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Frontispieces of Margaret Cavendish


Seventeenth-Century Book Arts

Images & Sources

Selected & Prepared by Maureen E. Mulvihill, Keynote Speaker 2013 Cavendish Society Conference
July 13th, 2013. 5:30PM. Creekside Lodge. Sundance, Utah
Maureen E. Mulvihill. June 2013. All Rights Reserved.

2 Conference Poster for Keynote Address, with Speaker Bio


FRONTISPIECES OF MARGARET CAVENDISH ~ INVENTION, AUTHORITY, BOOK ARTS ~ Keynote Speaker, 10th Biennial Margaret Cavendish Society Conference. Sundance, UT.

By Maureen E. Mulvihill, Princeton Research Forum, Princeton NJ

STUDENTS OF 17 C WOMEN WRITERS, art history, and book culture will be interested in Dr
Mulvihills observations on the articulate frontispiece portraits of Margaret Cavendish. With a table display of rare books (Mulvihill Collection) and distributed materials, our speaker will engage with these visual constructions as physical artifacts of 17thC book design and as readable text on Cavendishs character and identity. Our speaker is a broadly published specialist on women writers, rare books, the London & Dublin book trade, and the intersection of literary text & the visual arts. She also has published on Rubens, Van Dyck, the Elzeviers, printers marks, watermarks, woodcuts, and the Stuart legacy of Veronese. Her book credits include Poems by Ephelia (1992, 1993); Thumbprints of Ephelia (2001); Ephelia (2003); advisory board, Ireland & The Americas, 3 vols (2008); and Poems by Mary Shackleton Leadbeater (2009). She studied at Wisconsin, Yale Center for British Art, Columbia University Rare Book School, and, as an NEH Fellow, Johns Hopkins University. Since the 1980s, she has been a visiting professor and speaker on many campuses. She is at work on Irishwomens political writings and response c1603-1801.


Seventeenth-Century Frontispieces
A Selection of Styles & Purposes

I. Some Principal Literary Men of the Age, and a spectacular frontispiece portrait of 1649

1623 (Heminge, Condell, Blount). First Folio. Engraved portrait of Shakespeare. Attributed to Martin Droeshout. Author portrait displayed as integral feature of title-page content (not in the usual frontispiece location). ____________

1645 (Moseley). John Milton, frontispiece portrait by William Marshall. For commentary on two images of Milton in this octavo, by Marshall and Michael Vander Gucht, see important research by Gary Spear, Roy Flannagan, and John Shawcross, in Elizabeth Penley Skerpan, Milton Quarterly (Dec 1999). ____________

The Most Spectacular Frontispiece in 17thC English Books

[1648] 1649 (John Grismond for Richard Royston). Eikon Basilike. The Portraiture of His Sacred Majesty In His Solitudes and Sufferings. Thought to be written by Presbyterian divine, John Gauden. Frontis by William Marshal. A densely emblematic rendering of Charles I. An early instance of theatre of memory (mental portraiture / the mental world). Garnering immediate notoriety, this work is remarkable as an early location of successful mass marketing in the print culture of 17thC London. (See essays by Elizabeth Skerpan-Wheeler, in PMLA, MLN, and the DLB, on royalist representation, the cult of celebrity, and the cult of Charles I.) ____________

1693; 1716 ed. (Jacob Tonson). Drydens Virgil, Volume II Design by Sir Godfrey Kneller, his portrait of Dryden. Engraving by Michael Vander Gucht. John Dryden, poet-laureate & official political writer for the Stuart administration, is displayed on a (designated) pedestal, in an oval frame, wearing a full-bottom wig, gazing to viewers right. ____________

II. Some Literary Women of the Age & Their Frontises

c1640s. Bathsua Makin (1608-1675). Engraver, Wm Marshall. Royal Governess. Court of Charles I. Tutor to the gifted Princess Elizabeth (Stuart), later Queen of Bohemia (the winter queen) and consort of the Elector Palatine. Depicted in the learned lady tradition, a popular style in literary portraiture of women writers. ____________

1648 (Elzevier). Anna Maria van Schurman (1606-1678). Engraved frontis., her Opuscula (collected works). One of several self-portraits by this 17thC prodigy, admired by English feminists. Her Dissertatio: De ingenii muliebris (1641) was translated by Clement Barksdale as The Learned Maid (London, 1659). Copy of the Opuscula displayed at this talk, Mulvihill Collection. ____________

