Saturday, January 10, 2015

Music and Literature Resources for Victorian Reenactors

Musical Instinct by Eastman Johnson 1860-1869
Musical Instinct (1860-69) by Eastman Johnson

Another resource round-up.  Music makes a fun addition to activities, and doesn't necessarily require lots of extra equipment to incorporate into your impression.  Dance and literature are other favorite recreations of mine (and thus, of my main 19th century persona).  Tons of information survives from the period: these are just a few places to start.

Sheet Music
On-line Sheet Music Collections from the University of Michigan
Library of Congress's Historic Sheet Music Collection
(including 19th Century Song Sheets and Civil War Sheet Music collections)
Johns Hopkins University Levy Sheet Music Collection (custom search allows you to pick your year range, instrument, and topic)

Dance Resources
Dance Instruction Manuals, Library of Congress
Fashionable Dancing by Cellarius (1847)
The Ball-Room Companion (1868)
Diprose's Ball Room Guide (1861)
Brookes on Modern Dancing (1867)

Periodicals and Newspapers
Godey's Lady's Book (some years are also available on Google Books)
Peterson's Magazine (ditto)
Harper's Weekly (also on Internet Archives and Google Books)
Der Bazar (also at the University of Duesseldorf) German language periodical
La Mode Illustree French language periodical, known for its fashion information

Popular Literature
LOC "Books That Shaped America" 1800-1850 1850-1900 lists popular books by decade: 1840s1850s1860s
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1852)
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (first English translation published 1862)
Eizabeth Gaskell: North and South (1855), Mary Barton (1848)
Charles Dickens: Bleak House (originally published 1852-3), David Copperfield (1849-50), Great Expectations (1860-1) and more
Alexandre Dumas: The Three Musketeers (1844), Twenty Years After (1845), and other titles

Dime Literature
Beadle's Dime Book of Verses
Beadle's Dime Humorous Speaker
Beadle's Dime Song Book
Beadle's Dime American Speaker
The Quakeress Spy (a dime novel)

Some reprints are also available for living history use.  Ragged Soldier Sutlery has a diverse selection. Sullivan Press carries paperbacks, as well as reproduction documents, labels and writing supplies.  Amazon carried reprinted Harper's Weekly newspapers.

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