While there are many special collections within the University of Western Ontario’s Archives and Special Collections, one of the most significant is the G. William Stuart Collection of Milton and Miltoniana. Purchased by Western in 1968, and supplemented in subsequent decades, it represents the greatest collection of its kind in Canada. The collection contains all of the early and many of the later editions of the works of John Milton, including two copies of the 1645 Poems, early and later editions of the major prose works, and over a hundred editions of Paradise Lost.
Throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, printing in England was conducted largely in three centres: London, Oxford and Cambridge. One rare exception comes at Eton, where in 1610, a press was set up by the London stationer, Melchisidec Bradwood.
First serialized in The National Era, in June of 1851, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published in book form in March of 1852 by the Boston firm of John B. Jewett and Co. A powerful, critical assessment of American slavery, Stowe’s novel joined a long line of slave narratives in print.
The Book of Common Prayer (BCP for short) and the Metrical Psalms were two of the most popular of early English books, seeing hundreds of editions printed throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Shown above is Huron’s copy of the two works bound as one. The Whole Booke of Psalmes collected into Englishe Metre has the year 1583 at the bottom of the title page, but The Booke of Common Prayer has no date on its title page. This is not uncommon in books of this period, but it can prove challenging for dating them…