Commonplace books and journals

Scope and Content

This series comprises the commonplace books, journals and notebooks of Walter Crane and his wife Mary Frances Crane. There are several of Walter Crane's commonplace books, dating from the 1860s, in which he records his intensive artistic output, his intellectual interests and wide-ranging reading: WCA/2/2/1/1-3 and WCA/2/2/2/1 . His journals detail his work on various commissions, notably Chattering Jack (Routledge, 1867) and his designs for Wedgwood (WCA/2/2/2/2 ). But, from the late 1860s, they take on a more personal tone when he meets his fiancée, Mary Frances Andrews, and he begins to record their outings together, very often also writing on the subject of their conversations; see WCA/2/2/2/3 , which also includes a pencil sketch of Mary. These journals include many inserted items, including sketches, accounts and letters from various individuals, including Edmund Evans and Harvey Orrin Smith, amongst others; see particularly WCA/2/2/2/1-2.

There are also several later notebooks in this series in which Crane details his travels in Italy in 1904 (WCA/2/2/1/4 ) and his work relating to A Flower Wedding for Cassell & Co. in 1905 (WCA/2/2/1/5 ); both items include sketches. In his journal for 1864-7 (WCA/2/2/2/1 ), Crane records progress on his own essay on the Relation of Painting to Poetry and Music.

Other items of interest include: the detailed journal of Mary Frances Crane, written while on extended honeymoon between 1871 and 1873, and recording the birth of their first child, Beatrice in February 1871 (WCA/2/2/2/4); a book containing Crane's royalty accounts from 1876 to 1891 (WCA/2/2/2/6); and several miscellaneous manuscript items, most notably a music book, penned in part by Walter Crane, from 1870 (WCA/2/2/3/1), and a book of verse by William Davis for Mary Frances Crane from 1882 (WCA/2/2/3/2 ).