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Coppinger, Robert Edward Murray, 1827 or 1828-

Songs, sonnets and short poems written for and dedicated to Allen Field / by Robert Edwd. Murray Coppinger.

Additional Title(s):

Half-title: Songs, sonnets and short poems for Allen Field's birthday, October 25, 1867

Cover title: Souvenir

England, 1867.
Physical Description:
1 volume (54 leaves) : illustrations ; 28 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
PN6245 .C673 1867+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Information
Archives & Manuscripts
The compiler, Robert Edward Murray Coppinger, appears to have been a minor author, publisher, and bookbinder. Circa 1865, his name appears on two publications: Pro rege, lege, grege: an essay on a motto (London, Jas. Wade); and Adieu my love adieu (London, G.A. Davies). In 1868 he published The book of torment, an album for the reception of small drawings, engravings, photographs, mottoes, quotations, etc. His primary employment was probably as partner in the firm of Ramage & Coppinger. An ad for the firm describes them as London "publishers, wholesale booksellers, & bookbinders ... prize medal, Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1867" (see: The Bookseller, Oct. 31, 1867, page 880). In 1869, however, Coppinger filed for bankruptcy, and in 1873 he was charged with embezzlement. The Police Gazette, May 23, notes: "Edward Murray Coppinger, charged with embezzlement, 45 years of age ... dark hair and whiskers, bald on top of head, full face, very much marked with small pox ... stoops ... a literary man. Information to be given to Inspector Bailey ... who holds a warrant for his apprehension."
Bound in full black morocco, with gilt lettering and decoration to covers and spine. With the initials E.A. on front cover, beneath "Souvenir" and above "October 25th, 1867." The binding was presumably executed by the firm of Ramage & Coppinger.
Title from title leaf.
Manuscript commonplace book, compiled by Robert Edward Murray Coppinger for Allen Field, on the occasion of Field's birthday, October 25, 1867. Includes original verse, composed by Coppinger, and 35 albumen prints depicting scenes in England, Dublin, and Paris.
The album is prefaced by a letter from Coppinger to Field (leaves 6-7), which describes something of the history of the volume: "... When you told me nearly six months ago to write a book and jokingly said I should write something for you, you did not I am sure suspect that the book was already begun and had been planned entirely for you ... Planned and carried out entirely by my own hand the natural ardour with which I enter into any pursuit in which you are concerned carried me to a conclusion long ago and I have had quite a bother with myself to prevent these little poems from being prematurely handed over to you."
Much of the verse concerns love, or the spurning thereof, and it is unclear if the content is autobiographical for Coppinger (or for Field). If it is, the final verse -- "A dead friendship" -- appears especially bleak, beginning "False you were, and shallow hearted, when I most believed you true." The verse "Adieu my love adieu -- music by Arthur Lee Magrath" was also published by G.A. Davies, ca. 1865.
Preliminary pages include photographic portraits of Coppinger and "Emily F.G.," i.e., his sister Emily Frances, who married Charles Edwin Godfrey in 1860. Three photographs reproduce engravings, but the remainder depict travel scenery. A number appear under the caption "Our First Holiday" and depict a journey along the Thames, with bucolic views of the river around Windsor, Eton, and Maidenhead. Most of these photos are stamped at lower left "H. & C. Barnard, 129 Oxford St., London," which is presumably the studio from which Coppinger bought the prints. Four photographs depict Dublin, including the College Green, Eden Quay, and Sackville Street. Photographs of Paris include common tourist subjects, such as the Louvre, Madelaine, and Palais de l'Industrie.
Subject Terms:
Coppinger, Robert Edward Murray, 1827 or 1828-
Dublin (Ireland) -- Pictorial works.
English poetry -- 19th century.
Field, Allen.
Godfrey, Emily Frances, 1836-1921.
LGBTQ resource.
Male friendship.
Paris (France) -- Pictorial works.
Thames Valley (England) -- Pictorial works.
Commonplace books.
Albumen prints.
Ramage & Coppinger, binder.
H. & C. Barnard.

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