Monday, May 4, 2015

Handwritten Manuscripts by Balzac, Brontë, Jane Austen, Mozart, Edgar Allan Poe, Thoreau & George Washington - At the Morgan + FOOD: Mushroom Mozzarella Bake

Honoré de Balzac:
Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850)
"Eugénie Grandet" 
Autograph manuscript and corrected galley proofs signed, 1833
at the 
Morgan Library, 

Recently ARTSnFOOD dropped by the Morgan Library in NYC. Some of the most interesting aspects in the library's collection are their various original manuscripts. These direct connections to great minds are views into the origins of ideas and art. The handwritten manuscripts (we have also included a cast of George Washington's face, made from life) give truths beyond the edited and final versions of these books or music or art. 

The handwriting and personal connection adds to our insight into the works, the writers, the composers and the artists - glimpses into their personalities. These original pieces are like shaking hands with the "human" behind each work.

Honoré de Balzac:

Honoré de Balzac (May 1799 – August 1850) was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon Bonaparte. Owing to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multifaceted characters, who are morally ambiguous. 

Emily Jane Brontë:
Emily Jane Brontë (1818-1848)
"The night of storms has passed" 
Autograph manuscript, 10 June 1837
Brontë wrote in a tiny, crabbed script on irregular bits of paper, from 1836 to 1846 —fortunately, Brontë dated most of her poems— these verses reveal that she had indeed reached the heights she had attempted.

Jane Austen:
Jane Austen (1775–1817)
"Lady Susan" Autograph manuscript, written ca. 1794–95 
and transcribed in fair copy soon after 1805
Jane Austen (1775–1817)
"Lady Susan" Autograph manuscript, written ca. 1794–95 
"Lady Susan" by Jane Austen is an epistolary novel, an early complete work that the author never submitted for publication, and describes the schemes of the main character—the widowed Lady Susan—as she seeks a new husband for herself and one for her daughter. Although the theme, together with the focus on character study and moral issues, is close to Austen's published work (Sense and Sensibility was also originally written in the epistolary form), its outlook is very different, and the heroine has few parallels in 19th-century literature. Lady Susan is a selfish, unscrupulous and scheming woman, highly attractive to men, who tries to trap the best possible husband while maintaining a relationship with a married man. She subverts all the standards of the romantic novel: she has an active role, she is not only beautiful but intelligent and witty, and her suitors are significantly younger than she is (in contrast with Sense and Sensibility and Emma, which feature marriages by their female protagonists to men who are 16 years older). Although the ending includes a traditional reward for morality, Lady Susan herself is treated more leniently than the adulteress in Mansfield Park, who is severely punished.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)
Symphony no. 35 in D major, K. 385 : autograph manuscript - Symphonies, K. 385, D major
Autograph manuscript of the "Haffner" Symphony 1782

By mid-1782 Mozart had been a Vienna resident for more than a year, beginning to prosper from the success of his new singspiel, The Abduction from the Seraglio. Yet Leopold Mozart refused to bless his marriage proposal to Constanze Weber, and thought nothing of disrupting his son's professional life. In the midst of preparations for the first all-Mozart concert in Joseph II's imperial capital, Papa insisted that Wolfgang compose a new work for the ennoblement of Salzburg's mayor, Sigmund Haffner. In other words, a gratis job, unrelated to Wolfgang's new career and income. The wonder is that Mozart obliged posthaste, despite being harried. Between July 20 and August 5 he wrote the new D major serenade-symphony in six movements (not to be confused, however, with an earlier Haffner Serenade, K. 250). During the same fortnight he also made a wind-band arrangement of music from The Abduction ("If I don't do this, someone else will beat me to it and take my profit"), composed the noble C minor Serenade for winds (K. 388/384a), and married Constanze without Leopold's permission.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) detail

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) detail

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) detail
The symphony is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in A, 
bassoons, 2 horns in D and G, 2 trumpets in D, timpani, and strings.

