Beinecke Osborn d69

Title Untitled
Archive Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Call Number Beinecke Osborn d69
Complete Yes

Anonymous, with poems by Maria Banks Riddell and poems about Mary Tighe, 1814–1816.

46 poems, all original to the manuscript.

Primarily narrative poems on mythical creatures or historical subjects, and poems about nature; also includes many fables, love poems, and poetic renditions of the Psalms. 

Format Quarto
Book Size 26cm x 21cm
Filled Page Count 374 pages
Item Count 46
Poem Count 46
First Line Index No
Digitized No
Additional Genres
Print Sources
Major Themes

Major themes prominent among the manuscript contents in alphabetical order.

Minor Themes

Other themes of interest among the manuscript contents in alphabetical order.


Beinecke Osborn d69.” Manuscript Verse Miscellanies, 1700–1820, edited by Betty A. Schellenberg, Simon Fraser University, Accessed .

Created 2019-09-04 1:13:44 PM
Updated 2024-01-13 2:44:07 PM
First Line Context
Oh why dear Sister, Why dear Brother

p. 159

Local title: On Overturning an Ink Bottle.

Attributed author: n/a

Adaptation: n/a

Other variants: n/a

Other: Dated "Written 1813 Jany."

Oh you who deign my Book peruse

pp. 1–2

Local title: n/a

Attributed author: n/a

Adaptation: n/a

Other variants: n/a

Other: Dated: "8th Jany. 1814."

Feature Note
Author attributions

Occasional. As the catalogue states, the poems "mostly unattributed, with some attributed to Maria Banks (Woodley) Riddell two of which are dated 1789, and some attributed to 'W' and to 'L.'" Having said that, the other (unattributed) poems are presumably by the compiler, so they may not have felt the need to sign them.

A couple of the poems are said to be inspired by stories from Anne Grant's Essays on the Superstitions of the Highlanders of Scotland (1811).


Pre-bound paperbook. Pp. 95–98 cut-out; writing respects gutters. 

Half calf over marbled paper boards.

Spine missing.



Another hand may have numbered the stanzas of some of the later poems with Roman numerals. 

Indications of use

Large waterstain on the outside-edge of most pages of the book, though it’s much faded by the last ten pages or so.

Corrections to poem on pp. 17–26, 75, 95, 216, 338, etc. suggest the book was considered fair copy with some notable exceptions.

The poems are generally not copied in the order they were written.

Original poems are generally unsigned, suggesting the compiler may not have intended to circulate their work.

Item formatting

Occasional lines between stanzas. A later hand numbers some of the later poems' stanzas with Roman numerals. 

Items are frequently dated "Written —." This appears next to the title, top-right of the first page of the poem.


Verse preface "Oh you who would deign my book peruse..." dated "8th Jany 1814."

The Maria Riddell poems poems appear in a clump at the beginning (pp. 3–9).

Original poetry

Yes, by Maria Riddell, W., L., and (mostly) the compiler. The compiler's (unattributed) poems appear to be original because they turn up no FLI results and are said to have been “Written” at various times between 1811 and 1816. Multiple poems also feature corrections, including changes in diction.

Note the poems about Mary Tighe, suggesting the compiler was acquainted with her.

Page layout


Generous use of space; new items begun on new pages.

Table of Contents

Index by page number.