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Grolier Club Exhibitions

The Oxford Literary Circle

In spite of their old-fashioned sensibility, Daniel Press books are intimately connected with the contemporary literary world of late Victorian Oxford. Unlike most other private presses of the time, the Daniels published poems and prose by living authors, including, most importantly, Robert Bridges, who was a close friend of the family and one of the original contributors to "The Garland of Rachel." Bridges in turn introduced other Oxford writers to Daniel, including Laurence Binyon, Alice Buckton, Mary E. Coleridge, Richard Watson Dixon, Henry Patmore, Margaret Woods, Herbert Warren, and Ethel Kate Wedgwood. Although frequently described as a ‘brotherhood,’ many Daniel Press poets were women, including some whose works appeared in print for the first time.

Oxford Characters: Twenty-four Lithographs

Portrait of Rev. C.H.O. Daniel from William Rothenstein (1872-1945). Oxford Characters: Twenty-four Lithographs. London: J. Lane; New York: R.H. Russell & Son, 1896.

 

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

Worcester College.

Photo credit: Grolier Club

Joseph Constantine Stadler (1780-1822) after William Westall (1781-1850). Worcester College. Aquatint with hand coloring. London: R. Ackermann, September 1, 1814. Published in Rudolph Ackermann's A History of the University of Oxford, its Colleges, Halls and Public Buildings.

 

Charming view of the quadrangle of Worcester College, Oxford, where, starting in 1863, Daniel served as Fellow, Tutor, Proctor, Bursar, and, finally, Provost (1903-1919).

Robert Bridges (1844-1930)

Robert Bridges (poet laureate 1913-1930) was a key figure in the Daniel Press circle at Oxford and its best-selling author. A close friend of the Daniel family, Bridges was also one of the eighteen contributors to The Garland of Rachel. Between 1883 and 1899, Daniel printed seven of Bridges’s works, including a number of poems and plays in their first editions. The poet, in turn, introduced numerous authors to the printer, such as Mary E. Coleridge, Richard Watson Dixon, and Laurence Binyon. Bridges’s growing fame was in part responsible for bringing wider national attention to the Daniel Press.

Oxford Characters: Twenty-four Lithographs

Portrait of Robert Bridges from William Rothenstein, Oxford Characters: Twenty-four Lithographs. London: J. Lane; New York: R.H. Russell & Son, 1896.  

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

Hymns from the Yattendon Hymnal, with notice of the tunes for which they were written Hymns from the Yattendon Hymnal, with notice of the tunes for which they were written

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

Robert Bridges (1844-1930). Hymns from the Yattendon Hymnal, with notice of the tunes for which they were written. Oxford: Printed by H. Daniel, 1899. Edition of 150.

Between 1895 and 1899, the Clarendon Press published Bridges’s masterly Yattendon Hymnal, a collection of 100 ancient Latin, German, and English hymns with tunes for unaccompanied singing. Forty-three of the hymns are reproduced in this Daniel Press edition but without the accompanying music. Bridges, a committed Anglican, had a lifelong passion for early church music.

Gift of Joseph Manuel Andreini

Now in Wintry Delights.

Photo credit: Grolier Club

Robert Bridges (1844-1930). Now in Wintry Delights. Oxford: [Daniel], 1903. Edition of 300.

This work, one of the last produced at the Daniel Press, is an experiment in verse, using a phonetic system of language designed “for the ear, not for the eye.” Bridges had a deep interest in English orthography and pronunciation, helping to establish the reforming Society for Pure English in 1913.

Purchased 2021

Richard Watson Dixon (1833-1900)

Lyrical Poems

Richard Watson Dixon (1833-1900). Lyrical Poems. Oxford: Printed by H. Daniel, 1887. Edition of 105.

After his student days as a Pre-Raphaelite in Oxford, Canon Dixon became assistant master at Highgate School in London where he met the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. Through Hopkins, he formed close friendships with Robert Bridges and Mary E. Coleridge.

