Zounds! I have an 1814 copy of Elegant Extracts.

1814 title page of Elegant ExtractsI just realized that I have an 1814 copy of Elegant Extracts. I knew I had a couple of books from the early 1800s but it had been a decade or more since I acquired them and had forgotten what they were. We were cleaning and I picked this up and then exclaimed.

Why? Because I’d just finished a reread of Jane Austen’s Emma. Allow me to show you this excerpt from Chapter 4.

“Mr. Martin, I suppose, is not a man of information beyond the line of his own business. He does not read?”

“Oh, yes! that is, no — I do not know — but I believe he has read a good deal — but not what you would think any thing of. He reads the Agricultural Reports and some other books, that lay in one of the window seats — but he reads all them to himself. But sometimes of an evening, before we went to cards, he would read something aloud out of the Elegant Extracts — very entertaining. And I know he had read the Vicar of Wakefield. He never read the Romance of the Forest, nor the Children of the Abbey. He had never heard of such books before I mentioned them, but he is determined to get them now as soon as ever he can.”

I collect etiquette books and I’m sure I picked it up because of that, but I did not connect it with Austen until just this moment. I am looking forward to reading it– very carefully.

If you want to look at a few photos of the lovely binding, I’ve got a small slideshow below.

The interior has an inscription in Latin to Jonathan E. Woodbridge. I don’t know who Mr. Woodbridge was, but I totally want to insert him and the book into Without a Summer now.

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6 Responses

  1. M

    Mary, I suspect he’s the Rev. Jonathan E. Woodbridge described below. I found this snippet with a cursory Google search:

    “Union Church was incorporated March 11, 1835, and at a council of churches held February 3, 1836, the church was formally approved. The society held its first meeting March 5, and the new house of worship was dedicated July 6. It was a plain brick house, 54 by 90 feet on Front street, opposite the Common ; enlarged in 1845-6. A new edifice was built on the same site in 1880.

    The first pastor was Rev. Jonathan E. Woodbridge. who was installed Nov. 24, 1836. Because the society voted to permit anti-slavery speakers in the church, the pastor resigned on Feb. 2, 1838, and was dismissed Feb, 14, He was afterward editor of the New England Puritan.”

    — excerpted from History of Worcester and its people (Volume 1)

    … and this item being sold at Amazon:

    Antidote, or the ministry worth preserving: sermon at the installation of Jonathan E. Woodbridge, at Ware, May 2, 1838 [Unknown Binding]

    1. Eric James Stone

      Yes, I suspect that’s him. Born 1802 or 1803 in Worthington, Massachusetts, to Jonathan and Sarah Woodbridge. Married 25 September 1860 to Lydia F. Judkins Polk in Fall River, Massachusetts. Died 7 November 1877 in Hartford,? Connecticut.

      1. M

        Eric, I suspect we are talking about two different individuals! The  Rev. I mentioned appears to have been English; I’ve not (yet) spotted anything to indicate American descent.

        1. Mary Robinette Kowal

          I think it’s the same guy. The Rev. you have is from Worcester, Massachusetts. 

          I am surprised by how fast the internet responded to this curiosity. Now if I can just get someone to translate the Latin.

        2. M

          Probably is, then!

          Sadly I do not speak Latin, but Google aided with the following (rough) translation, based on my (approximate?) ability to decipher the script in your photo:

          This reward of genius,
          with the right resolutions,
          Jonathan E. Woodbridge
          in the language excelling
          shall be transmitted
          under your curate

          You’ll probably do much better if you post a higher resolution photo in the SFWA forum, and give it a few days!

  2. Pamela Adams

    My aha moment was when I was reading a Heyer book bought in Hatchard’s, only to find the protagonist (Kitty Charing?) also reading a book purchased at Hatchard’s.  (Was she sitting at the next table in Fortnum and Mason’s as well?_