Archive for October, 2014

Feeling the Effects of All Hallow’s Eve

October 31, 2014

By Katherine Monroe, student library assistant

title page

Halloween is almost upon us, and the Clark collection is ready to provide you with all of your necessary remedies against any curses you may receive come All Hallow’s Eve.  William Drage’s Daimonomageia. A Small Treatise of Sicknesses and Diseases from Witchcraft and Supernatural Causes. Never before, at least in this comprised Order, and general Manner, was the like published. Being useful to others besides Physicians, In that it Confutes Atheistical, Sadducitical, and Sceptical Principles and Imaginations was published in 1665 with the intent to provide anecdotal evidence of witchcraft and necromancy in the world, and how one may hope to survive it.

Are you unsure if you are cursed or merely suffering from the effects of too much candy?  Drage gives seven signs that point to sorcery:

  • “If the Sick voids things that naturally cannot be bred in the Body, nor put therein from without, distrust Witchcraft…”
  • “Strange and wonderful Convulsions, indomitable and inexpressible Torments, with other things preceding, or supervening, gives suspicion of Witchcraft…”
  • “If the Sick complaineth of such a Woman or Man suspected for a Witch, and faith, There he (or she) stands; or Now he (or she) comes, though no Body else see anything… Judge this certainly to be by the power of the Devil, and commonly to be administred by Witches through malice, by the performance of foolish Ceremonies…”
  • “A fourth sign of Witchcraft is, if the sick Prophesy, and foretel truly things that afterward come to pass, and speak beyond the course of Nature… [If] the Sick fly, or run up the Walls with their Feet uppermost, or leap from one place to another, strongly and fiercely, at a great distance: Be sure it is not naturally…”
  • “A fifth Sign of Witchcraft is, If the Sick is twisten, contorted, and his Chin drawn to his Forehead, and neck turned behind him, or face rather… and lye long as if dead…”
  • “A great Sign is, If any thing that comes from the Sick be burnt or harmed, and the suspected Woman suffers in such manner… [and] the Sick is eased much and clearly, suspect her for a Witch, and the Disease to be from her…”
  • And finally, Drage cautions his readers to remember that “All Diseases that are caused by Nature, may be caused by Witchcraft; But all that are caused by Witchcraft, cannot be caused by Nature.”

So before you take an antacid to relieve your possible chocolate-induced stomach pains, make sure you are not actually suffering the effects of a spell or curse.  Drage cautions you not to offend any man or woman suspected of being a necromancer or witch, and to hang rosemary, mistletoe, and ivy around your house, “because the Ancients judged those to defend Houses from evil Spirits.”  If, come November 3rd, you are still showing signs of sorcery, or even possession (about which Drage also writes), stop by the Clark and see what else he prescribes in his Daimonomageia.  And be careful who you encounter this Halloween season – perhaps not all the wee ghoulies and beasties coming to your door are there for the treats!

The historiated capital at the beginning of the text depicts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden at the moment of the Fall, when Eve eats the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Perhaps Drage references his own knowledge he is sharing with his readers on the topic of witchcraft and remedy, or perhaps he is alluding to the moment when sin entered the world.

The historiated capital at the beginning of the text depicts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden at the moment of the Fall, when Eve eats the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Perhaps Drage references his own knowledge he is sharing with his readers on the topic of witchcraft and remedy, or perhaps he is alluding to the moment when sin entered the world.


Reminder: Clark Book Club tomorrow!

October 22, 2014

Dear all,

A reminder to join us, if you can, for the inaugural meeting of the Clark Library Book Club tomorrow at 4pm in the North Book Room. We’ll be discussing An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears. Feel free to come no matter how much you’ve read–there won’t be any quizzes or assignments!

We’ll kick off our discussion by looking at original editions of texts written by the real-life versions of characters in the story like John Locke, Robert Boyle, and Richard Lower. Bring your questions and comments or send them in advance to Rebecca Munson ( Hope to see many of you soon!


