Empowering the Earl of Leicester

Map of the British Isles, Heroica Eulogia, William Bowyer, 1567. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Map of the British Isles, Heroica Eulogia, William Bowyer, 1567. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

The Huntington possesses an astonishing Elizabethan-era illuminated manuscript, dating from 1567, entitled Heroica Eulogia. Containing a series of vignettes of earls and kings, it is an exquisite volume that combines paintings, coats of arms, Latin poems, 14 distinctive styles of handwriting, and historical documents. Its author (although “producer” might be a better word) was William Bowyer, the Keeper of the Records in the Tower of London.

For years, the beauty of this manuscript captured the attention of calligraphers, who identified it as the work of French calligrapher John de Beauchesne, author of the first Elizabethan handwriting manual. Its rich heraldic representations also have caught many people’s eyes—including those of curators at the Folger Shakespeare Library, who borrowed it once for an exhibition. But the manuscript’s major claim to fame is its color map of Britain, one of the earliest accurate maps of the British Isles.

Recently, we decided to display and discuss Heroica Eulogia at a Huntington event and took a moment to reconsider this amazing volume. Putting aside for a moment its decidedly beautiful images, what was its purpose? Why was it produced, in what context was it prepared, and what did it mean?

Arms of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, with verses in the calligraphic script of John de Beauchesne, Heroica Eulogia, William Bowyer, 1567. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Arms of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, with verses in the calligraphic script of John de Beauchesne, Heroica Eulogia, William Bowyer, 1567. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

We had two significant clues. For one, Bowyer dedicates the volume to the newly created Earl of Leicester, Robert Dudley (1532–88)—the favorite and suitor of Queen Elizabeth (1533–1603), the self-styled Virgin Queen. The second clue appears on the title page in the form of a riddle in Latin: “Venit veritas interdum in lucem non quaestia.” Or, in English: “Sometimes the truth comes to light unsought.” What truth was this manuscript teaching Leicester that he didn’t realize he needed to know?

The more we examined the volume, the more we felt convinced that Bowyer was teaching the new Earl of Leicester about his rights and powers, basing them on the histories of former earls of Leicester and on the properties Queen Elizabeth had granted him. That would explain the inclusion of the extents, deeds, parliamentary writs, and other documents that verified Leicester’s rights, as earl, to the powers of all previous earls.

It also seems that Bowyer was trying to prove Robert Dudley was worthy of marrying Elizabeth. The Queen had made it clear that, of the many suitors who pursued her, she favored Dudley, though he was already married. When Dudley’s wife died mysteriously, the path was seemingly cleared. But Elizabeth, wisely realizing that marrying a man assumed by many to have murdered his wife would undermine her authority, let the idea go. In Heroica Eulogia, Bowyer includes a poem lauding Dudley’s merit, including a line about his being unmarried and the Queen’s being a virgin, making the obvious suggestion.

Edward I seated in a triumphal car, Heroica Eulogia, William Bowyer, 1567. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Edward I seated in a triumphal car, Heroica Eulogia, William Bowyer, 1567. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Elizabeth went on to give Dudley Kenilworth Castle, the barony of Denbigh, and Chirk Castle—making him rich enough to be an earl, with huge power in the Midlands and North Wales. In the manuscript, Bowyer reproduced documents pertinent to previous possessors of these lands.

Prefacing these historical documents were symbolic portraits of English kings, each with a Latin poem recounting his life and fortunes. Of these, a particularly telling one shows Edward I (1239–1307) riding in a Roman triumphal car. Above him floats a banner declaring: “I fix my eyes on God, turning neither to the right nor to the left.” Edward stands over conquered Scotland and Wales, and the Pope falls off the back of the car. Surrounding Edward are the virtues of “necessary war,” “policy,” “magnanimity,” “just cause,” “clean conscience,” and “tireless work.” The message is clear: Edward was a righteous king who justly conquered England’s foes.

The volume also contains cartoons justifying the dissolution of monasteries and priories whose property and powers are being granted to Leicester. They declare their corruption, with titles such as “The Avaricious Monk,” “The Careless Bishop,” and “The Hypocritical Friar.” The images are accompanied by stern biblical passages about corruption being purged by divine wrath. Each image is accompanied by a Latin poem written in a mocking tone that imitates the work of the Goliards, medieval poets who satirized clergy and liturgy.

“De appate ingluvioso,” Heroica Eulogia, William Bowyer, 1567. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

“De appate ingluvioso,” Heroica Eulogia, William Bowyer, 1567. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

One image shows a gluttonous, ruby-cheeked abbot. His open hymnbook reveals that he’s worshiping the Pope. While he’s singing of “the body in the choir,” a roasted piglet sits beside him on a platter, labeled in Latin “Animus in patinis,” a pun on “paten,” the plate on which the bread—the body of Christ—rests during the mass. The label suggests that the abbot’s heart is fixed on pork, not on Christ.

In the end, we do not know if the Earl of Leicester ever received this volume. Parts of it are not finished, suggesting that it may never have been delivered. What we do know is that Bowyer had an imaginative and powerful multimedia technique of making the case for the earl’s powers. Using historical evidence, poetry, and painting, Bowyer had master craftsmen produce a unique manuscript that explored the powers of the earl. This magnificent volume provides a rich, lively, and detailed look at how history and art supported the hierarchies of power in Elizabethan England.

You can listen to Norman Jones’s Distinguished Fellow lecture, “Being Elizabethan: How Elizabethans Made Sense of Their World,” on SoundCloud or iTunes U.

Norman Jones, the 2015–16 Fletcher Jones Foundation Distinguished Fellow at The Huntington, is professor of history at Utah State University. Among his recent books are The English Reformation: Religion and Cultural Adaption and Governing by Virtue: Lord Burghley and the Management of Elizabethan England.

