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Distinctive Summer Reading

Here are the books that top the reading piles of the Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement staff this summer. Most if not all of these titles can be found via stocked online booksellers while some are also available in digital and audio formats for interested readers. And for even more reading recommendations, here are links to the 2019, 2020, and 2021 lists.

From Beaudry Allen, Preservation and Digital Archivist:

All Boys Aren’t Blue, George M. Johnson. A series of essays about Johnson growing up as a young queer men of color.

From Michael Foight, Director Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement:

Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind / Alexandra Ripley. In this first sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s novel, Scarlett and Rhett’s relationship continues the page-turning-drama of the original.

The Roman Republic of Letters: Scholarship, Philosophy, and Politics in the Age of Cicero and Caesar / Katharina Volk. This deep dive into Roman Republican “senator scholars” checks many of my ancient world interests.

Watergate: A New History / Garrett M. Graff. A compelling and page-turning big picture revisionist read on the scandal that caused Nixon to resign.

In Pursuit of Civility: Manners and Civilization in Early Modern England / Keith Thomas. An ethnographic study showcasing the conflicting early European standards of polite behavior through a lens of voices from 1600-1789.

From Rebecca Oviedo,Distinctive Collections Archivist:

Archival Virtue: Relationship, Obligation, and the Just Archives by Scott Cline.

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray.


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eBook available: Book of Detective Stories

Our latest Project Gutenberg release, courtesy of the Distributed Proofreaders project, is another entry in the Multum in Parvo Library, a set of tiny chapbooks covering a variety of subjects. This volume, from November, 1894, is the Book of Detective Stories, one of the series’ collections of extremely brief fiction. The book’s 16 small pages contain four (or five, depending on how you count them) miniature mystery tales. A contemporary mystery reader probably won’t find a lot of surprises here, but the stories are certainly compact.

If you want to sample these for yourself, you can read the entire book online, or download it in popular eBook formats, through Project Gutenberg.


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From the Archives: Robert Langran papers

Robert Langran with Women's tennis team

                               Robert Langran with VU Women’s Tennis, undated

The University Archives is excited to announce a newly available collection of papers from former faculty and tennis coach Robert Langran. Langran spent his entire career at Villanova University, where he taught and researched in Political Science from 1959 to 2015. Langran taught civil rights, the study of the Supreme Court, constitutional law, women’s studies, and peace studies. While at Villanova University, Langran chaired the Political Science Department from 1968 to 1978 and from 2008 to 2009. He chaired the committee that devised the University Senate and was the first chair of the Faculty Congress. He was awarded the Best Advisor Award (2001), Faculty Service Award (1997), several Political Science Department Best Teacher Award, and Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (1972). In 1967, Langran revitalized Men’s Tennis, which had be absent from Villanova for twenty-five years. A year later he was approached by a group of young women wanting to create a tennis team and Langran helped form the first Villanova women’s tennis team and be their head coach for the next twenty-five years.

 

Robert Langran with VU athletics

                                        Robert Langran with VU Athletics

Langran’s family recently donated his tennis files to the University Archives, which includes scorecards and rosters from the Men’s and Women’s tennis teams from 1969 to 2013. As a lifelong VU Wildcats fan, the collection also includes a scrapbook of basketball and football tickets, programs, and season schedules. Langran left a indelible mark on the Villanova community and excited to have early tennis history available in the archives. Contact the University Archives at archives@villanova.edu to view the collection.

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Green Voices of the Past: Final Reflections

Posted for: Emily Alesia Poteat

The act of transcribing manuscripts can transport you back in history and allow you to rediscover voices lost or ignored in the historical record. My graduate assistantship with Villanova University’s Irish Studies Department and Falvey Library’s Distinctive Collections has done just that. Throughout my time transcribing Irish American historical manuscripts in Villanova’s collection, I was confronted with a diverse set of experiences and distant voices from unique figures of the past.

Stark and defiant voices emerged in manuscripts from figures like Joseph McGarrity, who sought to make real change in their own time. McGarrity was born on March 28, 1874, and died on September 04, 1940. It is through his distinctive scrawling penmanship, McGarrity’s voice rose from the pages, and he detailed his hopes, his organizing for the Irish republican cause, and his personal opinions about the happenings of the world on the eve of World War II. Most riveting, however, was the discovery that McGarrity directly sought to partner with Nazi Germany to find support for the Irish republican cause. As Joseph McGarrity’s 1939 diary demonstrated the reach of Irish American organizing in the twentieth century. As, the purpose of aligning with Germany was to force the United Kingdom to remove its forces from Northern Ireland, and to allow a united and independent Ireland. Brute force was seen as the best way to do this by McGarrity, as he he sought, from an alliance with Nazi Germany, “technicians…particularly chemical experts,” to “ask for submarine experts to be trained,” and most tellingly with his intentions “that sufficient war stuffs be supplied in the line of war material for a major engagement in England.” From McGarrity’s rhetoric, he and he Irish republican allies sought to plan a major military effort and armed engagements with England during the onset of World War II.

