Book Find: Phrenology, a seemingly silly vintage science with dangerous consequences

Diderot’s Encyclopédie,published between 1751 and 1772, laid the groundwork for new modes of thinking that would flourish in the nineteenth century. Indeed, on both sides of the Atlantic, the 1800s witnessed a voracious appetite for cataloguing, compiling, and understanding every detail of everything. … Continue reading

Book Find: Understanding France’s scandalous Dreyfus Affair through the friendship and correspondence of two Jewish outsiders

France has always had a problem with what they call l’autre, the Other. In contemporary history, this trouble with “Otherness” is exemplified by the astonishing number of French citizens who are defecting from their native land in order to join the forces … Continue reading

Book Find: How a runaway teenage heiress’s gift to her French tutor exposes the “Crowding Memories” early 20th-century feminity

Tucked into the front cover of a copy Mrs. Thomas Bailey Aldritch’s  memoirs covering her husband and their shared social circle, Crowding Memories, is an exquisitely preserved note. Though the material of the card and the ink there inscribed are of the … Continue reading

Book Find: Professor Algernon Coleman shows us how scholars still work the same way

Hello! My name is Julia V. Schrank and I am a new graduate assistant for Book Traces. I am a Ph.D. student in the Department of French, so get ready for some Francophilia in my blog posts!   Plus ça … Continue reading

Book Find: Cowper’s Homer and the mind of a critical reader

UVA Library Video Preservation Specialist Marc Campbell approached us with a set of books from his own collection, two volumes of English poet William Cowper’s translation of Homer. Marc had noticed that the books contained extensive handwritten marginalia and wondered … Continue reading