Advancing the Humanities

Front entrance to the Munger Research Center, where the first two fellows for the Huntington-UC Program for the Advancement of the Humanities, Alejandra Dubcovsky and Fuson Wang, will conduct research using The Huntington’s collections. Photograph by Kate Lain.

Front entrance to the Munger Research Center, where the first two fellows for the Huntington-UC Program for the Advancement of the Humanities, Alejandra Dubcovsky and Fuson Wang, will conduct research using The Huntington’s collections. Photograph by Kate Lain.

The Huntington and the University of California, Riverside, have selected the first two fellows for the highly competitive Huntington-UC Program for the Advancement of the Humanities, a partnership designed to boost the humanities at public universities. The program currently supports scholars whose research areas are focused on 18th-century studies and on the history and culture of science—collection areas that are among The Huntington’s greatest strengths.

Alejandra Dubcovsky, assistant professor of history at Yale University, and Fuson Wang, assistant professor of English at The City University of New York, will join the UC Riverside faculty and conduct independent research in The Huntington’s collections. Selected from a pool of more than 350 applicants, they will receive financial support from The Huntington for two full years of onsite research during their five years in the program.

Alejandra Dubcovsky, assistant professor of history at Yale University, will join the UC Riverside faculty and conduct independent research in The Huntington’s collections during her second and fourth years in the Huntington-UC Program for the Advancement of the Humanities.

Alejandra Dubcovsky, assistant professor of history at Yale University, will join the UC Riverside faculty and conduct independent research in The Huntington’s collections during her second and fourth years in the Huntington-UC Program for the Advancement of the Humanities.

Dubcovsky, whose scholarly interests center on the relations among the peoples of North America in the so-called long 18th-century (roughly 1680 to 1830), published her first book, Informed Power: Communication in the Early American South, with Harvard University Press in April. The book explores how people in the colonial world got news in a region that lacked a regular mail system or a printing press until the 1730s.

“The Huntington Library, or paradise as I call it, has a deep archive of 18th-century materials that will inform my future projects,” says Dubcovsky. “These include a collaborative investigation of the different roles of language in early colonial experiences and a book-length study of the long War of Spanish Succession (1680-1715), which was known as Queen Anne’s War in England’s North American colonies.”

Wang is currently working on a book project titled “Romantic Disease Discourse: A Radical Literary History of Smallpox Inoculation,” which tracks the literary, historical, and scientific uses of inoculation.

Fuson Wang, assistant professor of English at The City University of New York, will join the UC Riverside faculty and be a fellow at The Huntington during his first and fourth years of the Huntington-UC Program for the Advancement of the Humanities.

Fuson Wang, assistant professor of English at The City University of New York, will join the UC Riverside faculty and be a fellow at The Huntington during his first and fourth years of the Huntington-UC Program for the Advancement of the Humanities.

“I aim to tell the literary story of Edward Jenner’s 1796 discovery of the smallpox vaccine—a breakthrough that continues to reconfigure not only medical science, but also the canonical literature of the long 18th century,” says Wang. “The Huntington’s extensive collection of pro- and anti-vaccination literature will allow me to trace the history of this stubbornly persistent controversy. I also plan to make extensive use of The Huntington’s collections of works by poets, novelists, and amateur scientists—such as William Blake, Mary Shelley, and Erasmus Darwin—whose writings about the vaccination question helped make a once inconceivable idea available for scientific and medical experiment.”

Wang will be a fellow at The Huntington during his first and fourth years of the program. Dubcovsky will teach at UC Riverside during her first year and then serve as a Huntington fellow during her second and fourth years. In addition to having access to The Huntington’s collections, both scholars will be welcomed into The Huntington’s vibrant scholarly community.

Researchers at work in the Huntington Library’s Rothenberg Reading Room. Photograph by Martha Benedict.

Researchers at work in the Huntington Library’s Rothenberg Reading Room. Photograph by Martha Benedict.

“The day I signed the memorandum of understanding for this program was my happiest day on the job,” says Steve Hindle, The Huntington’s W. M. Keck Foundation Director of Research. “It made me feel that we are not only making a statement about the importance of the humanities, but also making a real difference for the future of humanistic studies. We hope the program will serve as a model for partnerships between The Huntington and other public research universities in Southern California.”

Milagros Peña, dean of UC Riverside’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, is also elated about the program. “Our students will greatly benefit from being taught by scholars conducting original research on The Huntington’s world-class collections,” says Peña. “This innovative partnership presents a major opportunity for UC Riverside to build on its already strong reputation for scholarship in the humanities.”

Kevin Durkin is editor of Verso and managing editor in the office of communications and marketing at The Huntington.

Printed News and Royal Proclamations

Detail of frontispiece in Nicholas Breton’s A poste with a packet of madde letters, the second part (1606). The sights and sounds of the new postal service quickly became a familiar feature of local life as the postman’s horn signaled the arrival of the latest news. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Detail of frontispiece in Nicholas Breton’s A poste with a packet of madde letters, the second part (1606). The sights and sounds of the new postal service quickly became a familiar feature of local life as the postman’s horn signaled the arrival of the latest news. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

The highways and byways of early modern England carried travelers transporting news of the day. Royal messengers jostled with post-boys, merchants, booksellers, and balladeers. Judges rode their circuits, and private individuals braved the rutted roads on business or private journeys.

One of the main topics was politics, delivered in the form of books or bundles of paper or parchment. These items could be newsletters, royal proclamations and writs, instructions from the Privy Council, parliamentary statutes, or acknowledgments and replies from towns to the main seats of government. The roads were awash with papers of political communication connecting the metropole and the periphery.

To explore the dynamics of this political exchange, we organized a conference at The Huntington titled “Connecting Centre and Locality: Political Communication in England, c. 1550–1750.” The conference, which received support from The Huntington’s William French Smith Endowment and the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute, will take place May 20–21, 2016, at The Huntington’s Rothenberg Hall.

