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From Sainsbury’s to the Somme: Advertising Christmas 1914

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As we edge towards Christmas Helen O’Neill, our Archive, Heritage and Development Librarian, takes a peek at Christmas advertisements in 1914 and looks at the depiction of the Christmas Truce both today and 100 years ago.

In the five days preceding 12 December 1914 the Post Office reported that 250,000 parcels had been sent to troops at the Front and the following week 200,000 more were despatched along with two and a half million letters. The Post Office increased its van fleet by half to cope with demand, and as rail services were disrupted by the war and vehicles were in scarce supply, post was transported in a range of conveyances including open cars and furniture vans.

So how did the recipients of these letters and parcels spend Christmas 1914? The Christmas Truce depicted in this year’s Sainsbury’s advert shows the point at which the fighting stopped during World War One and opposing sides met in a temporary peace in No-Man’s Land. The carol singing, handshaking, swapping of caps, cigarettes and mementos, and football all feature and are historically referenced in soldiers’ letters and diaries and newspaper reporting of the time. At the time of writing the advert has had a staggering 15,682,873 YouTube hits, and some criticism, but how was the truce illustrated in 1914 and what impact did the war have on advertising in the run up to Christmas 100 years ago?

Christmas adverts in the pages of The Times in December 1914 include household brands such as Boots, Perrier, Oxo, Bovril, Horlicks, Burberry’s, Moss Bros and Shell, to name a few, which capitalised on their presence and use at the Front. From Burberry fleece lined gabardine trench coats to Shell fuelling the ambulances of the Allied forces, the adverts are rich in detail, many using soldiers’ testimonies as proof of their efficacy. Acquasctuum, Burberrys and Moss Bros all advertised officer’s kit. Burberry used no less than six quotes from those on active service as endorsements, including this from A.D.P. of the 16th Battalion London Regiment: “All officers coming out for the winter should have a Burberry with detachable fleece lining and Gabardine overalls. They will be covered in mud the first hour in the trenches but Gabardine dries well and the mud drops off.”

If testimonies from the Front were not suitably persuasive Burberry had a secret advertising weapon in the shape of Antarctic explorer and national hero, Ernest Shackleton: “Gabardine is a lightweight weatherproof material of such remarkable warmth-maintaining powers that Sir E. Shackleton recently said nothing would induce him in polar regions to use any substitute even if the price of gabardine doubles and the substitute were offered free of charge.”

Benson’s advertised an “essential” part of an officers’ kit – an “active service watch” with fully luminous figures and hands so that the time could be seen at night. Boots ran several versions of an advert for its own brand of British cologne: White Heather and Jersey Castle under the header “No more German eau de cologne”. Food stuffs featured too. Oxo adverts claimed to be “exactly suited to the needs of our men at the Front – made in minutes and sustains with bread and a few biscuits for hours”. If a few minutes were not to be had, Horlicks Malted Milk tablets were advertised as “invaluable to any soldier in the field. Most efficient at relieving hunger and thirst and preventing fatigue”. Horlicks offered free post to the Front if the name, regimental number, brigade and division of the soldier was supplied. Bovril used a military metaphor in its advertising asking “Are your communications threatened? Build up the defensive forces of your body. Bovril is and has always been at the Front.” Paisley Flour addressed itself to mothers of sons on active service in an advert that encouraged the baking and sending of home-made cake to the Front:
“You could not offer your boy in camp or at the Front any greater treat than a good wholesome home-made cake like those he used to get at home. Send him one this week with Paisley Flour”

If cake, Perrier water and a waterproof gabardine failed to stave off colds Dr J. Collis Browne’s Chloradyne –a remedy for “coughs, colds, colic, ague and kindred ailments” claimed to do the trick:
“Next to the weapons he bears, the best safeguard of a soldiers’ life is a small bottle Dr Collis Browne’s Chloradyne…it is a medicine chest in itself…Every man on active service should have a supply.”

The Civil Service Supply Association advertised service kits and camp equipment but also “Gifts for the Troops“ which included small items such as tobacco, cigarettes, socks, mittens, mufflers, caps, chocolate, ointments, foot powder, pocket knives, postcards and pencils. Taken in their totality the adverts provide a grim picture of conditions at the Front.

So in these grim conditions how was the temporary, spontaneous and informal Christmas Truce (or more accurately Christmas truces) depicted in 1914? The truce featured in the pages of The Illustrated London News on 9 January 1915. In a remarkable double page spread on page 5 the meeting of German and British soldiers in No Man’s Land is rendered as an etching from a photograph with the following description:

“The spirit of Christmas made itself felt in at least one section of the trenches at the front, where British and German soldiers fraternised…during an informal and spontaneous truce there was ‘peace on earth and goodwill to all men’…British and Germans met and shook hands, exchanged cigars and cigarettes, newspapers and addresses and wished each other the compliments of the season…A group of British and German soldiers, arm-in-arm, some of whom had exchanged head-gear were photographed by a German Officer…Some of the British it is said visited the German trenches and an Anglo-German football match was even played…”

The cover page illustration of this edition is an image of a single German solider, approaching the British lines with a small illuminated Christmas tree and the caption: “The light of peace in the trenches”.

By the time these images appeared on 9 January 1914 The Times had already reported that friendly approaches by German soldiers to the British line were now being treated as acts of treason and no further informal and spontaneous truces would break out over t

The Christmas Truce depicted in The Illustrated London News showed German and British soldiers meeting in No Man’s Land shaking hands and exchanging headgear. The etching was taken from a photograph taken during the truce. The figure on the extreme left is a German soldier in a British service cap and the fourth figure from the left is a British soldier wearing a Pickelhaube or German helmet.

The Christmas Truce depicted in The Illustrated London News showed German and British soldiers meeting in No Man’s Land shaking hands and exchanging headgear. The etching was taken from a photograph taken during the truce. The figure on the extreme left is a German soldier in a British service cap and the fourth figure from the left is a British soldier wearing a Pickelhaube or German helmet.

The cover image of The Illustrated London News on January 9 1915 depicted a German soldier opening the truce by approaching British lines with a small Christmas tree.

The cover image of The Illustrated London News on January 9 1915 depicted a German soldier opening the truce by approaching British lines with a small Christmas tree.

Trench repair was conducted by both German and British soldiers during the truce.  Illustrated London News January 9, 1915. The burial of the dead also took place during the truce.

