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Access, holdings & availability
- McCaul, Joseph Benjamin, d. 1892.
- English poetry -- 19th century.
Animals -- Pictorial works -- 19th century.
Drawings (visual works)
Manuscripts, English -- 19th century.
- Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1827 to Alexander and Mary Clarke Crosthwaite McCaul. Joseph Benjamin's father, Alexander McCaul (1799-1863) was sent to Poland to do missionary work by the London Society for Promoting Christianity, at the time of Joseph Benjamin McCaul's birth. McCaul was a clergyman in the Church of England who was an assistant at th Bristish Museum and a divinity lecturer at King's College, London. He was curate at St. Magnus the Martyr, London, 1851-1854; All Saints, Gordon Square, 1854-1855; and St. Edmund's the King, 1858-1865. He became Rector of St. Michael Bassishaw, London in 1865 and was named honorary Canon of Rochester, Kent in the same year. In 1855 McCaul married Isabella Carolina Ferrier Watson (1837-1884). The couple had six children. After the death of his wife Isabella in 1884, McCaul married Eliza Cliffen (Elsie) in August 1885. McCaul wrote and published religious essays. Some of the titles include: A commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, 1871; Sunday reflections on current topics, 1872; and Dark sayings of old, 1873.
- This worn leather oblong volume contains poems and drawings by McCaul. It seems by the inscription on the inside front cover that McCaul presented the book to his wife Elsie. Following the frontispiece is a handwritten title. Mounted on full pages in this volume are eighteen colored drawings combining inks, watercolors, and pencil. Interspersed with the poems are smaller drawings pasted in using black-and-white ink wash. Each drawing has a caption. Some of the drawings contain confrontations between animals, or humans and animals, an alligator and a tiger in mid-fight, or British colonists encountering leopards. The accompanying drawings provide a pictorial telling of the poems. Some captions and/or images are situationally comical. One example is the poem "The lost husband and the fish dinner." This poem spans three leaves and McCaul draws a man swimming, being eaten by a giant flounder. In the next picture his wife cuts open the fish at the dinner table and to her surprise the husband is inside. McCaul draws some domestic animals like dogs and bulls, but chiefly the animals are from foreign lands such as leopards, lions, tigers, and gorillas. There is also a rhinoceros and an elephant. In one case he draws knights fighting with the mythical hydra. Many interactions with people are included whether it be with an animal or ghost-like skeletal creatures. There are a few landscapes and one is of a bustling London Bridge followed by a poem. The subjects of the poems include love, marriage, women, nature, seasons, and the city of London. On the last seven leaves of the volume is separate story utilizing pictures entitled "The marvellous legend of Saint Impudentia a true tale of a pope, a cardinal, a lion and a British bull." Each drawing has a caption to tell the story of the cardinal and the pope on a pilgrimage riding a bull. In the allegorical tale the trio encounter a lion, who defeats the papal bull. The Poems and drawings are usually on the recto of each leaf. There are a few leaves that have poems and images on the verso. The leaves with poems are divided into three columns and are written in black ink.
- Local notes:
- Acquired for the Penn Libraries with assistance from the Pauline R. Goldfein Memorial Book Fund.
Acquired for the Penn Libraries with assistance from the Richard L. Sperry, WG'67, Endowment for Rare Books and Manuscripts Collections.
Acquired for the Penn Libraries with assistance from the Horace Howard Furness Memorial Fund.
- Formerly owned by Eliza Cliffen McCaul (Inscription on inside front cover: Elsie McCaul from her husband, March 29, 1886)
Sold by James Cummins Bookseller (New York, N. Y.), cat. 112 (2012), no. 107.
- McCaul, Eliza Cliffen, born 1857, former owner.
Pauline R. Goldfein Memorial Book Fund.
Richard L. Sperry, WG'67, Endowment for Rare Books and Manuscripts Collections.
Horace Howard Furness Memorial Fund.
- Web link:
- The Pauline R. Goldfein Memorial Book Fund Home Page
The Richard L. Sperry, WG'67, Endowment for Rare Books and Manuscripts Collections Home Page
The Horace Howard Furness Memorial Fund Home Page