Constable's Miscellany

Constable's Miscellany was a part publishing serial established by Archibald Constable. Three numbers made up a volume; many of the works were divided into several volumes. The price of a number was one shilling.[1] The full series title was Constable's Miscellany of Original and Selected Publications, in the Various Departments of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Constable's Miscellany volume XXXVI, engraving by William Miller

Archibald Constable died in 1827, and the Miscellany was taken over by a consortium of Aitken, Henry Constable, and a London publisher. When the publisher went bankrupt in 1831, the project became relatively dormant.[2] The entire list was later advertised by the London firm of Whittaker & Co.[3][4] There were 80 volumes in all, the first appearing in 1826 and the last in 1835.[5]

Background and influenceEdit

Projected before the Panic of 1825, the Miscellany was dedicated to George IV of the United Kingdom, a privilege gained for Constable by Walter Scott. The initial plans were more ambitious; Constable himself became bankrupt in 1827, and this final project proceeded under constraints.[6]

The Miscellany's first editor was John Aitken.[2] As a series of less expensive contemporary non-fiction books for a popular audience, by a commercial publisher, it was the precedent for Murray's Family Library, which it anticipated by two years.[7] It was recognised in the new genre, of "libraries of useful knowledge".[1]

Constable's project is recognised as initiating a publishing phenomenon of the later 1820s. Cheap editions marketed as small libraries were seen also in the Library of Useful Knowledge, Library of Entertaining Knowledge, Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopædia, and series by Henry Colburn and Abraham John Valpy.[5]

List of Constable's MiscellanyEdit

Volume Year Author Title
I 1826 (3 vols.) Basil Hall Voyage to Loo-Choo and other places in the Eastern Seas in the Year 1816[8]
IV Hugh Murray Adventures of British Seamen[9]
V Walter Scott, introduction Memoirs of the Marchioness of La Rochejaquelein[9]
VI (2 vols.) 1827 Andrew Crichton Converts from Infidelity[10]
VIII (2 vols.) 1827 Michael Symes An Account of an Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava in the Year 1795[11]
X 1827 George Moir Table Talk, or Selections from the Ana[9] (i.e. -ana)
XI Perils and Captivity[9]
XII Henry Glassford Bell (editor)[12] Selections of the Most Remarkable Phenomena of Nature[9]
XIII (2 vols.) 1827 John Martin An Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands
XV (2 vols,) Robert Chambers History of the Rebellions in Scotland in 1745, 1746[9]
XVII Orlando W. Roberts Voyages and Excursions in Central America[9]
XVIII (2 vols,) Friedrich Schiller
George Moir, translator
Historical Works[9]
XX (2 vols.) Richard Thomson An Historical View of the Manner, Customs, Literature, &c., of Great Britain[9]
XXII 1827 General Register of Politics, Science and Literature[9]
XXIII John Gibson Lockhart Life of Burns[9]
XXIV (2 vols.) Henry Glassford Bell Life of Mary, Queen of Scots[9]
XXVI Francis Wrangham Evidences of Christianity[9]
XXVII (2 vols.) Adam Neale (two parts)[13] Memorials of the Late War[9]
XXIX (2 vols.) John Russell (brother of James Russell)[14] A Tour in Germany in 1820, 1821, 1822[9]
XXXI (2 vols.) Robert Chambers History of the Rebellions in Scotland, under Montrose and Others, from in 1638 till 1660[9]
XXXIII (3 vols.) Christophe Guillaume de Koch
Andrew Crichton (translator)
History of the Revolutions in Europe[9]
XXXVI (2 vols.) John Dundas Cochrane A Pedestrian Journey through Russia and Siberian Tartary[9]
XXXVIII Derwent Conway Narrative of a Journey through Norway, Sweden and Denmark[9]
XXXIX John Smythe Memes History of Sculpture, Painting, and Architecture[9]
XL (2 vols.) Edward Upham History of the Ottoman Empire[9]
XLII 1829 Robert Chambers History of the Rebellions in Scotland under the Viscount of Dundee and the Earl of Mar in 1689 and 1715[15]
XLIII (2 vols.) John Parker Lawson History of the Most Remarkable Conspiracies Connected with European History[9]
XLV Gilbert White The Natural History of Selborne[9]
XLVI J. D. Sinclair An Autumn in Italy[9]
XLVII (2 vols.) 1829 Michael Russell Life of Oliver Cromwell[16]
XLIX Telesforo de Trueba y Cosio Life of Hernan Cortes[9]
L (2 vols.) Henry Stebbing History of Chivalry and the Crusades[9]
LII William Cooke Stafford History of Music[9]
LIII (2 vols.) 1830 John Donald Carrick Life of Sir William Wallace of Elderslie[17]
LV (2 vols.) Robert Chambers Life of James the First[9]
LVII (3 vols.) 1830 Fauvelet de Bourrienne
John Styles Memes (translator)
Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte[18]
LX (2 vols.) Thomas Keightley History of the War of Independence in Greece[9]
LXII Telesforo de Trueba y Cosio History of the Conquest of Peru by the Spaniards[9]
LXIII (2 vols.) Alexander Sutherland The Achievements of the Knights of Malta[9]
LXV James Augustus St John A Journal of a Residence in Normandy[19]
LXVI (2 vols.) 1831 Derwent Conway Switzerland, the South of France and the Pyrenees in MDCCC.XXX
LXVIII 1831 (4 vols.) Alexander Wilson
Charles Lucian Bonaparte
Robert Jameson (editor)
The American Ornithology[20]
LXXII 1831 John Styles Memes Memoirs of the Empress Josephine[21]
LXXIII (2 vols.) 1831 William Cooke Taylor[22] History of the Civil Wars in Ireland
LXXV 1832 (2 vols.) Thomas Brown The Book of Butterflies, Sphinxes and Moths[23]
LXXVII 1832 Robert Mudie[24] A Popular Guide to the Observation of Nature
LXXVIII (2 vols.) 1833 Cyrus Redding A History of Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea[25]
LXXX 1834 Thomas Brown The Book of Butterflies, Sphinxes and Moths, vol. 3[26]

