Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday primary source #11

This journal was recently acquired by me and my colleague Ben Stone, the curator of British and American History. It is available in Special Collections.

The Calais Messenger: Journal D'annonces Et De Littérature Publié En Anglais. Calais: [s.n.], 1826-1827.

From the dealer's description:
35 issues (almost certainly a complete run), 4to (280 × 210 mm), each issue pp. 4, printed in 3 columns with drop-head titles, some woodcut ornaments (mainly depicting ships), tax stamps to each issue. The complete run is found across two bound > volumes (each incomplete) which between them also have duplicate issues of 3-10, 21-30. Blue paper wrappers, spines defective, one cover wanting, stitching loose. This collection comprises a very good copy of each issue of the paper... Printed by Le Roy in the Rue de Boucheries, the paper is a mixture of commercial advertising (with fascinating insights into Anglo-French commerce, especially in brewing, vitualling and lace-making) and local and international news, together with some literary snippets. Each issue provides information on Mail times, tides at Calais, stage-coaches, ships arriving and departing the port and French and English stock prices. Altogether they illustrate the extent of the little-studied English presence in the town: there was an English theatre (issue 1 advertises the arrival of several “distinguished performers” on November 1826) and an English Protestant Church (whose opening is announced in the final issue in 1827), together with several English coffee-houses and taverns.

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brought to you by...
Sarah Sussman, curator of French and Italian Collections