Sunday, January 22, 2006

"Song of Espousal" in the Moss Rose for 1847

I've been able to verify that William B. Greene's first published work, the poem Song of Espousal, did in fact appear in the Moss Rose holiday gift annual for 1847. The annual is apparently a renamed reprint of the Atlantic Token for 1841, where the poem initially appeared.

The poem is accompanied by an engraving:

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Most of the engravings in the annual appear to be stock cuts. This probably is as well, but I was immediately struck by the fact that it looks much like the descriptions of Greene in his youth. The R. Woodman credited may well be the English Richard Woodman, who did portraits and engravings. However, Greene's circle of acquaintances included a Horatio Woodman, and it's not hard to imagine the Nathaniel Greene, always ready to promote his son's interests, might well have send along a portrait of his son to the publishers of the Token, with whom he had had dealings in the past, including a short translation in the same issue of the annual. The multiple reprintings of "Song of Espousal" in various papers may well have been due to the efforts of the proud father.

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