naturalistic curls (cf. British Museum Satires no. 14637). He turns to the enormously corpulent lady. Both overweight the little chaise, and the very small ponies strain desperately. Behind and on the extreme left is the head of the horse ridden by an attendant. They have just passed a gate with a small octagonal lodge. The drive is bordered by a paling; in the background are stags.”–British Museum online catalogue.
An Irish schoolmaster-priest, sits in a chair taking a pinch of snuff from an open snuff box as he catechizes a dwarfish Irish peasant, ragged and barelegged, who answers with a sly grin: ‘O’C — for O’Connell thats right–now Pat what does MP stand for eh?’ Answer: ‘Mealy Potato’. On the table to the right is a crucifix used to prop open a book. Cf. British Museum online catalogue.
Title: Les sérails de Londres, ou, Les amusemens nocturnes, contenant les scènes qui y sont journellement représentées, les portraits et la description des courtisannes les plus célèbres, et les caractères de ceux qui les fréquentent / traduit de l’Anglais.
Publication: A Paris : Chez Barba, Libraire, Palais Egalité, derriére le Théâtre de la République, no. 51, an. IX (1801)
A collection of receipts and bills, in a variety of hands and mostly signed by the tradespeople, related to Sir Christopher Musgrave’s expenses during the years 1708-1718, with the bulk of the detailed receipts covering the years 1716-1718.
“Louis XVIII, grotesquely obese (left), and the Tsar kiss, their lips touching. Louis, whose head is much the larger, grasps the back of Alexander’s head; the Tsar bends from the waist to reach beyond the King’s paunch. Louis, with the gouty legs and old-fashioned gold-embroidered coat and waistcoat of English caricature, wears the order of the Saint Esprit. The Tsar, in uniform, has the high pinched waist and bulging breast of the dandy (cf. British Museum Satires No. 13029) with enormous cavalry boots to the thigh, huge epaulets, and a sash, but no sword. He says: “My Dear Legitimate Brother (tho I believe I call Boney the same) I am happy to serve you tho your cursed Country Men almost destroyed my country–” Louis answers: “Ma Chere [sic] Ami, I am so rejoiced at your Brotherly Kindness in putting off our payment & takeing off your Troops that I could Devour you.” The embrace is watched by two Frenchmen on the left, and on the right by the King of Prussia, the Emperor of Austria, and a young man (? Napoleon’s son). Frederick William wears dandified uniform like that of the Tsar but with long trousers; he supports a large sword hanging from a belt, and holds a huge cocked hat; he watches the embrace with distaste, saying, “I am obliged to follow the Leaders at Present.” Francis I says: “I must agree for the moment but I have a Grandson.” One Frenchman wears uniform with top-boots; he says: “De Legitimate francais be too much for John Bull de manoeuvre by Gar ve want de Time & we show dem vat ve intend.” His companion, an elderly man wearing a court suit with a powdered wig (Richelieu attended the Conference on behalf of France) says delightedly: “Ah-ha he do him vid Compliments & den we do them out of the Money.” Behind them is a row of melancholy knock-kneed Grenadiers.”–British Museum online catalogue.