Frontispiece of John Ogilby’s Britannia (1675), drawn by Francis Barlow, engraved by Wenceslaus Hollar. This image illustrates the new possibilities for fast and and effective communication across an increasingly sophisticated road network. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Frontispiece of John Ogilby’s Britannia (1675), drawn by Francis Barlow, engraved by Wenceslaus Hollar. This image illustrates the new possibilities for fast and and effective communication across an increasingly sophisticated road network. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

The goal of the conference is to foster dialogue among social and political historians of the early modern period to analyze this political exchange. A distinguished panel of 12 scholars, hailing from the United Kingdom and the United States, will examine the political connections that were forged between localities and the main seats of power in London, Whitehall, and Westminster, and determine the patterns and processes in play.

Historians have long recognized that the 17th century experienced a media revolution as improvements in transportation and printing caused a huge boost in communication. But how did it work for ordinary citizens? How did they learn what was happening in London and the wider world? What new books were causing a stir? What demands did the government place on its citizens? How did people make their local opinions count at a national level?

Regular printed news transformed the way in which even ordinary people could remain up-to-date with the very latest developments from across the country. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Regular printed news transformed the way in which even ordinary people could remain up-to-date with the very latest developments from across the country. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

We will investigate the myriad ways in which 17th-century English citizens came to grips with political communication—including the use of the postal service, printed news, and royal proclamations. We will also take a look at how some of these methods reflected the state’s attempt to impose its will on the population, regulate behavior, and enforce obedience.

Modes of communication used in 17th-century England exerted a huge influence on how people understood politics. By examining these modes, we gain insights into a crucial period in English history—a time of major political upheaval that would ultimately lead to social change and constitutional revolution.

This proclamation of 1604 was published to ensure the swift and safe transmission of royal orders around the kingdom. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

This proclamation of 1604 was published to ensure the swift and safe transmission of royal orders around the kingdom. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

You can read more about the conference program and registration on The Huntington’s website.

Chris Kyle is associate professor of history at Syracuse University and was a 2014–15 National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at The Huntington.

Jason Peacey is professor of history and head of the history department at University College, London.

Geographies of Wonder

Thomas Moran, “Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone,” chromolithographic reproduction of a watercolor sketch as published in Ferdinand V. Hayden, The Yellowstone National Park, and the mountain regions of portions of Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Utah. Boston, 1876. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Thomas Moran, “Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone,” chromolithographic reproduction of a watercolor sketch as published in Ferdinand V. Hayden, The Yellowstone National Park, and the mountain regions of portions of Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Utah. Boston, 1876. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

When 19th-century trappers and explorers returned from the Yellowstone region of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, they told incredible tales of boiling mud, geysers, steaming rivers, and petrified trees. It would take the reports from several expeditions, including astonishing photographs and paintings, to confirm that these fantastical landscapes were indeed real.

Armed with this evidence, the U.S. Congress established Yellowstone as our first national park in 1872. Other parks, such as Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, soon followed. By 1916, the U.S. Congress created the National Park Service to manage these national wonders.

To commemorate that centennial, The Huntington is mounting two related exhibitions in the Library’s West Hall. The first part, “Geographies of Wonder: Origin Stories of America’s National Parks, 1872–1933,” is on view May 14–Sept. 3, 2016. A second exhibition, “Geographies of Wonder: Evolution of the National Park Idea, 1933–2016,” goes on display Oct. 22, 2016–Feb. 13, 2017.

William Henry Jackson, vintage photograph of Yellowstone National Park’s Grand Canyon, from photo album of Yellowstone National Park and views in Montana and Wyoming territories, 1873. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

William Henry Jackson, vintage photograph of Yellowstone National Park’s Grand Canyon, from photo album of Yellowstone National Park and views in Montana and Wyoming territories, 1873. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

“The national parks are our nation’s crown jewels,” says Peter Blodgett, the H. Russell Smith Foundation Curator of Western Historical Manuscripts at The Huntington and exhibition curator. “This centennial gives us the opportunity to reflect a little more deeply on this remarkable system of public lands.”

The first exhibition, “Origin Stories of America’s National Parks,” features an 1873 album of large-format photos by William Henry Jackson (1843–1942), who participated in an 1871 expedition into Yellowstone and whose images played a role in its designation as a national park. Another artist present on the same trek as Jackson was the painter Thomas Moran (1837–1926), who created stunning watercolors of the landscape.

“Moran captured the incredible color,” says Blodgett, “and Jackson documented the detail of the area, putting to rest any doubts about the veracity of the landscape. The impact of these visuals was staggering.”

Great Northern Railway, cover of The Call of the Mountains, 1927. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Great Northern Railway, cover of The Call of the Mountains, 1927. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Moran’s watercolors were turned into chromolithographs, the multicolor lithographs that were wildly popular in the era. Jackson’s photos were viewed on stereopticons, the “magic lanterns” of the 19th century, and transformed into engravings published in such mass-market magazines as Scribner’s and The Century. Images showing Yellowstone and other national parks fueled a growing tourism industry.

A diary on display in the exhibition shows one young woman’s fascination with Yosemite, which became a national park in 1890. Amy Bridges booked an excursion with the Raymond-Whitcomb Company, travelling from Boston to the Pacific Coast. She writes glowingly that she had finally fulfilled “one of the greatest desires of my life, a trip to the Yosemite Valley.”

Other items from The Huntington’s collections include brochures, posters, and guidebooks that demonstrate the role of private enterprise in the parks’ development. Documents show how the Northern Pacific Railroad, which early on recognized the importance of rail service to Yellowstone, pushed for the early protection of the park. The railroad also advertised the rugged mountains and spectacular lakes of Glacier National Park in its poster titled The Call of the Mountains.

