Friday, April 26th, 2013...11:32 am

Houghton publications noted in TLS

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Harvard Review issue 43Two recent articles in the Times Literary Supplement highlight the two Houghton journals, Harvard Review and Harvard Library Bulletin. A piece in the April 5th issue discusses Anne Fadiman’s essay in the current Harvard Review on the South Polar Times, a hand-illustrated magazine produced by Robert Scott’s Polar expeditions. For more information, see the full post on the Harvard Review’s blog.

Dennis Marnon, Coordinating Editor of Harvard Library Bulletin, describes that publication’s citation in TLS:

Harvard Library Bulletin, n.s. v.14 no.2 (Summer 2003)In his Times Literary Supplement review (February 1, 2013) of the latest edition of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, Fred R. Shapiro, editor of the rival Yale Book of Quotations (2006), provides some general background information on the history of the BFQ publishing phenomenon, now in its 18th edition. Long thought “to have been drawn from his extensive reading, prodigious memory and a commonplace book,” John Bartlett’s original self-published collection (Cambridge, 1855) in fact relied substantially in form and content (and title) on an immediate predecessor.

Another source was revealed in an article in the Harvard Library Bulletin in 2003, in which Michael Hancher demonstrated that Bartlett’s compilation was heavily derivative of a book published in 1853 in London by John Murray, Handbook of Familiar Quotations Chiefly from English Authors. Bartlett, Hancher shows, borrowed many of the quotations in the Handbook, similarly favoured short verse passages, included the term “familiar quotations” in his title, expressed ambitions in his preface echoing those in the earlier book’s preface, used the same chronological organization, and had a comparable index. “Even the running heads look the same. Probably Bartlett had his printer, Metcalf and Company, model his book on Murray’s.” Hancher determined that the editor of Handbook of Familiar Quotations was Isabella Rushton Preston, an Englishwoman about whom almost nothing else is known.

Shapiro’s adroit summary captures the argument of the HLB article, but leaves for further investigation the richness of the documentation and detail in the piece. Michael Hancher, Professor of English at the University of Minnesota, published his handsomely illustrated article, “Familiar Quotations,” in HLB, n.s. vol. 14, no. 2 (Summer 2003): 13-53. That issue included an additional study of BFQ by Michael David Cohen, then a doctoral candidate in the Department of History, Harvard University: “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations: ‘A Glancing Bird’s Eye View’ by a ‘Morbid Scholiast,'” (pp. 55-74).

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