Daniel printed three works by Dixon between 1884 and 1887, including this collection of short lyrical poems. A reclusive poet, Dixon’s works are characterized by their melancholic religious tone blended with a sensitive aestheticism inspired by nature.

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

Oxford Characters: Twenty-four Lithographs

Portrait of Richard Watson Dixon from William Rothenstein, Oxford Characters: Twenty-four Lithographs. London: J. Lane; New York: R.H. Russell & Son, 1896.

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

Mary E. Coleridge (1861-1907)

Fancy’s Following, by Anodos

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

Mary E. Coleridge (1861-1907). Fancy’s Following, by Anodos. Oxford: Daniel, 1896. Edition of 125.

Mary Elizabeth Coleridge, a descendent of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, wrote hundreds of poems throughout her short lifetime, many of which were never published. This collection of 48 poems, issued anonymously as ‘Anodos’ (‘wanderer’), was the first appearance of her verse in print. Her work is notable for its lyricism, mysticism, eccentricity, and evocative visual language.

Coleridge was introduced to Daniel by Robert Bridges in 1895, and she also maintained a warm friendship with Richard Watson Dixon. She, in turn, introduced Ethel Kate Wedgwood to the Daniel Press circle. 

Gift of Mark Samuels Lasner, 1997

Michael Field (Katherine Bradley 1848-1914 and Edith Cooper 1862-1913)

Noontide Branches: A Small Sylvan Drama Interspersed with Songs and Invocations.

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

Michael Field (Katherine Bradley 1848-1914 and Edith Cooper 1862-1913). Noontide Branches: A Small Sylvan Drama Interspersed with Songs and Invocations. Oxford: Printed by Henry Daniel at Worcester House, 1899. Edition of 150.

Michael Field, the joint pen name of Katherine Bradley and her niece Edith Cooper, were writers associated with the Aesthetic Movement. Their many literary friends included Walter Pater, Charles Rickets, J.A. Symonds, and Oscar Wilde, among others. While visiting Oxford in 1897, Bradley asked Daniel to print this “sylvan drama” on her behalf. This copy was formerly owned by the great collector of botanical literature, Rachel McMasters Miller Hunt (1882-1963).

Gift of Mark Samuels Lasner, 2015

Michael Field (Katherine Bradley 1848-1914 and Edith Cooper 1862-1913)

Clifton Bromhead. Michael Field (Katherine Bradley 1848-1914 and Edith Cooper 1862-1913). Photograph, silver gelatin carte-de-visite (likely a copy of a platinotype), 1884-1889.

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

Ethel Kate Wedgwood (1869-1952)

Wind along the Waste

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

Ethel Kate Wedgwood (1869-1952). Wind along the Waste. Oxford: Daniel, 1902. Edition of 130.

Mary E. Coleridge introduced Ethel Kate Wedgwood (née Bowen) to Daniel, enlarging the circle of Victorian women poets associated with the press. Madan described this collection of 27 short poems as “lively and various in style,” while Colin Franklin drew attention to their “poignant tragedy.”

Gift of Frederick Coykendall, 1939

Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

Poems

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

Laurence Binyon (1869-1943). Poems. Oxford: Daniel, 1895. Edition of 200.

Laurence Binyon, poet and art historian, met Daniel as a student at Oxford. He went on to a distinguished career at the British Museum and later served as Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard. This collection of 26 poems, printed here for the first time, shows the author’s debt to the innovative prosody of Bridges and Gerard Manley Hopkins.

The light orange lettering on the cover was thought to be too dull against the blue-gray paper and was changed to black in later copies.     

Gift of Frederick Coykendall, 1939

Laurence Binyon.

Robert Bryden (1865–1939). Laurence Binyon. Woodcut, [1902].

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

Alice Mary Buckton (1867-1944)

Through Human Eyes: Poems; with an introductory poem by Robert Bridges.

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

Alice Mary Buckton (1867-1944). Through Human Eyes: Poems; with an introductory poem by Robert Bridges. Daniel: Oxford, 1901. Edition of 130.  

