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Adelaide Horatio Seymour Spencer commonplace book


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

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Adelaide Horatio Seymour was the daughter of British Parliament member Colonel Sir Horace Beauchamp Seymour (1791-1851) and his first wife Elizabeth Malet Palk. Adelaide married Vice-Admiral Frederick Spencer, 4th Earl Spencer (1798-1857) on August 9, 1854. Adelaide was Spencer's second wife and the couple had two children: Charles Robert Spencer, 6th Earl of Spencer (1857-1922) and Lady Victoria Alexandrina Spencer (1855-1906). Adelaide is the great-great-grandmother of Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) and her son Charles Robert Spencer is Princess Diana's great-grandfather.

This volume covered in marbled paper comprises excerpts from the works read by Adelaide Horatio Seymour during the years from 1848 to 1851. "Adelaide H. Seymour, Stoke, Sept. 2nd, 1848, Extracts from novels, etc." is written on the inside front cover. The slim volume was kept by Adelaide from the ages of twenty-three to twenty-six prior to her marriage to Frederick Spencer. The volume provides a record of her reading interests and many of the works were contemporary. At the end of almost each copied passage, paragraph, or quote a citation of the work is provided and the date it was copied. Below the citation Adelaide often provides the city or town where she was staying--London, Hampton, and Stoke among others--indicating her travels through England. Some excerpts span several pages. For instance, Use and abuse, a tale by Felicia Skene spans seven pages, copied in Hampton during the fall of 1850. A majority of the authors cited are women including, Charlotte Brönte (1816-1855), Barbara Holfand (1770-1834), Elizabeth Missing Sewell (1815-1906). There are also excerpts from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) and Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). One entry is from a play with the entry "Prologue spoken by Mr. Frederick and written by the Lady Rachel Russell, before the play of 'Who speaks first,' acted at Braddon's, March 5, 1850."

Sold by A. R. Heath Rare Books and Manuscripts (Bristol, United Kingdom), 2016.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Donna Brandolisio
Finding Aid Date
April 2016
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Adelaide Horatio Seymour Spencer commonplace book, 1848-1851.
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