Mozart stated that this movement was to be played with fire, "Allegro con spirito".

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) detail

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) detail
Hear this Mozart piece on YouTube at this link.

Edgar Allan Poe:
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
Autograph fragment [1828?]

Tamerlane - The poem itself follows a Turkic conqueror named Tamerlane. The name is a Latinized version of "Timur Lenk", the 14th-century warlord, though the poem is not historically accurate.
Tamerlane ignores the young love he has for a peasant in order to achieve power. On his deathbed, he regrets this decision to create "a kingdom [in exchange] for a broken heart". The peasant is named Ada in most of Poe's original version of the poem, though it is removed and re-added throughout its many revised versions. The name "Ada" is likely a reference to Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron, a renowned poet whom Poe admired. In fact, the line "I reach'd my home — my home no more" echoes a line in Byron's work Don Juan.

Henry David Thoreau:
Henry David Thoreau 1817–1862
Autograph manuscript journal entry dated Walden, 5 July 1845; 
from a collection of 39 journals - 1837-1861
Walden (/ˈwɔːldən/; first published as Walden; or, Life in the Woods), by noted transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self-reliance. First published in 1854, it details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Concord, Massachusetts. The book compresses the time into a single calendar year and uses passages of four seasons to symbolize human development.

Henry David Thoreau 1817–1862 Walden - detail of handwriting
above: title page from the original printed book

Henry David Thoreau 1817–1862 Walden - detail

Henry David Thoreau 1817–1862 Walden - detail

Henry David Thoreau 1817–1862 Walden - detail

George Washington:
George Washington (1732-1799)
Autograph letter signed, dated Mount Vernon, 20 May 1792
to James Madison "The Stones of Venice"
"The Stones of Venice" re: the study of Venetian architecture.

George Washington (1732-1799) letter - detail

George Washington 
A life-cast for artist Jean-Antoine Houdon's reference:
George Washington - direct plaster cast of his face
In 1785 the French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon visited George Washington (1732–1799) at his Mount Vernon residence. There he observed the general and made a plaster cast of his face—the Morgan's life mask. He then used the mask to complete the face on his clay bust of Washington, which he left at Mount Vernon. Houdon returned with the life mask to Paris, where he sculpted the final marble life-size sculpture of Washington now in the Richmond Capitol. The statue was commissioned by the Virginia legislature and was erected in 1796, the year Washington issued his farewell address following his second term as president. The Morgan's life mask of Washington is unique and represents the truest likeness of the country's first president.

George Washington 
detail - direct cast of his face

George Washington 
detail - direct cast of his face

George Washington 
detail - direct cast of his face
Jean-Antoine Houdon's George Washington marble sculpture
at Virginia's (
Richmond) capitol rotunda.
The statue was installed in 1796.

See more manuscripts at ( ).

(Source: photos taken with permission at The Morgan Library, NYC plus additional information from The Morgan Library NYC website and Wikipedia.)


1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced 
3 tbsp butter 
3/tsp seasoning salt 
2 tbsp whipping cream 
1 tsp dried parsley
1/tsp black pepper
3/cup grated Mozzarella cheese 

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In large frying pan or electric frying pan with lid (slightly ajar), fry mushrooms in butter over medium heat until softening.  Keep cooking until water evaporates. Remove lid of pan.  Add seasoning salt; stir-fry until mushrooms are nice and brown. Add whipping cream, parsley and black pepper.  Allow to simmer over low heat until whipping cream reduces a bit.  This can happen extremely fast.  Arrange mushrooms in shallow casserole dish.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  

Yields 6 servings
1 serving = 127.3 calories

Until later,
ARTSnFOOD, is an online publication dedicated to "The Pursuit of Happiness through the Arts and Food." ™ All rights reserved. Concept, Original Art, Text & Photographs are © Copyright 2015 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. Any gallery, event, museum, fair or festival photographs were taken with permission. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.

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