Photograph, Joseph McGarrity, standing with gloves, n.d.

Also deepening the Irish American and German connection, The Irish American Club’s connection to the Clan-na-Gael was most revelatory, as this connection was largely undiscovered. The Clan-na-Gael formed in 1867 in New York as the successor of the Fenian Brotherhood, and was a secret Irish Republican society. As the American sister organization to the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the Clan-na-Gael was dedicated to supporting the formation of an independent and democratic republic in Ireland through the use of force. With Irish republican beliefs deeply embedded into the organization, the Clan-na-Gael was active in assisting the Irish Republican Brotherhood in achieving an independent Ireland. Because of this deep support of Irish independence, the Clan-na-Gael was the single largest financial support of the Easter rising, as well as the Irish War of Independence. In the Minute Book of the Board of Officers for the Irish American Club, the way in which Irish Americans, in the Irish American Club, actively engaged in support of the German war effort came to light, and offered new insight into ways Irish Americans engaged in Irish republicanism during the early twentieth century. Through advocacy work and monetary support, the Irish American Club attempted to support the German war effort in World War I. Most distinguishing, however, was not this fact alone, it was the fact that the Irish American Club consistently referred to themselves as the Clan-na-Gael.

Advertisement, “Grosse Massen-Demonstration unter den Asupicien des Irish-American Club,” 1916.

By delving into the archive forgotten connections that largely reorient our understandings of history are possible. For instance, just by connecting Irish Americans to Germans during the world wars, these sources offer new opportunities for research into transatlantic history, as well as into understanding the reach of Irish American organizing. If we continue to ask new questions of archival sources, we can continue to diversify the historical record with underrepresented voices from the past. While these sources can not tell us everything about certain individuals, they offer a chance to preserve the voice and experiences in the historical record.

——————–
Emily Poteat is a graduate assistant in Irish Studies and Falvey Memorial Library’s Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement Department, and a graduate student in the History Department.


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eBook available: Love Conquers Pride

Another novel by Mrs. Alex. McVeigh Miller has been added to Project Gutenberg using scans from our Digital Library and the volunteer labor of the Distributed Proofreaders project. The story, Love Conquers Pride; or, Where Peace Dwelt, was first serialized as Pansy Laurens, the Belle of Richmond in the New York Fireside Companion from 1888 to 1889. It tells the tale of a young tobacco factory worker who falls in love while visiting her aunt and uncle on a summer break and suffers many of the usual story paper tragedies as a consequence.

These story paper melodramas tend to be fairly predictable based upon the societal expectations of their time — their plots are generally designed to reinforce cultural norms and demonstrate dire punishment for “bad” behaviors. This one is a little bit different — some of the situations Pansy finds herself in are more morally ambiguous than usual, and while the plot ultimately resolves itself in a fairly “safe” way, it takes some extra twists and turns to get there. The book also distinguishes itself by having several characters who are rather more tolerant and forgiving than is typical of the genre — it almost reads like a “what if?” exercise in how one of these plots might unfold if the plot didn’t hinge primarily on a series of miscommunications and misunderstandings.

If you want to give it a try, the entire book can be read online or downloaded in popular eBook formats through Project Gutenberg.


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Green Voices of the Past: An Introduction to 19th Century Irish American Voices from the Friendly Sons and Daughters of Saint Patrick

Posted for: Emily A. Poteat

The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick for the Relief of Emigrants from Ireland, now known as the Friendly Sons and Daughters of St. Patrick, emerged in the immediate years before the American Revolution, 1771. Founded in Philadelphia on St. Patrick’s Day of 1771, the organization’s founding tenants were to aid immigrants from Ireland. In the present day, the organization also seeks to focus on ties between the United States and Ireland, as well as sponsors a variety of charitable scholarships, activities, as well as educational endowments.

