Four notebooks, c. 1860-1880 which take the form of a commonplace book with intermittent diary entries. The notebooks cover the time Collins spent at school and University, and the beginning of his career.
University of Birmingham Staff Papers: Papers of John Churton Collins
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 150 US07
- Dates of Creation1904-1908
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical DescriptionFour notebooks
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
John Churton Collins (1848-1908) author and professor of English was educated at the Grammar School of King Edward the Sixth (Birmingham, England), and Balliol College, Oxford where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1872. Collins was greatly interested in literature in his youth; he coached London candidates for civil service examinations from 1873, and wrote for the press and magazines; made friends with Swinburn, edited Cyril Tourneur's works, 1878; and Lord Herbert of Cherbury's poems, 1881. He was a contributor to the Quarterly Review from October 1878, and many of his articles there were republished independently. Collins was a successful lecturer for Oxford and London university extension from 1880. He long agitated with good ultimate effect for academic recognition of English literature at Oxford; urged his views in The Study of English Literature , 1891 and in periodicals, an outspoken critic of current literature in Saturday Review , 1894-1906; collected essays in Ephemera Critica , 1901, Studies in Shakespeare , 1904, Studies in Poetry and Criticism , 1905, and Voltaire, Montesquieu, and Rousseau in England , 1905. Collins was professor of English at University of Birmingham, 1904-1908. He received an honorary Litt.D. from Durham University in 1905; was a zealous amateur student of criminology;, and a brilliant conversationalist. He drowned at Oulton Broad near Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Reference: The Concise Dictionary of National Biography Part 2, 1901-1950 ( Oxford, 1967 ).
For further reading about the University of Birmingham see: Eric Ives, Diane Drummond, Leonard Schwarz The First Civic University: Birmingham 1880-1980 An Introductory History ( The University of University of Birmingham Press. 2000 ).
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