Item #17627 [Manuscript atlas.] First Course of Maps. Convent of the Holy Child Jesus. St. Leonard’s-on-Sea. Cornelia Connelly, Julia Mary Eyre.
[Manuscript atlas.] First Course of Maps. Convent of the Holy Child Jesus. St. Leonard’s-on-Sea.
[Manuscript atlas.] First Course of Maps. Convent of the Holy Child Jesus. St. Leonard’s-on-Sea.
[Manuscript atlas.] First Course of Maps. Convent of the Holy Child Jesus. St. Leonard’s-on-Sea.
[Manuscript atlas.] First Course of Maps. Convent of the Holy Child Jesus. St. Leonard’s-on-Sea.
[Manuscript atlas.] First Course of Maps. Convent of the Holy Child Jesus. St. Leonard’s-on-Sea.
[Manuscript atlas.] First Course of Maps. Convent of the Holy Child Jesus. St. Leonard’s-on-Sea.

[Manuscript atlas.] First Course of Maps. Convent of the Holy Child Jesus. St. Leonard’s-on-Sea.

[Sussex, England:]: [Society of the Holy Child Jesus, n.d., ca. 1863]. Date estimated from paper watermark (J. Whatman, 1863). This unique, beautifully illustrated manuscript atlas was produced by a student at the Convent of the Holy Child Jesus, a Catholic teaching convent and religious order founded by the American-born educator Cornelia Connelly, née Peacock (1809 – 1879). At the convent, which Connelly opened in St. Leonard’s-on-Sea 1848 after leaving St. Mary’s Church in Derby, students were instructed not just in theology but also in geology and other sciences, Greek and Latin philosophy, art, dance, and music. The impressive artistry and attention to detail present in these maps clearly speak to the educational standards established by Connelly in the convent, where young women trained to be teachers as well as nuns. The date of the present item suggests that Julia Mary Eyre may have been instructed by Connelly herself, or at least by the Sisters working under her direct supervision. With forty hand-drawn, partially colored maps annotated in calligraphic hand. Also, with a manuscript title-page with large calligraphic initial in red, blue, and gold and a page illustrated with the arms of Great Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, and the Papal States. The maps illustrated here include both physical and political maps of Europe, Britain, several individual European nations, South America, the Indian subcontinent, and Palestine. Plus, maps of Asia, Africa, Australia, Central America, Russia, the United States, and more. Binding somewhat sunned and bumped, with some scratches and some wear at edges of boards. Still a clean, bright item, remarkably fresh and attractive. Very good. Full green morocco stamped with gilt initials “J.M.E.” Gilt spine with raised bands in five compartments. 6 x 9 in. [43] ff. Item #17627

Connelly was born in Philadelphia and spent the first twenty-five years of her life as a Protestant. She married Pierce Connelly, an Episcopal priest, in 1831, and the couple both converted to Catholicism in 1835. Their marriage was tumultuous, involving multiple crises of faith by Pierce, who was pursuing Catholic priesthood, and the deaths of two of their young children. In 1845, the couple moved to England, with Pierce taking the position of chaplain to Lord Shrewsbury. In England, Connelly began drawing up rules for a new religious order, which she established as the Society of the Holy Child Jesus in Derby in October of 1846. In 1848, Connelly relocated the order’s mother house to St. Leonard’s-on-Sea in Sussex, leading to the establishment of the convent there. The Society was approved in 1887 by Pope Leo the XIII, and, over the course of the next century, Sisters of the order opened schools and convents in the United States (1862), Nigeria (1930), Ghana (1947), Chile (1967), Chad (1992), and the Dominican Republic (1995). In 1959, Connelly was proposed for beatification, and she was proclaimed Venerable by Pope John III in 1992.

“Brief History of the Society.” Society of the Holy Child Jesus (webpage). “Convent of the Holy Child Jesus, Magdalen Road, St Leonard’s-on-Sea, school diaries” (catalogue description). The National Archives (webpage).

Price: $1,850.00