Currently I am transcribing the minute book of the organization, which extends from 1813 to 1852. Intriguingly, the beginning of the manuscript is not handwritten, rather, it was a printed by a prominent Philadelphia printer named John Bioren, who was the co-proprietor of Mountford, Bioren and Company. Most striking in this particular manuscript, however, is the sheer number of prominent historical figures, especially founding fathers, involved in the American Revolution that were founding members of the organization. Riddled throughout the first few pages of this manuscript are the names of those who created, and facilitated, the charity and aid to Irish immigrants to the United States that landed in Philadelphia.

p. 3, “Rules Minutes &c. of the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, 1813-1852.” Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick for the Relief of Emigrants from Ireland, 1813.

Thomas McKean is the first man listed as amongst the founding members of the organization. McKean was a founding father of the United States, and politician that was born to Irish parents in 1734. Coming to prominence during the American Revolution, McKean was the Delaware delegate to the Continental Congress, at which he signed the Continental Association, Articles of Confederation, as well as the Declaration of Independence. Beyond this, McKean is also noteworthy for his place in Pennsylvania’s history, as McKean served as the chief justice to Pennsylvania, and was the governor of Pennsylvania as well.

Also appearing in the manuscript is Thomas Barclay, an Irish American who came to international political prominence, is also amongst the founding members of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. Barclay, initially a Philadelphian merchant, was integral to international relations for the United States in the aftermath of the American revolution. Importantly, Barclay was the first U.S. consul in France, and later George Washington appointed Barclay the U.S. consul in Morocco in 1791. This appointment came following Barclay’s success at negotiating the first treaty between the United States and Morocco in 1786.

Jared Ingersoll is also amongst those who are listed as founding members of the organization. Ingersoll, was a founding father of the United States, and was a delegate to the Continental Congress, as well as signed the United States constitution. Further, Ingersoll was important to Pennsylvania’s history, as he served as the state’s attorney general from 1791 to 1800, and then from 1811 to 1816. In addition to this, Ingersoll was the United States attorney for Pennsylvania, as well as the Philadelphia city solicitor. In further connection to his career as a lawyer, Ingersoll argued Chisholm v. Georgia, and Hylton v. United States, which were two of the first cases to be argued before the United States Supreme Court.

“Masthead image, The Society of The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick for The Relief of Emigrants from Ireland.” The Society of The Friendly Sons and Daughters of St. Patrick for The Relief of Emigrants from Ireland, published digitally 2017.

These three men are only a few of many who appear in this minute book, and represent just a few of many voices to arise from the manuscript’s pages. Pertinently to the historical record, this minute book gives a glimpse into the machinations of the elite Irish American class of the newly formed United States, as well as their efforts to support new Irish immigrants to the United States. In doing so, this manuscript provides evidence of understandings of class and societal rank in the immediate aftermath of the American Revolution as well. Furthermore, this manuscript allows a deeper understanding of Irish American organizing during the 19th century, and provides a peek into what went into maintaining a cohesive organizing effort during the time period as well.

——————–
Emily Poteat is a graduate assistant in Irish Studies and Falvey Memorial Library’s Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement Department, and a graduate student in the History Department.

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eBook available: Art of Love-Making

Our latest Project Gutenberg release, courtesy of the Distributed Proofreaders project, is another entry in the Multum in Parvo Library, a set of tiny chapbooks covering a variety of subjects. This particular volume, published in March, 1894, is entitled “Art of Love-Making” (which, of course, refers to the 19th century definition of “love-making,” which is to say courtship).

The book contains a seemingly random assortment of advice on romance and marriage, most of it built around ideas that seem quite foreign to the modern reader (ranging from predictably sexist assumptions about gender roles to entirely bizarre supposed correlations between physical characteristics and personality traits).

Needless to say, this book is unlikely to help you with your love life, but it does provide an interesting window into a very different time. You can read the whole thing (or download it in popular eBook formats) through Project Gutenberg.


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Green Voices of the Past: Two Newspaper Clippings from Joseph McGarrity’s WWII Diary

Posted for: Emily A. Poteat

Joseph McGarrity’s diary from 1939 details his hopes, his work in Irish-republican organizing, and his personal opinions about the happenings of the world in the immediate months preceding the Second World War. This diary gives an important glimpse into the mind of one of the most prolific Irish-American organizers of the period.

Riddled throughout this particular diary of McGarrity’s are numerous newspaper clippings, and through these clippings one discerns what was important, or exciting to McGarrity about the world on the eve of World War II.

