“Just” a list: Ingredients for a toxic brew

Just in time for the annual appearance of children dressed up as ghosts, goblins, wizards, and witches, this “‘Just’ a list” post is from Shakespeare’s Macbeth (Act IV, scene 1), in which the three witches cook up a stew for conjuring apparitions of the dead. Suggesting the idea of a list as a container, the First Witch begins by mentioning the container for the brew; its ingredients follow.[1]

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“Every Variety of Professions”: Ships’ Passenger Lists from Two New England Gold Mining Companies in 1849

Robert B. Honeyman, Jr. Collection of Early California and Western American Pictorial Material, The Bancroft Library, Berkeley, California

by Leslie Myrick

In honor of Labor Day this post takes a look at what a couple of member lists of mining and trading companies that left for the California gold rush early in 1849 can tell us about the exodus of skilled tradesmen from Eastern cities and towns and the economic impact of that exodus. An estimated 50,000 people, primarily young men, traveled by land and sea from the Eastern states to seek new opportunities in California in the year 1849 alone.

Continue reading ““Every Variety of Professions”: Ships’ Passenger Lists from Two New England Gold Mining Companies in 1849”

“Just” a list: from Robert Herrick’s Hesperides

English poet Robert Herrick (1591-1674) is best known for his single, yet voluminous book of poems, Hesperides (1648), which includes such perennial favorites as “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time,” beginning with “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may”; and  “Delight in Disorder.” The collection is less well known for being, according to the Poetry Foundation, “the only major collection of poetry in English to open with a versified table of contents”: that is, with a list. Herrick gives this list the title “The Argument of His Book”: Continue reading ““Just” a list: from Robert Herrick’s Hesperides”

L’allure de liste: The Look of a List

by Martha Rust

Is it right to call a collection of images or things a list? In an early Listology post, “Ten Essentials for hiking,” we raised this question and in subsequent posts, “#adorablepets: Why Instagram Loves Lists” and “Lists and/as Artworks,” we answered it with a resounding “yes.” Following those entries, my own “Two Lists of Labors in Honor of Labor Day” and a “A list on the work of things” took the propriety of both “visual lists” and lists of things all but for granted. 

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“Just” a list: Ovid’s gathering of trees

This post inaugurates a new Listology series entitled “’Just’ a list.” Each of the posts in this series will offer a list without commentary or analysis, just the list, which will be drawn from (or be added to) our list of literary lists. The quotation marks around “just” in the series’ title is meant to register our opinion that a list is never “just” or “merely” a list, as our posts that comment on lists always show. Timed to celebrate the grand leafing out of trees in the northeast of the US and in other regions of a similar latitude, our selection for this inaugural post in the “’Just’ a list” series is the list of trees that concludes Ovid’s story of Orpheus in his Metamorphoses.

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Lists of Knightly Accolades in the Liber Memorialis Friderici III. Imperatoris

by Alicia Lohmann

In 1436, shortly after his accession to power as duke, Frederick V, who would later become Emperor Frederik III, decided to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. After his return he created a list of knightly accolades, or dubbings (“Ritterschlagsliste”), in the so-called Liber memorialis Friderici III. imperatoris (Vienna, Austrian National Library, Cod. 2674, f.3), which provides information about the nobles who were knighted alongside Frederick at the Holy Sepulcher.[1] The young duke traveled to the center of the Christian medieval world, accompanied by at least 50 nobles and Bishop Marinus of Trieste. The list reads as follows:

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List Restoration: An Interview With Athena Kirk

When asked to name the most famous and also oldest and longest list in literature, many a listophile would choose Homer’s catalogue of ships in the Iliad, and we would probably be correct. But would any of us have a sense of what an infinitesimal fraction of ancient Greek lists Homer’s ship list represents? Athena Kirk’s book Ancient Greek Lists: Catalogue and Inventory Across Genres (Cambridge University Press, 2021) raises the curtain on the multitudinous lists produced by the list-loving culture in Greece during Homer’s age and for generations to follow. Given its field-opening findings, we are pleased to introduce Kirk’s book to our readers by way of  the following interview with her.

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Yet another

In the wake of the shooting of Daunte Wright on April 11 2021 in Brooklyn Center Minnesota, adding yet another name to a list that should not exist, our hearts are broken, and we think of a list in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book Between the World and Me. It appears in the course of his recounting the killing of Prince Jones (9/1/2000): “And the plunder was not just of Prince alone … Continue reading “Yet another”

Literary Lists: Lists of and in Books

by Eva von Contzen

Alex Johnson’s A Book of Book Lists is a treasure hoard of reading lists, lists of books to read and lists having to do with reading. It contains to-read lists, inventories of bookshelves, collections of library slips, and book recommendations by writers, pop stars, presidents, and terrorists; there are prospective, fictional, metaphorical, and impossible reading lists. Continue reading “Literary Lists: Lists of and in Books”

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