Circling Kate Greenaway

“Kate Greenaway Before the Fates” Self-Portrait, 1883, Mark Samuels Lasner Collection

Kate Greenaway is a figure that I’ve been circling for some time now. I am currently studying 19th century gardens—both in their material and textual configurations—and, while I am early on in my research of this period, so far I have often focused on gardens of the Regency period and the late Victorian period. Publishing in the late 19th century and clothing children in regency-styled outfits, this makes Greenaway a person for me to know.

In a class visit during Spring 2015 to the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, I first saw Kate Greenaway’s Marigold Garden. Drawn in by the artwork and thinking of a seminar paper topic, I quickly went over to Project Gutenberg and devoured copy of Greenaway’s work. While I didn’t end up writing on it, I noted this as something to come back to.

“Marigold Garden,” Pictures and Rhymes by Kate Greenaway, 1885, Mare Samuels Lasner Collection 

Later in Spring 2015 I was walking through the Delaware Art Museum with a friend and spotted something garden related in a case (apparently my eye is now trained to land upon those artifacts). Upon approach, this also turned out to be a Greenaway work. Again, I noted her as someone to come back to and study further.

Despite my diligent note taking, Greenaway kept slipping out of my academic sightline. Until, however, I began working for Mark. Poking around the collection for garden related items, I once again stumbled upon Greenaway. Rather than scrolling through an online copy that didn’t do her work justice, I could go through page by page and see the beautiful depictions of gardens.

When doing my small role for putting up the exhibition “Victorian Passions,” Greenaway’s work, A Day in a Child’s Life, was one that continually drew my eye. Absolutely stunning from cover to cover, this children’s work is my favorite piece in the exhibition—perhaps unsurprising for someone interested in gardens. Yet, I think it would take a very strong willed person to merely glaze over this beautiful work.

“A Day in a Child’s Life,” illustrated by Kate Greenaway, 1881, Mark Samuels Lasner Collection 

John Ruskin himself—who Mark’s copy is inscribed to—appears to agree with me. Upon expressing his thanks to Greenaway for this copy, in a December 1881 letter he notes that “You are fast becoming—I believe you are already, except E[dward] B[urne] J[ones]— the helpfullest in showing me that there are yet living souls on earth who can see beauty and peace and Goodwill among men—and rejoice in them.”

A Day in a Child’s Life—along with many other beautiful Victorian objects—are on display in Special Collections Gallery, found on the second floor of Morris Library until June 3, 2017.

Happy Birthday, W.B. Yeats


W.B. Yeats arriving in New York City for his American lecture tour, 1903. MSS 126 W.B. Yeats collection

Nobel-prize-winning poet and playwright William Butler Yeats was born on June 13, 1865, in Sandymount, Ireland.   A co-founder of the Irish Literary Revival and the Irish theatre movement, he was one of the founders of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre (est. 1904). Yeats is considered one of the most significant poets of the twentieth century.

Between May and September 1916, William Butler Yeats wrote what would become “Easter, 1916,” a poem that was not the ringing endorsement of republicanism many had hoped it would be (though it was interpreted as such). Despite his prominent role in the Gaelic Revival and establishment of the Abbey Theatre in the earlier part of the century, Yeats became increasingly disillusioned with radicalism. Irish historian and Yeats biographer R.F. Foster notes that “Easter, 1916” instead “emphasized not only the bewildered and delusional state of the rebels, but it move[d] on to a plea for the flashing, changing joy of life rather than the harsh stone of fanatical opinion fixed in the effluvial stream.”

Cover of W.B. Yeats's Easter, 1916

Yeats, William Butler. Easter, 1916. London: Privately printed by Clement Shorter, 1916. One of 25 copies.


