Somerville & Ross Manuscripts

MS17/802 - Growly Wowly (Or the Story of the Three Little Pigs), Cover

MS17/802 - Growly Wowly (Or the Story of the Three Little Pigs), Cover

MS17/911/20 - Illustrations In the State of Denmark, "It was almost awful to see the omelettes ac rhum, each borne by a separate waiter, approach"

MS17/911/20 - Illustrations In the State of Denmark, "It was almost awful to see the omelettes ac rhum, each borne by a separate waiter, approach"

MS17/812a - Print Blocks for Stray-Aways by E. OE. Somerville and Martin Ross

MS17/812a - Print Blocks for Stray-Aways by E. OE. Somerville and Martin Ross

MS17/911/36 - Illustrations In the State of Denmark, No. XII, ''Its many spires and dormers dreamed in the grey sky''

MS17/911/36 - Illustrations In the State of Denmark, No. XII, ''Its many spires and dormers dreamed in the grey sky''

Of the literary papers can be found annotated, handwritten notes and manuscripts relating to numerous publications produced under the Somerville & Ross name, including that of ‘The Further Experiences of an Irish RM’ (1908), one of their best known works. Other papers concern the unfinished novel, ‘A Man of the People’ (c 1897-99) and drafts of ‘Some Irish Yesterdays’ (1906), ‘Mount Music’ (1919), ‘The Big House of Inver’ (1925) and, Somerville’s last book, ‘Maria and Some Other Dogs’ (published 1949). Working notes are also featured and these include an indexed notebook of Irish anecdotes and dialogue compiled by the two writers, c 1886-1945, and various notes on Irish political and cultural affairs, the suffragette movement and Irish agriculture, c 1910-32. Most notable amongst the personal papers are the extant diaries of both Somerville and Martin and comprehensive series of correspondence from the two writers with friends, relatives and other associates. Of particular significance are the letters between Martin and Lady Augusta Gregory, co-founder of the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, c 1889-1915, and with the artist, William Gorman Wills, c 1885-1890; and Somerville with her brother, Colonel John Somerville, c 1889-1948, and the English Composer and Feminist, Dame Ethel Smyth, c 1918-44. Other interesting items include three notebooks detailing spiritualist séances attended by Somerville, 1930-41, with messages apparently received from Violet Martin and other dead relatives and a number of original illustrations and drawings by Somerville, who, in addition to her literary activities enjoyed a good degree of artistic success during her lifetime.

Strengths

Comprehensive collection of literary and personal papers reflecting the lives and work of the popular Irish writers, Somerville and Ross. The collection is notable for including the extant diaries of both Edith Somerville and Violet Ross, for illustrating the collaborative work of the two authors and for including sizable series of late 19th and early 20th century correspondence commenting on the lives and interests of the correspondents in question.

Physical characteristics

Collection of paper based materials consisting of approx. 2100 items, c 1873-1948, including 113 volumes (diaries), 4 files of notes, approx. 1800 autograph letters, approx. 60 literary manuscripts, 12 notebooks and 119 drawings and illustrations.

Created

1873
1949

Collected

1873
1949

Coverage

1873
1949
Custodial History

This collection was purchased at auction by Queen's University Belfast.

Accrual
Accrual Policy
Closed
Accrual Method
Purchase
Accrual Periodicity
Closed
Added by Queen's University Belfast | Last updated on: 31 May 2019