Raymond-Whitcomb Co., guide book cover, “Two Grand Tours Through the Yellowstone National Park,” 1891. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Raymond-Whitcomb Co., guide book cover, “Two Grand Tours Through the Yellowstone National Park,” 1891. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

The establishment of the national park system was not without controversy, which the exhibition also explores. One conflict that continues to this day is the decision to flood the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite National Park. The main reason for this act was to increase the water supply to San Francisco, a critical need demonstrated by the devastating fires that followed the 1906 earthquake.

Yet conservationists countered that the Hetch Hetchy Valley rivaled the Yosemite Valley in beauty and that erecting a dam within the boundaries of a national park would compromise the very existence of the park.

These opposing views attest to the significance of the National Park Service. As it has in the past, the National Park Service continues to help balance competing priorities. On the one hand are the rights of a nation to tap its resources for the needs of its citizens. On the other is the desire to preserve the pristine landscapes that are hallmarks of that same nation’s identity.

Sunset magazine, May 1904 issue cover, painted by Chris Jorgensen. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Sunset magazine, May 1904 issue cover, painted by Chris Jorgensen. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Linda Chiavaroli is a volunteer in the office of communications and marketing.

Remembering John Svenson

John Svenson with Sea Sprite in the exhibition “The House That Sam Built: Sam Maloof and Art in the Pomona Valley, 1945-1985,” George and MaryLou Boone Gallery, 2012. Photo by Lisa Blackburn.

John Svenson with Sea Sprite in the exhibition “The House That Sam Built: Sam Maloof and Art in the Pomona Valley, 1945-1985,” George and MaryLou Boone Gallery, 2012. Photo by Lisa Blackburn.

You don’t forget meeting a man like John Svenson. I got a brief opportunity in 2011 when he came to The Huntington for a photo shoot in the galleries housing the exhibition “The House that Sam Built: Sam Maloof and Art in the Pomona Valley, 1945–1985,” and he remains a kind of magical apparition in my memory. What struck me was the surprising combination of Svenson’s tall, commanding presence and his utterly humble demeanor. It instantly made sense to me that this was the man who had carved the equally surprising wooden sculpture Sea Sprite (1967).

A concert of contradictions, Sea Sprite’s slippery, refined form emerges from the polished, swirling grain of what was once—if you stop to think about it—a scraggy, rough-barked, too-heavy-to-carry-home chunk of redwood.

John Edward Svenson (1923–2016), Sea Sprite, 1967, redwood, 20 x 52 1/2 x 14 in. Gift of David and Kazumi Svenson in memory of Louise “Lou Ann” Svenson. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

John Edward Svenson (1923–2016), Sea Sprite, 1967, redwood, 20 x 52 1/2 x 14 in. Gift of David and Kazumi Svenson in memory of Louise “Lou Ann” Svenson. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

What kind of an artist would create such a piece? As Hal Nelson, curator of American decorative arts at The Huntington, points out in the “House That Sam Built” catalog: “A Southern California native, Svenson was encouraged as a child to explore the natural world around him, to cultivate his creativity, and to hone his skills with the tools of carpentry.” That could be the genesis of a virtuosic sculptor of tree trunks.

Now, what about the motivation behind transforming a rough, untamed hunk of nature into the slick serenity of Sea Sprite? As Nelson also points out, Svenson served in World War II and “returned determined to pursue an artistic path.” Did the unspeakable horrors of the war, described by many other artists and writers, inspire this artist to become a master of transformation—to make a peacefully floating, rounded, and clearly healthy figure out of a rough piece of wilderness?

No matter what the artist’s motivation, the work is transporting—and well worth visiting whenever you’re ready to travel underwater, below the fray, and enter the tranquil Svenson seas.

John Svenson passed away last month at the age of 92. How lucky we are that he left us his magical Sprite.

Sea Sprite (second from right), as currently installed, in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art. Photo by Tim Street-Porter.

Sea Sprite (second from right), as currently installed, in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art. Photo by Tim Street-Porter.

Related content on Verso:
The Ripple Effect of Millard Sheets (Oct. 19, 2015)

Thea M. Page is director of marketing communications at The Huntington.

Robbery and Rats in 17th-Century Jamaica

This beautiful color map of Jamaica dates from the early 1670s, after Jamaica had been divided into parishes. It was produced by John Seller. The inset table lists major planters and the major crops each produced. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

This beautiful color map of Jamaica dates from the early 1670s, after Jamaica had been divided into parishes. It was produced by John Seller. The inset table lists major planters and the major crops each produced. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Archival research involves thousands of tiny discoveries, while writing history requires putting those fragments together into a coherent whole. The process, often tedious, can occasionally be exhilarating. Every once in a great while a researcher discovers a gem. I had such an experience as I was researching the mid-17th-century English conquest of Jamaica—the subject of my next book. Among the William Blathwayt papers, I found a modest-looking sheet that revealed much about the challenges England faced in protecting the goods it stored on the island.

Sprinkled throughout The Huntington’s holdings are impressive early modern Caribbean materials that include rare books, manuscripts, and early maps. The particular document that caught my eye appears in the manuscript collection of one of the first English colonial administrators, William Blathwayt (1650–1717). Blathwayt was raised by his uncle Thomas Povey, a wealthy merchant and colonial official. Thomas Povey had secured a position in Jamaica for his brother Richard Povey as Commissary, which entailed receiving and distributing the food, clothing, shoes, and ammunition that England used to support its military campaign on the island. Thomas Povey must have acquired this document from his brother, and then it fell into Blathwayt’s hands when he settled his uncle’s estate.