More on W.B. Yeats (and the Yeats family) at UD:

W.B. Yeats collection

Mark Samuels Lasner collection

Jack B. Yeats correspondence

“A terrible beauty is born”: The Easter Rising at 100 exhibition

Book Enthusiasts Celebrate Arrival of Kelmscott Chaucer at Mark Samuels Lasner Collection

Printing scholars, librarians, book collectors, UD faculty, and students toast the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection’s landmark acquisition


Mark Samuels Lasner speaks to the crowd on May 11, 2016.  (Kelmscott Chaucer in the foreground.)

William Morris was one of the most consequential cultural figures in nineteenth-century Britain.  He was also a noted printer, and a rare copy of his greatest published work now makes its home in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library.  Friends of the Collection gathered on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 11th to toast the acquisition of Morris’s 1896 The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer Now Newly Printed, commonly called the Kelmscott Chaucer.

Kelmscott Chaucer

The Kelmscott Chaucer, Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library. The book is seen here in a slip cover made of William Morris fabric by Robert Patterson-Smith’s daughter.

The Kelmscott Chaucer is one of the most famous examples of fine printing.  It is highly sought after by collectors today. The copy recently acquired by the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection is one of only fourteen copies inscribed by William Morris, in this case to Robert Catterson-Smith, who worked with Morris and Edward Burne-Jones on the book’s illustrations.  Around sixty people assembled at the Morris Library on the University of Delaware campus to toast the arrival of the Chaucer.  Guests celebrated with champagne, cake, hors d’oeuvres, and speeches by Mark Samuels Lasner and William Morris scholar William S. Peterson.  They also viewed a special exhibition of other materials drawn from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection that offered further perspectives on the life of Robert Catterson-Smith and the work of William Morris’s Kelmscott Press.  See photographs from the event below.


Irish film series

Take a break during finals to take in a movie and visit “A terrible beauty is born”: The Easter Rising at 100!irish_film_series


David Taylor Sheds Light on Important English Family

Noted British historian discusses the Lushington family’s connections to Virginia Woolf

David Taylor's presentation

David Taylor presents on the Lushington family at the Morris Library.

On Thursday, April 28, 2016, noted British historian David Taylor regaled a group of University of Delaware students, faculty, staff, librarians, and members of the general public with a lecture titled “Mrs. Dalloway Goes ‘To the Lighthouse’: Virginia Woolf and Kitty Lushington.”  Held in the Class of 1941 Lecture Room at the Morris Library, the talk used unpublished material from the archive of nineteenth-century Britain’s Lushington family to reveal the little-known background to Virginia Woolf’s novels To the Lighthouse and Mrs. Dalloway.  Taylor discussed Woolf’s relationship with her childhood friend Kitty Lushington and offered general insights on this important English family.

Approximately forty people attended the lecture.  Light refreshments were served.

Remembering Charles Gatewood and filmmaker Charles Gatewood passed away on April 28, 2016. Gatewood was a prolific artist who documented fringe and underground subcultures and brought them into the mainstream. Gatewood’s photo plate book Burroughs 23 (Dana Dana Dana, 2011) features digitally printed reproductions of Gatewood’s photographs of American author William S. Burroughs shot in London in 1972 and in New York in 1975, with Brion Gysin, Led Zeppelin singer Jimmy Page, and Rolling Stone journalist Robert Palmer. Prints from the portfolio were prominently featured in the Special Collections exhibition Nothing is true, everything is permitted”: William S. Burroughs at 100 in 2014.


Event marking Easter 1916

In conjunction with the Special Collections exhibition “‘A terrible beauty is born’: The Easter Rising at 100,” the Library hosted a set of talks commemorating the beginning of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Shortly after noon on April 24, 1916, Pádraig Pearse emerged from the newly formed headquarters of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic at Dublin’s General Post Office. A small band of republicans’ brief insurrection over Easter Week 1916 resulted in their declaration of independence from Great Britain to form the Irish Republic (Poblacht na hÉireann). Quickly and violently squashed by the British, the Easter Rising became a defining moment for the complex landscape of Irish culture, politics, and history in the 20th century.

