Edinburgh, Glasgow: 1828-1832. Full morocco Ladies' Album bound by Carss of Glasgow. Edinburgh imprint to album title page. Gilt details on the boards, spine and turn ins, all edges gilt, silk end papers and paste-downs. Measures 11" x 8.5". Comprised of 74 manuscript pages in varying hands, 17 hand drawings and paintings, and 3 inserted ephemeral pieces (one ribbon and two blank postacards). An exceptionally vivid document, this commonplace book created by group of creative young men and women provides a glimpse into their generation's literary tastes, scientific curiosities, and political leanings.
According to Debrett's Peerage of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Anna was the daughter of Thomas Gardner, Esq and wed John Thomas Perceval in 1834. At the time of this commonplace book, which ends two years before her marriage, Anna would have been a young woman in her mid-twenties. Educated and elegant in their tastes, Anna and her friends compose original verses about Change, Adversity, and Youth, with one cheeky contributor also rhapsodizing about Anna's own beauty: "O lovely Anna your form and face Display such a sweet and native grace As would defy the poet's verse Or painter's pencil to express!" In a range of copperplate, italic, and secretary hands, they also cite works of some of their favorite authors, including Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron, and Addison. Notable among the entries are a series of detailed pencil drawings and watercolor paintings. While some satirize Scottish and English politics (including a Highland Outlaw), others depict local flora; most, however, are landscapes of locations throughout Scotland where the contributors have visited (including Lochleven Castle, Largs, and Salton Hall). In all, it is an exceptional gathering of the places and ideas that shaped this group of friends.
With research rich possibilities including but not limited to paleography, botany, poetry, the history of countryside travel and tourism, gender studies, education, and art.
Debretts 258-259. (Item #2427)