Browse Exhibits (3 total)

Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho


The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe, was published in 1794. While it was not her first work, it would be Radcliffe's most popular. The copy currently held in Tisch Special Collections is the second edition, and was purchased by the university in 1908. This copy had been a part of the circulating library before it was added to special collections. This exhibit will look at the physical qualities of the book, as well as its provenance. 

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"A Guide to Health, Beauty, Riches, and Honour" by Francis Grose (1783)

Preface to Guide.jpg

A facsimile of Francis Grose's "A Guide to Health, Beauty, Riches, and Honour" (1783). Accessed in Tisch Library Special Collections. A collection of British newspaper advertisements from 1730-1750, with an eight-page preface by Grose. The text was rebound in the late 19th Century for Edward and Hugh Doggett to include a copy of George Paul's "Thoughts on the Alarming Process of the Gaol Fever." The text is written in English, but contains several untranslated entries in French. Each entry has a capitalized number and title stating what it pertains to, as well as an italicized publication name and date.

The purpose of the text is to satirize the charlatanism present in 18th Century British advertisements. Grose presents a collection of British newspaper advertisements pertaining to categories from medical treatments to offers of marriage, in order to display the outlandish effects of the society’s increasing focus on consumption. By collecting antiquarian ephemera and employing a satirical tone in his writing, Grose’s guide reflects on eighteenth-century British society for what it was, criticizing the preoccupation with wealth and status during a time of supposed prosperity. 

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"An Authentic Account of An Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China" by Sir George Leonard Staunton (1799)

The Approach of the Emperor of China to His Tent in Tartary to Receive the British Ambassador, by William Alexander (1793). Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Macartney Embassy is distinguished as the first British attempt at East Asian diplomacy but defined by its failure. Upon the mission’s return, Sir George Leonard Staunton, first baronet, was tasked with compiling his expedition partners’ extensive journals into a cohesive work. An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China is a markedly reserved telling of the British ambassadors’ travels in China. However, from a historical perspective, Staunton’s work reveals an underlying chauvinism that would provide justification for Western imperialism in China.

The nature of this exhibit is introductory and relates primarily to the bibliographic features of the Tufts Special Collections' 1799 Philadelphia edition of the book. The remainder of the analysis is devoted to Staunton's descriptions of the exchange ceremony between the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty and the Macartney Embassy. The author of this exhibit would strongly encourage further investigation into the topic if a reader feels so inclined.

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