Mark your calendar for our future fall meetings:

November 20th – Peter Ackroyd, Hawksmoor

December 18th – Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies

A Very Happy Birthday to You, Mr. Wilde

October 16, 2014

From Reading Room Assistant Katherine Monroe

Oscar Wilde

“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

-Lord Henry Wotton, from Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray

October 16th marks the 160th birthday of Oscar Wilde, poet, author, lecturer, and well-known face of the Aesthetic Movement in both England and America.  The Clark Library’s own collection of books, manuscripts, letters, and other materials relating to this man is the most comprehensive in the world, making this library a must-see for anyone interested in Wildeiana.

Ravenna, *PR5820.R251 c.3

Ravenna, *PR5820.R251 c.3

Included in the collection is a first edition of his poem, “Ravenna,” which won the Newdigate Prize in 1878.  This book is even more precious for the hand-embroidered cover made by his wife, Constance, which depicts pomegranates (the fruit of love) and tiny gold sequins, interspersed with the title of the work, Oscar’s byline, and the initials AH and CW.  Also of note are two inscriptions inside, one by Oscar Wilde and the other by Constance, who gave the book to Arthur Humphreys, the AH of the initials on the cover.

Ravenna inside whole

A pen and ink drawing mounted on cardboard, captioned, “Aesthetics v. Athletics,” is particularly applicable to this sport-crazed season.  Aes v Ath wholeThe Aesthete, a caricaturized Oscar Wilde, remarks, “This is indeed a form of death, and entirely incompatible with any belief in the immortality of the soul,” while a crowd of bugling men race off in one direction behind him.

Salomé, *PR5820.S173E 1927G

Salomé, *PR5820.S173E 1927G

One of the Clark’s copies of Salomé, a play Wilde wrote in 1893, is an especially beautiful Art Deco edition, printed in 1927 by the Grabhorn Press, with wood block illustrations designed and cut by Valenti Angelo.  The frontispiece is especially vivid, with a nude Salomé, statuesque and elongated in true Art Deco form, gazing down upon the head of Iokanaan which has been offered up to her on the sword of the executioner.

Art Dec recto

Oscar Wilde’s lecture tour in America is well-represented at the Clark, as well, in the numerous pamphlets and programs advertising his route around the country.  One program for “Art Decoration,” a lecture he gave in Philadelphia on May 10th, 1882, is especially interesting for its printing technique.  A sheer sheet of paper, folded in half, has the program information on the front and a portrait of Wilde on the inside of the back fold.  When viewed together, the faint portrait supplies the background to the red lettering, providing a beautiful memento of the lecture that happily made its way to the Clark’s collection.

This is not even the tip of the proverbial iceberg for what the Clark has to offer anyone interested in the life of Oscar Wilde or his circle of friends and family.  Manuscripts, letters, trade cards, and even scripts from movie adaptations of his literary works fill the shelves of the collection.  For a man who spent his life seeking fame and attention, the collection stored at the Clark Library attests to his success.  Happy 160th birthday, Oscar Wilde!

Woodcuts (and Engravings) Captioned by Early Readers

October 15, 2014

by Philip S. Palmer, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow at the Clark Library

Some of you may be familiar with Twitter’s “Woodcut Wednesday,” when users share xylographic images from early modern European books, typically coupled with humorous captions and commentary. Woodcut-captioning, it turns out, has a long history. Illustrations in three books from the Clark’s early printed book collection feature caption-like manuscript notes, and in each case the notes tell us something different about the interaction between text and image in early modern England.

"a shipe"; Gregor Reisch, Margarita philosophica (Basel, 1508)—Clark Library AE3 .R37*

“a shipe”; Gregor Reisch, Margarita philosophica (Basel, 1508)—Clark Library AE3 .R37*

In many cases the manuscript “caption” functions simply as a label identifying elements of an image, as in the example above from Gregor Reisch’s popular sixteenth-century text book, Margarita philosophica (“pearl of wisdom”). While “a shipe” is not the most interesting caption, it nonetheless tells us something about the annotator’s intentions in adding words to image. The woodcut appears in a section of the book on astronomy and maritime navigation, a section dense with astronomical diagrams labeled in Latin. Here our reader supplements the more technical labels on the diagram (“oculus inferior,” “oculus superior,” and “signum in littore”) with a simple, plain-English identification of its main image: “a shipe.” Following the same pattern, this early English reader added manuscript notes to several other woodcuts in the volume.

