About lewiswalpolelibrary

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.

A Gallic idol

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“A symbolical bust of Napoleon, dressed as a Roman emperor, is on a rectangular base on which are title and inscription : ‘Symbolical of the Effects produced by that Cause which the enlightened (Fox) [Depicted] in ye Eighteenth Century sagaciously predicted would ultimately prove a Stupendous Monument of Human Wisdom!!!’ The head is turned in profile to the left.; the features are conventional but express ferocity, with glaring eye and fierce frown. It wears a fantastic helmet wreathed with laurel from which blood drips. The wreath is entwined by serpents, whose (three) heads are clustered at the back with words in large letters issuing from their jaws: ‘Rapine’, ‘Lust’, ‘Murder’. The word ‘Invasion’ issues in the same manner from the mouth. Above the wreath the helmet is encircled by a band on which are quasi-zodiacal signs: a scorpion, a sickle, a crescent, an arrow, a caduceus, a goat-like monster. On the helmet sits a grinning Devil, playing a fiddle and spreading his webbed wings over the idol‘s head, while from under one wing Death, a skeleton, peers out; he holds a javelin poised to strike and a cup of poison inscribed ‘Jaffa’ [see British Museum Satires No. 10063]. The shoulders are covered by drapery, drawn aside to reveal (rotten) ribs and a torn and bleeding heart which is transfixed by a dagger and a barbed spear. A scroll floats from the dagger inscribed ‘Wilsons Narrative’; the spear has a scroll inscribed ‘British Press’ and is surmounted by a cap of Liberty. Fragments torn from the heart are inscribed ‘Acre’ [see British Museum Satires No. 9412], ‘Egypt’ [see British Museum Satires No. 9250, &c], and ‘Irel[and]’, while in the middle of the heart is a triangular patch: ‘England’. The heart is surmounted by a crown made of blood-stained daggers with a central fleur-de-lis.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • PrintmakerBarth, J. S., printmaker.
  • TitleA Gallic idol [graphic] / J. Boyne del. ; J. Barth sc.
  • PublicationLondon : Published by R. Cribb, 20 Augt. 1803.

Catalog Record & Digital Collection

Call no TBD

Acquired October 2016

 

A shew heifer going to Leinster Stable Yard

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Lord Leinster, personified as a rough Irish farmer, leads Queen Caroline by a rope around her neck. Leinster expounds: ‘Dam me! no one but the D… shall stop her.’ Another figure in the background, probably Bartolomeo Pergami, replies: ‘Stop Nosey, let me feel that Heifer.’

  • TitleA shew heifer going to Leinster Stable Yard [graphic].
  • Publication[Dublin : Pub. by McCleary, 21 Nassau Street, 1820]

Catalog Record & Digital Collection

Call no: TBD

Acquired November 2016

The rat hunt

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“The head and shoulders of the dog, who has a handsome collar inscribed ‘John Bull’, project into the design from the right. One paw presses down a rat with the head of Wellington, who looks up in anguish at the dog’s angry jowl. Behind are other frightened rats with human heads: a bloated bishop, Peel, Wetherell, Eldon, Cumberland, and two others. The rats have been robbing the barn of ears of wheat.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • PrintmakerGrant, C. J. (Charles Jameson), active 1830-1852, printmaker.
  • TitleThe rat hunt [graphic].
  • Publication[London : W. Chubb, 1832]

Catalog Record & Digital Collection

Call no: TBD

Acquired November 2016

Manuscript on plants and trees, ca. 1785

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  • AuthorJodrell, Richard Paul, 1745-1831.
  • TitleManuscript on plants and trees, ca. 1785 / by me, Richard Paul Jodrell.

Catalog Record

Call no: TBD

Acquired September 2016

A patent extinguisher, being a safe & easy mode of putting out a candle

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Aquatintlwlpr34666-776x1024

Drawing

An old woman dressed in her nightcap and gown, her one breast hanging exposed from her gown, climbs into bed in which her husband already lies. She expels gas from her bottom in the direction of the candle on the ground in front of the fireplace with such force that it lifts the cat off the ground and bends the candle. Above the fireplace is a broadside entitled: The storm by Mr. Dodd, cease rude boreas balstering railes … On the table below the window (left) is a bowl labeled “Pease porridge” and a wig on a stand. On the ground at her feet lies a corset, shoes and other garments. Above the bed are boxed and breeches; a man’s coat is hung on the back of the chair to the right of the hearth.

  • CreatorNixon, John, -1818, artist.
  • Title:A patent extinguisher, being a safe & easy mode of putting out a candle.
  • Production:[London, ca. July 1801]

Catalog Record & Digital Collection (Aquatint)

Catalog Record & Digital Collection (Drawing)

801.07.00.05+ & Drawings N736 no. 7

Acquired July 2016

Letter : Wadham College [Oxford], to his sister Molly

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Summary:A descriptive first-hand account of the famed murder trial of Mary Blandy, who in 1752 stood accused of poisoning her invalid father with white arsenic in his food, on the instructions of her aspiring lover, William Henry Cranstoun, who was, unbeknownst to her, already in possession of a wife, but was hungry for the £10,000 Miss Blandy was due to inherit. The trial, conducted in Oxford, continued for some eleven and a half hours without respite, and saw Mary condemned to death. The ‘fair parricide’, as she was known, was hanged on 6 April 1752, her last words being ‘Gentlemen, don’t hang me high for the sake of decency’. Stillingfleet watched the whole trial, remarking ‘I feel the effects of being at it yet for I was almost squeez’d to death in the crowd’. While admiring Blandy’s speech as ‘very fine & very artfully drawn up’, his own verdict on the case is unambiguous: ‘I never heard of a more premeditated piece of cruelty’.

  • AuthorStillingfleet, Edward, -1795.
  • TitleLetter : Wadham College [Oxford], to his sister Molly, 1752 March 5.

Catalog Record

LWL Mss File 136

Acquired August 2016