Trench repair was conducted by both German and British soldiers during the truce. Illustrated London News January 9, 1915. The burial of the dead also took place during the truce.

Benson’s Active Service Watch with illuminated figures and hands was marketed as an essential part of an officer’s kit.

Benson’s Active Service Watch with illuminated figures and hands was marketed as an essential part of an officer’s kit.

Under the title “No more German eau de cologne” Boots advertised British alternatives.

Under the title “No more German eau de cologne” Boots advertised British alternatives.

Burberrys used testimonials from solders at the Front in its advertising and offered an ordering and fitting service in London and Paris which could be completed within a few hours.

Burberrys used testimonials from solders at the Front in its advertising and offered an ordering and fitting service in London and Paris which could be completed within a few hours.

Advertisements for Dr Collis Browne’s Chlorodyne claimed soldiers at the Front realised its value and recommended that every man on active service should have a supply.

Advertisements for Dr Collis Browne’s Chlorodyne claimed soldiers at the Front realised its value and recommended that every man on active service should have a supply.

Horlick’s Malted Milk tablets claimed to be “invaluable to a soldier in the field” relieving hunger, thirst and fatigue.

Horlick’s Malted Milk tablets claimed to be “invaluable to a soldier in the field” relieving hunger, thirst and fatigue.

Adverts for Perrier water in December 1914 marketed itself as the table water of the Allies in both battlefield and hospital.

Adverts for Perrier water in December 1914 marketed itself as the table water of the Allies in both battlefield and hospital.

Shell’s adverts highlighted its role as a supplier to the Allied Forces and its use in petrol driven ambulances.

Shell’s adverts highlighted its role as a supplier to the Allied Forces and its use in petrol driven ambulances.

he remaining four years the war.

The Sainsbury’s advert does not show the burial of the dead or the work to shore up and repair trenches, which also happened during the period of the truce, but a photo which appeared in The Illustrated London News on Jan 9 1915 p. 55 showed trench repair along with a detailed commentary of the shared trench experience of British and German soldiers:

“The life led by the infantry on both sides at close quarters is a strange, cramped existence with death always near, either by means of some missile from above or some mines exploded from beneath: a life which has the dull monotonous background of mud and water. Even where there is but little fighting the troops are kept hard at work strengthening the existing defences and constructing others, improving the shelter which is imperative in such weather and improving the sanitary condition and communications of the trenches.”

On Christmas Eve 1981 a BBC2 documentary about the Christmas Truce was aired called Peace in No Man’s Land which was written and produced by Malcolm Brown and researched by Shirley Seaton. In the programme veterans present at the truce spoke about their experience. In the programme (which has a modest 5000 YouTube hits), an 84 year old veteran called Albert Morrow makes a simple but profound observation. He was a 17 year old private in the Queen’s Regiment when he took part in the truce and his observation captures the essence of why the informal and spontaneous Christmas Truce of 1914 continues to resonate in the popular consciousness 100 years on:

“If the truce had gone on and on there’s no telling what could have happened, it could have meant the end of war, after all they didn’t want war and we didn’t want war, and it could have ended up by finishing the war altogether.”

 

 

 

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Unlucky Genius

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By Dunia Garcia-Ontiveros, Head of Bibliographic Services at The London Library. Adapted from an article originally written for History Today.

Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia was one of the less fortunate and most cantankerous polymaths of the Italian Renaissance. He was born in 1500 in Brescia, the son of a humble courier who was murdered when Niccolò was only six years old. The Fontana family had always been poor but after the father’s death their situation became desperate. Only six years later Niccolò received the second major blow of his life, this time a literal one. In 1512 his home town of Brescia was sacked by French soldiers and in the ensuing massacre a twelve year old Niccolò was left for dead after receiving horrific sabre wounds to his jaw and palate. Although he survived the attack the severe injuries he received left him with permanent speech difficulties, which earned him the nickname of ‘Tartaglia’ (stutterer). Niccolò could not hide the stammer but he could at least hide his facial scars by simply growing a beard, which he did as soon as he was able. As a destitute and disfigured boy with a stammer Niccolò would probably not have had high aspirations in life had it not been for one crucial fact: when it came to mathematics he was a child prodigy. Despite his terrible misfortunes Niccolò had great self-belief, some say arrogance, and managed to find a patron who paid for him to study in Padua.

By 1516 the teenager was already teaching in Verona but still lived in relative poverty. He later moved to Venice, where he spent most of the rest of his life. He is best known for coming up with one method for resolving cubic equations and for his bitter quarrel with Girolamo Cardano as a result. Cardano, who was also a mathematician, had persuaded Tartaglia to tell him about this method after swearing that he would never reveal it. Soon after, Cardano discovered that another mathematician, Scipione Ferro, had been the first to find a s
olution to the cubic equation and saw no reason why he shouldn’t publish Ferro’s method and the work Cardano himself had done based on Tartaglia’s solution. It is not clear whether Tartaglia wanted to be the one to publish his method or perhaps he was saving it for use in the many mathematical debates he participated, which had served to enhance his reputation. One thing is certain, Tartaglia felt Cardano had betrayed him and was absolutely furious. He never forgave him and never missed an opportunity to heap insults on Cardano. His reputation was further dented when, sensing defeat, he walked out of a mathematical debate against Lodovico Ferrari, Cardano’s pupil.

Tartaglia published Italian translations of the works of Archimedes and Euclid and is also remembered for his work in military science. It is not surprising that after almost being killed as a child by an invading soldier he should devote some of his considerable intellect and ingenuity to designing fortifications and devising formulae to calculate the reach and trajectory of cannonballs and other missiles. What is less well known is that Tartaglia was also interested in marine engineering and salvage.

The London Library holds a copy of his work, printed in Venice in 1551, on methods for raising sunken ships, which includes several designs for diving bells: Regola generale da sulevare con ragione e misura nõ solamẽte ogni affondata naue : ma una torre solida di mettallo (General rule for raising not only every sunken ship correctly and with care but also a tower of solid metal).

Despite Tartaglia’s genius and intellectual achievements he never managed to make the social connections that would have secured him lucrative employment and he died in poverty at the age of 51. His life was blighted by tragedy, violence and the highly damaging feud with Cardano.