First see the clipping in McGarrity’s diary on the page entitled “Front flyleaf, verso clipping over.” This clipping importantly signals that McGarrity was watching the United States’ involvement in Irish peacemaking attempts, and activities.

front flyleaf, verso clipping over, “Diary, Joseph McGarrity, 1939.” Joseph McGarrity, 1939.

SLOVAKIA
OPERATIVES OF THE SURETE NATION-
ALE GUARDED THE COLONEL FROM HIS
PARIS APARTMENT TO THE CHERBOURG
MARTIME STATION TODAY. HIS WIFE

CONTINUED ON PAGE 7, COLUMN 3

U.S. ROLE REPORTED
IN IRISH PEACE STEP;
4-WAY PACT HINTED

LONDON, APRIL 8 (U.P.). – THE
DUBLIN SUNDAY TIMES SAID TODAY
THAT NEGOTIATIONS, IN WHICH THE UNIT-
ED STATES IS PARTICIPATING, ARE IN
PROGRESS TO END THE IRISH PARTITION
PROBLEM AND MAY INVOLVE A FOUR-WAY
BRITISH-AMERICAN-NORTHER IRELAND-
EIRE AGREEMENT.
ACCORDING TO THE NEWSPAPER, THE
TREATY WOULD PROVIDE THAT IN CASE OF
A WAR IN WHICH THE UNITED STATES
WAS INVOLVED, TROOPS COULD BE LANDED
IN IRELAND IN RETURN FOR A GUARANTEE
OF IRELAND’S SAFETY.
THE VISIT OF PRIME MINISTER EAMON
DE VALERA TO THE UNITED STATES NEXT
MONTH WAS EXPECTED TO HAVE SOME
INFLUENCE ON THE NEGOTIATIONS, ACCORD-
ING TO THE NEWSPAPER. IT SAID PRESI-
DENT ROOSEVELT WAS ANXIOUS TO SEE A
FINAL SOLUTION OF THE IRISH PROBLEM
BECAUSE OF THE IMPRESSION IT WOULD
MAKE ON THE IRISH POPULATION IN THE
UNITED STATES.
“ONE REPORT IS THAT IF SUCH A SOLU-
TION COULD BE REACHED FOR A UNITED
IRELAND, MAINTAINING EXTERNAL ASSO-
CIATION WITH THE BRITISH EMPIRE,
UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES SHOULD,
BY THE TREATY, BE GIVEN CERTAIN AC-
COMODATION IN IRELAND IN WARTIME,”
THE NEWSPAPER SAID.

Next, another telling clipping, is one entitled “Dublin Bill Asks Terrorists’ Death,” and is located on “p. 3, clipping over,” of the manuscript. In this clipping the legislation created by Irish president, at the time, Éamon de Valera is featured, which called for the death penalty of persons found guilty of treason.

p. 3, clipping over, “Diary, Joseph McGarrity, 1939.” Joseph McGarrity, 1939.

DUBLIN BILL ASKS
TERRORISTS’ DEA

MEASURE BY DE VALERA WOULD
MAKE CAPITAL CRIMES OF ACTS
COVERED BY TREASON ARTICLE

EMBRACES DEEDS ABROAD

REPUBLICAN GROUPS OPEN DRIVE
ON LEGISLATION – CLOSE GUARD
SET FOR KING’S 3-DAY TOUR

WIRELESS TO THE NEW YORK TIMES
DUBLIN, FEB. 20. – THE TEXT OF
THE FIRST OF PRIME MINISTER EAMON
DE VALERA’S NEW LEGISLATIVE MEAS-
URES AGAINST EXTREMISTS, WHICH WAS
ISSUED HERE TONIGHT, PRESCRIBES THE
DEATH PENALTY FOR THOSE FOUND GUILTY
OF TREASON AS DEFINED IN ARTICLE
XXXIX OF THE IRISH CONSTITUTION.
THE BILL FOLLOWS RECENT TERRORISTIC
ACTS IN BRITAIN ASCRIBED TO THE OUT-
LAWED IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY.
THE DEATH PENALTY IS PROVIDED NOT
ONLY FOR THOSE GUILTY OF TREASON.