"thes is the sone and a Reg [rain] bowe wth xxvi ti [six and twenty] steres"

“thes is the sone and a Reg [rain] bowe wth xxvi ti [six and twenty] steres”

"thes is a woman blowinge of a fyere"

“thes is a woman blowinge of a fyere”

"These be fishes of the seae"

“These be fishes of the seae”

"thes be peakockes and yegeles and a puthawk [?]"

“thes be peakockes and yegeles and a puthawk [?]”

Besides demonstrating the oddity of early modern spelling (“yegeles” = “eagles”), each of these manuscript labels asserts English as the choice language for image description. There is also a certain immediacy and familiarity to the formula “this is/thes be” that contrasts with the technical language of the book’s Latin. Since there are other manuscript annotations in the volume written in the same hand in Latin, we know that choosing English for the woodcut “captions” was a self-conscious decision for this early reader.

Illustrated literary texts in early modern England were also sites for manuscript captioning. Some of the early printed editions of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, for example, are adorned with woodcut images of the pilgrims; in a few cases those images are coupled with manuscript text. The Stowe edition of 1561 contains woodcuts of the pilgrims, several with accompanying banners featuring letterpress text, throughout the General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales. An early reader of one of the Clark’s two copies of this edition has added manuscript mottoes in Latin and English to a few of the pilgrim woodcuts.

"Fortuna non omnibus una"; Geoffrey Chaucer, The workes of Geffrey Chaucer (London, 1561): Clark Library  f PR1850 .A1 1561 *

“Fortuna non omnibus una”; Geoffrey Chaucer, The workes of Geffrey Chaucer (London, 1561): Clark Library f PR1850 .A1 1561 *

“Fortuna non omnibus una,” or “fortune [is] not one and the same for all,” accompanying a woodcut of “The Marchant.”

"Tu supplex ora"

“Tu supplex ora”

“Tu supplex ora,” or “You, kneeling, pray!” This phrase is part of a Latin proverb “Tu supplex ora, tu protege, tuque labore” (“you, kneeling, pray, you protect, and you work”) that addresses each major class of medieval society (those who pray, fight, and work). This motto accompanies the “Parson” woodcut.

manuscript poem with woodcut of the Sergeant at Law

manuscript poem with woodcut of the Sergeant at Law

To the Sergeant-at-Law woodcut the annotator has added a poem in English and Latin:

Lex is laid a downe
Amor is very smalle
Charitas is out of towne
& Veritas is gone to all

(Variations of this verse appear in several Middle English manuscripts; see the entry in the Digital Index of Middle English Verse.) Lastly, our annotator has added the phrase “as true as a Theefe” to the Miller’s woodcut. Why the Miller receives an English motto and the other woodcuts receive Latin (or a mix of the two) is unclear, though considering the general absence of Latinate words in “The Miller’s Tale,” the choice seems appropriate.

"as true as a theefe"

“as true as a Theefe”

Jumping forward nearly a century, the Clark’s copy of John Vicars’s England’s worthies (London, 1647) bears extensive manuscript notes in Latin and English on its engraved portraits of Parliamentarian military and political leaders. Vicars’s sympathetic chronicle of Parliamentarian exploits is repeatedly undermined by the manuscript notes, which are staunchly Royalist in character.

"a bould villain & a bitter enemy to ye king," engraving of Robert Rich, second Earl of Warwick (1587–1658), in John Vicars, England's Worthies (1647): Clark Library DA415 .V62 *

“a bould villain & a bitter enemy to ye king,” engraving of Robert Rich, second Earl of Warwick (1587–1658), in John Vicars, England’s Worthies (1647): Clark Library DA415 .V62 *

"A demure Rogue"

“A demure Rogue”

In the first two cases the manuscript captions are strategically placed before the engraved captions, forcing the reader to engage with the images (and historical figures) polemically before their heroic deeds can be read. In another portrait the annotator not only augments the engraved label with a manuscript caption but also adds a mark of opprobrium to the figure’s forehead—”R” for “Rogue.”