This is the first work published by Alice Mary Buckton, a little-known poet from Surrey who later became active in the Spiritualist Movement. She was introduced to Daniel through Robert Bridges, who wrote the introductory poem to this collection.

Gift of Frederick Coykendall, 1939

Charles L. Dodgson (1832-1898)

Charles L. Dodgson became a close friend of the Daniel family while serving as don at Christ Church, Oxford. He was the first writer that Daniel approached for a contribution to the Garland, and he occasionally visited Worcester House to have tea with Emily and the two Daniel daughters, Rachel and Ruth.

The Garland of Rachel: Poetry and Dr. Daniel’s Press at Oxford, 1874 to 1906: An Exhibition of Poetry Printed at the Daniel Press, Special Collections, Honnold Mudd Library, September 15 to October 31, 1990.

Claremont Colleges (Susan M. Allen). The Garland of Rachel: Poetry and Dr. Daniel’s Press at Oxford, 1874 to 1906: An Exhibition of Poetry Printed at the Daniel Press, Special Collections, Honnold Mudd Library, September 15 to October 31, 1990.  

Dodgson’s contribution to The Garland of Rachel is reproduced in full on this poster for an exhibition held at the Claremont Colleges in the fall of 1990. Club member Susan M. Allen printed the poster and curated the exhibition using items from the Oxford Collection at Honnold Mudd Library. It represents the only substantial exhibition of Daniel Press material held in the United States prior to this one.  

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

Performances of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, & Through the Looking-Glass will be given in the Garden of Worcester House (adjoining Worcester College) on Thursday & Saturday June 13 & 15 [1895] at 3 and 8:30 in Aid of a Local Charity

Performances of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, & Through the Looking-Glass will be given in the Garden of Worcester House (adjoining Worcester College) on Thursday & Saturday June 13 & 15 [1895] at 3 and 8:30 in Aid of a Local Charity [Oxford: Daniel Press, 1895].

The culmination of Dodgson’s friendship with the Daniel family occurred in the summer of 1895 when Rachel Daniel, at the age of 15, played the lead role in a performance of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at Worcester House Garden, organized as a fundraiser by Emily Daniel. Rachel had a talent for acting and went on to appear in other Oxford stage productions, including a role as Olivia in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

“Scenes from ‘Alice in Wonderland’”

James Soane Jr., photographer. “Scenes from ‘Alice in Wonderland,’” The Sketch, June 26, 1895. 

The performance of Alice in Wonderland at Worcester House Garden was given a full spread feature in this illustrated British weekly magazine. Rachel Daniel is shown in the upper right dressed as Alice, and Ruth Daniel as the Dormouse is shown at left.

Generously lent by Charlie Lovett

[Untitled]

Lewis Carroll [Charles L. Dodgson] (1832-1898). Albumen cabinet card, March 1874 [Oxford: Hills and Saunders].

This portrait of the author was taken in the Common Room at Christ Church, Oxford. Hills and Saunders printed many of Carroll's later photographs after he had largely given up the work himself.

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

Walter Horatio Pater (1839-1894)

An Imaginary Portrait An Imaginary Portrait An Imaginary Portrait

Walter Horatio Pater (1839-1894). An Imaginary Portrait. Oxford: Printed by H. Daniel, 1894. Edition of 250.

Walter Horatio Pater, brilliant essayist and art critic, was a key figure in the Aesthetic Movement at Oxford. His series of semi-autobiographical “Imaginary Portraits” embraced intellectual, aesthetic, and sensual themes. The first of these essays, “The Child in the House,” appeared in MacMillan’s Magazine in 1878. Daniel issued it in this lightly revised version less than two months before Pater died. It was sold at a Venetian fête to support the parish of St. Thomas.

Accompanied by the prospectus for the book and a letter from Pater to Arthur Symons, British poet and critic. 

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

Oxford 1891. Mr. Walter Pater Taking his Walk Through the Meadows.

Max Beerbohm (1872-1956). Oxford 1891. Mr. Walter Pater Taking his Walk Through the Meadows. Pencil, ink, and watercolor on paper, 1926. 

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press 

The Oxford Literary Circle