WITHIN THE STATE, BUT ALSO FOR IRISH
CITIZENS OR PERSONS ORDINARILY RES-
IDENT WITHIN THE STATE WHO COMMIT
TREASON OUTSIDE ITS BORDERS.
ANOTHER SECTION OF THE BILL PRO-
VIDES THAT A PERSON INDICTED FOR
TREASON MUST BE TRIED IN THE SAME
MANNER AS A PERSON INDICTED FOR
MURDER, WHO CANNOT BE CONVICTED
ON THE UNCORROBORATED EVIDENCE OF
ONE WITNESS. THOSE WHO “ENCOUR-
AGE, HARBOR OR COMFORT” PERSONS
COMMITTING TREASON ARE TO AD-
JUDGED GUILTY OF A FELONY AND LIABLE
TO A FINE OF 500 OR PENAL SERVITUDE
NOT EXCEEDING TWENTY YEARS OR IM-
PRISONMENT NOT EXCEEDING TWO YEARS.
UNDER ANOTHER SECTION, PERSONS
WHO, KNOWING THAT TREASON IS ABOUT
TO BE COMMITTED, FAIL TO GIVE THE
INFORMATION TO THE AUTHORITIES WILL
BE ADJUDGED GUILTY OF MISPRISION OF
TREASON. THIS WILL MAKE THEM LIABLE
TO PENAL SERVITUDE UP TO FIVE YEARS
OR IMPRISONMENT NOT TO EXCEED TWO YEARS.
PRIME MINISTER DE VALERA HAS ALSO
INTRODUCED A SECOND MEASURE AGAINST
EXTREMISTS – THE OFFENSES AGAINST
THE STATE BILL – BUT THE TEXT IS NOT
AVAILABLE YET.
CERTAIN REPUBLICAN ORGANIZATIONS
ARE ALREADY WORKING UP A CAMPAIGN
AGAINST THESE BILLS ON THE GROUND
THAT THEY ARE REACTIONARY LEGISLATION
IN BRITAIN’S INTERESTS. EVEN AMONG
A SECTION OF THE GOVERNMENT’S OWN
FIANNA FAIL PARTY THERE IS AN UN-
EASY FEELING OVER THIS LEGISLATION,
BUT PRIME MINISTER DE VALERA IS CER-

TAIN THAT THE DAIL EIREANN WILL
CARRY IT THROUGH.
AS HE SIGNIFICANTLY OBSERVED IN
THE SENATE RECENTLY, HE WILL ENACT
THESE BILLS WHATEVER THE CONSE-
QUENCES MAY BE. HE FEELS STRONGLY
THAT THE GOVERNMENT MUST ACCEPT
THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY’S CHAL-
LENGE TO ITS AUTHORITY OR CEASE TO
GOVERN.

Taken together, these two clippings, and the countless others laden throughout McGarrity’s 1939 diary, add a dimension to the manuscript that would otherwise be lacking if they were not included. These clippings act as a type of gauge, in a sense, to what McGarrity was paying most attention to, or even taking issue with as World War II approached. Beyond this, McGarrity’s personality peaks through from these clippings, as McGarrity wrote commentary on the pages that he featured the clippings on. In this commentary one finds the most candid iterations of McGarrity that I have encountered in his different diaries.

——————–
Emily Poteat is a graduate assistant in Irish Studies and Falvey Memorial Library’s Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement Department, and a graduate student in the History Department.

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Women’s History Month – Transcribing 19th-Century Friendship Letters

By Anamartha Hinojosa 

Letter, To: “My Dear Sarah,” June 29, 1818.

Transcribing letters from archives can transport you to the not-so-distant past. Although society inevitably changes, the continuity of human experiences remains. I learned this while working with Spanish letters from the Barry-Hayes papers in Villanova’s Digital Library. As a native Spanish speaker, I jumped at the opportunity to translate nineteenth-century letters that had gone unnoticed. Together with Rebecca Oviedo, Distinctive Collections Librarian/ Archivist, and Micaela Miralles-Bianconi, a history graduate from the class of 2021, we were able to transcribe and translate letters received by Philadelphian Sarah Barry Hayes (1798-1821), who was the great-niece of Commodore John Barry (1745-1803). Most of the Spanish letters Sarah received were love letters written by Joseph Moran, who was from Cuba. The letters contained remarks of youthful affection, yearning caused by long distance, and even jealousy at times; all of which sound so relatable. This project shed light on both the Latinx presence in the Northeast and the development of an intercultural relationship, as well as the ordinary life of a young socialite in the 1800s.

Once the Spanish letters were finished, I was introduced to another important person in Sarah’s life, her dearest friend Harriet Cottringer (1799-1865). It appears that Harriet and Sarah became close friends in Philadelphia and remained friends after Harriet moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Bridget Cullen Cottringer (Harriet’s mother) decided to open a boarding school in Alexandria with her five daughters (Caroline, Harriet, Ann, Cornelia, and Betsy) after her husband, Garrett Cottringer (1759-1816), passed away. It was truly incredible to see these women take matters into their own hands and succeed on their own. In a letter to Sarah, Harriet wrote, “I would not exchange situations with the happiest bride in the world, and I am convinced I am happier than many of them although I labour for my daily bread” (vudl:161670).