A Certificate (in Relation to our Stores Committed to Commissarie Povey's Charge), Jan. 16, 1656/7, recto. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

A Certificate (in Relation to our Stores Committed to Commissarie Povey’s Charge), Jan. 16, 1656/7, recto. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Looks can be deceiving. Despite its unassuming appearance, the 17th-century document communicates a host of problems during the period that I’m studying. Entitled “A Certificate (in Relation to our Stores Committed to Commissarie Povey’s Charge),” it tries to provide legal cover to Richard Povey, who was responsible for managing and protecting England’s storehouse on the island.

Items disappeared from the Jamaica storehouse on a regular basis, and for an astounding number of reasons. Rats—originally and inadvertently brought from Europe but, by the time of this document’s creation, endemic to the island—ate much of the food and damaged other items. That wasn’t the only problem. The building itself rotted in the wet climate; wooden casks sustained damage, ruining the items contained within. Some things disappeared as they were being transferred from ship to shore in small boats.

More dramatically, the “Certificate” describes how audacious soldiers assigned to guard the storehouse conspired with others to coerce the storekeepers to “stand back” while men broke open the casks and stole “Goods & provisions.” They threatened the storekeepers and admonished them to ignore these incursions. Parties of soldiers would make off with their ill-gotten gains, stealing into the nearby woods with food and quite possibly alcohol. The English soldiers on Jamaica, detained there against their will and without pay, suffered terribly at times from short rations. One can only imagine that, if the storehouse was full, they took matters into their own hands. This remarkable document briefly and succinctly conveys a great deal about these dynamics.

A Certificate (in Relation to our Stores Committed to Commissarie Povey's Charge), Jan. 16, 1656/7, verso. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

A Certificate (in Relation to our Stores Committed to Commissarie Povey’s Charge), Jan. 16, 1656/7, verso. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

The text itself covers most of a single sheet that is now yellowed by age, with faded ink. It bears a somewhat confusing date, “Jan 16, 1656/7.” The New Year began on March 25 in England, which used an older calendar until finally joining the rest of Europe in a 1754 reform, while the year began on January 1 in most other European countries. As a result, English documents would sometimes include both years to account for the days falling between the two. (Writers sometimes omitted this practice or used it only for the days in the dual month of March, however, which presents a possible pitfall for unwary researchers.) Following the body of the text, which is organized into bullet points, a dozen signatures appear, beginning with that of Edward D’oyley, who governed Jamaica for most of its first seven years under English rule. The signatures corroborate that this item is the original, not a contemporary copy, and they include the only surviving signatures of some of the men who participated in the colonization of early English Jamaica.

The Huntington acquired the William Blathwayt papers in 1924. Almost a century later, I was able to study this simple, faded document and discover a wealth of information about how rats, embezzlement, theft, and other problems impeded the flow of goods into and out of a storehouse in Jamaica more than three centuries ago.

This is the earliest known map from English Jamaica. It appeared in Jamaica Viewed (1661), a book by Edmund Hickeringill. The map is probably based on one that was produced by order of Edward D’oyley, lead signatory of “A Certificate.” The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

This is the earliest known map from English Jamaica. It appeared in Jamaica Viewed (1661), a book by Edmund Hickeringill. The map is probably based on one that was produced by order of Edward D’oyley, lead signatory of “A Certificate.” The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

You can view John Seller’s color map of Jamaica in more detail at the Huntington Digital Library.

You can download Carla Pestana’s Distinguished Fellow lecture, “Oliver Cromwell’s Consolation Prize? The English Conquest of Jamaica” here or listen to it on iTune U.

Carla Pestana, the 2015–16 Robert C. Ritchie Distinguished Fellow at The Huntington, is professor of history and Joyce Appleby Endowed Chair of America and the World at UCLA. Among her recent books are Protestant Empire: Religion and the Making of the British Atlantic World and The English Atlantic in an Age of Revolution, 1640-1661.

Mementos of Downton

Royal Porcelain Manufactory, Sèvres, Garniture of Three Lidded Vases, c. 1781. This extravagant set of porcelain once belonged to the Countess Carnarvon, the real-life inhabitant of Highclere Castle, the house portrayed in "Downton Abbey." She also owned the paintings and other decorative objects shown below. You can find the porcelain on the second floor of the Huntington Art Gallery, in one of the four rooms devoted to the Arabella D. Huntington Memorial Art Collection. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Royal Porcelain Manufactory, Sèvres, Garniture of Three Lidded Vases, c. 1781. This extravagant set of porcelain once belonged to the Countess Carnarvon, the real-life inhabitant of Highclere Castle, the house portrayed in “Downton Abbey.” She also owned the paintings and other decorative objects shown below. You can find the porcelain on the second floor of the Huntington Art Gallery, in one of the four rooms devoted to the Arabella D. Huntington Memorial Art Collection. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

If you’re one of the millions of people who watched the British period drama “Downton Abbey,” you might be craving a juicy story about a lord or lady right about now. “Downton” led viewers on a rollercoaster ride as the titled Crawley family—and their (mostly) faithful staff—navigated the emotional waters of forbidden desire, shattering heartbreak, blackmail, illness, and death. Then in March, the final episode aired. What’s a devoted follower to do?

You may be interested to learn that The Huntington possesses a group of objects once owned by the Countess of Carnarvon, the real-life occupant of Highclere Castle, the English country house portrayed in “Downton Abbey.” The pieces include some gems of 18th-century artistry—including three British oils, some extravagant Sèvres porcelain, and several precious pieces of French furniture.

The tale behind these objects and how Henry E. Huntington got his hands on them is one that rivals the storylines in “Downton Abbey.” Well then, as Countess Grantham would say before moving from one one grand room to another: “Shall we go through”?

