On June 30, 2012, I took my blog viewers on a virtual tour of my extensive Mary Hyde Collection. Since then I have added more books and various pieces of ephemera to the collection. And today I will give a Second Virtual Tour of My Mary Hyde Collection.
Today is the last day of March, Women’s History Month. And I will begin the tour with a book containing the conversations of the Bluestockings, some rather famous English ladies from the latter part of the eighteenth century: Conversations, or, the Bas Bleu. Addressed to Mrs. Hyde.
I contemplated about selecting a bookplate for my library in my February 2013 post to my Contemplations of MoiBibliomaniac blog. One of the four bookplates I was considering included the portraits of three authors whose books I collected, Samuel Johnson, William Shakespeare, and Mary Hyde.
I still hadn’t selected a bookplate for my library four years later. But in May 2017, I decided to create separate bookplates for two of my collections. My friend Charles Brown greatly improved upon the bookplate of my Mary Hyde Collection. Keeping portraits of Shakespeare and Johnson was a no-brainer; Mary Hyde was a Shakespeare collector before she became a Samuel Johnson Collector. I pasted the bookplate in a spare set of Four Oaks Farm and Four Oaks Library that I donated for the silent auction at the season-ending banquet of the Florida Bibliophile Society that month.
Mary Hyde’s talk, which was typed on note cards, contains manuscript revisions to the speech in her hand. Someone, possibly her secretary, Mrs. Ternan, made photocopies of the typescript note cards and then had them bound together in book form. Typescript note cards were created for several of Mary Hyde’s speeches, but the typescript note cards for this speech may have been the only ones that were bound in book form.
The Hartford lawyer and former partner at Robinson & Cole, Robert H. Smith, is one of my blog readers as well. And when he saw that I had become a member of the PLA (Private Libraries Association) in 2019 he copied my address down and sent an obit of Mary Viscountess Eccles (Hyde––Mary Morley Crapo) for my collection. The obit appeared in the Summer 2004 issue of the Social Register Observer.
Another blog reader of mine, Bob Mueller of Robert Mueller Books, Bellingham, Washington, was culling his book collections and decided to give me his copy of Gabriel Austin’s Grolier Club Iter Italicum. Donald Hyde was President of the Grolier Club at the time, and Mary Hyde accompanied him on the tour of Italy.
My Australian friend John Byrne ––and another lawyer at that ––sent several items for my Mary Hyde Collection, including the menu for the Bi-Centenary Banquet of the Johnson Society in 1984. Mrs. Donald F. Hyde, the Past President of the Johnson Society, gave the toast to the immortal memory of Doctor Samuel Johnson.
Another item John game me for my collection was the Order of Service for the Memorial Service held for Mary, Viscountess Eccles held at St. Dunstan-in-the-West in London on December 3, 2003.
My friend the Boswell scholar Terry Seymour has added to my collection as well. In April of last year he gave me a copy of Re-Collecting Donald and Mary Hyde: Untold Stories from Their Private Archive by William Zachs. This lecture, which occurred on Dec. 9, 2009, was the Fourth Breslauer Lecture given at the Grolier Club.
Just recently I acquired a copy of the keepsake Dr. Johnson’s Life in Scenes from Terry. These were reproductions of leaves from the manuscript of Boswell’s LOJ. Mary Hyde wrote the Forward to the keepsake.
Terry, who at one time lived near Four Oaks Farm, corresponded with Mary Hyde and would send her newspaper clippings that he thought would be of interest to her.
In July 2004, I bought Mary Hyde’s copy of Lawrence Clark Powell’s book Ex Libris.
I gave this copy to my friend Jan in September 2004, along with a rather extensive presentation of sorts about its provenance that I pasted to the front pastedown: from Powell to Mary Hyde, to Gabriel Austin, to the Brooklyn bookseller Joe Maynard, to me, and then to my friend Jan. Three years later, when I was desperately waiting for my disability retirement from the Postal Service to be approved, Jan bought My Sentimental Airman Collection en bloc for her husband who was an aviation enthusiast.
In November 2014, Mary Hyde’s copy of Ex Libris found another home. The shelves of one of Jan’s sturdy oak bookcases had collapsed, and her books were spread out across the floor. She figured it was way past time to cull some of her collections, and Ex Libris came back to my library.
I bought three more books for my Mary Hyde Collection from Joe Maynard in April 2020. But now he was located in Trumbull, Ct.
This is a play written by a nun about a grandfather who strives to find and save his granddaughter who has fled from a life of holiness for a sinful life in a house of ill repute. Lord David Eccles, Mary Hyde’s second husband, gave this book to Mary Hyde.
The Hroswitha Club, of which Mary Hyde was member, was named after Roswitha.
Philip Hofer, a Harvard librarian and world traveler had 300 copies of Himalayan Reverie privately printed and sent a copy to Mary Hyde for her to read while recovering from a foot operation.
Inserted in the book was a letter from Hofer to Mary Hyde written on Harvard College Library stationery.
The third book I bought from Joe Maynard in April 202 was a copy of The Rector of Justin by Louis Auchincloss. The author gave this copy of the book to Donald Hyde on the occasion of his being a guest at the Grolier Club on October 13, 1964. Accompanying the book was a letter to Donald Hyde from Auchincloss thanking him for a letter and remarking, “I was particularly touched that you and Mary should have read my book aloud over your 25th anniversary.”
By far my largest acquisition of books for my Mary Hyde Collection in the last ten years came from the Arthur A. Houghton Jr .Library, Corning Community College, sometimes called “The Other Houghton Library.” In 2013, the library staff was preparing for a major renovation of the library and would be deaccessioning some of their books, including some books from the Tucker Brooke Collection. One of the librarians had read my June 2012 post, A Virtual Tour of My Mary Hyde Collection and mentioned me to her library director. I was offered some of the deaccessioned books if I was willing to pay the postage!
The only book I mentioned by title in the Oct 2013 blog was Shakespeare’s Tours. And that book was the only one with an extensive provenance history. Several books were presented to Tucker Brooke including one by a former student, Germaine Dempster.
Another book was presented to Tucker Brooke by a Shakespeare scholar who would later become one of the early directors of the Folger Shakespeare Library, Joseph Quincy Adams.
All of the books had the bookplates of Tucker Brooks and Mary Hyde pasted either on the front pastedown or on the front free endpaper.
There is some doodling in one of the books formerly owned by Lester D. Burton, a Yale student who drew a picture of the Yale Water Wagon. Burton fell off the wagon, so to speak. If he stayed in school, he would have graduated in 1920, but only attended Yale in his freshman and sophomore year.
Many of the books were related to Shakespeare, including one by Victor Hugo.
Here’s a collage of some of the books I acquired from the Tucker Brooke Collection:
I should mention that I am not done collecting Mary Hyde. Heading my way is yet another book acquired from Joe Maynard. It is a copy of Dust in the Road: A Play in One Act by Kenneth Goodman. The reason I wanted the book was because of its provenance: from the guest house of Mary Crapo Hyde!