1916_event_montanoDr. John Montaño (left) of the History Department gave an overview on the politicization of Irish culture and revolutionary acts of “Irishness” during British colonial rule and the development of the physical force tradition (from which Pearse and the younger revolutionaries drew) from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries.

1916_event_mckennaDr. Bernard McKenna (right) of the English Department guided the audience through a close reading of W. B. Yeats’s “Easter, 1916,” in which he identified juxtaposing imagery that suggests Yeats’s anxiety and uncertainty about a post-Rising Ireland.

Thanks to Drs. Montaño and McKenna for their great presentations!


Upcoming: Virginia Woolf Lecture at UD Library

Mrs. Dalloway Goes “To The Lighthouse”: Virginia Woolf and Kitty Lushington

        Woolf     Lushington



Thursday, April 28, 2016
4.30 p.m.
Class of 1941 Lecture Room
University of Delaware Library

Free and open to the public  •  Refreshments

RSVP via email at or call 302-831-2231


In this lecture, noted British historian David Taylor will use unpublished material from the Lushington archive to reveal the little-known background to Virginia Woolf’s novels To the Lighthouse and Mrs. Dalloway. Taylor will discuss Woolf’s relationship with her childhood friend Kitty Lushington, and the remarkable and well-connected Lushington family.

Kitty Lushington was Woolf’s “Mrs Dalloway.” The “three Miss Lushingtons” spent family holidays with Virginia’s family at Talland House, Cornwall, which Woolf later used for the setting of To The Lighthouse. Kitty’s engagement to Leopold Maxse at Talland House was Woolf’s “first introduction to the passion of love.” This episode was used by Woolf for the climactic moment of the first part of her novel. Kitty later established herself as a well-known London hostess and Woolf used her again as the model for ‘Mrs Dalloway’.

The Lushingtons were a remarkably well-connected and affluent professional family who took full and creative parts in all the life around them. Their circle of friends, spread across three generations, reads like a “Who’s Who” of Victorian England and includes names such as William Wilberforce, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Darwin, Edward Lear, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, Alfred Tennyson, William Morris, John Ruskin, the Brownings, Hubert Parry and Ralph Vaughan Williams. It was Vernon Lushington who famously introduced Edward Burne-Jones to Dante Gabriel Rossetti – a meeting which led to the second phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Vernon Lushington was also one of the first promoters of the work Walt Whitman in the UK, earning Whitman’s fulsome praise. In his lecture, David Taylor will use unpublished material from the Lushington family archive to reveal more of the background to Woolf’s two novels and will discuss her relationship with her childhood friend Kitty.

Dr. David Taylor is an historian and author based in the UK. After many years of persistent enquiry and research, he was fortunate to locate the extensive archive of the Lushington family. Taylor obtained his doctorate from Roehampton University. His thesis was on Vernon Lushington’s role as a follower of Auguste Comte and the development of Positivism in the UK. For this he was awarded the Blackham Fellowship and then the Prix de these Auguste Comte from France. He has spent two years cataloguing the archive.

For more information, view this PDF: Taylor_Lecture_Announcement.


“The tea table however was also fertilized by a ravishing stream of female beauty – the three Miss Lushingtons, the three Miss Stillmans, and the three Miss Montgomeries – all triplets, all ravishing, but of the nine the paragon for wit, grace, charm and distinction was undoubtedly the lovely Kitty Lushington.”

—Virginia Woolf, Moments of Being

Highlighting Jewish collections–Marie Jucht Kaufman papers

Marie Jucht was ten years old in 1940 when the French government fell to the Nazis. The Vichy Government persecuted Jews through anti-Jewish legislation and propaganda. Marie Jucht, her parents, and three brothers narrowly avoided arrest by the French State during the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup on July 17, 1942, in Paris. Marie and her family fled south across the Demarcation Line into the French Free Zone, which in 1942 was still under the control of the French government. The Jucht family split up for safety, and Marie hid in a French Catholic girls’ school for several months until Nazi occupation began to expand south.