Thomas Gainsborough, Henrietta Read, c. 1777. The painting is installed on the ground floor of the Huntington Art Gallery, facing the central staircase. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Thomas Gainsborough, Henrietta Read, c. 1777. The painting is installed on the ground floor of the Huntington Art Gallery, facing the central staircase. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

It all started in 1895, when the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, George Herbert (1866–1923), married Almina Victoria Maria Alexandra Wombwell (1876–1969), making her a countess. The 19-year-old Almina was the daughter of wealthy French banker Alfred de Rothschild and his mistress, the married Marie Boyer Wombwell. Upon her marriage, Almina received from her father a dowry of half a million pounds—a huge sum in those days. (Downton fans may remember that it was the fortune of heiress Cora Crawley (née Levinson) that supported that splendid estate.)

In the case of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, there was more to maintain than just a huge house. The Earl was a passionate Egyptologist who used his wife’s wealth to finance years of painstaking excavations in the Valley of the Kings. Indeed, it was the 5th Earl of Carnarvon who accompanied English archeologist Howard Carter when he first peered into the tomb of King Tutankhamun in 1922.

In a Downton-like twist, not six months later, Lord Carnarvon would be dead. Officially, the cause was an infected mosquito bite that had turned into pneumonia. Many people at the time, however, chalked it up to the “Mummy’s Curse.”

Bernard Molitor, Fall-front Secretary, ca. 1812–1816, with plaques produced by Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory and painted by Charles Nicolas Dodin, dating from between the 1770s to early 1780s. You can view it on the second floor of the Huntington Art Gallery, in the same room as the Sèvres vases (see above). Arabella D. Huntington Memorial Art Collection, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Bernard Molitor, Fall-front Secretary, ca. 1812–1816, with plaques produced by Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory and painted by Charles Nicolas Dodin, dating from between the 1770s to early 1780s. You can view it on the second floor of the Huntington Art Gallery, in the same room as the Sèvres vases (see above). Arabella D. Huntington Memorial Art Collection, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

More turmoil awaited the Countess. In 1923, she remarried, this time to Colonel Ian Onslow Dennistoun. When his former wife learned of the Countess’s riches, she sued him for alimony. The resulting trial revealed scandalous aspects of the Colonel’s earlier marriage, providing rich fodder for the newspapers of the day.

Ultimately, the court cleared Dennistoun of financial responsibility. Still, the demands on the Countess’s riches clearly continued, because between 1924 and 1927, she began to sell some of her most valued possessions. Most of them were collected by her father, Alfred de Rothschild. He had died in 1918 and left his homes, paintings, and other precious assets to his daughter, the Countess, and to his nephew, Lionel de Rothschild.

George Romney, Emma Hart, later Lady Hamilton, in a Straw Hat, ca. 1782–1794. The painting is installed on the ground floor of the Huntington Art Gallery, above a chest of drawers in the dining room. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

George Romney, Emma Hart, later Lady Hamilton, in a Straw Hat, ca. 1782–1794. The painting is installed on the ground floor of the Huntington Art Gallery, above a chest of drawers in the dining room. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Meanwhile, back in San Marino, Calif., Henry Huntington had lost his beloved wife, Arabella. He decided to amass a collection of paintings, sculpture, furniture, textiles, and porcelain—mostly 18th-century French objects—that would form the basis of the Arabella D. Huntington Memorial Art Collection. Only the best would do, and so Henry turned to his usual point of contact, art dealer Joseph Duveen.

The objects from Countess Carnarvon made their way to Henry, sometimes via auction, but ultimately through Duveen, and can be viewed today dispersed throughout the Huntington Art Gallery. Several pieces are located in the period rooms on the ground floor; others, on the second floor, where four rooms are devoted to the memorial collection for Arabella.

And that, dear readers, is our Downton story. But wait, what happened to Countess Carnarvon? There’s not much information about her later years. We know she died in 1969, at the age of 92, in quite diminished circumstances. But oh…what a life!

François Rémond, Pair of Six-light Candelabra, c. 1780. This ornate pair of gilt bronze candelabra are on the ground floor of the Huntington Art Gallery, on either side of a doorway in the large drawing room. Arabella D. Huntington Memorial Art Collection, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

François Rémond, Pair of Six-light Candelabra, c. 1780. This ornate pair of gilt bronze candelabra are on the ground floor of the Huntington Art Gallery, on either side of a doorway in the large drawing room. Arabella D. Huntington Memorial Art Collection, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Related content on Verso:
Stories Aboard the Aquitania (Sept. 4, 2015)
Buying a Turner (May 20, 2015)
Open to Interpretation (March 17, 2015)
Be Mine, M’Lady (Feb. 14, 2013)

Diana W. Thompson is senior writer for the office of communications and marketing at The Huntington.

Thomas Pennant’s Literary Appeal

Title page of Thomas Pennant’s British Zoology. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Title page of Thomas Pennant’s British Zoology. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Asked to name the most famous European naturalists of the 18th century, most scholars would probably choose Sweden’s Carl Linnaeus and France’s Georges-Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon. One figure often overshadowed by these contemporaries but deserving further attention is the British naturalist Thomas Pennant (1726–1798). I’ve been researching how British women writers in the late 18th and early 19th centuries engaged with natural history—especially in the developing disciplines of botany, zoology, and geology—and I’ve been struck by Pennant’s singular importance to these authors.

The Huntington holds 45 editions of this prolific naturalist’s works, including such wide-ranging books on natural history as British Zoology (1776–77), The History of Quadrupeds (1781), Genera of Birds (1773), and Arctic Zoology (1784–87), as well as travel writing about England (1790), Scotland (1771), and Wales (1778).

Illustration from Pennant’s British Zoology. The migrations of birds, and particularly of swift and swallow species, fascinated Pennant, Gilbert White, and other 18th-century European naturalists. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Illustration from Pennant’s British Zoology. The migrations of birds, and particularly of swift and swallow species, fascinated Pennant, Gilbert White, and other 18th-century European naturalists. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

The late 18th-century poet Charlotte Smith called Pennant “the British Pliny,” and another poet, Anna Barbauld, drew on his natural history texts for her verse. Barbauld’s brother, John Aikin, dedicated to Pennant his Essay on the Application of Natural History to Poetry (1777), in which Aikin urged poets to versify Pennant’s descriptions of zoological species. Pennant may well be best known as one of the two naturalists to whom Gilbert White addressed his correspondence, especially about bird migration, in The Natural History of Selborne (1788).