Revival of the seriesEdit

"A version of the series was revived in the mid 1850s, the early 1880s, and, finally, in 1928..."[27] The 1929 incarnation of the series was named "Constable’s Miscellany of Original and Selected Publications in Literature until about 1939.

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b William Goodhugh (1827). The English gentleman's library manual: or, A guide to the formation of a library of select literature; accompanied with original notices, biographical and critical, of authors and books. W. Goodhugh. pp. 107–9. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  2. ^ a b Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1885). "Aitken, John" . Dictionary of National Biography. 1. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  3. ^ Frances Milton Trollope (1838). One Fault: A Novel. Richard Bentley. p. 14. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  4. ^ The Athenaeum. J. Lection. 1832. p. 816. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  5. ^ a b Royal A. Gettmann (10 June 2010). A Victorian Publisher: A Study of the Bentley Papers. Cambridge University Press. pp. 28–30. ISBN 978-0-521-15320-1. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  6. ^ Hewitt, David. "Constable, Archibald". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/6101. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7. ^ Scott Bennett, John Murray's Family Library and the Cheapening of Books in Early Nineteenth Century Britain, Studies in Bibliography Vol. 29, (1976), pp. 139-166, at p. 141. Published by: Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40371632
  8. ^ Basil Hall (1826). Voyage to Loo-Choo, and other places in the eastern seas, in the year 1816: Including an account of Captain Maxwell's attack on the batteries at Canton; and notes of an interview with Buonaparte at St. Helena, in August 1817. Printed for A. Constable & co. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae James Augustus St. John (1831). Journal of a Residence in Normandy. Constable & Co. pp. ii–iii. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  10. ^ archive.org.
  11. ^ Constable's miscellany of original and selected publications in the various departments of literature, science, & the arts. 1827. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  12. ^ Archibald Constable (1827). Constable's miscellany of original and selected publications in the various departments of literature, science, & the arts. Printed for Constable. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  13. ^ Lee, Sidney, ed. (1894). "Neale, Adam" . Dictionary of National Biography. 40. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  14. ^ Lee, Sidney, ed. (1897). "Russell, James (1790-1861)" . Dictionary of National Biography. 49. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  15. ^ archive.org.
  16. ^ Michael Russell (1829). Life of Oliver Cromwell. Printed for Constable and co. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  17. ^ Constable and co, ltd (1826). Constable's miscellany of original and selected publications. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  18. ^ Constable and co, ltd (1830). Constable's miscellany of original and selected publications. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  19. ^ Constable's miscellany of original and selected publications in the various departments of literature, science, & the arts. 1831. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  20. ^ Archibald Constable (1831). Constable's miscellany of original and selected publications in the various departments of literature, science, & the arts. Printed for Constable. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  21. ^ Archibald Constable (1831). Constable's miscellany of original and selected publications in the various departments of literature, science, & the arts. Printed for Constable. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  22. ^ Lee, Sidney, ed. (1898). "Taylor, William Cooke" . Dictionary of National Biography. 55. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  23. ^ Thomas Brown (1832). The Book of Butterflies, Sphinxes, and Moths: Illustrated by Ninety-six Engravings Coloured After Nature. Whittaker, Treacher. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  24. ^ Lee, Sidney, ed. (1894). "Mudie, Robert" . Dictionary of National Biography. 39. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  25. ^ Archibald Constable (1833). Constable's miscellany of original and selected publications in the various departments of literature, science, & the arts. Printed for Constable. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  26. ^ Details - The book of butterflies, sphinxes and moths; illustrated by one hundred and forty-four engravings, coloured after nature; in three volumes - Biodiversity Heritage Library. biodiversitylibrary.org. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  27. ^ Constable’s Miscellany, seriesofseries.owu.edu. Retrieved on 19 March 2017.