19th Century Book Study :Representative English Literature

Cover/ PhillipsMy DHM Book Spinebook is a copy of the Representative English Literature: From Chaucer to Tennyson, written by Henry S. Pancoast, published by Henry Holt and Company. This copy is dated at 1895, with the call number PR.85.P35.  According to the book’s title page, Pancoast was an English literature lecturer. A Google search revealed his work on other English literary study books.

Based on authorship, title, and the book’s cover (although the binding is not original, the cover seemed to be, and without the dust jacket looks as if it was originally a volume in a series) led me to believe the book was used primarily scholastically. The book’s last pages had other reference and textbooks listed for sale by the publishing company, with topics ranging from History to Psychology. It’s kind of like something from the Norton Anthology series, an aid to literary study, and work compilation arranged by topic for a lit course.

So who owned this book? Who wrote in it? The front dedication page lists Adèle Duréey’s name, written in pencil. Pencil markings throughout the book exhibit her use of it as an academic book.

In the “Contents” section, she marked near “Byron, Shelley, and Keats” and bracketed the “John Keats” listing. There are underlines, brackets, arrows, and other markings found throughout the book, which I have included in the photo section. She even crossed out the entire “Ode to Duty” poem by Wordsworth…Ouch. Seems like she was a major Keats fan. Through her markings, you can see what she was especially interested in, or studying.

From the John Milton section, on line 162 of a poem, the word “quire” is underlined then rewritten. Maybe she wanted to look up the word, or ask about why it isn’t spelled as “choir” in class.

Most notable to me were her notes on weekdays. These abbreviations hint at her using the book scholastically. Maybe those were the days the readings were assigned for, or when she completed the readings.

Here’s the BookTraces link. It contains a spelling error that will hopefully be fixed soon.

WORDSWORTH/PhillipsInside 2 PhillipsDHM4Inside 1 Phillips


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