Creative writers and artists, particularly women, found Pennant’s texts of great interest. In his Preface to British Zoology, Pennant described how natural history supplied artists with the materials to make the paints as well as the subjects of many paintings and noted that painters needed to be informed about natural history to depict nature accurately. Moreover, Pennant stated that descriptive poetry was more indebted to natural knowledge than either painting or sculpture because the poet’s art cannot “exist without borrowing metaphors, allusions, or descriptions from the face of nature, which is the only fund of great ideas.”

Illustration from Pennant’s History of Quadrupeds. In his description of the antelope, Pennant notes the use of this species’ horns in the production of some lyres—an instrument associated with song and poetry—and quotes verses from the Roman poet Horace. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Illustration from Pennant’s History of Quadrupeds. In his description of the antelope, Pennant notes the use of this species’ horns in the production of some lyres—an instrument associated with song and poetry—and quotes verses from the Roman poet Horace. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Pennant also appealed to women writers because, unlike some other naturalists, he “wholly omitted the anatomy of animals,” and thus his work leant itself more easily to public expectations of feminine propriety. At a time when even plant anatomy was thought by some contemporaries to be too risqué for women’s study, Pennant’s delicate treatment of this aspect of zoology provided women with a framework for addressing animal and bird studies while maintaining a sense of decorum.

In addition, Pennant gained the approval of British audiences because he anchored his pursuit of natural history firmly in natural theology—asserting that the study of nature is the study of God—and in British nationalism. He argued that “the study of natural history enforces the theory of religion and practice of morality.” By persuading his fellow “countrymen” to join these nationalist, naturalist pursuits, Pennant challenged the scientific and economic prowess of the countries of his counterparts Linnaeus and Buffon. For Pennant, British exertions in natural history gave the nation “the superiority over [the] so much boasted productions in Sweden,” and he urged that, in terms of the rival French, “we should attend to every sister science that may any ways preserve our superiority in manufactures and commerce.”

By aligning themselves with Pennant’s work, British writers imbued their own texts with claims to usefulness, piety, and patriotism.

Portrait of Pennant that serves as the frontispiece for his British Zoology. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Portrait of Pennant that serves as the frontispiece for his British Zoology. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Melissa Bailes, assistant professor of English at Tulane University, is a 2015–16 Barbara Thom Postdoctoral Fellow at The Huntington.

Flight Path

Lockheed R6V Constitution Aircraft under construction. Harvey Christen Collection, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Harvey Christen (1910–1993), a mechanic, was one of the first employees of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation.

Lockheed R6V Constitution Aircraft under construction. Harvey Christen Collection, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Harvey Christen (1910–1993), a mechanic, was one of the first employees of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation.

As part of my project “City on the Edge of Forever: Los Angeles Beyond the Screen,” I’ve been researching the aerospace industry in Southern California. I’ve been looking at its impact on everything from revolutions in the shape of surfboards to high-tech art movements of the 1960s and 1970s, including Finish Fetish and Light and Space. I’ve explored the influence of the aerospace industry on Orange County’s mix of libertarianism and traditional conservatism during Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign and even the Oedipal struggles of 1960s Laurel Canyon rockers against their career military fathers.

The Huntington has been a pioneer in promoting this kind of research. In 2011, The Huntington mounted the exhibition “Blue Sky Metropolis: The Aerospace Century in Southern California,” featuring some of its vast collection of books, papers, and photography documenting the aerospace industry and its pioneers, and a year later published a book under the same title.

Recently, I’ve been concentrating on the Lockheed Corporation. Early on, it produced some of Amelia Earhart’s favorite planes, including the Vega, which she flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean, becoming the first woman to do so (and only the second person after Charles Lindbergh).

Amelia Earhart in her Lockheed Vega. Harvey Christen Collection, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Amelia Earhart in her Lockheed Vega. Harvey Christen Collection, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

The Huntington’s Harvey Christen collection of aerospace photography includes striking images, some unpublished, of America’s most famous aviatrix. She is seen with friends and collaborators, including engineering genius Clarence “Kelly” Johnson, who later founded Lockheed’s Advanced Development Projects in the San Fernando Valley, better known as the Skunk Works.

The Skunk Works designed and prototyped the U-2 spy plane and the SR-71 Blackbird, which flew at three times the speed of sound (Mach 3) and set speed records that still stand. Johnson was famous for his management strategy of “KISS”— Keep It Simple, Stupid—and established the very exemplar of the “California” company to come. By the 21st century, countless tech companies embraced KISS, taking risks and flattening hierarchies. Whether they actually called their dedicated labs Skunk Works, as Apple did, or camouflaged them as X Labs, as Google did, their debt to Kelly was incalculable.

Another of The Huntington’s collections features the papers of Anthony “Tony” LeVier, the first person to fly many of Johnson’s revolutionary new planes. The National Aviation Hall of Fame called LeVier “the world’s foremost experimental test pilot,” and he was the first to fly the U-2 and the prototype XF-104 Starfighter—two of the Skunk Works’ most innovative designs.

