Inscribed by Queen Victoria

Posted on 25th February 2020 by simonbeattie

The story of Anglo-German cultural relations is inextricably linked with the British royal family, particularly in the Victorian era. This connection is perhaps most apparent in item of 204 of Anglo-German Cultural Relations (also listed as no. 16 in our New York book fair list): an inscribed copy of the first edition of German Hymns and sacred Songs selected by Her Majesty the Queen from the Collection of Her Late Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent.  With an English Translation (London [Printed by Harrison and Sons]: 1861).

Privately printed for the Queen following the death of her mother, the German Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Duchess of Kent (1786–1861), this copy is inscribed ‘To Lady Charlotte Locker In recollection of the dearly beloved Duchess of Kent from Victoria R.’  Lady Charlotte Bruce, who had married the poet and bibliophile Frederick Locker in 1850, was a close friend of Queen Victoria.  Charlotte died in 1872; two years later Frederick married the children’s writer, Hannah Jane Lampson.  The present volume is further inscribed ‘Jane Locker from F. Locker’ on the front flyleaf, perhaps when the book was rebound.

Inscribed by Queen Victoria to Lady Charlotte Locker.

Anthologized here is verse from across four centuries, by Nikolaus Herman, Martin Behemb, Philipp Friedrich Hiller, Ludwig Allendorf, Nikolaus von Zinzendorf, Johann Kasper Lavater, Johann Heinrich Voß, Friedrich Adolf Krummacher, Ernst Moritz Arndt, and Carl August Wagner.  The translator was Edgar A. Bowring (1826–1911), son of that great polyglot translator, Sir John Bowring, who also translated Goethe, Schiller, and Heine.  He produced another similarly-titled volume for the Queen following Prince Albert’s death later in the year. 

To find out more about the relationship between Britain and Germany in the Victorian era, check out Anglo-German Cultural Relations, which will be made available as a PDF soon.

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