Programs & Exhibitions

Recent Acquisitions 2003-2007: Selected Books, Manuscripts, & Works on Paper (November 2007 - April 2008)

The Lewis Walpole Library announced the opening of the first exhibition to be held in its new exhibition space. Recent Acquisitions 2003-2007: Selected Books, Manuscripts, & Works on Paper presented highlights of the range of materials acquired in the last five years. The exhibition ran from November 2007 - April 2008.

Eighteenth-century periodicals like BonTon Magazine, extra-illustrated volumes including Thomas Pennant's 1801 A Journey from London to the Isle of Wight, books and pamphlets like The School of Fencing with a General Explanation of the Principal Attitudes and Positions Peculiar to the Art, by Domenico Angleo, and A Lecture on Wigs Illustrated by a Man Who Does Not Wear One, as well as groups of ephemera like the material related to Sir John Dinely, the bachelor who advertised for a wife, are just some of the items acquired to support the study of eighteenth-century Britain.

The Library's collection of materials that were owned or written by Horace Walpole continues to grow with the acquisition of such volumes as an extensively annotated and corrected copy of the second edition of Walpole's A Catalogue of the Royal and Noble Authors of England: With Lists of Their Works: in Two Volumes, prepared in preparation for an unpublished definitive edition, and The Baronage of England, or, An Historical Account of the Lives and Most Memorable Actions of Our English Nobility..., written by Sir William Dugdale and published in London in 1675-76, which Walpole owned and also annotated. An autograph letter, signed, from Horace Walpole to Joseph Walker, his Dublin publisher, was written at Walpole's house, Strawberry Hill.

The prints and drawings on view, with works by James Gillray, George Moutard Woodward, Isaac Cruikshank, and Thomas Rowlandson, represent important additions to the Library's renowned collection of eighteenth-century satirical prints and caricatures. Robert Cruikshank's Reflection: To Be or Not To Be! is just one of the visually rich political satires acquired recently, and G.M. Woodward's A Bedfordshire Farmer Unloading his Presents is an example of a drawing directly related to the print of the same design and title already in the collection.

In addition, aquatint and watercolor topographical views, such as those of Walpole's London residences; mezzotint portraits, including one of John Wilkes; and William Pyne's watercolor Design for a Wedgwood Plaque, closely related to the work of Walpole's friend Lady Diana Beauclerk, represent other areas of the Library's collecting strength.