Amelia Earhart and Kelly Johnson. Harvey Christen Collection, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Amelia Earhart and Kelly Johnson. Harvey Christen Collection, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

One of my favorite finds in the LeVier papers is a shot of him and his teenaged daughter Toniann in a two-seater supersonic Starfighter, complete with a decal on the fuselage that reads: “FREE WORLD DEFENDER.” The photographer caught father and daughter on the tarmac during a promotional tour from California to Washington, D.C., in May of 1963. Between promotional stops, Toniann switched seats with her dad and cranked the plane up to Mach 2 over the Mojave Desert, a feat that got her labeled “America’s fastest teenager” by Parade magazine. I’ve seen photos elsewhere of LeVier that show him with his test-pilot face on, all attitude and aviator shades. In The Huntington’s photo, however, he’s smiling broadly, a father proud of his kid, all of 19 at the time, decked out in a custom-tailored flight suit.

Serendipity is not usually acknowledged as part of the scholarly process, but it happens occasionally, and in this case, made me feel that my research on the aerospace industry was on track. I was waiting to pick up my own daughter from Los Angeles International Airport. Killing time, I stopped off in nearby Westchester. As I walked back to my car along Sepulveda Boulevard, I looked down and realized that I was following the Flight Path Museum’s Walk of Fame. And there it was—I had parked right next to the star belonging to test pilot Tony LeVier.

Detail of the back cover of Hangar Flying, Issue 1 (July 1985). Anthony LeVier Papers, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Detail of the back cover of Hangar Flying, Issue 1 (July 1985). Anthony LeVier Papers, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

You can read more about The Huntington’s aerospace collections in the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of Huntington Frontiers.

Related content on Verso:
Down to Earth (Aug. 8, 2012)
On the Calculus of Hanging Ten (Jan. 5, 2012)
How the West Won Me Over (Dec. 15, 2011)
Over the Moon (Nov. 21, 2011)
Beyond the Numbers (Oct. 19, 2011)
Blue Skies that Launched an Industry (July 8, 2011)

Peter Lunenfeld is the 2015-16 Dana and David Dornsife Fellow at The Huntington, a professor of Design Media Arts at UCLA, and a member of the UCLA Digital Humanities and Urban Humanities faculties. His recent books include The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading (MIT Press, winner of the 2013 Dorothy Lee Prize) and Digital_Humanities (MIT Press, co-authors, Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker, Todd Presner, and Jeffrey Schnapp). 

What Good is History?

Pulitzer Prize–winning historians Elizabeth Fenn and Alan Taylor looking at items from The Huntington’s collections that informed their award-winning books. Photo by Martha Benedict.

Pulitzer Prize–winning historians Elizabeth Fenn and Alan Taylor looking at items from The Huntington’s collections that informed their award-winning books. Photo by Martha Benedict.

How important is historical literacy in today’s world, where popular culture focuses on the here and now and the milestone events in our nation’s past often get short shrift?

Two Pulitzer Prize-winning historians recently weighed in on that question, during a scholarly forum at The Huntington titled “On the Importance of Historical Literacy: What Good is History?” The forum was the first event in the “On the Road with California Humanities” series—part of a national celebration of the centennial of the Pulitzer Prize.

Elizabeth Fenn spoke passionately about the importance of the humanities: “It has to do with the human spirit. It’s not just a job skill; it’s a life skill.” Alan Taylor zeroed in on what an appreciation of the past provides: “History gives us depth perception in time.” The conversation, guided by William Deverell, director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, was sponsored by California Humanities, an independent non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. (You can download the discussion here or listen to it on iTunes U.)

Karl Bodmer (1809–1893), “The Interior of the Hut of a Mandan Chief,” from Travels in the interior of North America, 1832–34, by Maximilian, Prinz von Wied (1782–1867). The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Karl Bodmer (1809–1893), “The Interior of the Hut of a Mandan Chief,” from Travels in the interior of North America, 1832–34, by Maximilian, Prinz von Wied (1782–1867). The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Fenn and Taylor have won a total of three Pulitzer Prizes. Fenn, the Walter and Lucienne Driskill Professor of Western American History and chair of the history department at the University of Colorado, Boulder, won a Pulitzer in 2015 for her book Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People, a book describing a Native American tribe of North Dakota. Taylor, the Thomas Jefferson Chair in American History at the University of Virginia, nabbed the prize twice: in 1996 for his book William Cooper’s Town: Power and Persuasion of the Frontier of the Early American Empire and again in 2014 for The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832.

Both historians used The Huntington’s collections extensively to research their winning volumes. Before the event, they joined Deverell and others to view some of the objects they had studied. Items on display related to Fenn’s research were visually stunning: large, colorful illustrations by the Swiss artist Karl Bodmer (1809–1893) of scenes from Mandan life on the northern Great Plains, including a view inside a chief’s hut and a vivid depiction of a Mandan bison dance.

Karl Bodmer (1809–1893), “Bison-Dance of the Mandan,” from Travels in the interior of North America, 1832–34, by Maximilian, Prinz von Wied (1782–1867). The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Karl Bodmer (1809–1893), “Bison-Dance of the Mandan,” from Travels in the interior of North America, 1832–34, by Maximilian, Prinz von Wied (1782–1867). The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

The manuscripts that Taylor used for his book on slavery, The Internal Enemy, packed an emotional punch. A page in the Joseph C. Cabell account book from The Huntington’s Robert Alonzo Brock collection revealed a list of slaves’ names with dollar amounts next to each of them—a stark reminder that these individuals were treated as commodities.

Both Fenn and Taylor believe strongly in raising awareness about the importance of such historical collections as those housed at The Huntington. “Taking the archive to the public is the missionary work,” said Fenn. With advocates as accomplished and eloquent as Fenn and Taylor, there is little doubt that history matters.

A page in the Joseph C. Cabell account book from The Huntington’s Robert Alonzo Brock collection. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

A page in the Joseph C. Cabell account book from The Huntington’s Robert Alonzo Brock collection. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Related content on Verso:
Alan Taylor Wins Second Pulitzer Prize (April 15, 2014)
Thinking About that Other Civil War (Oct. 2, 2012)

Kevin Durkin is editor of Verso and managing editor in the office of communications and marketing at The Huntington.