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Cooper, Anne, 1763?-1804

Journal of a tour down the Wye, MDCCLXXXVI.

Great Britain, 1786 May 29-June 1.
Physical Description:
1 v. (48 p.) : ill. ; 27 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
DA670.W97 C66 1786+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
Anne Cooper (baptized 18 August 1763, died 20 September 1804) was the daughter and only child of William Purnell of Dursley (1737-1805). She married Robert Bransby Cooper on 6 May 1784. He was a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Gloucestershire, and M.P. for Gloucester, from 1818 to 1830. In 1807 the Cooper family embarked on another Wye Tour, with the poet Robert Bloomfield, whose "The Banks of Wye", 1811, is in part dedicated to "Robert Bransby Cooper ... and all the members of his Family".
Another manuscript copy of the present journal exists at Chepstow Museum (Wales). The Chepstow copy appears to contain the same text, accompanied by 21 views in sepia wash. Precedence of the manuscript copies has not been established.
Inscribed: This journal & the miniature of my Purnell inclosed [not present] to return to my dear son or daughter Bransby, July 1803.
Bound in contemporary gilt-tooled morocco.
Subject Terms:
Castles & palaces -- Great Britain.
Castles -- Great Britain.
Chepstow Castle (Chepstow, Wales)
Cooper, Anne, 1763?-1804 -- Diaries.
Cooper, Lovich.
Cooper, Robert Bransby, 1762-1845.
Monmouthshire (Wales) -- Antiquities.
Monmouthshire (Wales) -- Description and travel.
Purnell, William.
Ruins -- Great Britain.
Tintern Abbey.
Wye, River (Wales and England) -- Description and travel.
Wye, River (Wales and England) -- Navigation.
Wye, River (Wales and England) in art.
Travel literature
Landscape drawings.
Travel sketches.

"In the late eighteenth century, it became fashionable to visit wilder parts of Britain, particularly the Wye Valley because of its renowned scenic qualities. Tintern Abbey, then swathed in ivy, was visited by many famous individuals in search of the romantic and the picturesque, including J.M.W. Turner and William Wordsworth. Mr. A. Cooper was typical of these tourists and wrote ecstatically upon his first sighting of the ruins of the Abbey in his illustrated account: "The pointed remains ... now rose upon the sight, and excited a sensation which I know not how to describe -- A sensation compounded of surprise, admiration, and enthusiasm. Never did I behold so majestic a piece of ruins, or one so calculated to affect the mind of the spectator." He is also impressed by the sight of Bishop's Wood, a "novel, and very delightful scene." "A. Cooper," the name that appears at the foot of the manuscript title page, has not yet been identified. Some evidence of his identity is provided in the second paragraph: "Our party consisted of Mr. Howman, Mr. Dryer, Mr. Lovich Cooper, my father, Mr. Cooper & myself. It is tempting to ascribe the manuscript to the Irish antiquary Austin Cooper (1759-1831), who recorded Ireland's ancient buildings and picturesque sites in numerous albums and loose drawings, now at the National Library of Ireland. There is, however, no evidence that Cooper made the journey to Monmouthshire in May of 1786, two months before he got married in Dublin." -- Elisabeth Fairman. Paul Mellon's Legacy: a Passion for British Art: Masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, p. 307, no. 140, N5220.M552 P38 2007+ OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Paul Mellon's Legacy : A Passion for British Art (Yale Center for British Art, 2007-04-18 - 2007-07-29) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

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