A Stitch in Rhyme: An Examination of Verse Embroidered on Needlework Samplers in England and America between 1647 and 1857

edited by Marsha Van Valin, with an essay by Tom McBride

A Stitch in Rhyme

Over 450 verses from early samplers, the majority of which are or were in the private collection of The Scarlet Letter and heretofore unpublished, are recorded in this book, with two introductory essays analyzing the verse from a literary perspective. In the past twenty-five years, the world of antique studies has paid increasingly more attention to these early needleworks, but little or no literary attention has been focused on the poetry embroidered on them. The predominant themes of sampler verse are timeless and universal: birth, death, love, awe of beauty and nature, joy, sorrow, reward, and punishment. This ground breaking study looks at this peculiar body of work from a unique point of view.
(Tom McBride is a professor of English Literature at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin.)

Softbound, 88 pages