An exhibition curated by Tasha Binkowski, class of 2017. Morgan Gallery, Neilson Library entrance. Tasha Binkowski, class of 2017, focused her Book Studies Concentration capstone project on an elegant manuscript of The Peacock At Home, written and illustrated by Isabel Harriet Kerrich in 1875-1876. The colorful and detailed manuscript is on display this spring. More information about this work, and its numerous print editions as well, is available on Tasha’s blog. Tasha also notes that the entire manuscript in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, from cover to cover, has been digitized as part of her senior capstone project.
Being “at home” was an 18th-19th-century British term for the custom of hosting a reception for visitors during certain hours. The host and/or hostess announced that they would be “at home,” and visitors could arrive and leave as they pleased. The Peacock at Home, first published in 1807, is a popular poem by Catherine Ann Dorset. Her poem, a sequel to William Roscoe’s The Butterfly’s Ball, summarizes Roscoe’s party for bugs, and then enters the Peacock. The title character calls for a more elegant party for the birds, to be held on Saint Valentine’s Day.
Detail from Isabel Kerrich’s manuscript of The Peacock at Home, 1875-1876
Mortimer Rare Book Roomspecialcollections@smith.edu