 

A self-operated diving bell

A self-operated diving bell

One of the ingenious methods

One of the ingenious methods for raising a sunken ship

A conversation with Jo Berzins, Collection Care Intern

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Conservation and Restoration student Jo Berzins has just completed a 10 week work placement with The London Library’s Collection Care department. As her time at the Library drew to a close we caught up with her to talk about her experiences.

What inspired you to come to the London Library?

I’m studying for a BA in Conservation and Restoration at the University of Lincoln, and as part of my studies I needed to undertake a work placement in a conservation department. Although my course is mainly to do with objects (such as ceramics, wood and metalwork) I have a real passion for books. When my tutor suggested The London Library, I knew this was where I wanted to come. I was attracted by the prestige of the institution, as well as the opportunity to have one-to-one guidance and instruction from Rachel, the Library’s Conservator.

Did you have any experience of book conservation before you came here?

Advert for shoes in The Lady magazine

Advert for shoes in The Lady magazine

Bookbinding as 'a handicraft peculiarly suitable for women' (extract from The Lady)

Bookbinding as ‘a handicraft peculiarly suitable for women’ (extract from The Lady)

Books mid-treatment

Books mid-treatment

Jo at her workstation

Jo at her workstation

Learning to sew a book onto supports

Learning to sew a book onto supports

One of many volumes with badly damaged spines

One of many volumes with badly damaged spines

Some of the pages were badly crumpled and torn

Some of the pages were badly crumpled and torn

This illustrated advert for hair tonic raised a smile

This illustrated advert for hair tonic raised a smile

I first became interested in book conservation when I was Custodian of Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire. While I was there, I carried out a major cleaning project on the Hall’s historic library collections. It was hard work, but I was very proud of my achievement. I even got a two-page feature in the local paper!

Since starting my BA course I’ve undertaken a very short project on conserving a pamphlet, but other than that book conservation was a new world for me.

What were your first impressions of the Library?

I felt awestruck when I first arrived. The building had more original features that I’d imagined and I was impressed by the quiet and studious ambience of the Reading Room. I was also taken aback by the scale of the Library and its collections. I had two or three orientation tours of the Library that first day, which left me feeling quite exhausted and had my head spinning!

My first task in the Conservation Studio was to learn how to make a book box. Frances, the Library’s Preservation Assistant, was a great teacher. The atmosphere in the Collection Care department was wonderful. Everyone was really friendly and welcoming.

Tell us about the project you have been working on during your internship

I’ve been working on the Library’s holdings of The Lady magazine, which cover 1885 through to 1985. I had to draw up a survey of all the volumes to show which repairs would be needed, and once that was completed I got on with implementing the treatments. It has been a fabulous project and I’ve enjoyed looking through the magazines while I’ve been working on them. It made me smile to find a small feature on bookbinding as an ideal handicraft for the genteel lady at home! I found lots of wonderful adverts too, from shoes to hair tonic.

Some of the books were in fairly poor repair. There were quite a few broken headcaps to be repaired, and some of the spines were completely detached. Where the bookcloth covering had abraded, often at the corners, layers of book board had started to come apart or ‘delaminate’.

I’ve learnt so much through working on this project. I now know how to attach spines, insert pages, and even sew sections of a book together on a wooden frame. I’ve had a lot of practice in repairing tears. All the treatments I’ve done have used archival quality materials and where possible, have been in keeping with the book. For example, where I’ve needed to repair bindings with special lightweight linen, I’ve toned this to match the colour of the original binding.

Has anything surprised you?

Before I started my internship, I hadn’t realised how long each repair can take. You can be working on one volume, another thing will be drying so that you can carry out a further process on it, and you can easily find yourself with four or five books on the go at once! I soon realised I had to slow down and be patient, and found that if you take one step at a time you get a better result.

Has there been anything you’ve found difficult?

So much has been new to me, so of course I have needed guidance as I’ve undertaken different kinds of treatment for the first time. Rachel, the Library’s Conservator, has taken the time to demonstrate and explain each repair to me really clearly and she has also shared some of the tricks of the trade that help her to get a great finish.

Not long into the project, I realised that I needed to learn more about how books are made so that I could make the right decisions about how to repair them. The Library arranged for me to visit a commercial bindery to find out more. It was a fascinating day. The binder walked me through every stage of the bookbinding process and it was reassuring to find that some of the binding repairs I had found fiddly were also considered difficult by the professionals!

How would you sum up your time at the Library?

I’ve absolutely loved it, every minute of it. Would I recommend a placement to other conservation students? Definitely!

 

The Great War and The London Library

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For Remembrance Day 2014 Helen O’Neill, our Archive, Heritage & Development Librarian delves into the the Library’s history to consider the impact of the Great War on both staff and members of the Library.

On July 30 1916 The Times reported that fifteen members of London Library staff were on active service. Arthur Edwin Davis was one of those men He described his war service in a letter which survives in the Soldiers’ Records at the National Archives:

The London Library - Advert

During the Great War the Library was a drop off point for books for distribution to soldiers and sailors through the Red Cross War Library. Adverts instructed those sending books to mark them clearly “For Wounded”.

During the war the Library was a drop off point for books for dispersal through the Red Cross War Library. A large basket, centrally placed in the Issue Hall, was set aside for this purpose and labelled "Books for wounded soldiers and sailors"

During the war the Library was a drop off point for books for dispersal through the Red Cross War Library. A large basket, centrally placed in the Issue Hall, was set aside for this purpose and labelled “Books for wounded soldiers and sailors”

From the Cataloguing Room to the Front:  Charles Kennelly and Ernest Newman both died in action in 1917.  Before the war they had catalogued  books in this room.

From the Cataloguing Room to the Front: Charles Kennelly and Ernest Newman both died in action in 1917. Before the war they had catalogued books in this room.

“I was attested on 17 November 1915 and called up for service on 3rd May 1916. Wounded at Ypres 3rd July 1917. Sent to England August 1917. Transferred to R.A.M.C. September 1918. Demobilised on 28th September 1919.”

Arthur’s injury, a gunshot wound to the right thigh, resulted in treatment in two military hospitals before his transfer to the Royal Army Medical Corps [R.A.M.C.]. His colleague David William Kelly was 22 when he was called up and saw action as a rifleman in France, Salonica and Egypt serving from May 1916 to March 1919. In September 1918 he too was wounded during his second stint in France. David joined the Library at fourteen, his school reference testifying to his character as “one of our best boys.”

