Book of the month
Explore highlights from our collections, from the 15th century to the present day.
A perusal of Samuel Rowe’s Perambulation of the Antient and Royal Forest of Dartmoor and the Venville Precincts (1848)
Samuel Rowe’s love of Dartmoor shines throughout his ‘Perambulation,’ drawing on his years of personal experience exploring and researching Dartmoor. He takes the reader on a journey through time, geography, history and speculation. This book of the month post was written by Richard Green, a library volunteer and Dartmoor enthusiast.
Treatises on Cider (1755), is a collaborative piece, and is currently on display as part of our “Looking Between the Lines: Marginalia in the DEI Collections” exhibition. It is the result of various writers forwarding new advice, or even intervening to interrupt the directions of the current speaker.
“Too rarely visited and too little known”: Wilkie Collins’ Rambles Beyond Railways, or, Notes in Cornwall taken a-foot.
Whilst today it is a popular summer destination, in mid-Victorian Britain, Cornwall was a region that only attracted the most dedicated travellers. When the popular sensation novel writer Wilkie Collins journeyed to the far South-West in the 1850s, he accordingly entitled the account of his adventures Rambles Beyond Railways, or, Notes in Cornwall taken a-foot.
Mermaids are woven throughout South-Western folklore, but are rarely considered as "hidden histories" of marginalised figures. In this Book of the Month blog one of our volunteers, Becky Rae, explores Enys Tregarthen's fascinating forgotten tale, "The Legend of Padstow Doombar."
From January to April 2023, History MA student Jonathan Neuhoff from the University of Exeter joined us for an internship, where he used the Devon and Exeter Institution's archive to investigate the provenance of a number of artefacts and pieces of furniture in our upstairs reading rooms. For May's Book of the Month he reflects on the DEI Committee Minute Books, which were a crucial source for his research.
April's Book of the Month blog was written and researched by trustee and library volunteer at the Devon and Exeter Institution, Shane Cormie. The blog tells the story of Devon-born William John Wills, who travelled from the south of Australia to the north with Robert O'Hara Burke, making them the first Europeans to have made the journey.
March's Book of the Month was written and researched by Front of House volunteer Debbie Manners, and explores the pro-slavery account of Coleridge's trip through the Caribbean. This book features in our Collections Review, taking place as part of The Next Chapter project.
Our Book of the Month for January is H. M. Bowdler's 'Pen Tamar'; a novel in which the author seeks to address early nineteenth century attitudes towards single women. Set against a backdrop of the English Civil War, this moral tale of romance and heartbreak tells the story of Matilda Heywood and her relationship with Devonian Sir William Trelawney, in which he is taught to challenge his preconceived ideas about 'old maids'.
Our Book of the Month for December was researched and written by Tony Rhodes, a library volunteer at the Devon and Exeter Institution. Apsley Cherry-Gerrard was a member of the infamous Terra Nova expedition. His first hand account recalls the race to the South Pole that tragically turned out to be the final expedition for Robert Falcon Scott. December 2022 marks the 100 year anniversary since the book's first publication.