"and ye greatest of the Northern Rogues True"

“and ye greatest of the Northern Rogues True”

Recalling the manuscript mottoes added to Chaucer’s pilgrim woodcuts, some of the engravings in England’s Worthies are marked with Latin phrases and descriptions, as in the image below.

"homo singulari nequitia praeditus"

“homo singulari nequitia praeditus”

“Homo singulari nequitia praeditus omnium nequissimus,” or “the man gifted with unique wickedness is most wicked to everyone,” is reserved for the engraved portrait of Oliver Cromwell, greatest of Royalist foes.

Woodcut (and engraving) captioning—clearly alive and well in 2014—has a long history, and these examples demonstrate only a few of the many ways early readers engaged with images through text.

Introducing the Clark Library Book Club!

October 8, 2014

Dear all,

It is my pleasure to invite you to join us for a new series of events open to anyone and everyone with an interest in literature, history, and the Clark collections. The Clark Library Book Club will meet monthly to discuss a book chosen for its ability to bring to life an aspect of the library’s holdings. We’ll spend time with spies and alchemists, witches and traitors, printers and players, and many famous figures in literary history.

Our first meeting will take place on Thursday, October 23rd at 4pm in the North Book Room. In honor of Halloween, we will be reading Iain Pears, An Instance of the Fingerpost. The full schedule of Fall 2014 meetings can be found below. Updates and information about future meetings will be posted here. To suggest future readings or ask a question please contact Rebecca Munson ( Hope to see you soon!

Clark Library Book Club

Fall 2014 Meetings

October 23rd – Iain Pears, An Instance of the Fingerpost

November 20th – Peter Ackroyd, Hawksmoor

December 18th – Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies

At 4p.m. in the North Book Room


The Art of Brewing

October 7, 2014

By Emily Meehan, Reading Room Assistant

A recent Clog article had to do with the lovely libation of wine, but there is yet another drink that all have loved (especially the Brits) since its conception: a nice warm pint of ale! In honor of Oktoberfest and the traditional beginning of the brewing season, it is interesting to examine the different artifacts the Clark holds on the brewing of beer/ale and the drink’s potential health benefits.


1751 engraving of “Beer Street” by artist William Hogarth, found in the 1889 book Curiosities of Ale & Beer: an entertaining history by John Bickerdyke. Designed to depict both the health benefits and thriving industrial/urban life associated with drinking beer.

Because much 17th century brewing was not yet a large commercial process, it was common for individuals or small independently-owned taverns to make their own beers and ales. Therefore, self-brew instructions were printed for the common man to create and enjoy his own homemade concoctions. In the pamphlet Directions for Brewing Malt Liquors, published in London in 1700 by “a Countrey Gentleman,” there are step-by-step instructions on the home-brewing of one’s own March or October beer (March being the end of the brewing season and October the beginning, both months in which beer was traditionally brewed when it was intended to be kept for a few months at a time). It starts with the type of water best suitable for the brew (“Pond-Water and other Standing Waters…make a Stronger Drink,” p.3), then continues to comment upon which English counties have the best malts (germinated barley grains). Apparently, “Malt mixt of several kinds makes the best Drink,” (p.6). According to the pamphlet, hops were a relatively new ingredient used in brewing, first used in the process around 1540, and the quality of the hops to be used were to be “bright, well scented, well dryed, cured and bagg’d; and generally speaking are best about a Year old,” (p.7). After going over these basics, the author begins to explain the intricate process of brewing and fermenting with comments upon the different practices of the various regions of Britain.


“A Perfite Platform of a Hoppe Garden” by Reginald Scot, 1574. Found in Curiosities of Ale & Beer

Of course, Britain is not known for having the warmest of climates, so warm beer as opposed to cold was a common way to alleviate the frigid weather that arrived in October. The Clark possesses on microfilm A Treatise for Warm Beer, a book which was published in the mid-17th century and subtitled “wherein is declared by many reasons that beer so qualified is farre more wholesome than that which is drunk cold.” The author, like many scholars of the time, promotes an Aristotelian view of health that proclaimed an even balance of the body’s main fluids (or humours) was the best way to keep in good health. In the Treatise, he argues that the body must have a good balance between warm and cold and because the British weather is so cold, drinking beer “hot as blood” was best to cancel out any cold fluids that threatened the body’s immunity. According to the author, a cold internal body was associated with weakness and the “stomach is an office of warmth” (p.110) that must be kept warm to prevent diseases such as consumption.

