Search Details

Title Commonplace book, circa 1776-circa 1832.
Creator Rushout, Anne, ca. 1768-1849.
Classification Archives & manuscripts
Physical Description 1 v. (270 p.) : ill. ; 21 cm.
Full Orbis Record http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/9570738
Notes

The Honorable Anne Rushout (1767-1849) was the daughter of Sir John Rushout, First Baron of Northwick (1738-1800). She was a well-educated and accomplished woman, one of three sisters and two brothers. Although Anne's two sisters married, as did her brother George Rushout-Bowles, neither she nor her brother John, who would become the Second Baron Northwick of Northwick Park, ever did. Instead, it appears that Anne and John continued to live at the family estate, Northwick Park, in Gloucestershire (or Worcestershire, as it had been known in Anne's day). As an amateur artist, Anne painted notable watercolor views of Northwick Park, as well as botanical studies (cf. Huon Mallalieu, The dictionary of British watercolour artists up to 1920).


Manuscript commonplace book compiled by Anne Rushout, of Northwick, from about 1776 to 1832. The collection of writings includes verse, prose, amusements, and many riddles and puzzles. The writing is in pen and dark brown ink throughout. Small illustrations accompany some of the puzzles. The drawings are also in pen and brown ink, with the occasional addition of watercolors. Pages 1-106 and 206-270 are in a neat, feminine hand, presumably that of Anne Rushout. The middle portion (p. 107-205) is in a different, coarser hand, perhaps that of an unidentified male copyist.


The commonplace book contains entries dated from 1776 to 1832; the dates likely refer to the composition of each piece, rather than the date of copying in the present commonplace book. The contents range from poems commemorating events in fashionable life, to prologues of contemporary plays, to odd anecdotal tales of people rescued from being buried alive. Most notable, perhaps, are the entries relating to the subject of marriage--many of them not in favor of the institution--that Anne copies into the book. Her interest in "bluestocking" verse and other texts seems to indicate a strong feminist belief, which might perhaps account (at least in part) for her decision not to marry.


Sample writings include: "Poem on the creation," by Mrs. Booth; "On the dress of the present times 1776," perhaps containing original verse; several excerpts from works by David Garrick; "The Hermit of Warkworth, a Northumberland ballad," by Thomas Percy; and the preface to The Alexiad by Anna Comnena (ca. 1148), one of the first Western female historians.


On the topic of marriage, Rushout copies Mary Chudleigh's "Verso to the ladies," which includes the following stanza: "Then shun oh! Shun that wretched state, And all the fawning flatterers hate. Value yourselves, & man despise, You must be proud if you'll be wise." On page 134, a riddle titled "Marriage" reads: "Le Premier et un Tyran/ Le Second et un Monstre/ Et le toute ensemble et le Diable."


A large portion of the commonplace book is devoted to word games, especially from page 108. These include charades, riddles, anagrams, rebuses, and a number of illustrated visual puzzles. Rushout provides no answers for many of the puzzles, while the solution appears as the title in others.


Anne's Rushout's autograph appears on the front pastedown, together with a later typed note (pasted in) reading "The Hon. Anne Rushout, Daughter of Lord Northwick, Died 4th April 1849". Affixed to the rear pastedown is a clipping (late 18th century?) titled "Private theatricals" and reading "We have most delightful accounts of the acting at Sir John Rushout's in Worcestershire. The French plays are spoken of in particular; but the elegance and good humour of that family must make all their parties refined and happy ...".


Bound in contemporary quarter calf, with marbled boards.

Call Number PN6245.R87 C66 1776
Collection Rare Books and Manuscripts
Subject Terms Rushout, Anne, -- approximately 1768-1849.
Northwick, John Rushout, -- Baron, -- 1738-1800.
Garrick, David, -- 1717-1779.
Comnena, Anna, -- 1083- -- Alexiad.
Chudleigh, Mary Lee, -- Lady, -- 1656-1710.
Amateur theater -- Great Britain.
English poetry -- 18th century.
English poetry -- 19th century.
Marriage in literature.
Worcestershire (England) -- Social life and customs.
Form Genre Terms Commonplace books.
Puzzles.
Rebuses.
Riddles.
Charades.
Anagrams.
Games -- Great Britain.
Recreations -- Great Britain.
Ink drawings.
Watercolors.
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