The letters Harriet wrote to Sarah were my favorite to transcribe because it was like opening a chat between two best friends frozen in time. Although we only have one side of the conversation, its vivid content nevertheless provides a descriptive account of their friendship. Harriet and Sarah discuss what any twenty-year-old would with their best friend: their day-to-day, fun activities, meeting up with friends, attending parties, boys, gossip, and of course, how much they mean to each other.

My favorite part of transcribing letters is researching the people mentioned in them. Thankfully, Harriet talks about a lot of people in her letters to Sarah. Sometimes it is easy to identify the person – through a Google search or websites like Find a Grave – when Harriet writes details such as their full name, where they are from, or who are their acquaintances. It is also helpful that Harriet and Sarah associate with well-known families like the Lee’s (as in Robert E. Lee). Notably, Harriet and her sisters are mentioned several times in the diary of Charles Francis Adams, the son of President John Quincy Adams. However, sometimes we are not as lucky and cannot identify the individual when only a first name or last name is given; even more so when Harriet and Sarah began writing names in code. It seems that they came up with code names while they were visiting each other. The code names appear to be for men because they say, “Wax came to Exeter…we have seen him several times, he looks quite well,” “Chicken is also a constant visitor, he inquires constantly if we have heard from our friends in Philadelphia,” and “Sponge joined us…he has his right arm in a sling” (vudl:161775). Although it is frustrating that we may never know who they were talking about, I find it so amusing to visualize Harriet and Sarah laughing while using these code names.

It is evident through Harriet’s letters that Harriet and Sarah had a beautiful friendship. Their constant letters attest that they were each other’s best friend and confidant. In one letter Harriet wrote, “I cherish you in my heart and look forward to a happier day when we shall again be united in that friendship which has subsisted between us so long and which I hope will continue to the end of our lives. In your next letter I shall expect a minute detail of every thing relating to you and your family” (vudl:161540). They also deeply cared for one another. On one occasion there was a rumor going around in Philadelphia that Harriet was engaged to a Mr. Morgan, so Harriet wrote to Sarah, “I must employ you as a friend to contradict it most positively whenever you hear it mentioned, for I assure it is entirely false” (vudl:161660). Sadly, this friendship was cut short because Sarah died at the age of 23 in 1821. But her memory lived on because Harriet was married in 1824 and named one of her daughters Sarah Hayes Brent (1830-1862) in honor of her dear friend.

For more on the Spanish love letters, check out Rebecca Oviedo’s Archival Outlook article: https://mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?i=715946. The letters referenced above can all be found in Series VII: Sarah Barry Hayes in the Digital Library.

 


Anamartha Hinojosa is an M.A. student in History at Villanova University. 

 

 


 

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eBook available: All for Love; or, Her Heart’s Sacrifice

Our latest Project Gutenberg release, drawn from our Digital Library and processed through the Distributed Proofreaders project, is another novel by Mrs. Alex. McVeigh Miller: All for Love; or, Her Heart’s Sacrifice, which had previously been serialized in the New York Family Story Paper under the title Berenice Vining’s Romance; or, Love Levels All.

The book chronicles the romance between Berry Vining, a poor and inexperienced girl who eventually becomes a successful actress and playwright, and Charley Bonair, a rich and irresponsibly flirtatious animal lover. It would not be a Mrs. Miller novel without complications, so there is a love triangle with a bloodthirsty heiress, a bear attack, a smallpox outbreak, and plenty of other twists and turns. Other interesting features of the book include a “story-in-the-story” in which Berry’s autobiographical hit play is described in great detail, and occasional hints of conscious humor (such as a recurring joke about Charley’s efforts to give up profanity) that give this a little bit of a “romantic comedy” flavor.

Like many romances of its time, the novel is very interested in class distinctions, and the theme of a romance between rich and poor is hardly a new idea. However, while many books of this type end with the revelation that the “poor” heroine was actually secretly or unknowingly rich all along, this one goes in a different direction, perhaps in an effort to differentiate this as a story in the American rather than the British mold.

If you’re interested in trying this one out for yourself, the entire book can be read online or downloaded in popular eBook formats through Project Gutenberg.


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Last Modified: March 19, 2022