Category Archives: Featured Collections & Books

Where is Chestnut Hill, Anyway?

Boston, Brookline, Chestnut Hill, oh my! For those of you who just rolled your eyes at that exclamation, please feel free to stop reading here. For those out-of-towners who struggle with the ever-present debate of whether to have your family … Continue reading

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Coventry Patmore Collection

The Burns Library owns a significant collection of Coventry Patmore Papers. Patmore (July 23, 1823 – November 26, 1896), a prominent literary figure, was for a short period one of the most widely read poets in England, though as the … Continue reading

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First Edition? The Complicated Bibliographic Record of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol

As a student assistant in the Burns Library Reading Room and a graduate student in the English department at Boston College, I occasionally have the privilege of combining my scholarly interest in Victorian literature with my practical responsibilities at the … Continue reading

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It Will Take a Lifetime: A New Look at Francis W. Sweeney, S.J.

I became more aware of the work of Reverend Francis W. Sweeney, S.J. when I was preparing the exhibition, “It seems I am working for the Jesuits these days:” The Thomas Merton Collection at Boston College. Father Sweeney corresponded for more than … Continue reading

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Bloomsday: The First Edition of Ulysses

On July 11, 1920 Irish author James Joyce met Sylvia Beach, an American transplant to Paris who had opened a bookshop called Shakespeare and Company a little under a year before. Shakespeare and Company served as the central social, literary, … Continue reading

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Charles Knight: Publisher & Author

The Burns Library owns a handful of books published by Charles Knight (1791-1873), a 19th century publisher, author, and educator whose crusade to bring cheap educational literature to the working class played an influential role in changing the face of … Continue reading

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The Jesuit Ordeal IV: Lorenzo Ricci, the Last General

When Lorenzo Ricci was elected the 19th Superior General of the Society of Jesus on May 21, 1758, he may well have approached the post with some hesitation. A biographer later recorded: “Surprised to find himself entrusted with so onerous … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Jennings, Best-Selling Poet

The Burns Library has a significant collection of the papers of Elizabeth Jennings, the British poet who lived from 1926 to 2001. Jennings, who published almost thirty books of poetry, several anthologies and critical works, was, and still is, a … Continue reading

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Exhibitions Update: Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Worshipper of Light”

The general outlines of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s life are fairly well known—that living in Hampstead he attended Dr. Dyne’s Highgate School (becoming a Cholmeleian, named after Highgate’s first headmaster, Sir. Roger Cholmeley) where he won a scholarship to the prestigious … Continue reading

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The Jesuit Ordeal III: Memories of Malagrida

On September 21, 1761, the Italian Jesuit Gabriel Malagrida was led into the Rossio Square in downtown Lisbon, but Malagrida took little notice of the elegant plaza. The seventy-three year-old stepped out into the Rossio wearing the sanbenito, the smock … Continue reading

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