Amable Tastu Collection

Scope and Content

A small collection of papers of the French writer, Amable Tastu. This collection comprises of several manuscripts and a number of letters, written between 1821 and 1865, which help us to chart both her personal and professional life. The collection includes some original poetry and prose, letters written from her time spent in both Baghdad and Alexandria and one letter written by her husband in 1837.

Administrative / Biographical History

Amable Tastu was a female French writer active in the early to mid nineteenth century. Tastu wrote in a variety of genres during her lifetime, including poetry, children's stories, translations, histories, and even musical scores. Living primarily in Paris with her husband, the printer Joseph Tastu (1787-1849), she originally focussed on writing poetry, but her husband's business problems in the 1830s meant she undertook a wider range of work, including journalism, to raise money. Tastu's husband died in 1849, after which she spent time in Alexandria and Baghdad, where her son worked in the diplomatic service. In 1866, she returned to France, living first in Paris, and later at Palaiseau where she died on 10 January 1885.

Note: Tastu's birth date is given in some sources as 1795.


The collection has been provisionally arranged into two series: AMT/1: Manuscripts and other material; AMT/2: correspondence. This follows an earlier arrangement of the collection, which used sequential numbering for the whole collection.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

The collection is believed to have been purchased by the University of Manchester Library in March 1965, as part of a larger miscellaneous collection of 19th century French literary material, Acc 490755. The history of the items in the collection prior to this is unknown, but was described as being part of the "Robert Schuman collection".

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Related Material

The Library also has custody of a large collection of Victor Hugo's papers, VMH.