A Swinburne Gallimaufry: Selections from the John S. Mayfield Papers

Howard W. Gunlocke Rare Book and Special Collections Room



This exhibition marks the centenary of the death of the great Victorian lyric poet, Algernon Charles Swinburne. More exactly, it is a celebration of his work, as well as of the accomplishments of one – if not the – most devoted of his collectors, John S. Mayfield.

The title of the exhibition pays homage to a collection of articles by Mayfield on Swinburne published as Swinburneiana: A Gallimaufry of Bits and Pieces About Algernon Charles Swinburne (1974), which incorporates one of Mayfield’s favorite and frequently used words, “gallimaufry.” That is to say, in Old French, “a ragout”; and in modern English, “a motley assortment.”

Arranged thematically, the exhibition highlights some of Swinburne’s major inspirations, works, and relationships. Selections of rare and limited editions of Swinburne’s works are included from Mayfield’s library.


Exhibition Curator: Lisette Matano

Special thanks to Karen O’Connell, Exhibition Book Curator & Preservationist.

Thanks also to John Buchtel, Department Head; LuLen Walker, Art Curator; Christen Runge, Assistant Art Curator; and David Hagen, graphics & photography.

A debt of gratitude is owed to Mark Samuels Lasner for the generous loan of items from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection at the University of Delaware Library.

The exhibition is dedicated to Nicholas Scheetz.