Papers of Professor Evangeline Dora Edwards

Scope and Content

The collection comprises papers, articles, texts and lecture notes of Evangeline Dora Edwards, relating to her work and interest in Chinese language, literature and history. The material reflects her particular interest in the T'ang Dynasty (AD 618-907). Lecture notes cover topics such as T'ang poetry, the history of the early T'ang, the social life of the T'ang Dynasty and secular schools of music founded by Ming Huang (AD 713-752) of the T'ang Dynasty. Also includes a typescript article entitled 'Development of Drama before the T'ang Dynasty' (1933). There are several Chinese texts in the collection, some with English translations.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born 13 August 1888, Eve was the third daughter of the Reverend John Edwards. After completing her studies at Redbrook College, Camborne, Islington College and a preparatory course at the St Colm's Missionary College, Edinburgh, she travelled to China where she enrolled at the Peking Language School to study Chinese. Two years later in 1915, she was appointed Principal of the Women's Normal College in Mukden (Shenyang) - a training College for Chinese teachers. Continuing her studies during this time she attained the diploma in Chinese (Mandarin and Classical) from the Peking Language School in 1918.

Returning to England at the end of the First World War, she accepted a lectureship at the School Of Oriental and African Studies in 1921. Combining work and study, she obtained a BA Hons in Chinese (1924) and MA in Chinese (with distinction) (1925) from the University of London. In 1931 the University conferred on her the degree Doctor of Literature for her work on T'ang fiction. She was also appointed Reader in Chinese, a position she held until 1939 when she became Professor of Chinese. From 1937-1939 she was Acting Head of the Far East Department, then Head and Chair of Chinese until 1953. In 1951 she was also appointed Acting Head of the Percival David Foundation, a post she held until her retirement from the School in 1955. For many years she served on the council of the China Society (1925-1944). After the close of the war she visited the Far East, South East Asia and Pacific in order to follow up those in the armed services who had received training from the School. She died in 1957.

She published a number of works including Chinese prose and literature of the T'ang period (2 vols, London 1937-38), Confucius (1940), and two anthologies Dragon Book (1938) and Bamboo, Lotus and Palm (1948). She contributed articles to the Bulletin , and Asia Major , a British journal of Far Eastern Studies, as well as serving on its Editorial Board from 1941 - 1955. She also contributed reviews to the Bulletin and the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society . She translated M. Granet's Festivals and Songs of Ancient China (London, 1932) into English, and jointly published A Chinese vocabulary of Malacca Malay words and phrases (BSOS, vi, 3, 1931) and A Chinese vocabulary of Cham words and phrases (BSOS, x,1,1939) with Prof. C O Blagden. (Source: SOAS Bulletin, 1958)


The material is largely undated. They have been grouped according to type or theme.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Papers transferred to the Library by SOAS Far East Department in December 1960.

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished handlist