Isabella Valancy Crawford

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Isabella Valancy Crawford (Image Source)

Last time, we took a quick look at Barcelona as a City of Literature, and in particular at Catalan poet Maria Mercè Marçal.  In this post, as usual, we switch back to Peterborough and its literary heritage.  And in particular we are going to see whether we can find any common thematic ground between Marçal — fiercely feminist, left-wing, and nationalist — and the late-19th century Peterborian poet Isabella Valancy Crawford.  Read on…

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Cities of Literature: Barcelona

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Barcelona.  (Image Source)

We are back at it!  And in this post, we travel to the north-east of Spain, and the city of Barcelona (pop. 1.6 million).  It is an old old city indeed, founded as a Roman colony in the early first century A.D.  Like many of its sister-Cities of Literature, Barcelona is too ancient and too large to make any survey of its entire literary tradition possible in the context of a short blog post.  So, once again, we will take a look at one element of that tradition, in this case a poet by the name of Maria Mercè Marçal.  Read on…

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Dilluns

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Just a quick update, as we catch our breath after a long examination of the Peterborough Mechanics’ Institute.  We will be back on Monday, with a literary visit to the city pictured above — a sort of homage to Catalonia, if nobody has used that phrase yet!

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The Peterborough Mechanic’s Institute: Part 3

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Volume 1 of the Canadian Magazine of Politics, Science, Art and Literature, March – October 1893.  (Image Source)

With this post, we finish up our look at the Peterborough Mechanics’ Institute, the precursor to the city’s Public Library.   In Part 1, we examined briefly the history of the Institute, and in Part 2 we looked at the contents of its collection of books.  In Part 3, we turn our attention to the periodicals shelves, so read on for magazines, some of which will no doubt still be familiar even a century and a half after the heyday of the Peterborough Mechanics’ Institute!

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Scheduling Update

A quick note here: our look at the periodicals and the reading room of the Peterborough Mechanics’ Institute will appear early next week (Tuesday or Wednesday).  So have a good weekend!

Above: a cartoon from Punch magazine, which was indeed available to be perused at the Peterborough Mechanics’ Institute, published July 23rd, 1870.

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The Peterborough Mechanics’ Institute: Part 2

“Its object shall be to instruct its members in the principles of the Arts and in the various branches of Science and useful knowledge.”  Such was the stated goal of the Peterborough Mechanics’ Institute, the city’s first library, at the time of its founding in 1843.  In the most recent post, we took a brief look at the history and workings of the Mechanics’ Institute, but now we turn our attention to the actual books available in the Institute’s collection.  What was considered “useful knowledge,” and was there any room in there for reading for pleasure?  Answers below the jump…

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The Peterborough Mechanics’ Institute: Part 1

Peterborough’s bibliothecal (it’s a word!) history is not, of course, as long as that of our subject of the other day, Baghdad.  However, it does go back tolerably far into the city’s early history: to 1843, and the foundation of the Peterborough Mechanics’ Institute.  Read on, and don’t be fooled by the word “Mechanics'”…

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