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The Resource Commonplace book

Commonplace book

Label
Commonplace book
Title
Commonplace book
Title variation
Scrap-book
Creator
Contributor
Former owner
Subject
Genre
Language
  • eng
  • fre
  • eng
Summary
The bulk of the manuscript consists of jokes and puns that Lewis found amusing, as well as lengthy transcriptions of literary works by other authors. Some of the humor has a contemporary political slant, such as Jekyll's "Parody on God Save the King" or an ironical excerpt on literacy and the slave trade attributed to a 1799 speech by George Canning. Monk transcribed passages from works as various as the Book of Job, Dryden's Aureng-Zebe, Indian Emperor, Tyrannic Love and Essay on Dramatic Poesy, Rousseau's Emile, Crabbe's The Village, Boswell's Life of Johnson, Melville's Memoirs, Malthus' Essay on the Principle of Population, Madame de Staël's Corinne, Scott's Lay of the last minstrel, and Southey's Thalaba. The collection contains the entirety of some well-known shorter works, such as Coleridge's "Fire, Famine, and Slaughter", Cowper's "On a Spaniel, called Beau", and Johnson's "Letter to Lord Chesterfield". It also displays an avid interest in ballads, songs and toasts, often of Irish and Scottish origin. In addition to the literary and popular content, Lewis inserts small, frequently unattributed bits of information, accurate or not, about foreign cultures and locales: "Sculpture and Painting are forbidden by the Koran" or, "Acapulco is much infested with Gnats and Earthquakes"
Biographical or historical data
Matthew Gregory ("Monk") Lewis (July 9, 1775-May 16, 1818) was a novelist, dramatist, poet, and, from 1796-1802, an indifferent MP. He is best known today for his novel The monk (1796), though he was fairly prolific. Other successes during his lifetime include the play, The castle spectre (1798), and a volume of poetry compiled with Walter Scott and Robert Southey, Tales of wonder (1801). Lewis was educated at Christ Church, Oxford and traveled widely in Europe during his youth; he was well read in German and French literature as well as English. Lewis had literary ambitions, and although the content of his works--often sensationally crowd-pleasing and over-the-top--engendered controversy, his poetry was admired by the likes of Coleridge and Scott. At the commencement of this commonplace book, he was about 26 and probably working on his verse drama, Alfonso, King of Castile. A decade and several publications later, when it was finally filled, he was winding down his theater career by adapting his plays, The wood daemon and The East Indian, for presentation as operas, and working on the production of Timour the Tartar, his final, scandalously horse-filled, drama. His family had strong ties in the West Indies and owned slave-worked plantations in Jamaica. After inheriting his father's estates and their hundreds of slaves in 1812, Lewis ceased writing to manage the plantation concerns. He supported the abolition of the slave trade, though not of slavery itself. He kept his own slaves, but instituted a number of reforms in their treatment, taking legal steps to insure the reforms would survive his demise. Lewis died of yellow fever while returning from a voyage to Jamaica, and was buried at sea.
Cataloging source
CLU
Index
no index present
Language note
Entries are mostly in English; some are in French
Literary form
non fiction
Label
Commonplace book
Link
http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt3x0nd9rk
Instantiates
Publication
Note
  • Bound manuscript
  • Title from caption on p. [1]; author identified as "Monk Lewis" in pencil (by a later owner) on paste-down
  • Dated "July 1st, 1801" on p. [1]; the last dated entry can be found on p. [175]: "August 29, 1811"
  • Script: Entries handwritten in black ink
  • Binding: Contemporary vellum
  • Ex libris C. K. Ogden; his bookplate on upper paste-down
Dimensions
24 x 19 cm. bound to 25 x 19 cm.
Extent
[184] p.
Governing access note
Open for research. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections reference desk in the Charles E. Young Research Library
Other physical details
paper
System control number
  • (OCoLC)66274705
  • ucoclc66274705
Terms governing use
Property rights to the physical object belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
Label
Commonplace book
Link
http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt3x0nd9rk
Publication
Note
  • Bound manuscript
  • Title from caption on p. [1]; author identified as "Monk Lewis" in pencil (by a later owner) on paste-down
  • Dated "July 1st, 1801" on p. [1]; the last dated entry can be found on p. [175]: "August 29, 1811"
  • Script: Entries handwritten in black ink
  • Binding: Contemporary vellum
  • Ex libris C. K. Ogden; his bookplate on upper paste-down
Dimensions
24 x 19 cm. bound to 25 x 19 cm.
Extent
[184] p.
Governing access note
Open for research. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections reference desk in the Charles E. Young Research Library
Other physical details
paper
System control number
  • (OCoLC)66274705
  • ucoclc66274705
Terms governing use
Property rights to the physical object belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Library Locations

  • Charles E. Young Research LibraryBorrow it
    280 Charles E Young Dr N, Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1575, US
    34.0749691 -118.441466
  • Powell LibraryBorrow it
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    34.0716126 -118.4421809
  • Science and Engineering LibraryBorrow it
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    34.068987 -118.442659
  • UCLA LibraryBorrow it
    Los Angeles, CA, US
  • UCLA Library Special CollectionsBorrow it
    A1713 Charles E. Young Research Library, Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1575, US
    34.0749691 -118.441466
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