Junior library assistant A.S. White became a sergeant during the war with the 6th London R.A.M.C. – a first line territorial division which spent 1916 to 1918 on the Somme with stints in Ypres and Arras, ferrying the wounded from the field of battle. Sergeant White had something very particular in common with Siegfried Sassoon, who joined the Library in 1922. Both men were awarded the Military Medal: Sassoon for “conspicuous gallantry” in the field saving men under heavy fire and A.S. White for his work with the R.A.M.C. Sergeant White was awarded the medal in September 1917 when almost 33,000 admissions had been handled by his division. Three months earlier Sassoon made one of the most public criticisms of the war in an open letter to his commanding officer. Intended for public consumption the controversial letter appeared under the title “Finished with the War: A Soldier’s Declaration” in the local press, was read out and discussed in the House of Commons and thereafter published in the pages of The Times. Tautly argued, Sassoon’s letter was a calculated counter-attack to Establishment complacency about the human cost of the War made all the more difficult to handle because of his considerable reputation for bravery:

“I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority because I believe the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it. I am a soldier convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers.”

The human cost of the war was felt at the Library as the deaths of Charles Kennelly, Ernest Newman and J. Miller who were all killed in action were announced. Charles Kennelly who died on the Western Front in 1917, had been singled out for singular praise by Librarian Hagberg Wright in a restructuring document of 1909: “No praise” he wrote “is too high for Kennelly. He is the best read and most intelligent Assistant in the Library.”

The death of his colleague Lance Corporal Ernest Newman of the Queen’s Westminster Rifles was announced with sadness at the Library’s AGM in 1917.

In the year following the deaths of Kennelly and Newman an American poet joined the Library. Within four years he captured the literary after-shock of the Great War in his modernist poetic masterpiece: The Waste Land. T.S. Eliot’s poem appeared in Britain in the Criterion in October 1922, in America in The Dial the following month and was published by Virginia and Leonard Woolf at the Hogarth Press in 1923.

In 1925 Virginia fired off her own modernist riposte to the War in the shape of Mrs Dalloway, in which the mental disintegration of a shell-shocked soldier culminates in his impalement on the doorstep of respectable society. Mrs Dalloway appeared in the same year as No More Parades the second novel in Ford Madox Ford’s tetralogy Parade’s End. Ford’s work was re-interpreted in an award winning television series in 2012 written by the Library’s President, Tom Stoppard.

The story of the Great War was told through soldiers’ songs by London Library member Charles Chilton in a ground-breaking Radio 4 radio documentary in 1961 called the Long, Long Trail. Chilton’s work triggered both the stage musical Oh! What A Lovely War and Richard Attenborough’s film of the same title in 1969.

Above the Library’s Reception Desk in the Issue Hall hangs an oil painting of Hagbery Wright by William Orpen. The blank canvas was bought at a Red Cross sale at Christie’s during the War by an anonymous donor who requested that Wright sit for his portrait. I wonder if the portrait may, in part have been an acknowledgement of Wright’s role as Honorary Secretary and Trustee of the Red Cross War Library. His appeals for books for wounded servicemen appeared in the press during the War and the Library was as a drop off point for books for distribution to soldiers through the Red Cross. A large basket was placed prominently in the Issue hall for this purpose and advertisements instructed those sending books to the Library for distribution to label them clearly “For Wounded”. A large notice affixed to the front of the basket read “Books For Wounded Soldiers and Sailors.”

I continue to search for the stories of the London Library soldiers of the Great War not least for that of Library Assistant J. Miller who was killed in action in 1918 and whose first name, regiment and place of burial are currently unknown.

For more on the London Library during the Great War see the winter edition of the London Library magazine 2014.

To listen to the songs soldiers’ sang in the trenches or to hear more about the work of Charles Chilton see the following on BBC iplayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008hvwk and http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03nrn9m
To read Sassoon’s controversial letter in full see http://allpoetry.com/Sassoon’s-Public-Statement-Of-Defiance

Magic, Superstition, or Subversion?

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In 16th century Europe nothing was more vitally important, controversial or dangerous than religion. And yet as some of the books in The London Library show, at a time when wars, plague and religious persecution were part of everyday life, in the search for answers and reassurance there were some who turned away from the Church. Adapted from an article originally written for History Today by the Library’s Head of Bibliographic Services, Dunia Garcia-Ontiveros.

Jean de Meun: Do you want to know the outcome of a trial or whether a besieged fortress will yield? Just roll the dice...

Jean de Meun: Do you want to know the outcome of a trial or whether a besieged fortress will yield? Just roll the dice…

The first of these books is Jean de Meun’s Le dodechedron de fortune : livre non moins plaisant & recreatif, que subtil & ingenieux entre tous les jeux & passetemps de fortune, printed in Paris in 1556.

Jean Clopinel or Chopinel (ca. 1240-ca. 1305), named de Meun after his birthplace, was the French poet best known for writing a continuation to the Roman de la Rose. In his poem he famously satirizes the Pope, monastic orders, marriage, love, and women and his playful and irreverent attitude towards life is also evident in the Dodechedron. It is an instruction manual for telling fortunes using dice and it includes a table of numbers to provide answers to a list of set questions. The reader only needs to roll a twelve-sided die to get answers to questions such as whether a horse one is thinking of buying will prove a good investment, whether a prisoner of our acquaintance will be released soon or whether a particular person will come to bad end.

The author warns in his preface that the book should only be used for fun and is not to be taken seriously but the fact that it was printed more than two hundred years after his death suggests that it may have been more than just something to bring out at the end of a boring dinner party.  Rather than diminishing over time its popularity appears to have grown so much that after a further five French editions were produced over the following three decades by various printers in both Paris and Lyon. It then travelled to London where an English translation was published  in 1613 as The dodechedron of fortune, or, The exercise of a quick wit A booke so rarely and strangely composed, that it giveth (after a most admirable manner) a pleasant and ingenious answer to every demaund; the like whereof hath not heretofore beene published in our English tongue. Being first composed in French by Iohn de Meum, one of the most worthie and famous poets of his time; and dedicated to the French King, Charles the fift, and by him, for the worth and raritie thereof, verie much countenanced, vsed, and priviledged: and now, for the content of our countrey-men, Englished by Sr. W.B. Knight.

