on the Books of
Amelia E. Barr
Collected and described by Richard
Cover adapted from the 1897 William Snelling Hadaway design
The Man Between
Illustrated by Frank T. Merrill
New York and London:
Authors and Newspapers Association, 1906
Cover by Harry B. Matthews
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views of the gallery exhibition.
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Huddleston Barr (March 29, 1831-March 10, 1919) was an author of historical fiction, often with romance. Publishers assigned
some of the best artists to design her covers.
Her life story is
exceptional. Born in England, she and her husband emigrated to
America in 1853, had nine children, six of whom died, the last three of
yellow fever in Galveston, along with her husband, in 1867. She and
three daughters moved to New York, where she supported the family writing
articles, stories and poems for magazines.
Jan Vedder's Wife
(1885) was her first widely popular novel (she was 54). Though she kept writing for magazines, most of her work was
devoted to novels after that, producing two new books a year. She died a few
weeks before her 88th birthday, with more
than 70 published books to her credit, leaving an unfinished manuscript.
Silver of Briffault
New York & Cincinnati: Hunt & Eaton,
©1885 Phillips & Hunt [in the same binding]
Amelia E. Barr On Women's Rights
At the end of
her autobiography [All The Days of My Life: The Red Leaves of a Human Heart, 1913] she wrote:
|Nobody has watched the daily papers of the last
few months with more eager and passionate interest than I have done. I
have followed the great colonel with all my youthful enthusiasms, and
listened at the street corners to the noble band of women pleading for
their just rights. . . . .
“Then I am for Women’s Suffrage?” I am
for the enfranchisement of every slave. I am for justice, even to women.
Any one who lived in England during the early half of the nineteenth
century would be a suffragist; for then the most highly cultured wife
was constantly treated by her husband, as Tennyson says, “Something
better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse.”
to remember that they have had a mother, as well as a father, and that
in most cases she has been, in every way, the better parent of the two.
All my life long I have been sensible of the injustice constantly done
to women. Since I have had to fight the world single-handed, there has
not been one day I have not smarted under the wrongs I have had to bear,
because I was not only a woman, but a woman doing a man’s work, without
any man, husband, son, brother or friend, to stand at my side, and to
see some semblance of justice done me. I cannot forget, for injustice is
a sixth sense, and rouses all the others. If it was not for the constant
inflowing of God into human affairs, the condition of women would today
have been almost as insufferable, as was the condition of the negro in
1860. However, the movement for the enfranchisement of women will go
forward, and not backward, and I have not one fear as to the
consequences it will bring about.
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You also may be interested in
The Book Cover Art of Thomas Watson Ball
Bindings with Native American Themes 1875-1933
The catalogs of publisher's bookbindings being done by Richard
Minsky are a fundamental resource in the field. In my last
conversation with Sue Allen, she praised his work and told me
Richard was "the one to watch." Richard's research has been
invaluable in documenting the extensive holdings of the Book Arts
Collection at the University of Washington Libraries and providing
correct citations for the digital site we are preparing.
Book Arts and Rare Book Curator,
University of Washington Libraries
Questions? click to CONTACT
The Bell of Bowling Green
Illustrated by Walter H. Everett
New York: Dodd, Mead &
Cover by Charles Buckles Falls
The King's Highway
Dodd, Mead & Co, 1897
Blanche McManus Mansfield
This is our first exhibition of publishers' bindings that focuses on books by one author.
Her high output during the period from from the
1880s to 1918 gives us a marvelous set of publishers' bindings that represent the
transition of cover art from Eastlake post-Victorian styling to Arts and
Crafts, Japonisme, Art Nouveau and Poster style.
Cover artists include Amy Richards, Blanche McManus Mansfield, Thomas Watson
Ball, William Snelling Hadaway, Harry B. Matthews, Alice Cordelia Morse,
and Theodore B. Hapgood.
In addition to the published editions, the exhibition includes an original
manuscript of one of the books. 250 pages of it are typescript with ink
corrections, and the remainder of the 476 pages are ink, in Amelia Barr's
handwriting. This gives a fascinating glimpse into the author's process, and
a comparison with the printed book reveals further changes made between this
manuscript and its publication.
The exhibition also includes newspaper and magazine
articles, serializations, and short strories, which provide a window into the history of publishing
at that time. Seeing Thyra Varrick in a 1903 illustrated magazine
serialization among advertisements for corsets and household supplies takes
this romance set in 18th century Scotland and, for us, places it in the
material culture of turn-of-the-century America. The Man Between as a 1906
New York newspaper illustrated Sunday literary supplement is a very
different reading experience than either a magazine or a book.
Prisoners of Conscience
The Century Company, 1897
William Snelling Hadaway
|The format of this edition
is different from previous
catalogs. A 6" x 9" book, instead of having just the
bibliographic information, each entry has a relevant
excerpt from Amelia Barr's autobiography. The book
includes the story of her life, with excerpts from her own narrative.
The Internet has many articles about her, and much of the online information is contradictory. Even simple
facts like how many children she had, or how many books she wrote,
are misinformed. It is easy to see how some of this confusion arose.
At the conclusion of her autobiography (1913) she included a list of
61 published books. Some of the dates and publishers do not match what
is in the exhibition, or in library catalogs. Many books were issued
in several editions, by different publishers, which may account for
some discrepancies, and there may be "lost" editions. Two of the
books in her list I found no other record of. Eleven more were
published after her memoir. Our list of her books has 71 entries.
Amelia Barr kept no list of her thousands of contributions to
magazines and papers of articles and poems, and wrote, "Nor can I
even pretend to remember the very numerous essays, and social and
domestic papers which were almost constantly contributed; I have
forgotten the very names of this vast collection of work and I never
kept any record of it. Indeed, only some chance copy has escaped the
oblivion to which I gave up the rest. They kept money in my purse;
that was all I asked of them. I do not even possess a full set of
the sixty novels I have written. I may have twenty or thirty, not
There are more than 100 books in this
exhibition, which is limited to American editions of her work (U.S.A.
and Canada), with 64 different covers and many variants. It does not
include every title of those that were
issued in identical bindings as uniform sets.
will not be separate limited and deluxe editions of this title.
printed in full color on an Indigo
7600 digital offset press, in a 6" x 9" format, hand bound, sewn with linen thread, in a
hardcover binding with a design adapted from
one of the covers in the exhibition, an
archival inkjet printed dust wrapper,
and polyester protective overwrap.
Edition of 50 signed and numbered
allow four weeks for delivery. Each copy is bound on order.
The Books of
Amelia E. Barr
wish to pay by check, please use the order form
The previous exhibition catalogs in this series
documented more than 1,300 book covers.
Together they provide an extensive
resource for curators, catalogers, scholars,
art historians, designers,
collectors, and students of material culture.
institutions have acquired them.
Questions? click to CONTACT
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The previous exhibition catalogs in this series documented
more than 1,200 book covers.
Together they provide a valuable resource for
curators, catalogers, scholars,
art historians, designers, collectors, and
students of material culture.
institutions have acquired them.
Trade Bindings with
Native American Themes
The Book Cover Art of
Thomas Watson Ball
Volume 1, 2006
Volume 2, 2009
Volume 3, 2010