However, by the end of the 17th century, Thomas Tryon, a popular author of self-help books at the time, delved deeper into the health benefits of drinking beer. He published A New Art of Brewing Beer, Ale, and other Sorts of Liquors in 1691 that explained to the common people certain health risks that came along with brewing and consuming the drink. The book explains the typical brewing process, but also advocates for the clean practice of brewing and fermenting. Tryon makes a point on the necessity of boiling one’s water first before the brewing process (as opposed to Directions for Brewing’s use of pond water) and to drink newly fermented beer sooner rather than later as letting beer get stale is “consequently more prejudicial to Health…as it overheats the Blood….” (p.15) This advice also countered the author of Treatise, who did not specify the physical act of boiling before drinking beer warm, yet seemed to think that warm beer had the ability to boil meat in one’s stomach and therefore preventing any sickness acquired from eating raw meat.


Title page of A New Art of Brewing by Thomas Tryon

Like the author of Treatise, Tryon was also a believer in the Aristotelian balance of the human body, but instead of drinking more to prevent sickness and increase one’s health, Tryon recommended that one limit the amount of alcohol one drinks: “it clouds [the brain] with Vapors and superfluous Humours, and its noble Faculties are thereby interrupted…Reason muddled, and Judgment vitiated, and all the admirable Store house of Memory oppressed and confounded,” (p.7-8). Perhaps he’s speaking from experience? Regardless, Tryon was obviously closer to what we know today as healthy drinking practices.

If you’re interested in the old-fashioned, 17th century style of home-brewing, come by the Clark to read up on how it’s done! Remember to drink responsibly and boil your water beforehand!

Upcoming Events

October 2, 2014

Now that the UCLA Fall Quarter is underway, programming at the Clark Library is starting to rev up for the year. The full 2014-2015 event calendar is online at the Center’s website and below we highlight a couple of upcoming programs that you may be interested in attending!  If you are on Facebook, feel free to befriend Mr. Clark and join the Clark Library group  to get updates and reminders about programs and events at the Library and Center.


October 18 & 19, 2014, 7pm:

Arts on the Grounds: Entre Marta y Lope (Between Marta and Lope), written by Gerardo Malla and Santiago Miralles

Fundación Siglo de Oro, a premier Spanish theater company focusing on the classical tradition, will present Entre Marta y Lope, a contemporary play on the last days of Lope de Vega, the foremost Spanish playwright of the Golden Age. The play is designed to introduce audiences to this key figure, whose corpus includes over 400 plays. The Clark Library and Fundación Siglo de Oro present theater about a man who was, all of him, theater itself.

Ticket price – $25 general admission, $10 students (must provide student ID)
More information and tickets:


November 5, 2014, 4pm:

The Tenth Annual Kenneth Karmiole Lecture on the History of the Book Trade:
“Publishing Easy Pleasant Books for Children: The House of Newbery, 1740­–1800”
Given by Andrea Immel, Curator, Cotsen Children’s Library, Princeton University

This lecture will revisit the question of whether the Newbery firm should still be considered the most important children’s book publisher of the eighteenth century.

Andrea Immel holds a doctorate in English from UCLA and was a Clark Dissertation Fellow. She has been the curator of the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University since 1995 but got her start as a rare book librarian at the Huntington Library.

Registration Deadline: October 31, 2014

More information and (free) registration: 



And if you missed it, the Clark’s Oscar Wilde collection was the focus of a recent article on KCET’s Artbound blog.

The Clark will also be attending the LA as Subject 9th Annual Archives Bazaar on October 25th at USC’s Doheny Library.  We will be sharing a table with our friends at UCLA Library Special Collections, and hope you will visit us and our LA-collecting colleagues from all over town for this day-long free event!