The family later reunited and traveled in secret to northern Italy. In September 1943, the Allies had invaded Italy and in October, the Italian forces declared war on Germany and sided with the Allies. The Juchts and several other families traveled with a convoy of repatriated Italian soldiers across the border into Italy. Between 1943 and 1944, the Juchts traveled through small villages in the Italian Alps, befriending several families whose kindness kept the family alive, despite the danger to themselves and their homes. Marie Jucht became fluent in Italian and served as the family’s translator.

Items from the Marie Jucht Kaufman papers

Items from the Marie Jucht Kaufman papers

The Juchts traveled with a band of Italian Partisans (resistance fighters who utilized guerilla tactics) from late 1943 until early 1944. During that time, the Germans began to move into northern Italy and the group saw combat, during which Marie assisted a soldier with a machine gun. The family separated for safety in the aftermath of the fight; Marie and her mother took refuge with a Catholic priest, but her father and brothers were arrested as political prisoners. After the war, Marie Jucht immigrated to Venezuela, where she established a children’s clothing factory. Marie Jucht married George Kaufman in 1951 in Mount Vernon, New York. She became a United States citizen in the early 1990s.

Marie Kaufman documented her survival of the Holocaust through letters written to her son, American writer and artist Alan Kaufman, between 1993 and 1994. The collection of her letters at the Hugh M. Morris Library also includes photographs of the Jucht family during and after World War II, as well as photocopies of Marie Kaufman’s naturalization documents from France, Venezuela, and the United States.

In 1993, Mr. Kaufman asked his mother to detail her and her family’s survival account. Between 1993 and May 1994, when she became too ill to write, Marie Kaufman wrote thirty-three letters in which she recounted her and her family’s harrowing experiences hiding from the Nazis, the French State gendarmes, and the Italian Black Brigades (also known as Black Shirts) between 1942 and 1944.

The letters provide a first-hand account of a French-Jewish family’s survival in World-War II France and Italy. Marie Kaufman’s testimony not only recounts in detail events she witnessed but also reflects on her own Jewishness and the kindness of many of the French and Italian people who aided her family and those with whom they traveled.

Of his mother’s letters, Alan Kaufman wrote: “The narrator of the letters is a keen observer, unashamed of her uncertainty, frank about her despair, but also extraordinarily resolute in her desire to live, and her faith in human goodness: her belief despite all evidence to the contrary that good itself still exists. But she is unflinching in her observations of the cowardice, delusion and brutality raging all around her, and these, too, make the letters remarkable.”

The finding aid for MSS 734 Marie Jucht Kaufman papers can be accessed at online here.

Kelmscott Chaucer Receives Warm Welcome in New York City

Exhibition and dinner at the Grolier Club honor the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection’s recent acquisition of William Morris’s 1896 masterpiece The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer Newly Imprinted



The Kelmscott Chaucer, designed and printed by William Morris’s Kelmscott Press,
on display at the Grolier Club in New York City, March 24, 2016.


March 24, 2016 was the 182nd anniversary of the birth of William Morris, the great late-Victorian poet, artist, arts-and-crafts designer, and dedicated socialist who reshaped decorative arts and bookmaking in Britain and America. The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library, partnered with the Grolier Club in New York City to celebrate the occasion with a special exhibition of a recently acquired copy of William Morris’s 1896 The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer Now Newly Printed. Commonly called the Kelmscott Chaucer, the book is one of the most famous examples of fine printing and is highly sought after by collectors today. The copy recently acquired by the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection is one of only fourteen copies inscribed by William Morris, in this case to Robert Catterson-Smith, who worked with Morris and Edward Burne-Jones on the book’s illustrations.

The exhibition also featured other materials drawn from the Grolier Club’s own collection, including other books produced by Morris’s renowned Kelmscott Press and assorted manuscripts, books from Morris’s library, and other related rare editions. Around forty people attended the event. After viewing the exhibition, they enjoyed drinks, dinner, and remarks by Mark Samuels Lasner describing the acquisition of the Chaucer. See images from the evening below.


Recent Posts