Dariot: Should we operate today? The answer is in the stars...

Dariot: Should we operate today? The answer is in the stars…

Jean de Meun seems to have delved into unorthodox territory driven by his mischievous and subversive character, but our next two authors were drawn into astrology and occultism out of a profound belief in their power.

Claude Dariot (1533-1594) was a French physician and astrologer who was sensible enough to also be a Calvinist rather than a Catholic since astrology was considered heretical by the Catholic Church. His key work, A briefe and most easie introduction to the astrologicall judgement of the stares, printed in London in 1598, was first published in Lyon in 1557 as Ad astrorum iudicia facilis introductio and in it Dariot blurs the lines between science and magic by discussing the effect the movements of the planets and stars have on some illnesses and asserting his belief in astrologically propitious days for preparing remedies and carrying out certain surgical procedures.

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim (1486?-1535) was secretary and counsellor to Charles V, Emperor of Germany. He was also a Catholic theologian, a royal physician, a philosopher and a soldier but he is defined by being the most important early modern writer on magic and the occult. He completed his most important work, De occulta philosophia, in 1510 and an enlarged version was published in Cologne in 1533. This is the work that earned him the title of “founder of occultism” and while he had a most eventful life travelling around Europe, being banished from Germany after a theological clash, and being imprisoned in France for his unwise remarks regarding the royal family he was never persecuted for his writings on magic, which in his later life he qualified as the product of misguided youthful curiosity.

Agrippa: A kind of magical geometry can be found in the human body.

Agrippa: A kind of magical geometry can be found in the human body.

The Library’s Italian Risorgimento Collection

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«Without Palmerston’s assistance, Naples would still be under the Bourbons, without Admiral Mundy I should not have been able to pass the Straits of Messina» – with these words, Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), during his April 1864 visit to London, commended British support to the Italian national cause and the role unofficially played by the Royal Navy on the occasion of the Expedition of the Thousand. Our latest blog post by Italian Specialist Cataloguer Andrea Del Corno explores one of the most dramatic events of the Italian Risorgimento.

2014 marks the 150th anniversary of that visit and the enthusiastic reception the Italian General received during his three-week stay in England. Having left Malta on board the PS Ripon, an English paddle-steamer, Garibaldi landed at Southampton on 3rd April. He visited Tennyson on the Isle of Wight, then in London, he was guest of the Duke of Sutherland at Stafford House in St. James’s (we know to-day as Lancaster House – this is in walking distance of The London Library). On his arrival, on 11th April, having travelled by a train draped with the Italian tricolore flag, Garibaldi was greeted and cheered by a crowd so large that he required six hours to complete the short route from Vauxhall to the Mall. During his London sojourn Garibaldi – the warrior of Caprera, the liberal hero who had opposed Napoleon III, defeated the French Army and fought against the temporal power of the Pontiff – was introduced to Gladstone, Palmerston and Lord Russell. He met Florence Nightingale, the Archbishop of Canterbury and called on the Provost of Eton. At a private dinner in Teddington – attended by various socialist and radical foreign refugees – he shared his table with former companion and Italian nationalist Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872). Socialist Henry Hyndam later observed: «a wave of Republicanism swept our country».

Mazzini had arrived in London in January 1837. To the Italian patriot, England offered an opportunity to leave behind a life spent in hiding, whilst still remaining actively involved in revolutionary activities. Although he died at Pisa in 1874, Mazzini, for most of his adult life, lived in London, moving from one cheap boarding house to another and secretly making plans for revolutionary attempts.

Mazzini’s association with Thomas Carlyle is well-documented. Only recently, however, have the Library’s Archives revealed that the Genoese was a member of the Library, which he joined through the Scottish historian’s good offices. The two men had been introduced in 1837 and, between 1839 and 1841, Mazzini became a frequent caller at 24 Cheyne Row in Chelsea, where the Carlyles lived, growing particularly closer to Jane. Mazzini most likely provided Carlyle with a list of books on Italian art, history and literature to be acquired by the newly established London Library. In a letter to the British diplomat William Dougal Christie, dated 5 February 1841, Carlyle wrote: «[h]ere is a kind of Italian list furnished by a very gifted native of that country, not entirely unacquainted with ours. It will require great sifting». The books selected came to represent the Library’s core holdings in the Italian language.

The depth of the Italian history collection and more explicitly its section on the Italian Risorgimento received praise indeed in a letter by the historian G.M. Trevelyan now preserved in the Library’s Archives. Among the holdings is a rare copy of Ricordi dei fratelli Bandiera e dei loro compagni di martirio in Cosenza, il 25 luglio 1844 [Memoires of the Bandiera Brothers and their companions of martyrdom in Cosenza, 25th July 1844] printed in Paris in 1844 and edited by Mazzini which includes the memoirs and correspondence of the two Bandiera Brothers, Attilio and Emilio, both officers in the Austrian Navy. The Bandiera Brothers were the key figures and leaders of an ill-fated expedition aimed at stirring up a revolt in Southern Italy. Pasted in the book is an autograph letter written by Mazzini and addressed to Carlyle – Mazzini’s minute handwriting is clearly recognisable. Poignantly, the Italian patriot dedicated the work to Jacopo Ruffini (1805-1833) one of his most valued companions. In 1833, Ruffini had taken his own life in prison – in the Palazzo Ducale at Genoa – to avoid betraying his fellow conspirators. The tragic death of Ruffini literally haunted Mazzini for the remainder of his life.

A biography of Giuseppe Garibaldi (Shelfmark - Biog. Garibaldi G)

A biography of Giuseppe Garibaldi (Shelfmark – Biog. Garibaldi)

In London the failure of the Bandiera Brothers expedition had serious repercussions too. The British Government was accused of spying upon Mazzini and of having intercepted and opened his private correspondence. It followed a great scandal – the so-called Post Office letter opening scandal – which abated only when the Home Secretary, Sir James Graham, offered a public apology to the Genoese exile. An indignant Carlyle wrote a robust letter of complaint to The Times in support of Mazzini. The British public was roused too. Ordinary people – for want of a better word – started posting letters with writing across the front: NOT TO BE GRAHAMED – in clear reference to the Home Secretary’s action – or sketching small padlocks and chains at the front of the envelopes.

