British Literary Materials: Overview

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17th- and 18th-Century Authors

RBMSCL holds early editions of the works of several 17th-century authors including John Milton, Ben Jonson, and John Dryden.  There is a comprehensive collection of the early editions of the works of Alexander Pope and early editions of  works of other 18th-century writers, including Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, Oliver Goldsmith, Samuel Johnson, Laurence Sterne, and Jonathan Swift.

Romantic-Era Poets

RBMSCL holds early editions of George Gordon Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and William Wordsworth.  There are also a few Coleridge manuscripts. 

Later 19th-Century Authors

RBMSCL holds early editions of  Thomas Carlyle’s works, complemented by about 100 letters from Carlyle to his wife.  The library also holds published works and manuscript items of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Alfred Lord Tennyson, as well as some letters by William Morris and Arthur O’Shaughnessy.  Works by Charles Dickens include numerous first editions, with some works in the original serialized versions. 

20th Century Authors

RBMSCL holds early published works by Joseph Conrad, as well as a Conrad manuscript collection and other manuscript materials about him and his family in the Francis W. Dawson Papers.  Holdings also include a manuscript collection of Sir Leslie Stephen, father of Virginia Woolf, totaling about 300 items, and a substantial and growing collection of works produced by Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s Hogarth Press.

RBMSCL holds a comprehensive collection of novels by John Buchan, as well as early editions of H. Ryder Haggard and H. E. Bates.