1653 (Martin & Alleystrye). Poems And Fancies: Written By the Lady Margaret Countess of Newcastle. A diverting interior scene of Cavendish holding court among her husband & kin, telling innocent Tales of pleasure and of witt. The inscription, or motto, serves as a convenient ad for the book: Here you may read without a Sinn or Crime . Title-page vignette of Martin & Allestrye, at The Bell, St Pauls Churchyard. ____________


1655 (Martin & Allestrye). The Worlds Olio written by the Lady Margaret Newcastle. Designed by Abraham van Diepenbeeck. Engraved by Peter Ludwig van Schuppen. A popular image of Cavendish among scholars & their publishers. Favored by Cavendish herself. An early location of a recycled / repurposed image, see frontis of her Plays, 1668. (We shall have much to say about this. Do you see the Classical contrapposto stance of the subject, the paired caryatids, and then all that fruit?) ____________


1655, 1663 (Martin & Alleystre). Philosophical and Physical Opinions, written by her Excellency the Marchioness of Newcastle. Peter Ludwig van Schuppen, engraver. Cavendish in her study. An early depiction of the creative process (mental portraiture / the subjects mental world). This is also a ritualized moment: a literary coronation, with putti and a crown of laurels. The motto of this rendering:
Studious She is and all Alone Most visitants, when She has none, Her Library on which She looks It is her Head, her Thoughts her Books. Scorninge dead Ashes without fire or her owne Flames doe her Inspire ____________


1667 (Henry Herringman). Poems By Katherine Philips, The matchless Orinda. Design by Michael Vander Gucht. Engraving by William Faithorne. The most cherished English woman writer of her age, Philips is displayed as a modern-day Classical icon: an English Sappho, as she was often called. She is presented on a (designated) pedestal, in an oval frame, in Classical garb & hairstyle, gazing to viewers right. A well received rendering, but a posthumous one (not from the life). The sexualization of the body would have alarmed the modest Mrs Philips. (And she looked nothing like this.) Copy displayed at this talk, Mulvihill Collection.


A Pictorial Pairing; or, Sex in Marketing

Image Left. 1679 (James Courtney). Female Poemsby Ephelia. Frontis, very probably fictitious, is unsigned, in keeping with the spirit of this intriguing octavo. For a multimedia archive, see Thumbprints of Ephelia: Text, Image, Sound (2001-2008). Image Right. (Henry Herringman). Frontis by Faithorne, Poems ByKatherine Philips. This image may have served as a pictorial precedent for the 1679 frontis of Ephelia, presently thought to be Mary Villiers, later Stuart, Duchess of Richmond (1622-1685). Both of these frontises are remarkable in the history of images of women writers. Copies of both books, with frontises, displayed at this talk, Mulvihill Collection.


[late 1670s/ early 1680s]. Aphra Behn (1640?-1689). Frontis, Plays (1716). Engraving by Robert White, from a lost portrait by John Riley.
A naturalistic rendering of a prolific & successful career writer of 17thC London. Though a literary celebrity & imposing public woman, Behn is depicted here with dignified simplicity, if engaging shyness (cf. Isaac Becketts Anne Killigrew; image, below). For commentary on other images of Behn, by Mary Beale, Sir Peter Lely, & George Schraf, see Mulvihill on Beales Behn, in Reading Early Modern Women (2004). See also Sarah Belchetz-Swenson on portraits of Behn.



1686 (Wm Lowndes). Poems of Lady Anne Killigrew (1660-1685). Self-portrait of Killigrew, engraved by Isaac Beckett. Mezzotint frontis. A posthumous collection (quarto format). Like the 17thC Dutch prodigy, Anna Maria van Schurman, Anne Killigrew was gifted in the sister-arts of poetry & painting. She also distinguished herself by publishing a bold response to rumors of plagiarism. This lovely volume includes Drydens famous ode, To the Pious Memory of the Accomplisht Young Lady, Mrs Anne Killigrew, Excellent in the Two Sister Arts of Poesy and Painting, judged the noblest ode in our language by Samuel Johnson. Unlike most portraiture styles of her age, Lady Anne depicts herself candidly, without artifice & dense iconography ~ a perfectly naturalistic rendering. Recent digital copy, Richard Mortons Poems ByKilligrew (1967). Recent market valuation: Currer copy, $3527, Christies, London, 2008. ____________


Book Arts / Visual Arts

A Short List of Selected Sources, Early-Modern

Printing History & Books Arts. Newberry Library Collections.

