The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside recitation entitled 'A Ship Sinking'


The text which introduces the recitation begins: 'John Wilson, late Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, was born in Paisley in 1785.' The recitation begins: '---Her giant form, / O'er wrathful surge, through blackening storm, / Majestically calm, would go / 'Mid the deep darkness white as snow'. The sheet was published by the Poet's Box.

Professor John Wilson (1785-1854) wrote under the pseudonym of Christopher North. He was a considerable intellectual force and was a close friend of literary luminaries such as William Wordsworth and Robert Southey. He was editor of the influential and often controversial 'Blackwood's Magazine' between 1822 and 1835, and is best remembered as a pivotal figure in nineteenth-century Edinburgh literary society.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

previous pageprevious          
Probable period of publication: 1880-1900   shelfmark: RB.m.143(045)
Broadside recitation entitled 'A Ship Sinking'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland