Literary and artistic commonplace book of a young woman at a European boarding school
[Dresden, Germany]: 1886-1891.
[Dresden, Germany]: 1886-1891. Comprised of 124 handwritten pages, 13 albumen photos, 6 pieces of original artwork, and 5 mounted botanical specimens. Bound in half calf over embossed boards, with a metal clasp and patterned endpapers. A gift inscription on the front endpaper reads, "Maggie Jameson, with love from the girls. Rosebery House. Nov. 25th 86," identifying the owner as a student of the Dresden boarding school run by Scottish sisters the Misses Glendinning. An albumen image of the school, with handwritten label, visually supports this.
Maggie's book is a beautiful and memorable compilation of poetry, music, and art that allows researchers a glimpse into the life and interests of young people from around the world. Entries are contributed by students hailing from Scotland, Australia, England, Denmark, Canada, and the US. Brought together under one roof in the pursuit of an education, the girls contributing to Maggie's album are cosmopolitan and intelligent. While many of the quotations come from popular authors such as Barbauld, Shakespeare, Dryden, and Longfellow; others are cheeky rhymes from popular culture that comment on marriage and gender. "You ask for something original, I don't know where to begin. There is nothing original in me, Except original sin," writes Lettie Bell, while Matty Hamilton contributes "Put not your trust in a man -- not even in a brother -- Girls if you must love, Love one another." Such selections speak to the age of these young women coming to adulthood. Botanical specimens and images of European towns and landmarks speak to the girls' studies of nature, language, and history. Beautifully colored artworks reflect the girls' observation of nature as well as their training. Most notably, the numerous musical pieces and photos of major composers suggest that Maggie was either a musician or music lover.
Wide research possibilities exist for scholars, including but not limited to the history of the Rosebery House, the genealogies and identities of the contributors, the history of international education, the transmission of literature, gender studies, and music and art studies. (Item #3966)