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Visions of the FutureAlmanacs, Time, and Cultural Change 1775-1870$

Maureen Perkins

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198121787

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198121787.001.0001

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(p.239) Appendix II Illustrations

(p.239) Appendix II Illustrations

Visions of the Future
Oxford University Press

(p.240) (p.241)

Appendix II Illustrations

1. Almanac Day at Stationers’ Hall

From Robert Chambers, The Book of Days: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities (London, 1869), ii. 716.


Appendix II Illustrations

2. The Royal Almanack, 1778

A typical almanac page, showing astronomical and meteorological information. This almanac was compiled by Henry Andrews for Thomas Carnan. Andrews’s offer to teach mathematics is advertised at the foot of the page facing the calendar. Reproduced by permission of the British Library, shelf-mark PP8561.dd.24.3.


Appendix II Illustrations

3. Poor Robin, 1793

The calendar, which takes up less space than the author’s entertaining verse and prose, includes the exact time of the entry of the sun into the sign of Aries, traditionally the first day of spring. This page also includes the beginning of a message to Poor Robin’s ‘cousin’, Francis Moore. Although Robin saw Moore’s almanac as a rival, he was never anything other than affectionate towards his fellow almanac compiler. Reproduced by permission of the British Library, shelf-mark, PP2465.


Appendix II Illustrations

4. Zodiac man

Poor Robin (1828) was the last English almanac to carry this illustration. Reproduced by permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.


Appendix II Illustrations

5. T. Browne’s Hat Almanack

T. Browne’s Hat Almanack, Hobart Town, Van Diemen’s Land, 1849. One London street-trader reported selling ‘fourteen dozen of diamond almanacks to fit into hat-crowns’ in just one evening, at 1d. a piece. Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor, i. 271. Reproduced by permission of the Tasmaniana Library, State Library of Tasmania.


Appendix II Illustrations

6. The Prophetic Messenger. 1834, published by J. Catnach

The title is similar to other prophetic tides Catnach had used, but this time faithfully reproduces the subtide of Raphael’s Almanac, indicating the increasing popularity of the new astrological almanac, which appeared for the first time in 1826. The Vox Coelorum allusion remains: The Voice of the Heavens, is the Voice of GOD.’ As well as carrying a ‘remarkable Prophecy of St. Thomas of Becket’, the almanac’s hieroglyphic alludes to the abolition of slavery (1833) and the campaign against the taxes on knowledge (printing press at bottom right). This reduction from the broadsheet illustrates the general layout of a typical sheet almanac. Reproduced by permission of the British Library, shelf-mark 1876 f.i, 188.


Appendix II Illustrations

7. Hieroglyphic, Vox Stellarum, 1821

This was the last hieroglyphic prepared by Henry Andrews, who died in 1820. It follows his policy of carrying no explanatory text. Many of the images seem familiar enough to the modern reader—the lion of England, Britannia with her lamp shedding light on the darker regions of the earth, from which black slaves look to her for deliverance. She carries beneath her arm a large book, representing knowledge and wisdom, even power. An angel deflects an attacking wind which threatens to extinguish the lamp. The ram sitting above sailing ships may represent Britain’s trade, while the conjunction of Saturn and Mercury represented in astrological glyphs would indicate some difficulties and delays. Both in the introduction to the hieroglyphic and in his ‘Vox Coelorum’ notes above, Henry Andrews suggests a tangible identity to Time’, an identity which could only be postulated on the assumption that humanity was not yet time’s master. Reproduced by permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.


Appendix II Illustrations

8. Old Moore’s hieroglyphic, 1865

This is a non-Stationers’ Moore’s. Although by a different author and published over forty years later, some of the components here are remarkably similar to Moore’s hieroglyphic for 1821: the figure of Britannia has become Queen Victoria; black slaves (or servants) are now willingly serving the queen; a jaunty sailor represents naval power; and a lion sits at the foot of the nation’s representative. Two of these themes, the lion and the black slaves, also appear in Catnach’s Prophetic Messenger. The author of the 1865 almanac adheres to the trend towards greater written exposition, assuming a more literate readership, and exhibiting a desire for correctness in interpretation. Reproduced by permission of the British Library, shelf-mark PP2477g.


Appendix II Illustrations

9. Hieroglyphic, Tommy Toddles’s Comic Almenak, 1862

A dialect hieroglyphic and verse, in best comic almanac tradition. Reproduced by permission of the British Library, shelf-mark PP1077.i.41.