Once more it was in London that Mazzini was responsible for an ambitious editorial project: the printing of a Divine Comedy with commentary by another celebrated exile who had preceded him: Ugo Foscolo (1778-1827). To Mazzini’s eyes Dante and Foscolo represented the two pre-eminent Italian poets, both political exiles and both precursors of the Italian nationhood idea. The edition was published with the financial support of Pietro Rolandi, owner of an Italian bookshop in Berners Street, London Soho. The preface had been carefully signed using only the rather discreet and unassuming nom de plume «An Italian». A copy of the second tome of this two volume work is available within the strong section in Italian literature dedicated to the Sommo Poeta. Additionally, other books and printed materials in Italian were obtained through the Rolandi Libraria Italiana – which had become a circulating library, a gabinetto di lettura (inspired by the Gabinetto Vieusseux of Florence) and a rendez-vous point for Italian political émigrés – as it can be inferred from the Rolandi Foreign Bookseller trademark still visible in a few occurrences, usually to the verso of a book’s front cover. In his private correspondence, Carlyle refers to Rolandi several times and it is evident that he relied on the Italian bookseller to procure works hard to obtain elsewhere, even by the British Museum.

In his study of the 1849 Roman Republic G.M. Trevelyan wrote: «That there should ever have been a time when Mazzini ruled Rome and Garibaldi defended her walls, sound like a poet’s dream». The two Italian patriots met again in England in 1864 but despite keeping up a display of unity in public they were divided by deep disagreements, clinging on almost irreconcilable positions. For reasons which remain unclear, Garibaldi’s visit was cut short. Poor health – the general was still suffering from a wound received in the Aspromonte Mountains – and fatigue were blamed. If truth be told, Garibaldi’s presence in England had became a political embarrassment. Mazzini uncomplimentary compared him to Rossini’s Don Basilio, the character in the Barber of Seville, whom, at great efforts, is persuaded to be too unwell to remain on the scene.

Illustrations from this piece from the Library Collections

Illustrations from this piece from the Library Collections

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Portrait of General Giuseppe Garibaldi

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“Roma Redenta” – A watchful Bersagliere (Italian soldier) looking over a “freed Rome”

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Pietro Rolandi foreign book seller trademark

An exhibition to mark the anniversary of Garibaldi’s visit to London was recently held at the Library and Museum of Freemasonry. On display were several books on loan from The London Library’s Italian Collections and a digital facsimile of Mazzini’s record taken from the Library’s Victorian membership ledger.

A forthcoming piece will explore and describe the riches of The London Library’s Nozze Collection. A Collection comprising over 2,500 pamphlets and ephemera printed on the occasion of weddings, a custom almost exclusively Italian.

Moving Images

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Redemption can take many forms. A little book held at The London Library, containing iconic images of cruelty and suffering, is a eulogy for a fallen comrade, an attack on his torturers and killers and an attempt to silence those who accused the author of cowardice for escaping the martyr’s fate. By Dunia Garcia-Ontiveros, Head of Bibliographic Services at The London Library. Adapted from an article originally written for History Today.

The book’s title is De persecutione Anglicana libellus quo explicantur afflictiones, calamitates, cruciatus, & acerbissima martyria, quæ Angli Catholici nūc ob fidē patiuntur  (On the English persecution, a book in which are explained the suffering, misfortunes, torture and bitterest martyrdom that the English Catholics suffered for their faith). It was printed in Rome in 1582 and although published anonymously its author has been identified as the English Jesuit Robert Persons, (also known as Parsons).

The recusant dean of Balliol College Oxford was expelled from the university in 1574 and after travelling to Italy he entered the Society of Jesus the following year, becoming a priest in 1578.

In April 1580 Parsons and Edmund Campion, also a former Oxford scholar turned Jesuit, returned to England as Catholic missionaries; Parsons disguised as an army captain and Campion as a jewel merchant.  Their main purpose was to strengthen the faith of English Catholics by disseminating books and religious objects. They were supposed to avoid political discussion and to proceed with extreme caution, particularly because the authorities had intercepted a letter and already knew of their presence in England.

Betrayed, apprehended and imprisoned

Betrayed, apprehended and imprisoned

Dragged through the streets, suffering taunts and insults

Dragged through the streets, suffering taunts and insults

Whipped and tortured with red-hot iron

Whipped and tortured with red-hot iron

Stretched on the rack

Stretched on the rack

Tied to a wicker panel he arrives at the gallows

Tied to a wicker panel he arrives at the gallows

Hanged, drawn and quartered

Hanged, drawn and quartered

Parsons was pretty good at keeping a low profile but Campion was much more conspicuous. Using clandestine presses he produced two books: Challenge to the Privy Council (also known as Campion’s Brag), where he defended the purely religious purpose of his mission, and Decem Rationes or Ten Reasons against the Anglican Church. Parsons also published while on the run, producing his Confessio fidei but was altogether more careful in his movements. Consequently, Campion was arrested on the charge of treason and the printing presses he used were seized. As soon as he heard the news of Campion’s arrest, Parsons fled back to the continent and to safety, leaving his friend behind.

In December 1581 Campion was tortured on the rack, hanged, drawn and quartered. Parsons obviously knew that had he stayed in England he would have suffered the same fate and it seems surprising that he should have chosen self-preservation over martyrdom when, as the rector of the English College in Rome, he had advocated martyrdom as the most powerful form of Catholic propaganda. It is tempting to think that Parsons lived to regret his moment of weakness and that his writing De persecutione immediately after Edmund’s death was prompted not only by his abhorrence at the atrocities inflicted on Campion but also by an uneasy conscience.

The book’s denunciation of Elizabethan barbarism is a very graphic one as it includes six powerful and moving engravings depicting every stage of the Catholic martyr’s suffering (although equally horrific torments had been inflicted on Protestants during Queen Mary’s reign). The images that at first recorded Campion’s ordeal took on a life of their own and had a lasting influence. The plates were originally designed by the publisher, engraver, journalist and Catholic spy Richard Verstegan to accompany Thomas Alfield’s eye witness account of Campion’s execution at Tyburn. They were used again in William Allen’s A briefe historie of the glorious martyrdom of XII reverend priests, becoming classics of Jesuit iconography that would be often imitated.

