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VBM 3: Poetry of the season

November’s Victorian Book of the Month is Samuel Collinson’s poetry collection Autumn Leaves (1869). Collinson was a minor 19th century poet who made his career as a chemist (or pharmacist) in the East Midlands city of Nottingham. Autumn Leaves and his other book of poetry, Richard’s Tower: an Idyll of Nottingham Castle (1876), were both issued by a local publisher, R. B. Earp of Nottingham.


The library’s Victorian Collection holds hundreds of volumes of poetry, from famed poets like Tennyson and the Brownings to long-forgotten figures like Collinson. The books of minor poetry are of value not just for their insight into the literary output of the Victorian period, but for the study of publisher’s bindings, the provincial book trade outside major commercial centers like London, and questions of literary taste and canon formation. Many volumes in the collection exist nowhere else in the United States!

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