Compiled by Maureen E. Mulvihill. All Rights Reserved. Princeton Research Forum. Princeton, NJ. Keynote Speaker. 2013 Cavendish Conference. Sundance, Utah

The title-page and frontispiece offer the clearest proof of what contemporaries well knew, though we have forgotten it; namely that in these designs we are confronted with conceits of the author, represented at the front of his book in visual symbols that he himself has chosen and designed as the books most fitting emblems . they are images in which some of the greatest early-modern writers express themselves in a second language. - Corbett & Lightbown, Comely Frontispiece (1979)
For extended lists of sources on the subjects below, see Reading Lists, Rare Book School, University of Virginia.

Bookbinding Edith Diehl. Bookbinding: Its Background and Technique. 2 vols, 1980. D C McMurtie. The Book: The History of Printing & Bookmaking. 1943; 9th printing,1967. Ills. Book Illustrators, Engravers, Etchers For authoritative articles on these 17thC artisans, see The Grove Dictionary of Art (1996): Abraham van Diepenbeeck William Faithorne Michael Vander Gucht William Marshall Crispijn & Simon van de Passe Peter Ludwig van Schuppen. Emblems Cesare Ripa. Iconologia [moral emblems). Venice, 1645. George Wither, Emblemes. [alchemical, Rosicrucian]. London, 1635. Frontis, Wm Marshall. Debra Barrett-Graves, ed. The Emblematic Queen (2013). Book ad. Frontispieces & Title-pages Margaret Smith. The Title Page: Its Early Development. B.L. & Oak Knoll Press, DE. 2000. Ills. Margery Corbett & R W Lightbown. Comely Frontispiecein England 1550-1660. RKP, 1979 Typography & Printers Edouard Rahir. Les Elzeviers. Paris, 1896. With type forms & book ornaments. Wm. Downing. His Juvenal (Oxford, 1673). Rochester Institute of Technology site, with images. Henry Plomer. Dictionary of Printers and Booksellers . London, 1922. (Foundational source.) Stanley Morison. Letter Forms: Typographic and Scriptorial. 1968. (A principal authority.) _____. A Tally of Types. 1953. James Mosley (St Bride Library, London). British Type Specimens. Oxford, 1884. _____. Typefoundry blog, splendid source of information on types (type forms). Georges Jean. Writing: The Story of Alphabets & Scripts. English edition. NY: Abrams, 1992. Woodcuts & Book Ornaments H. Lehmann-Haupt. Introduction to the Woodcut of the Seventeenth Century. 1977. Ills. A M Hind. Introduction to Woodcuts. 1935, 1963. (Foundational source, and entry above.) Heavenly CraftThe Woodcut. Library of Congress show, mostly 15thC printed books. Edouard Rahir. Les Elzeviers. Paris, 1896. Seminal source, 17thC book ornaments & types. Mulvihill. The Eureka PieceBook Ornaments in Attribution Research. ANQ, Sum.,1999. Ills. _____. See Appendix D,, for tracings of a particular royal woodcut factotum. Digital databases for book ornaments (an essential new direction, in development): Passe-Partout, Silvio Corsini (Lausanne, Switzerland). Database of Initials & Ornaments, Paul Dijstelberge (Amsterdam). See online matches.

Images of 17thC Women Writers (frontises; portraits); Images and / or Commentary Several relevant essays in Reading Early Modern Women, eds Ostovich & Sauer (2004): Sylvia Bowerbank. Margaret Cavendish [two frontises of 1655]. With images. Julie D. Campbell. Lady Mary (Sidney) Wroth: Title-page, Urania (1621). With image. Susan H. Georgecink. Ephelia Frontispiece. With image. Maureen E. Mulvihill. Mary Beales Portrait of Aphra Behn. With 2 images. See also: Authoritative article on Cavendish by James Fitzmaurice. Oxford DNB (2004). With image. Maureen E. Mulvihill. A Feminist Link in the Old Boys Network. On career of Katherine Philips, her networks. In Curtain Calls, eds Schofield & Macheski. Ohio, 1991.With images. Mulvihill. IV. Ephelia Frontis. . See multimedia archive (text, image, sound; 2001-2008). M A ODonnell. Aphra Behn: Bibliography. Ashgate, 2004. Commentary on portraits of Behn. Recent work on Cavendish, et al.: Elizabeth Scott-Bauman, Forms of Engagement. Book ad. Mulvihill. Casting A Wider Net: The Multimedia Research Initiative. SECC 22 (1993). Ills.

Specimen page: 17thC Book Arts (endpiece, headpiece, decorative initial). Liveliness and Disorder in the Books of Margaret Cavendish. Bodleian Library Blog. Note misplaced quire & wrong pagination in Natures Pictures, 1656.

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