Open House London Weekend: A brief architectural history of The London Library

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As Open House 2014 approaches, The London Library will once again open its doors to the public and showcase the building’s architectural history. It’s the fourth consecutive year the Library has taken part, and along with hundreds of other inspiring buildings across the capital, the Library will be offering tours to non-members that will provide a fascinating insight into one of the world’s largest independent lending libraries. Not everyone managed to get a place on this year’s tours, so we’ve put together a brief history of this historic building.

The London Library is a mere stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly. Yet quietly tucked behind it’s façade in the north-west corner of St James’s Square, is a building which houses over one million books on 15 miles of shelves spread across a labyrinth of disparate buildings which have been acquired over the Library’s  173 year history.

The London Library Façade

The London Library Façade

The origins of The London Library…

Founded in 1841 by Thomas Carlyle, The London Library was originally based at 49 Pall Mall in rented rooms with a part-time Librarian. It wasn’t until 1845 that The London Library moved to its present location at 14 St James’s Square. Since then the building has continued to change and grow as the demand for space to house an ever growing collection of books and periodicals has increased.

The London Library’s current location in St James’s Square was originally the site of a Georgian townhouse, Beauchamp House, which was built in 1676 and renovated at later dates. A proposal in the 1770s to rebuild it to a design by Robert Adam was abandoned, but it was refronted shortly afterwards. It is often noted that the frontage of The London Library is smaller than its neighbours, as was described by A.I. Dasent in 1895 as “admittedly the worst house in the Square”. The Library rented the house from 1856, and in 1879 bought the freehold.

1890s – 1920s: James Osborne Smith and the Book Stacks…

At the turn of the century, the building was entirely demolished and rebuilt to the designs of James Osborne Smith. The façade, overlooking St James’s Square, is constructed in Portland stone in a broadly Jacobethan style, described by the Survey of London as “curiously eclectic”.

The main reading room is on the first floor looking out over St James’s Square; and above this, three tall windows which light three floors of book stacks. Another four floors of book stacks were built to the rear. The book stack, known as the ‘1890s Stacks’, are Victorian metal frames and grille floors which still house some of the Library’s Science & Miscellaneous, History and Topography collections.

Lord Anson's House St James's Square

Lord Ansons House St James’s Square

Tony McIntyre, architect and author of The Library Book, explains:

“The steel grille floors of the 1890s stacks, while unfriendly to anything but the most sensible footwear, are a triumph of practicality. Air circulates freely, light can permeate several floors and the structure is extraordinarily strong; the book stacks themselves are load bearing, meaning that this part of the Library truly is ‘made of books’.

The unusual architecture and magical atmosphere of the 1890s stacks also make them a firm favourite with photographers and television makers: Spooks, The Culture Show’s World Book Night special, and even an episode of New Tricks have all been filmed here.”

Osborne Smith was also responsible for an additional seven-storey book stack, built further back still in the early 1920s.

1930s – 1950s: Extensions and the effects of the Second World War…

Between 1932 and 1934, further extensions were carried out to the north of the building by architectural firm Mewès & Davis. During this period a new committee room, an Art Room, and five more floors of book stacks were incorporated.

In the first few months of 1944, substantial German air raids resumed on London in the so-called ‘Little Blitz’. In February, the northern book stacks suffered considerable damage when the Library received a direct hit from a bomb. 16,000 volumes were destroyed, including most of the Biography section. The Library reopened in July 1944, yet repairs to the buildings were not completed until the early 1950s.

1970s – 1990s: Further extensions…

The Reading Room Fireplace

The Reading Room’s Fireplace

The London Library never discards a book from its collection while acquiring books at the rate of some 8,000 volumes a year, and as a result, the Library continues to need ever expanding space for its growing collection. In the 1970s when expansion options were limited, development included a mezzanine constructed in the Art Room; four floors of book stacks constructed above the north bay of the Reading Room in 1992; and in 1995 the Anstruther Wing was erected at the rear of the site, a nine-storey building on a small footprint designed principally to house rare books.

2000s and the Future: The 21st Century Capital Campaign

In 2004, the Library acquired Duchess House. This four-storey 1970s office building, adjoining the north side of the existing site, was refurbished and renamed T S Eliot House in 2008. This was the start of an ambitious project of two stages encompassing four distinct construction phases. The first two phases of Stage 1 remodelled and integrated the T S Eliot House with the existing Library site, completed by Haworth Tompkins Architects to great acclaim and winning a number of architectural awards in 2011.

The refurbishment of the Reading Floor completed Stage 1 in summer 2013, and in 2014 the Library won RIBA London and National Awards for the architectural excellence of its designs. RIBA also shortlisted the Library as one of four projects for the RIBA London English Heritage Award for Preserving the Historic Environment.

The Library is now working towards the second stage of its Capital project plans. This will see the creation of The Andrew Devonshire Reading room – a modern complement to its Victorian counterpart on the first floor, and a new Members’ Room which will lead on to a roof garden offering views over St James’s Square and across to the Palace of Westminster and the London Eye.

Further Reading
Library Book: An Architectural Journey through The London Library by Tony McIntyre, London: The London Library, 2006 (available to buy online)

Securing our future: The 21st Century Capital Campaign

 

The Reading Room

The Reading Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stacks

The Stacks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stacks

The Stacks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Art Room

The Art Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sacker Study

The Sackler Study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WW2 Bombing Damage to the Library

WW2 Bombing Damage to the Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wrtiers' Room

The Writers’ Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Reading Room

The Reading Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 21st Century Capital Campaign

The 21st Century Capital Campaign

Irresistible Beauty

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Books are often vandalised and mutilated by those who find their content offensive. On the other hand, they are sometimes taken apart by those who find the beauty of their component parts simply irresistible. By The London Library’s Head of Bibliographic Services, Dunia Garcia-Ontiveros. Adapted from an article originally written for History Today.

