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Mary Webb papers

 Collection
Identifier: MRBC-MS-00008

Scope and Contents

The Mary Webb Papers contain 30 holographs and 58 typescript drafts of 80 poems as well as a holograph draft of a book review. The majority of these poems were published in 51 Poems (London: Cape, 1946; New York: Dutton, 1947), a posthumously published collection. The bulk of the material is undated; those works which are dated span the years 1898-1926. Twelve manuscripts were presented to Smith College by David J. and Barbara Holmes on March 29, 1994 in memory of Ruth Mortimer, Class of 1953. The book review was purchased from the Book Press on July 18, 1990, in a red cloth folder with the bookplate of H. Bradley Martin. The remaining 77 manuscripts were purchased in May 1994 from David J. Holmes on the Fund established by Hillier Krieghbaum, in memory of his wife Katherine Lancaster Krieghbaum, Class of 1938. The 77 manuscripts were housed in a blue full leather clamshell box and in a green cloth slipcase with the bookplates of H. Bradley Martin.

Dates

  • 1898-1926

Creator

Language of Materials

English and French

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections (specialcollections@smith.edu) at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Biographical / Historical

Mary Webb was born in Leighton-under-the-Wrekin, Shropshire, England, on March 25, 1881 to George Edward and Sarah Alice Meredith. She was educated at home by her schoolmaster father, but spent two years in Southport attending a private school. Webb suffered from Graves's disease throughout her adult life, her most serious attack keeping her bedridden for several years at the age of twenty. She married Henry Webb in June 1912, and lived in Shropshire until 1921 when the couple moved to London. The Institut Français presented her with the Femina/Vie Heureuse prize for Precious Bane in 1926, acknowledging "the best imaginative work in prose or verse descriptive of English life by an author who has not gained sufficient recognition."

Her writings include the novels The Golden Arrow (London: Constable, 1916; New York: Dutton, 1935), Gone to Earth (London: Constable, 1917; New York: Dutton, 1917), The House in Dormer Forest (London: Hutchinson, 1920; New York: Doran, 1921), Seven for a Secret, A Love Story (London: Hutchinson, 1922; New York: Doran, 1923), Precious Bane (London: Cape, 1924; New York: Dutton, 1926), Armour Wherein He Trusted (London: Cape, 1929; New York: Dutton, 1929), a collection of essays entitled The Spring of Joy (London and Toronto: Dent/New York: Dutton, 1917; New York: Dutton, 1937), a poetry collection Fifty-one Poems Hitherto Unpublished in Book Form (London: Cape, 1946; New York: Dutton, 1947) and two anthologies Poems and the Spring of Joy (London: Cape, 1928; New York: Dutton, 1929) and Mary Webb: Collected Prose and Poems, edited by Gladys Mary Coles (Shropshire: Wildings, 1977).

Extent

1 boxes (0.5 linear feet)

Overview

English poet and novelist acknowledged by the Institut Français in 1926 for "the best imaginative work in prose or verse descriptive of English life by an author who has not gained sufficient recognition." Includes 30 holographs and 58 typescript drafts of 80 poems as well as a holograph draft of a book review.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into two series:
  1. I. Review by Mary Webb
  2. II. Poems by Mary Webb, 1898-1926

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Twelve manuscripts were presented to Smith College by David J. and Barbara Holmes on March 29, 1994 in memory of Ruth Mortimer, Class of 1953. The book review was purchased from the Book Press on July 18, 1990, in a red cloth folder with the bookplate of H. Bradley Martin. The remaining 77 manuscripts were purchased in May 1994 from David J. Holmes on the Fund established by Hillier Krieghbaum, in memory of his wife Katherine Lancaster Krieghbaum, Class of 1938. The 77 manuscripts were housed in a blue full leather clamshell box and in a green cloth slipcase with the bookplates of H. Bradley Martin.

General

The Mary Webb Papers are the physical property of the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors of works or their legal representatives.
Title
Mary Webb papers
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Author
Compiled by Hannah M. Stott-Bumsted
Date
2003
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
  • 2005-09-23: manoscmr10 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).

Repository Details

Part of the Mortimer Rare Book Collection Repository

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063