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The Political House that Jack Built (1819) — [on Romantic Circles]
The Every-Day Book (1825-26)


The archives containing materials relevant to the study of William Hone and his career as printer, parodist, antiquarian, and publisher are dispersed around the globe. The largest collections can be found in Britain (the British Library, the Ogden Manuscript Collection at University College, the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and in the Public Record Office). Other important collections are to be found in the United States in the special collections of the Adelphi University Library in New York, at Washington State University in Pullman, at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, and in the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library. This page offers a very brief overview of these materials together with links to more detailed descriptions of the individual repositories.

British Archives:

The British Library holds the largest and most useful collection of Hone material anywhere in the world. The collection--in the Additional Manuscripts--contains several books of letters both to and from Hone, notebook drafts of Hone's pamphlets and of his proposed but never completed "History of Parody," the unfinished autobiography, and so forth.

University College of London holds, in its Ogden Manuscripts collection, a set of letterbooks containing correspondence to and from Hone. The collection is especially strong with materials from Hone's later career--after 1825 or so--though there are some earlier pieces as well.

The Bodleian Library at Oxford also holds a collection of Hone correspondence consisting of about twenty letters.

The Public Record Office maintains records of Hone's numerous brushes with the law. Included here, of course, are the court records of Hone's famous 1817 libel trials. (Of particular interest are the Home Office records from early 1817 which, in effect, trace the popular circulation of Hone's liturgical parodies.) Also of interest are records of Hone's bankruptcies in 1810 and again in 1826.

Other British archives hold a few stray Hone materials. The Guildhall Library, for instance, holds records of Hone's membership in the Spectacle Maker's Company; the City of London Record Office holds Hone's printer's certificates; and the Bath Public Library holds several letters and other useful materials.

United States Archives:

Adelphi University has a remarkable collection of materials, both manuscript and print. The collection houses more than 300 manuscript items (including 200+ letters) and more than 500 printed works.

Washington State University houses quite an extraordinary collection of Hone materials. Most of the items date from the 1820s, including much correspondence relating to Hone's antiquarian collections, The Every-Day Book, The Table Book, and The Year Book. There are a few stray earlier letters as well and a manuscript by the early collector of Hone materials, G. T. Lawley.

The Huntington Library in San Marino California has about a dozen Hone letters, a poetry MS, and (in the Richard Carlile collection) a MS Hone prepared to help Carlile with his 1819 libel defense.

Other American Libraries and archives with significant Hone or Hone-related collections include the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library, the Beinecke Library at Yale University, and the Folger Shakespeare Library.