In 1573 Christopher Saxton, a Yorkshire map maker born around 1542, was employed by the lawyer, MP, philanthropist, patron and administrator Thomas Seckford to produce a set of maps of England and Wales. The enterprise counted with the enthusiastic support of Elizabeth I who issued Saxton with a number of letters and passes to guarantee the full co-operation of the locals wherever his surveys took him. The Queen also granted him a decade of exclusive rights to publish the resulting atlas. The royal protegé produced a book of maps charting the whole of England and Wales, the like of which had never been seen before and was handsomely rewarded for his work. The Atlas of the counties of England and Wales, printed in London in 1579, consists of thirty-four county maps, introduced by a map of England and Wales. It was never printed in a standard edition and the preliminary pages varied from one copy to another, although most have a stunning frontispiece depicting the work’s royal patron wearing a robe of bright red velvet. The maps that follow the frontispiece are just as beautiful but, most important of all, they are also very accurate. Each engraved map was printed on a single sheet, hand-coloured, folded in the middle and then attached to a stub in the book. It is perhaps this fatal combination of beauty, accuracy and ease of removal that proved the downfall of the atlas, at least from a book lover’s point of view. From a cartographic point of view the wealth of precise detail of these maps had a long-lasting influence. It became the canon for later English map makers but also served as an inspiration for the likes of Jan Blaeu, part of the Dutch mapmaking dynasty and official cartographer of the Dutch East India Company. Saxton’s maps have had a very long life being surpassed in accuracy only as late as the 19th century by the work of the Ordnance Survey. His atlases, however, have suffered a harsher fate and very few perfect copies have survived.

The London Library’s copy was first owned by Sir Henry Maynard (1547-1610), administrator and secretary to William Cecil, first Baron Burghley, who was also Seckford’s master and who had a great interest in and knowledge of cartography. The Maynards settled in Burghley’s Essex, building a manor in Easton. The book was handed down the family and finally received the addition of a bookplate bearing the name Charles Lord Maynard (1690-1775).  The next recorded owner is the famous book collector Richard Heber (1774-1833). After Heber’s death the atlas was sold at Sotheby’s where the merchant and antiquary Joseph Brooks Yates (1780-1855) acquired it. When in 1857 his grandson, Henry Yates Thompson (1838-1928) inherited it two pages, including the glorious frontispiece, were missing and as Yates Thompson observed, the town of Easton on the map of Essex (now also missing) ‘was much rubbed by finger marks of the Maynard family’. In 1885 Yates Thompson was fortunate enough to come across another copy, this time a perfect one, which he bought from the antiquarian bookseller and publisher, Bernard Quaritch, and it was with the help of Quaritch that he used his perfect copy to make facsimiles for the incomplete one he inherited. In a manuscript note written on the book’s endpapers and dated 1887 Henry Yates Thompson describes how he paid a Mr. Sadler two guineas to have the facsimiles coloured and he goes on to say that the facsimiles ‘are not readily distinguished from the originals, unless by the colour of the paper.

Victorian reproduction of an Elizabethan masterpiece.

Victorian reproduction of an Elizabethan masterpiece.

Saxton travelled across England and Wales and mapped Cornwall in 1576.

Saxton travelled across England and Wales and mapped Cornwall in 1576.

The previous year he mapped London, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

The previous year he mapped London, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

 

The volume, with its missing pages and remarkable, though by today’s standards invasive Victorian repairs, was given to the Library in memory of Mrs. Yates Thompson in 1941.

Training for Martyrdom

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Allen's manifesto

Allen’s manifesto

A radical departure: the first Biblical translation by English Catholics

A radical departure: the first Biblical translation by English Catholics

Allen's posthumous victory?

Allen’s posthumous victory?

By Dunia Garcia-Ontiveros, Head of Bibliographic Services at The London Library. Adapted from an article originally written for History Today.

In 1558 Mary Tudor’s brief Catholic reign came to an end.  Just as English Protestants  who had fled to Lutheran and Calvinist havens on the continent were beginning to return home, in Oxford and Cambridge Catholic scholars who refused to conform to the new Elizabethan order  started packing their bags and planning their escape to France and the Spanish-ruled Low Countries.  Although some were headed for the universities of Douai and Louvain many were scattered across Europe until an Oxford don, William Allen (1532-1594), founded an English college in Douai in 1568 where they could all continue to study together.  With Papal approval and the financial support of Philip II of Spain the college began to attract more and more learned exiles.  It was so successful that a subsidiary branch in Rheims had to be set up in 1576 to accommodate the great numbers of students enrolling.  Allen fervently believed that England should become Catholic again and he used the college to train English priests in readiness for the happy day he was sure must come.  But he did much more than that.  He encouraged his graduates to travel back to England, despite the obvious danger, in order to fight the apathy and fear of the Catholics back home.  A great number of the priests trained at the English college became missionaries and many of those suffered martyrdom after returning to England. These martyrs were the subjects of hero-worship back in Douai.  The possibility of being revered after death or perhaps the allure of gaining a place in heaven through martyrdom may have played an important part in attracting new recruits.  The London Library has a copy of Allen’s An apologie and true declaration of the institution and endevours of the two English Colleges, the one in Rome and the other now resident in Rhemes against certaine sinister informations given up against the same  printed in 1581. In it he explains his reasons for founding the colleges.  Ostensibly, this was meant an answer to his critics but it would also have served to explain himself to Catholics in England who may have disagreed with his methods.

Not content with his martyrs’ proselytizing and the powerful propaganda their deaths offered Allen also worked with the Spanish king and the pope on several plans for an invasion of England.  It was probably this plotting that made him the target of several failed assassination attempts.

His strong connections with Spain were also the reason Allen and his students had to flee to Rheims when in 1578 Douai was taken over by Protestant forces.  It was in Rheims that Allen’s most enduring work was completed.

The English Catholic version of the Scriptures known as the Douai or Rheims-Douay Bible was the work of Gregory Martin, one of the lecturers at the English College, but it was Allen’s brainchild and he was the one who raised the money to finance the work.   Allen’s motivations for undertaking the project are not clear. Some say he did it because he wanted to be able to defend Catholics of the charge of keeping the Scriptures in inaccessible Latin, others say that, realising Protestant English Bibles were everywhere, he wanted to redress the balance by creating a Catholic version for English readers.  Martin completed his translation from the Vulgate in 1580 and lived just long enough to see the New Testament printed in Rheims in 1582, which was as much as the funds could stretch to.

Allen ended his days as a cardinal in Rome where he died in 1594, surrounded by powerful friends but impoverished and disheartened after the defeat of the Spanish Armada. He did not live to see his Old Testament printed in Douai (the college had returned there in 1593) in 1609 and 1610 nor did he live to learn of his New Testament’s influence on the King James Bible of 1611. We will never know whether he would he have seen the absorption of his Catholic rendering of the Bible by a new Protestant version as victory of sorts or as the final insult.